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22.08.2014 11:28

Stefan Priesner: We commend your President’s commitment to peaceful settlement of disputes and refraining from the use of force in international relations

On the eve of the 23nd anniversary of the Independence of our country, UzA correspondent has interviewed Mr. Stefan Priesner, UN Resident Coordinator in Uzbekistan.

- Your opinion about Uzbekistan’s development during its independence years, effectiveness of the reforms carried out in different spheres.

- Uzbekistan has come a long way in its 23 years of Independence. Enjoying a decade of high economic growth, it has recently joined the group of middle-income countries. Particularly noteworthy from the UN side are the efforts of the country to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and the strong commitment towards social development evidenced among others by the high share of public expenditure for education, health, and social protection. Ensuring inclusive growth and equal access to services throughout Uzbekistan will remain important in the years to come.

We commend the vision for the country “to build an open democratic and law-governed state, in which a person, his interests, his rights and freedoms are the highest value not in words, but in practice” as articulated in “The Concept of further deepening the democratic reforms and establishing the civil society in the country”. This as a powerful goal to guide the development of the country, recognizing that the development is a process of constant improvement and creation of opportunities for all as the country climbs higher on the development ladder. Indeed, human development, economic development and democratization have to go hand in hand to fully unleash a country’s potential.

- What can you say about Uzbekistan’s cooperation with the UN and future plans?

- The cooperation between UN and Government of Uzbekistan covers many different fields and produces good result. Since the first UN agencies established their field presence more than 21 years ago a lot of joint achievements have been made and we generally appreciate the strong Government ownership of and support to UN initiatives.

In recent years cooperation focused on the areas of social development (education, health, social protection) economic well-being, good governance and environment under the overall umbrella of the Millennium Development Goals framework. 

We are currently starting to develop our strategic priorities for 2016-2020 as family of UN agencies in cooperation with government partners. The focus areas will be in line withinformed by the global Post-2015 (Sustainable Development Goals) framework, and support Uzbekistan national development priorities.

- How do you assess the initiatives of the President of Uzbekistan, that are in line with the UN values, on providing peace and security in the region, peaceful settling of disputes between countries?

- We commend your President’s commitment to peaceful settlement of disputes and refraining from the use of force in international relations. This approach has been consolidated through the adoption of the 2012 Concept of Foreign Policy Activity of Uzbekistan, which among other key issues, acknowledged the UN’s coordinating role in maintaining international peace and security as well as expressed commitment to pursue a foreign policy in the spirit of cooperation and friendliness in relation with regional neighbors.

At the same time, the countries of the region have demonstrated their commitment to global peace efforts and ability to cooperate by elaborating and signing on 6 May 2014 the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia, committing not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against the parties to the Treaty and thus creating the world’s first nuclear-weapon-free zone located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere. On this occasion, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon congratulated the five Central Asian States – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan – on achieving this important step towards the consolidation of the zone.

- Your opinion about Uzbekistan’s attention to the education and upbringing of the youth and the measures taken in this regard.

- Whereas in large parts of the world concerns are mounting about quickly ageing population, Uzbekistan is blessed with a young population. In this regard it is commendable that the country places strong emphasis on the well-being of the youth, including through the proclamation of 2014 as the “Year of the Healthy Child” and the development of State Programme in this regard. 
  
The UN particularly welcomes the formulation of the education sector development plan, which prioritizes access to early childhood education, promotion of inclusive education as well as further improvements of the quality of education at all levels.

The recently adopted State program for 2014 – 2018 on further improving reproductive, mother, child and adolescent health in Uzbekistan should also be highlighted as it promotes equal access to quality health care services in this regard, as well as improves the quality of medical and social rehabilitation of children with developmental disabilities.

Youth is the future of the country and needs all the support and investment possible to take fully part in the development of the country, engage in important processes, and become the owner of the development agenda. The Government’s efforts in this regard echo the UN Youth 21 initiative on youth leadership which noted the importance of young women and men across the globe to play a more active role in democratic governance and sustainable development processes.

- Do you follow the UN related news posted in all official UN languages in the web-site of the National Information Agency (www.uza.uz)? What do you think of the Agency’s work?

- I appreciate the web-site as informative source and I am impressed about the availability of information in as many as eight different languages, while this contributes to the better understanding of Uzbekistan’s political, economic and social development by the international audience.

- Your wishes to the people of Uzbekistan on the occasion of this holiday.

- I would like to use the occasion to extend my warmest wishes of peace, prosperity and health to the people of Uzbekistan. We look forward to continuing to strengthen the partnership between the UN and the Republic of Uzbekistan and to contribute to a future filled with promise and opportunities for all.

UzA, Iroda Umarova
8 804






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