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Foreign Policy of the Republic of Uzbekistan

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Foreign policy of the Republic of Uzbekistan is based on the Constitution, laws «On the Concept of Foreign Policy of the Republic of Uzbekistan» and «On International Treaties», and other normative legal acts of the state, on the statements and speeches of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and international conventions and treaties signed by the country.

Since the first days of its Independence Uzbekistan has been conducting comprehensively balanced foreign policy which is based on national interests and has gained a broad recognition by the world community, consolidated the authority of the country in the international arena, its role and significance in regional and international affairs.

Modern foreign policy of Uzbekistan is shaped taking into consideration the dynamically changing international political realities of the XXI century which demand implementation of an active, initiative and pragmatic foreign policy course, timely and adequate response to emerging challenges.

The main goals of the foreign policy of the Republic of Uzbekistan are further strengthening of independence and sovereignty of the state, increasing the role and place of the country in international politics, creation of the most favorable conditions for ensuring national and regional security, sustainable and dynamic development of the national economy, continuing the progressive movement towards building an open democratic state, joining the ranks of developed states of the world.

Uzbekistan remains committed to the following fundamental foreign policy principles:

  • carrying out an open, pragmatic and balanced foreign policy based on national interests;
  • development of equal and mutually beneficial relations with other countries based on the universally recognized international norms and principles of respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference into internal affairs, peaceful settlement of disputes, non-use of force or threat to use force.

In accordance with its Foreign Policy Concept, the Republic of Uzbekistan reserves a right to enter into alliances, join commonwealths and other interstate formations, as well as to leave them guided by supreme interests of the state, people, their well-being and security, priority directions of modernization of the country, existing national legislation and international obligations.

Uzbekistan conducts peaceful policy and does not participate in military-political blocs and reserves a right to leave any interstate formation in case of its transformation into a military-political bloc.

The Republic of Uzbekistan takes political, economic and other measures to prevent its involvement in military conflicts and hotbeds of tensions in neighboring states and also shall not allow deployment of foreign military bases and facilities on its own territory.

In accordance with the Constitution, the Law «On defense» and the Military Doctrine, the Armed Forces of the Republic of Uzbekistan are created exclusively for protection of the state sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country, peaceful life and security of its population and do not participate in peacemaking operations abroad.

The main foreign policy tasks of Uzbekistan in modern times are as follows:

  • consistent development of international cooperation in political, trade-economic, cultural-humanitarian, scientific-technical and other spheres;
  • creating the most favorable foreign policy conditions for effective implementation of democratic reforms in the country and dynamic processes of modernization of society and economy;
  • preserving and strengthening peace and stability in Central Asia, turning the region into a zone of security and sustainable development, assisting to achievement of peace and stability in Afghanistan;
  • forming a balanced and multidimensional system of strategic partnership with leading states of the world and international organizations, maintaining geopolitical balance in the region, broad diversification of trade, economic, technological, transport and other relations of Uzbekistan;
  • using political, diplomatic and international legal mechanisms, including the measures of preventive diplomacy, to timely settlement of existing or emerging problems in the region;
  • consolidating Uzbekistan’s international image as a reliable political and economic partner, enhancing the investment, tourist, cultural and historical attractiveness of the country in the international arena;
  • active development and use of mechanisms of bilateral and multilateral cooperation to promote attraction of direct foreign investments and high technologies to priority sectors of national economy;
  • promoting the formation and development of multivariate system of international transport-communication corridors which provide a reliable and stable access for Uzbekistan to global markets;
  • ensuring comprehensive protection of the rights and interests of citizens and legal entities of the Republic of Uzbekistan abroad.

Cooperation with International Organisations in Geneva

United Nations Human Rights Council

Uzbekistan supports the activities of the Human Rights Council. The country has been engaged in a regular and constructive cooperation with UN human rights bodies, especially with the Universal Periodic Review mechanism of the Human Rights Council which is today the only universal process ensuring to all states an equal and a non-discriminatory treatment when their respective human rights situations are assessed.

Uzbekistan passed through the second cycle of the UPR on April 24, 2013, which resulted in 115 recommendations adopted by the country.

