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Online Media Briefing to celebrate World Population Day

TASHKENT, July 12th

 

An online Media Briefing event, organised by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in partnership with Makhalla and Oila Research Institute and In-Service Training Centre for Journalists of Uzbekistan, took place on Monday, July 12 th to mark the World Population Day (WPD). WPD is celebrated annually on July 11th. This year’s theme was “Rights and Choices are the Answer: Whether baby boom or bust, the solution lies in prioritizing the reproductive health and rights of all people.”

 

The event intended to increase the awareness of media practitioners on the theme of the WPD 2021 and its relevance to Uzbekistan; to present the population forecasts by regions of Uzbekistan which shows that all regions will undergo dynamic shifts in the numbers and age of their populations albeit at a different pace and resulting consequences. While some regions will continue experiencing rapid population growth with many young people entering the labor market, others will start seeing a quicker pace of their populations getting older. As the theme of WPD sets, for all regions of Uzbekistan regardless of their different population dynamics the reproductive health and rights will remain essential in meeting the aspirations of their populations and successfully transforming their economies to new realities.   

 

The event was opened by Ms Nodira Egamberdieva, Director of Research Institute Mahalla and Family, Ms Gulnara Babadjanova, Director of In-Service Training Centre for Journalists of Uzbekistan and Mr Yu Yu, UNFPA Representative in Uzbekistan. Mr. Yu Yu stressed the importance of this collaboration between UNFPA, the Mahalla and Family Research Institute and the In-Service Training Centre for Journalists of Uzbekistan, highlighting that ‘’this is a win-win combination: evidence generated by research institutions needs to be communicated to the public, while the media needs to have access to credible information to inform the public, based on science and facts’’.

 

The keynote presentation was given by Mr Tomas Kucera, UNFPA’s international expert and Deputy Head of the Department of Demography and Geodemography at Charles University (Czech Republic), who presented population forecasts by regions of Uzbekistan and underlined the importance of utilizing population forecasts for socio-economic policy. The expected changes in the size and age structure of the population and of its geographical distribution will help to make informed decisions on investments in social infrastructure, including the construction of new schools, hospitals and/or the reconstruction of existing ones, as well as improving market infrastructure to create decent jobs, at the same time addressing the needs of different groups of the population, such as the elderly. Mr. Kucera stressed that future changes in population dynamics could lead to certain challenges, but these changes will also open new opportunities.

 

The presentation was followed by a Panel Discussion, which included an array of speakers, including Adiba Nuriddinova, Head of Department of the Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Ms Irina Zbarskaya, Chief of the Department of Social and Demographic Statistics, CIS-Stat, Ms Gulnara Babadjanova, Director of In-Service Training Centre for Journalists of Uzbekistan, Ms Lyudmila Maksakova, a highly renowned demographer, and Mr Hamid Abduramanov, Deputy Director, Research Institute Mahalla and Family.

 

Each speaker shared insights into a variety of inter-related topics, from labor and aging dynamics, fertility, and family planning to the upcoming national census. The role of the media in providing high-quality coverage of reproductive health and population dynamics was discussed. Ms Babadjanova welcomed international cooperation and opportunities to exchange expertise and stressed the importance of improving the quality of media content, adhering to the ethical standards by journalists and bloggers, as well as continuing education and training, as a way to further increase the capacity of the media to effectively and timely inform the public.

 

The main audience of the event included media representatives, including from regions. UNFPA hopes to build further connections with the media across the country to work together on communicating important messages and raise awareness on issues relating to population dynamics, sexual and reproductive health, and gender equality, among other things.