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“Uzbekistan and the UN: Cooperation for Achieving the SDGs” 

On June 26, 2020, an international online forum was held on the theme “The 75th anniversary of the United Nations: a look into the future”, organized by the Chambers of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Center for Human Rights of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and the United Nations Office in Uzbekistan.

This forum, held online, was the first event of the Global Discussion Cycle “The 75th Anniversary of the United Nations: A Look into the Future,” organized by Uzbekistan as part of the UN-75 international initiative, proclaimed by the United Nations on its anniversary year.

The series of events will include 4 thematic discussions, which will be held in June, July, August and September 2020.

The forum was attended by high representatives of the United Nations and its specialized agencies, including UNESCO, ILO, WHO, IOM, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNDP, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Organization of Islamic Cooperation , other partner organizations, leading experts, heads of diplomatic missions accredited in Uzbekistan.

UNFPA was represented by Ms. Alanna Armitage, Regional Director, UNFPA Eastern Europe and Central Asia Regional Office. Here is speech she addressed the participants of the forum.

"Madame Chair, Excellencies, dear colleagues and friends. Warm greetings from UNFPA regional office in Istanbul! 

It is a true pleasure to join today’s celebration of the United Nations 75th anniversary and the Uzbekistan/UN road map to achieve Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

On behalf of UN Population Fund, I wish to congratulate the Government and people of Uzbekistan for hosting this important reflection on the United Nations and would particularly like to acknowledge:

Mme Tanzila Narbayeva, Chairperson of the Senate,

Mr. Akmal Saidov, First Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis,

Mr. Abdulaziz Kamilov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan,

I would also like to express my admiration for the United Nations Country Team in Uzbekistan under the able leadership of RC Helena Fraser.  

Ladies and Gentlemen - today more than ever - we need global solidarity. The current COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the urgency of the SDGs. Far more than a health crisis, the pandemic is affecting societies and economies at their core. It is exacerbating and deepening inequalities that existed in our societies, and exposing vulnerabilities in socio-economic systems. 

While the impact varies from country to country, the global turmoil that follows COVID-19 will most likely increase poverty and inequalities at a global scale. We must ensure that we keep the SDGs in sight while responding to the urgent needs of the pandemic.

As the UN Secretary General has outlined today, there could not be a more important time for We the peoples of the United Nations to come together. Our UN joint vision for the immediate socio-economic response to the pandemic therefore focuses on five interconnected streams:

  1. Health Systems
  2. People  
  3. Employment
  4. Macroeconomic policies
  5. Social cohesion and community-led resilience.

There are also other global mega-trends to which the SG has called our attention, and which are of particular importance in this region and in Uzbekistan: climate change, population dynamics and the ICT transformation.

From the start of the pandemic UNFPA has focused globally, and in Uzbekistan, on implementing the UNs vision and ensuring continuity of services in the core areas of our work: ensuring zero maternal deaths, universal access to family planning and ending gender based violence and harmful practices of women and girls.

In Uzbekistan, UNFPA’s collaboration with the Gender Commission of the Senate, under the able leadership of Mme Narbaeva, has contributed to provide the much-needed communication on the prevention of gender-based violence, supported women’s centers and hotlines, and highlighted the importance of men’s engagement in family life, as well as intergenerational dialogue. It has also helped to ensure continuity of maternal health ensuring that rights and protection of the most vulnerable: women & girls, older people, and people with disabilities.  

To conclude, allow me to congratulate Uzbekistan on the forward-looking plans for this decade for ambitious action. The socio-economic reforms that are being implemented by the Government of Uzbekistan are aimed at ensuring that no one is left behind, and supporting Gender Equality and Human Rights, central to the transformative promise of the Agenda 2030 and the SDGs.

I was able to witness some of the results of these reforms during my visit to Uzbekistan last year: 

And today’s high-level meeting and the series of discussions planned for the coming months are great testimony to these efforts. 

  • During this decade of action we hope to see the first ever National Gender Strategy fully implemented, women leadership truly empowered, Gender based violence eliminated and all people of Uzbekistan enjoy equal rights and freedoms in families and society.
  • During this decade the country will have announced the results of its first population and housing census in thirty years. Policies and plans are increasingly driven by evidence, and up to date data and understanding of population dynamics, in support of sustainable social and economic development.    
  • During this decade, we hope to see a new generation of empowered youth, especially young girls who will grow to be great current and future leaders, and most importantly, their potential will be fully realized.

These are our joint aspirations on the road towards SDGs during this decade for action.

I thank you again for the invitation to UNFPA and reiterate our commitment to accompany the Government and people of Uzbekistan on this journey."