In November 2014 the Government of Uzbekistan adopted a comprehensive National Plan of Action on implementation of recommendations of the second UPR and UN treaty bodies.

In the framework of our dialogue with UN special procedures we have been providing comprehensive information on various aspects of human rights according to relevant requests by special procedures mandate holders. Over the past 5 years we replied to more than 40 of such requests.

Since many years high level delegation of the Republic of Uzbekistan has been attending the High-Level Segment of the Human Right Council held in February-March each year in Geneva. In March 2014 the HLS of the Council was attended by a delegation headed by H.E. Akmal Saidov, Director of the National Human Rights Center of Uzbekistan.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)

Through the implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Program of Actions Uzbekistan was the first Central Asian State to set up a system of national human rights institutions. The country has been continuing its efforts to improve the activity of national human rights institutions in accordance with Paris principles.

Uzbekistan has been engaged in a constructive cooperation and regular dialogue with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

In May 2013 a delegation headed by Mr. Ivan Simonovic, the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights visited Uzbekistan. He met representatives of law enforcement bodies, national human rights institutions and civil society to discuss cooperation on implementation of recommendations of the Universal Periodic Review and UN treaty bodies.

Mr. Gianni Magazzeni, Chief of Americas, Europe and Central Asia Branch of the OHCHR also visited Tashkent on October 2013. In addition to bilateral meetings with Government officials and representatives of national human rights institutions, he participated in International Conference "On the role and place of national human rights protection system in modernization of a country: international practice and experience of Uzbekistan" held in Tashkent on 24-25 October 2013.

Experts of the Office of High Commissioner provided valuable assistance in preparing clusters and indicators related to the National Plan of Action of Uzbekistan on implementation of recommendations of the second UPR and UN treaty bodies which was adopted in November 2014.

United Nations Treaty Bodies

Uzbekistan is a State Party to the following key international human rights instruments:

  • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (28 September 1995);
  • Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights concerning individual complaints procedures (28 September 1995);
  • Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aiming to the abolition of the death penalty (23 December 2008);
  • International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (28 September 1995);
  • Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (28 September 1995);
  • International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (28 September 1995);
  • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (19 July 1995);
  • Convention on the Rights of the Child (29 June 1994);
  • Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict (23 December 2008)
  • Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children child prostitution and child pornography (23 December 2008).

In 2009 Uzbekistan signed the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities the ratification process of which is underway.

In line with its international obligations Uzbekistan regularly submits national periodic reports on implementation of the aforementioned key human rights instruments. For the last two years relevant reports of Uzbekistan were considered by the UN Committee on the rights of the child, the Committee against torture, the Committee on the elimination of racial discrimination and the Committee on economic, social and cultural rights.

Fourth periodic report of Uzbekistan on implementation of provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as its fifth periodic report related to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women are planned to be considered by relevant UN treaty bodies during 2015.

Uzbekistan supports intergovernmental process for strengthening the human rights treaty body system and developing the capacity of States to report and to follow-up on Concluding observations of treaty bodies.

In November 2014 the Government of Uzbekistan adopted a comprehensive National Plan of Action on implementation of concluding observations and recommendations of UN treaty bodies.

World Health Organization (WHO)

Uzbekistan joined the WHO on May 25, 1992. In 1993 WHO Country Office for coordination of relations was opened in Uzbekistan. Since December 2012 Dr. Asmus Hammerich is the Head of WHO Office in Tashkent.

Priorities for joint work are set out in the biennial collaborative agreement (BCA) between WHO/Europe and Uzbekistan for 2014–2015. The aim of the BCA is to raise the level of health in the country and strengthen national health care system. The 2014–2015 BCA priorities are as follows.

  • Communicable diseases (HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, vaccine preventable diseases);
  • Noncommunicable diseases (prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases, mental health and substance abuse, violence and injuries, nutrition);
  • Promoting health throughout the life-course (reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health, social determinants of health, health and the environment);
  • Health systems (national health policies, strategies and plans, integrated people – centered health services, health systems information and evidence); Preparedness, surveillance and response (alert and response capacities, epidemic-and pandemic-prone diseases, emergency risk and crisis management, food safety, polio eradication).

