On behalf of UNDP, I congratulate the Republic of Uzbekistan for the bold statement delivered at the 76th General Assembly of the UN. Hammangizni tabriklayman!
My colleagues and I took a great pleasure in hearing the President statement, reiterating the Uzbekistan’s commitment to SDGs, setting ambitious targets, tabling of a number of important initiatives.
All themes that were emphasized in the statement – the call for inclusiveness of COVID recovery, special attention to combating climate change and protecting environment, criticality and pledge to democratic reforms – are very relevant for the world in which we leave. By raising them the President re-confirmed the status of Uzbekistan as responsible global citizen, and actor! The recongintion of and call for reinforced role of the UN was only motivating for us in UNDP.
I will very briefly comment on some of the points:
1. COVID vaccine equity: The President referred to the COVID19 pandemic, calling it a “global disaster” with devastating social, economic, political consequences; advocating for fair access to vaccines based on the principle of “no one should be left behind”.
We in UNDP can not agree more. Our recent analysis showed that vaccination delays have a domino effect on human development progress: the longer we delay getting vaccines to all, the deeper and longer lasting the negative global impact the pandemic has on the world.
2. Green development and Climate Change: These are among the key themes of this GA, with the understanding that we, the humanity, must act now to tackle climate change and use the pandemic recovery to ensure all actions are green, fair, and just.
It was therefore reassuring to hear strong commitment to achieve Paris Agreement goals, and thus Uzbekistan’s contribution to combating the climate change, protecting environment and biodiversity.
A commitment – coupled with concrete agenda and targets (renewable energy, energy efficiency, environmentally clean transport), but also with specific initiatives. Uzbekistan is offering to host international conferences, such as the 2022 high-level International Forum on Green Energy in the Aral Sea region, the Biodiversity Convention and the sixth High-Level Assembly for in-depth discussions of the priorities of global environmental policy.
UNDP would be glad to support the Government in organizing such events, as well as the one dedicated to Global economic recovery and poverty reduction in the post-pandemics, also announced by the President yesterday.
A topic that is much related is the Aral Sea region, where people's health, food and jobs have all diminished along with the sea. Under the President’s leadership, the vision to transform the Aral Sea region into a ‘Zone of Ecological Innovation and Technologies’ was recognized by the adoption of the Special Resolution of the UN General Assembly earlier in May. We now see the decisive action to implement it in Uzbekistan and are pleased to accompany the Government in this critical undertaking.
3. Democratic reforms: The Statement reiterated about the irrevrisiblty of the ongoing democrafic reforms in Uzbekistan; and pledges in the areas of gender equality, freedom of the press, social cohesion. The President mentioned human rights four times in his speech; we agree - all development, to be sustainable and inclusive, must be based on the human rights-based approach so that no one is left behind. In the wake of the pandemic, if any country is to build forward better, advancement on these issues is a prerequisite.
In the case of Uzbekistant there are number of opportunities for further advancement. For example, the Gender Strategy was adopted this year; it guides the systemic implementation of policies on gender equality and women empowerment in employment, education, social development, and decision-making.
To tackle the extraordinary challenges of today, through its new strategic vision, UNDP will continue to support Uzbekistan to deliver concrete, bold solutions, which harness innovation and partnerships and bolster global efforts towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.