A major project intended to improve the lives of 8 million young people in Fergana, Namangan and Andijan has been officially launched online.
Tashkent, 09 April 2020 – A brand new project focusing on youth as agents of change and aiming to improve the quality of life of young women and men through better interaction with the government and enabling them to have a stronger say about their future was launched.
This is our joint 18-month intervention with the Youth Union of Uzbekistan, UNODC and UNESCO, funded by the UN Peacebuilding fund. This project will be piloted in the Fergana valley, the most densely populated area of Uzbekistan. The project is in line with Uzbekistan’s National Youth Policy , which emphasises active involvement of young people in society.
Ms. Matilda Dimovska, UNDP Resident Representative, mentioned in her speech at the opening of the e-event that “Sixty percent of Uzbekistan’s population are people under 30. It’s, therefore, crucial proving opportunities for productive engagement of the youth as well as their constructive involvement in all reforms".
“We aim to strengthen cooperation and trust between young people and the government, in support of the national reform agenda through increasing the ability of youth to influence their conditions, creating a sense of belonging to their communities and confidence in the government/public services and enhancing dialogue mechanisms at the community level. This, in turn, will provide young people with entry points to act as decision makers in their own communities and apply their skills to make their communities more resilient to conflict and sustain peace.” – Ms. Dimovska added.
Mr. Jan Hladík, UNESCO Representative to Uzbekistan, re-iterated that access to employment is often a challenge for youth. “Integrating young women and men effectively in the labour market is a priority for this project. We recognize the force, creativity, energy, know-how and capacities of young people and will work with and for youth to promote their leadership potential.” – Mr Hladík stated.
Ms. Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia, commended the focus of the project on young people as a fast-growing demographic and the future of the country so that they are not left behind in the context of the rapid changes going on in the country. She stressed that the project introduces life skills and civic engagement as catalysts for sustainable development and peace in Uzbekistan.
“This will imply the need to equip young people from diverse backgrounds with key competencies and opportunities to constructively participate in community life, increase access to skills and knowledge that foster their employability, create cooperation platforms between young people and local administrations and inclusive public service delivery and make sure they could address the needs of vulnerable youth on the basis of rule of law and a fair and humane justice system.” – Ms. Mittal said.
In conclusion of the event, Mr Alisher Sadulaev, Chairman of the Youth Union of Uzbekistan highlighted: “We have high hopes for this project and are committed to its implementation in partnership with the UN as young people are the main driving force of the country’.