Statement delivered by UN RC a.i. Mr.Sascha Graumann at the International Human Rights Conference

Nov 22, 2017

Assalomu aleykum!

Dear co-organizers and participants!

It is my pleasure on behalf of the UN Country Team in Uzbekistan to welcome you at the international conference on indicators for measuring progress on human rights.

Yesterday, Professor Saidov and I met with young people from the Youth Parliament to discuss their rights.

I think we were both very impressed by the issues they raised, their acute awareness how the realization of human rights affects their lives and that of their peers and their readiness to engage and contribute to promoting these values in society.

For these young people, human rights are very concrete.

For Marjana from Kashkandaria it is about the Roma child in her neighborhood that doesn't go to school or her friend in a wheelchair who needs a ramp at the school to participate in class with the other kids.

It is important that young people see how human rights matter to them and how they can claim their rights.

As the President said at the UNGA if we want young people to make a positive contribution to society and to be protected from negative influences, we need to protect their rights and interest.

So, how we engage in a dialogue with these young people will determine their trust in the system of governance in the country and how meaningful human rights institutions are to them.

We are delighted to co-host this event with the National Human Rights Center of Uzbekistan, OHCHR, UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub, OSCE Project Co-ordinator Office in Uzbekistan, Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the United Nations Country Team in Uzbekistan.

2017 has been an important year for Uzbekistan in terms of human rights.

President Mirziyoyev declared it the Year of Dialogue with People and Human Interests, and in February, the Government adopted its 5-year Action Strategy, which incorporates human rights as a cross-cutting issue.

This year also saw the ground-breaking visit of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief.

And there have been a number of missions of the OHCHR regional office to Uzbekistan and an increased dialogue between the Government and human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch and national groups.

The UN family commends these important developments.

We are also pleased to witness the Government’s human rights commitments being translated into a number of action plans adopted by the Parliament as well as the President of Uzbekistan.

To implement these commitments in line with the Government’s Action Strategy and its people-centered approach, human rights must be at the heart of the engagement of every public official serving the needs of the citizens of Uzbekistan.

People need to enjoy their rights and freedoms every day.

These inalienable and indivisible rights and freedoms must be fulfilled, protected and respected in all areas of socio-economic, political and cultural life as rapid transformations occur under the reform agenda.

To make this happen, we will need to ensure the following:

-    First, design public policies based on strong evidence so that no one is left behind and human dignity is upheld;

-    Second, turn policies into practice using transparent, inclusive and participatory approaches;

-    Third, closely monitor and assess the impact of the results of reforms on people, their rights, freedoms and legitimate interests.

All this implies the need for multi-dimensional indicators and reliable data to measure progress on human rights and the implementation of international human rights commitments in all spheres of life.

Elaborating these indicators and ensuring access to relevant data is the main focus of our conference today.

In fact, better qualitative and quantitative data is essential to not leave anybody behind and ensure sustainable human development.

Good statistics, which includes disaggregated local and sectoral data and information, is important not only for national stakeholders, but also for international organizations to identify the right priorities and entry points in the period of vibrant transformations.

A constructive focus on human rights indicators, measurements and data is also essential to achieving the Government’s Action Strategy, the Roadmap between the UN and the Government of Uzbekistan and the SDGs.

I trust that this conference will serve as a starting point in this long, but exciting journey towards better protection of human rights and freedoms.

Using this opportunity, allow me to congratulate all of you with the upcoming International Human Rights Day on 10 December.

I am looking forward to interesting ideas, exciting discussions and unconventional solutions.

Thank you.


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