Stefan Priesner: The Message on the 24th Anniversary of Uzbekistan’s IndependenceAug 31, 2015
I am pleased to congratulate you all on behalf of the UN family in Uzbekistan on this important occasion – 24th anniversary of Uzbekistan’s independence! This year is equally important for the UN as we mark 22successful years of cooperation with the government of Uzbekistan. And this gives me an opportunity to dwell on some key areas of our cooperation and the results that define its success.
At the outset
The UN has been present in Uzbekistan since 1993 and has been supporting Uzbekistan in addressing a diverse range of needs, from economic reform and improving governance to supporting the Government meet its various international obligations. We assist in healthcare and education reform and the protection of Uzbekistan’s cultural treasures. We also support efforts to counter drug trafficking, to protect the environment and to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS. Up until now our collaboration mainly focused on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in support of which the UN system in Uzbekistan collaborates with a wide range of national partners, including Government ministries such as the ministries of economy, finance, health, education, labour and social protection, as well as state nature protection committee, state committee on statistics and etc. we also collaborate with the Parliament, judiciary, research institutions, the media and non-government organizations.
As we speak
Over the last 22 years, the UN has delivered technical assistance to Uzbekistan for more than USD 434 million to support economic, governance, healthcare and education reforms and the protection of environment. Some of the examples of joint projects and achievements include the following:
· More than a million people living in Ferghana valley and Karakalpakstan were provided with better access to drinking water, renovation of primary health facilities and kindergartens in remote areas, improved irrigation practices provision of solar water heaters and panels through community based initiatives;
· As 2015 was announced as the Year of the elderly the UN supported the formulation of a Government Resolution that takes holistic view of the social protection of the elderly and approves a new list of food and sanitary goods to be provided on monthly basis to the lonely elderly people free of charge
· The UN supported the development of the Medium term Education Sector Plan which envisions further enhancing access to and improvement of the quality of education at all levels;
· With the UN support all children between the age of 1-14 are protected from Polio and Measles/Rubella; 98% of children aged 6-59 months nationwide are protected from measles complications and micronutrient deficiencies by receiving Vitamin A supplementation;
· With the UN’s support in 2014 the total number of people receiving antiretroviral treatment reached 10, 000
· UN continued promoting improved access to justice through assisting in the application of “E-SUD” electronic document management system. In 2014, more than 30,000 undisputed cases were filed, reviewed, and settled electronically.
We believe that our joint achievements have contributed to the wellbeing of the people of Uzbekistan and prosperity of the country.
This year, the UN system in Uzbekistan and the Government signed a new UNDAF for next five years, i.e. 2016-2020, that has marked a new important milestone that should further cement the close cooperation between the United Nations and the Republic of Uzbekistan. As such, UNDAF represents a joint commitment by the Government of Uzbekistan and the United Nations System to work together and a shared intention to promote progress in human development of all people living in the country, especially the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.
To this end, the new UNDAF provides a set of envisaged results agreed between the Government and the United Nations System in core areas of cooperation that include:
· Inclusive economic development, with a focus on employment and social protection
· Quality health and education, to fully realize human potential
· Environmental protection, to ensure sustainable development
· Effective governance, to enhance public service delivery and the protection of rights
On the threshold of Uzbekistan’s Independence Day
I began my assignment in Uzbekistan almost 3 years ago and have had the opportunity to travel and visit many parts of the country and meet people from all walks of life. I have been impressed by the knowledge, warmth, capacities and potential of the people of this country and struck by Uzbekistan’s rich history, culture and natural beauty. I very much look forward to deepening and further strengthening UN collaboration with all partners in Uzbekistan.
The UN in Uzbekistan congratulates the people of Uzbekistan on the twenty-fourth year of the national independence and wishes further prosperity to all families living on this wonderful land.