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UNDP in Uzbekistan has held its annual National Project Coordinators (NPC) meeting - a key opportunity to take into account the successes gained by national projects both individually and within programmatic areas, and to identify possible future challenges to UNDP’s work. The event was also an important occasion to overview key objectives within the UNDP Strategic Plan for 2014-2017.
The meeting participants highlighted the need to encourage Uzbekistan’s sustainable development not only as a separate nation, but also as a key state in the Central Asian region. Consequently, how to promote stronger south-south development between the five nations in the region was an important topic of discussion.
With the 2015 MDG deadline approaching, it was agreed that the national focus in the upcoming year should include addressing rural-urban gaps and strengthening equity across the nation. The remaining goals include a continued reduction in poverty levels and the improvement of the rural availability of drinking water, and laying the groundwork for achieving sustainable development goals post-2015.
UNDP in Uzbekistan’s intended results per programmatic area within the UNDP Strategic Plan for 2014-2017 were also highlighted during the meeting. Key directions identified in the economic governance field included improved policy development dialogue, increased employment through an improved business environment, and enhanced aid coordination. In the governance field priorities included developing regulatory reform, strengthening professional social work, and improving e-governance reform.
A number of priorities were also identified in the environment and energy field. There is a continued need for a national water management strategy and the enlargement of protected area networks. Climate change mitigation in Uzbekistan needs to be combined with green growth and countrywide resilience, while continued improvements in the disaster risk management field should include the instalment of a modern early warning system in the Kamchik pass and the establishment of a Search and Rescue Training Centre.
The UNDP Strategic Plan for 2014-2017 will focus on human development as an overall paradigm, and will address relative poverty with a focus on equity. Objectives for the plan also include enhancing the government’s capacity to identify and provide targeted assistance to low-income and disadvantaged groups.