The Minister of health of Uzbekistan Dr. A.Ikramov and his successor Dr. A.Alimov had been members of the Executive Board of the WHO for the period 2011-2014.

Delegations of the Republic of Uzbekistan have been regularly attending annual sessions of the World Health Assembly as well as meetings of the WHO Regional Committee for Europe.

International Labor Organization (ILO)

The Republic of Uzbekistan became member of the International Labor Organization in 1992. Uzbekistan ratified 13 ILO conventions, including 7 fundamental instruments.

On 25 April 2014 a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Uzbekistan, Social partners and ILO Moscow Office was signed on implementation of a Decent Work Country Programme for 2014-2016 with three strategic areas of technical cooperation:

  • Strengthening social partnership in Uzbekistan in order to implement fundamental labor principles and rights at work;
  • Fostering decent employment opportunities;
  • Improving working conditions and social protection.

As part of the implementation process of this technical cooperation programme, on 27 May 2014 the Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan issued a Decree on “Additional measures on implementation of the ILO Conventions ratified by the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2014-2016”. The document provides for a wide range of actions aimed at reinforcing observance of international labor norms, in particular adoption of a law on social partnership, new edition of the law on protection of labor, amendments to the current legislation to improve labor norms for women and youth, cooperation with IPEC, organization of national monitoring activities on the basis of ILO methodology, conduct of awareness raising campaigns on international labor standards, strengthening the capacity of state labor inspections, improvement of labor conditions and recruitment mechanisms, including creation of an institutional basis for free hiring of cotton pickers by farmers through labor market, training activities, translation and publication of relevant ILO Conventions and guidebooks in Uzbek language etc.

The Government of Uzbekistan regularly submits reports on application of conventions to the International Labour Office.

Tripartite delegation of Uzbekistan has been attending sessions of the International Labor Conference held annually in Geneva.

The most recent activities held in Uzbekistan jointly with ILO are as follows:

  • Seminar on enhancing cooperation in implementing key provisions of ILO conventions on child and forced labor (Tashkent, 12-14 March 2014);
  • International conference on ensuring labor rights: experience of Uzbekistan and international labor standards (Tashkent, 25 April 2014);
  • Round table on labor conditions and implementation of the Decent Work Country Programme (Tashkent, 7-8 August 2014).

Currently, a joint research on labor conditions in agriculture, including on the impact of mechanization of cotton harvesting on labor market, is being carried out in cooperation with the ILO Special Action Programme to combat forced labor.

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)

Cooperation between the Republic of Uzbekistan and the UNCTAD was established on 19 April 1994.

Uzbekistan is a member of Group D, which consists of countries with economies in transition.

The visit of H.E. Mr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, the Secretary-General of UNCTAD, to Uzbekistan to participate in the International Conference «The Global financial and economic crisis, ways and measures to overcome it in Uzbekistan» (Tashkent, 22 May 2009) became an important event in development of bilateral cooperation.

H.E. Mr. Petko Draganov, Deputy Secretary-General of UNCTAD, also took part in the International Conference «The role and importance of small business and entrepreneurship in implementation of socio-economic policy in Uzbekistan» held in Tashkent on 12-14 September 2012.

In 2014 UNCTAD published «Investment Guide to the Silk Road», which includes statistical and comparative data on investment climate and business opportunities in Uzbekistan.

Our country has been actively participating in events organized by the Secretariat of UNCTAD. In turn, it provided assistance in organizing a series of seminars for representatives of relevant ministries and agencies in Uzbekistan.

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)

The Republic of Uzbekistan became a member of WIPO in 1991.

Since then Uzbekistan and WIPO has been steadily developing cooperation in areas defined in the relevant framework Agreement.

Representatives of Uzbekistan have been actively participating in specialized events of WIPO, including sessions and meetings of the:

  • Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications;
  • Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore;
  • WIPO Assembly.

WIPO has been providing methodological and technical assistance for further development of the national patent system, systematically carrying out training of specialists of the Intellectual Property Agency (AIS) of the Republic of Uzbekistan and organizing seminars and trainings.

AIS and WIPO jointly held a series of seminars on intellectual property in Tashkent, Samarkand and Urgench on 18-25 May 2014.

