December 27, 2013
Uzbekistan’s Reports on Human Rights Reviewed
A roundtable was held in Tashkent to discuss the draft National Action Plan to implement the recommendations of the UN Human Rights Council, drafted after the considering of the national reports of Uzbekistan on rights and freedoms of citizens.

It was attended by representatives from various national human rights institutions, NGOs as well as international offices and foreign embassies. In the process, it was noted that a system of reporting to UN treaty committees on the implementation of international commitments has been formed in Uzbekistan which is corresponding to international standards.

More than 30 reports on civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights were presented, and more than 10 national action plans were worked out.

It was also noted that after becoming a full-fledged member of the United Nations, Uzbekistan has acceded to more than 70 international human rights instruments and has committed itself to create the necessary organizational and legal conditions for the promotion, respect and protection of human rights and freedoms. At present, there are more than 6,600 non-governmental, non-profit organizations that is a clear indicator of the legal freedoms.

At the roundtable, highlights of the cooperation in a number of activities recommended by the UN Human Rights Council were identified.

The Human Rights Council (HRC) is an intergovernmental body within the United Nations responsible for promoting universal respect for the protection of human rights around the globe, as well as for the preparation of appropriate recommendations. The competence of the council is to discuss topical issues and the situation of human rights. This year, at the 24th session of the UNHRC a final document was adopted in respect of the second national report of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the framework of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on the state of human rights in the country.

Maintaining a coherent picture of the situation of human rights in each member country of the UN, the HRC assesses the state of affairs in any state regardless of whether the state has acceded to the main international human rights instruments or not. The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) made on the basis of the report of the government of the country, in this case of Uzbekistan, and the recommendations of the working group members.

“Based on the results of the roundtable, I want to separate the unique opportunity to emphasize the cooperation and the progressive realization of the concept of human rights in the country, which provides development and implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP),” said UN Resident-Coordinator, UNDP Permanent Representative in Uzbekistan Stefan Priesner. “It may be of great importance for the country: thus not only reporting on human rights issues being improved, but also international respect and international rankings increased.”

“Discussion on the best approach to cooperation with Uzbekistan is important to achieve high goals,” said Head of Mission of the EU Delegation to Uzbekistan, Ambassador Yuri Sterk. “NAP is a very important step for progress; it also shows the seriousness of the Uzbek partners. It is necessary to carry out consistent work, in order to make expert advice and recommendations to be adopted and effectively implemented. There is a need to improve the NAP.”

“We have been working with Uzbekistan for the 17 years,” said Senior Adviser to the OSCE Project Coordinator in Uzbekistan Jens Rasmussen. “Our organization has carried out various projects, including the fight against drug trafficking and terrorism. The cooperation with your country is fruitful, and I believe that in the future we will support each other.”

He stressed that the roundtable is a proactive assembly, a start for further action and the NAP’s driving forces may be organization and dissemination of high-quality events favorable for the development of Uzbekistan in the future, an effective means of communication, trust, as the national and at the international level. In connection with the foregoing, the OSCE is ready to provide its expertise in the development of the NAP, to help implement the recommendations.

“If to make comparison of the plans for 2014 and the NAP, one can see many echoes of events,” said Ingo Risch, head of the EU’s Support to the Reform of the Judicial System in Uzbekistan Project. “This strengthens the legislation to ensure a fair trial, to provide assistance in the field of education, awareness, and knowledge of the legislative practice. The activities listed in the NAP are very similar to our work plan. It is necessary to coordinate all activities in this area; we would like to invest as much more in terms of assistance.”

To recall, the first session of the Council was held from June 19-30, 2006. And in 2008, Uzbekistan has provided its first report. And then, in 2013, in April, the 16th Session of the UN Human Rights Council considered the second report of the Republic of Uzbekistan under the Universal Periodic Review. Currently the draft National Plan of Action to implement the recommendations of the HRC and the UN treaty bodies represented in Uzbekistan is being improved.

The UPR is a kind of characteristic of state, given by other members of the UN, and affects its image in the eyes of the world community.

Participants noted that the National Action Plan, which includes a specific range of expected results and activities aimed at implementing the recommendations of a high quality, represents a unique opportunity for cooperation.

(Source: “Uzbekistan Today” newspaper)


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