October 22, 2014
“Vital Opportunities for Cooperation” – UNDP chief concludes her visit to Uzbekistan
UNDP Administrator, Helen Clark has just completed a five-day visit to Uzbekistan, during which she met with the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan,the UNDP Uzbekistan said.

H.E. Islam Karimov, and ministers, met with national and international development partners, and visited important historical sites in Khorezm and Bukhara which are vital to the tourism sector. The visit directed attention to a number of key initiatives and their impact. Helen Clark emphasised the need to always work to scale up initiatives. She was delighted to see the emergence of new opportunities for co-operation in a number of priority areas. During Helen Clark’s visit there was a signing ceremony for a new project with the Supreme Court, supported by USAID, on the rule of law which aims to boost the efficiency and accessibility of the court system. The ‘Rule of Law Partnership’ project will build on earlier initiatives to strengthen public access to and trust in the judiciary. It will be a platform for moving forward in on-going reform with Uzbekistan’s civil justice sector, involving key national stakeholders in strengthening judicial independence.

In her speech at the launch ceremony, Helen Clark reiterated that the rule of law and access to justice play an important role in development. The Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals in the post-2015 development agenda has proposed a goal on “access to justice”, recognizing the great importance of citizens being able to seek and obtain justice.

Helen Clark also visited Tashkent’s Earthquake Simulation Complex, which will serve to build public awareness of Uzbekistan’s vulnerability to seismic events, and educate the public on the best means of preparing for and behaving during earthquakes. The complex was established in cooperation with UNDP, the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Academy of Sciences, and the Ministry of Culture and Sports, with support from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department within its Disaster Preparedness Programme for Central Asia.

As well, Helen Clark visited two major UNESCO World Heritage-listed sites in Uzbekistan, the ancient cities of Khiva and Bukhara. Famed for their examples of traditional Islamic architecture, and each containing many ancient mosques, madrassas (educational institutions), mausoleums, forts and palaces, the cities hold place of pride in Uzbekistan’s cultural history. They were central to the ancient Silk Road trade route, and are of global significance.

“I have been greatly impressed by the ancient splendour of both these cities\", Clark said, following her visit, \"and I am pleased to see that today they play a very important role in Uzbekistan’s tourism sector.”

On the last day of her visit UNDP Administrator Helen Clark made a key-note presentation to students and professors at the Tashkent University of World Economy and Diplomacy. Her speech highlighted her appreciation of Uzbekistan’s continued commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. It also emphasized the need for continued collaboration and cooperation, in order to guarantee that the nation’s positive human development trends persist into the post-2015 era.

During her talk with students the Administrator noted that Uzbekistan went beyond the MDGs, and set national MDGs which comprehensively targeted human development, and had time-bound indicators which were relevant to the country’s context. The participation of the President, H.E. Islam Karimov, in the MDG Summit held in September 2010 in New York was clear confirmation of this country’s continuing commitment to the MDGs.

The Administrator’s visit underlined UNDP’s commitment to provide international expertise and knowledge to Uzbekistan, strengthen national capacities and promote innovative solutions to advance the development strategies of the country.

(Source: UzDaily.com)


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