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)

The Republic of Uzbekistan became a member of the UNECE on 30 July 1993.

Uzbekistan’s cooperation with UNECE is being carried out in a wide range of areas, including management of transboundary water resources, sustainable development, international transportation and logistics, housing and land management, public-private partnerships, forestry, innovation and competitiveness.

The visit of H.E. Mr. Christian Friis Bach, the UNECE Executive Secretary, to Uzbekistan to attend the International Conference “Development of cooperation in the Aral Sea Basin to mitigate consequences of the environmental catastrophe” (Urgench, 28-29 October, 2014) was an important step in further developing our cooperation. During the visit, he has been received by governmental officials as well as by the leadership of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS), where the Parties signed a letter of intent.

Uzbekistan has been actively participating in various meetings of the UNECE. In turn, UNECE provided assistance in organizing a series of events in the country.

Currently UNECE works together with Uzbek national experts on the preparation of a Country profile on housing and land management.

As part of the preparatory work for the Country profile study, the Government of Uzbekistan, represented by the Ministry of Economy, has set up a high level Interagency Working Group to coordinate and supervise the preparation of the study as well as a team of national experts who will assist the international team of experts in elaborating the study through provision of information.

To establish the basis for cooperation on the country profile, the Ministry of Economy, UNECE and UNDP signed a Memorandum of Understanding which provides the framework for cooperation needed in order to facilitate collaboration during the preparation of the profile.

Further, on 12-13 June 2014, the Ministry of Economy of Uzbekistan, UNECE, the World Bank and UNDP Uzbekistan organized a high-level workshop «Approaches and best practices for housing, urban development and land use» in Tashkent where international and national experts and high-level representatives of the Government have discussed approaches to and practices in housing construction, urban planning and land administration in Uzbekistan and in the UNECE region.

The outcomes of this cooperation were presented at the 75th session of the Committee on Housing and Land management in October 2014.

World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

Uzbekistan joined the WMO in 1993.

Prof. V.E. Chub, Director General of the Centre of Hydrometeorological Service under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan (Uzhydromet) is Permanent Representative of the Republic of Uzbekistan with WMO.

Uzhydromet takes active part in realization of all WMO programs. Being one of the Regional Meteorological Centres in the framework of the World Weather Watch, Uzhydromet fulfils its duties on collection and dissemination of meteorological information in a full range in the relevant sub-region.

At the XIV session of the WMO Regional Association II Asia (RA II), which was held in Tashkent in December 2008, Prof. V.E.Chub, Director General of Uzhydromet, was elected as President of WMO Regional Association RA-II Asia for 2008-2012.

Our country has been actively participating in events organized by the Secretariat of WMO and dedicated to solving key issues of hydrometeorological provision: meteorological servicing with regard to disaster risk reduction; climate services to ensure sustainable development; implementation of the WMO Information System; improvement of instruments and methods of observation in the field of meteorology and the environment.

International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

Uzbekistan became member of the ITU in 1992.

In the framework of cooperation with ITU, Uzbekistan:

  • interacts with other countries in such areas as international telephone, telegraph, telex and facsimile transmission;
  • operates a network of international telecommunications in the country in a single process cycle, according to common norms and standards;
  • coordinates all application and common procedure of settlements with foreign operators (organizations) on transit and terminal dues for international exchange of telecommunications;
  • participates in planning and development of guidelines for the single policy development funds of international telecommunications, as well as in ITU’s work on development of the global information and communication infrastructure;
  • takes part in events organized by the ITU Secretariat. Delegation of Uzbekistan participated in the Plenipotentiary Conference of the ITU held in Busan (Republic of Korea) from 20 October to 7 November 2014.

Accession process of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the World Trade Organization (WTO)

The Republic of Uzbekistan started process of its accession to the WTO in 1994.

The Working Party (WP) on the accession of Uzbekistan was established on 21 December 1994. Uzbekistan submitted its Memorandum on the Foreign Trade Regime in October 1998. The First meeting of the WP was held in July 2002.

Since 2013 Chairman of the Working Party on the accession of Uzbekistan to the WTO has been H.E. Mr. Seokyoung CHOI, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva.

Uzbekistan has been working for the achievement of acceptable conditions for accession to the WTO.