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Uzbekistan - UN: commitment to multilateral interaction for the benefit of states and peoples

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Uzbekistan - UN: commitment to multilateral interaction for the benefit of states and peoples

On June 30 – July 1, at the invitation of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is on an official visit to Uzbekistan, reports Dunyo IA correspondent.

This is his second visit to our country as UN chief.

On 19 September 2023, at a meeting with President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on the sidelines of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, Secretary-General António Guterres said that the UN and all its institutions are ready to facilitate the practical implementation of the "Uzbekistan-2030" Strategy. This statement is evidence of the recognition and support of the international community for the course of modernisation and democratisation of our state, as well as the effectiveness of the reforms aimed at this.

Uzbekistan has recently become more actively involved in United Nations activities. This year alone, for the first time not only for Uzbekistan, but also for Central Asia, a representative of our country was elected to an important and influential UN body - the Human Rights Committee (HRC) for 2025-2028, the republic became a member of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for 2025-2027, and joined the Administrative Council of the International Labour Organization.

These events have not only become visible evidence of Uzbekistan’s achievements, support for its steady efforts to achieve sustainable development and economic growth, but also broad recognition in the world of the country’s principled position on strengthening the protection of human rights.

A new stage of our country’s fruitful and mutually beneficial cooperation with the UN opened with President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s participation in the general debate of the 72nd session of the General Assembly in September 2017. Since then, from the rostrum of the UN, the leader of Uzbekistan has regularly put forward important international initiatives on topical issues on the global and regional agenda, which have been successfully implemented in recent years.

In particular, at the initiative of the leadership of Uzbekistan, ten resolutions were developed and adopted within the framework of the UN General Assembly - "Strengthening regional international cooperation to ensure peace, stability and sustainable development in the Central Asian region" (June 2018), "Education and religious tolerance" (December 2018), "Sustainable tourism and sustainable development in Central Asia" (December 2019), "On the declaration of the Aral Sea region as a zone of environmental innovation and technology" (May 2021), "On strengthening the interconnectedness between Central and South Asia" (July 2022), "On the role of parliaments in achieving the SDGs" (December 2022), "Central Asia in the face of environmental challenges: strengthening regional solidarity for sustainable development and prosperity" (December 2023), "International Year of Sustainable and Resilient Tourism, 2027" (February 2024), "United determination and cooperation of Central Asia to effectively combat and counter drug trafficking" (June 2024) and the "International Day of Dialogue among Civilizations" (jointly with China, June 2024).

As an active supporter of lasting peace and an initiator of a comprehensive expansion of cooperation in the international arena, Uzbekistan has always paid great attention to interaction with the United Nations and its specialised structures. Since 1993, a United Nations Office has been operating in Tashkent. In Uzbekistan, the United Nations family is represented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia (UNRCCA), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the UN Volunteer Programme managed by UNDP.

Such agencies as the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) also contribute to the work of the UN system. The World Bank as an independent specialised agency of the UN system is also successfully functioning in our country.

The main priorities of multilateral cooperation continue to be socio-economic development and poverty alleviation, protection and promotion of human rights, combating modern security threats and challenges, stabilisation and reconstruction of Afghanistan, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, solution of environmental problems, in particular mitigation of the Aral Sea crisis, development of tourism and others.

At present, 135 joint programmes and projects are being implemented within the framework of cooperation with the United Nations and its structures. The Trust Fund for social support of the population of the Aral Sea region operates under the auspices of the UN. Major international events are jointly organised, in particular on food security, tourism development, poverty alleviation, climate change and other topical issues on the global agenda.

It is important to note that our country is making an effective contribution to the implementation of UN post-conflict reconstruction programmes in Afghanistan. In particular, a bridge on the Uzbek-Afghan border has been opened for international deliveries of humanitarian goods, which facilitates the construction of numerous infrastructure facilities on the territory of Afghanistan, and high-level international conferences on Afghanistan have been held twice (2018 and 2022).

Uzbekistan attaches priority importance to cooperation with the UN on ecology and environmental protection. In this area, the head of our state tirelessly calls on the international community to focus its efforts on reducing the devastating impact of this environmental catastrophe on the livelihoods of millions of people living in Central Asia and preserving the natural and biological balance in the Aral Sea region.

It should not be overlooked that in recent years the ancient and unique city of Samarkand has become the centre of global dialogue on a number of topical issues. Over the past year, the city hosted three forums under the UN mandate: the 25th session of the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organisation, the 21st meeting of the Committee for the Review of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification and the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Nature, Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS COP14). In addition, in 2025, Samarkand will become the city to host the UNESCO General Conference outside its headquarters for the first time since 1985. According to international experts, this event will be a unique symbol of diversity and dialogue between civilizations and cultures in the history of UNESCO.

It is difficult to cover all aspects and successful results of Uzbekistan’s interaction with the United Nations in one article. It can only be noted that the goals and objectives that the country has set for itself in the "Uzbekistan-2030" Strategy are in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals adopted at the Millennium Summit. Uzbekistan’s commitment to the joint achievement of these goals is confirmed by its active participation in multilateral interaction for the prosperity of States and peoples.

Addressing the UN General Assembly in 2021, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev drew the attention of the world community to the fact that the role and importance of the United Nations and its specialised agencies are growing in the current difficult conditions. "In these important processes related to the fate of the entire world, it is the United Nations that should continue to play a leading role, filling its activities with a qualitatively new content," the head of our state stressed.

In this context, the forthcoming visit to Uzbekistan by Secretary-General António Guterres and the planned talks in Tashkent will undoubtedly become a step towards the development of our country’s multifaceted interaction with the UN and its institutions, filling the cooperation with new important ideas.