October 18, 2013
Uzbekistan and China developing cooperation in the field of human rights
Uzbekistan and China are the countries with an ancient history and rich culture, nations of which for more than 2,000 years were linked via the Great Silk Road. At current stage, both countries are in the process of active political dialogue based on the principles of trust, mutual respect and non-interference. It is these three principles of the Uzbek-Chinese relations that were highlighted by the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov during the first state visit of the President Xi Jinping to Uzbekistan this year in September. Official documents served for the cooperation are the Treaty on Cooperation Partnership Relations of Friendship and Cooperation and the Joint Declaration on the Establishment of a Strategic Partnership.

Today, China is the second largest trade partner and investor in Uzbekistan. Referring to the statistics of cooperation between the two countries, it should be noted that since 2002 Uzbekistan attracted investments and loans from China worth a total of 6.75 billion U.S. dollars to implement 83 projects. An important milestone in the historiography of cooperation is the official visit of the President of Uzbekistan to China in June 2012, during which 45 agreements and contracts worth U.S. $ 5.3 billion were concluded.

Similarly to other areas of cooperation, Uzbekistan and China are also in active cooperation in exchange between the parliaments and the foreign ministries of the two countries, as well as in the human rights protection. During 2011, the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Standing Committee of the National People\'s Congress signed a Memorandum of Cooperation. Within the framework of cooperation between the foreign ministries of the two countries, 10 rounds of political consultations were held in 2004-2013.

As to the bilateral contacts in the field of human rights, it should be noted that the positions of the both countries on most issues in this area are the same.

First, both countries guaranteed the issue of human rights protection at constitutional level based on a model of harmonious development.

Second, Uzbekistan and China have reached a significant progress in the establishment and development of the national human rights institutions. Among such we can note the China Society for Human Rights Studies and the China Foundation for Human Rights Development, and National Human Rights Centre and Ombudsman in Uzbekistan.

Third, our countries pay a great attention to the realization of the UN Millennium Development Goals, and the Governments of the both states in collaboration with civil society institutions have set their own national targets and indicators on the MDGs, which included in a number of government policies and programs.

Fourth, approval and implementation by China of the National Action Plan in the field of human rights are in full compliance with the provisions of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.

Currently, Uzbekistan is also planning to adopt the National Action Plan on Human Rights.

Fifth, over the past decades China and Uzbekistan have taken concrete measures and initiatives in the field of human rights education, including the training of civil servants and law enforcement officials.

Sixth, both countries have a close cooperation with the UN Human Rights Council, the treaty bodies and they present the reports under the framework of the Universal Periodical Review.

Confirmation of active and consistent dialogue in the field of human rights between the two countries is the participation of representatives of Uzbekistan in all Beijing Forums on Human Rights held since 2008.

The highest point of cooperation in this field has been noticed during the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding between the China Society for Human Rights Studies and the National Human Rights Centre of the Republic of Uzbekistan held in September this year during the Sixth Beijing Forum. Uzbekistan was the first foreign state with which China has signed a Memorandum in the field of human rights.

Memorandum provides for the following areas:

First, the exchange of legislative acts and information and analytical materials on the issues of human rights, development of national human rights institutions, establishment of partnerships between public authorities and civil society institutions;

Secondly, conduct of joint activities (round tables, seminars, conferences) on the protection of human rights and freedoms, the formation of cultural rights in the society etc.

It should be noted that each year the Beijing Forum on Human Rights is attended by over 100 representatives from more than 30 countries and international organizations, the UN, as well as representatives of diplomatic missions accredited in China. According to Chairman of the China Foundation for Human Rights Development Huang Mengfu, the forum has become an important platform for the development of research models for human rights and the exchange of experience in the field.

Dr. Akmal Kh. Saidov,

Director of the National Human Rights Centre of the Republic of Uzbekistan


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