Islam Karimov Meets with China’s State Councilor
On December 1 at the Oqsaroy in Tashkent, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov received Guo Shengkun, member of the State Council and Minister of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China.
Greeting the guest, the head of our state noted that Uzbekistan highly appreciates the open and confidence-based nature of the equal and mutually advantageous partnership established between our two nations.
Regular meetings at the highest level, characterized by mutual understanding, respect and interest, demonstrate closeness and proximity of views on practically all aspects of the bilateral agenda.
The member of the PRC State Council stressed in particular that Uzbekistan’s President has been making a vast contribution to the steadfast development of the Sino-Uzbek relations. According to Guo Shengkun, the peace, calmness and harmony reigning in Uzbekistan have been yielding remarkable outcomes.
Bolstering joint efforts to counter the emerging threats and challenges constitutes a major dimension of the bilateral cooperation towards consolidation of regional security.
Uzbekistan and China attach a particular significance to the advancement of interaction within the frameworks of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a platform that is becoming a serious factor in boosting the stability and security in the region.
At the Oqsaroy, the parties to the conversation exchanged views on issues related to enhancing the bilateral multifaceted ties.
The Minister of Public Security of the PRC extended his gratefulness to President Islam Karimov for a warm welcome and stressed that China is interested in furthering its cooperation with Uzbekistan.
President Islam Karimov Receives US Assistant Secretary of State
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov on December 2 at the Oqsaroy received Nisha Desai Biswal, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, who arrived in Tashkent to attend the fifth round of bilateral political consultations.
Greeting the guest, the head of our state said he positively appraises the dynamic nature of cooperation between our two nations that is built on pragmatism and mutual respect.
It was stressed at the meeting that the regular dialogue at various levels allows the two sides to better understand each other, find constructive solutions and define target spheres for furthering the interaction both in the interstate format and that among research and education institutions, culture and art figures, civil society representatives.
A particular significance during the conversation was attached to international affairs, primarily the Afghan quandary, which exerts a substantial influence on the state of security in our region and beyond it. In this regard, the Assistant Secretary of State noted that the United States highly appreciates the Uzbek leader’s efforts in addressing the crisis in Afghanistan and our country’s help in restoring its economy.
Nisha Desai Biswal thanked Islam Karimov for a warm welcome and the opportunity to exchange views on pressing bilateral and regional issues. On behalf of the leadership of her country, the American diplomat confirmed the U.S. commitment for the steadfast advancement of the multifaceted and long-term cooperation with Uzbekistan.
It stands to be noted here that key constituents of the Uzbek-American relations are trade-economic and investment spheres, and joint efforts on promising projects in high-tech sectors of the economy are in progress together with major U.S. companies.
Important in the enhancement of mutually advantageous contacts among business circles of the two countries has been the America-Uzbekistan Trade Chamber, who met this past November in Tashkent for its regular session with the participation of leading businesses from Uzbekistan and the United States.
(Source: Press-service of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan)
Food security has increasingly been an issue on today’s global agenda, as largely conditioned by the worsening geopolitical situation in certain regions of the world. Therefore, any country that pursues its own independent policy is bound to provide appropriate conditions for the development of its agriculture.
Having started an intensive development of the agrarian sector and the food industry over 20 years ago, Uzbekistan is now reaping the fruits of difficult and largely hard-won decisions. The old system of relations collapsed in the early 90s. The country annually required an average of $900 million to import flour and other food products.
To remedy this situation, in the first years of independence it was decided to allot 400 thousand hectares of irrigated lands to citizens as private plots, limit the scale of monoculture of cotton and increase the area under grain crops. In a short time the country has built a legal and institutional framework of development of a new class of owners – the farmers, who have laid the basis of development of the agricultural sector in the years of independence. Today, with the annual growth of the scope of volumes of crop production, Uzbekistan is exporting large amounts of fruits and vegetables. The prevailing share the meat, poultry, lamb and beef is produced in livestock complexes in line with international standards. The nation has turned from a grain importer into a grain exporter. The measures taken have ensured foreign currency savings in the amount of several billion US dollars. As a result, the share of agricultural sector in GDP has exceeded 17%. In the first nine months of 2014 the volume of agricultural production has exceeded $28 trillion soums with a growth of 6.8% YOY(currency rates of CB RU from 3.12.2014 1$= 2405.41 soums). The dynamics was demonstrated by all major areas: crop production – 6.7% (16.3 trillion soums), livestock – 7% (11.7 trillion soums).
International specialized exhibitions, where farmers and representatives of agricultural enterprises can study and purchase latest types of equipment and technologies, have made a tangible contribution in the progress amongst other factors. One of such events is taking place these days in the metropolitan Uzexpocenter. The Tenth International Agricultural Exhibition Uzagroexpo – 2014 has brought together more than 80 companies from 17 countries. It is encouraging that over a third of the participants consisted of domestic exhibitors presenting up-to-date and competitive products.
“We are introducing advanced innovative methods of growing table grapes,” told Rashid Ahunov, head of the Yangiobod farm. “They allow not just increasing the yield and speed of maturation, but also improve taste. We enthusiastically pass our experience on to other farmers across the country. For instance, we have established several turnkey gardens in the Farghona Valley. We are working on exports as well. In September, we exported 18 tons of grapes in Kazakhstan.”
The participants generally noted that the rapidly evolving market of Uzbekistan with its more than 30-million population suggests tremendous opportunities for both domestic and international manufacturers. The intensive investment policy on industrial modernization and enhancement of product competitiveness has brought the domestic agricultural sector to a new level, providing a reliable shield from global instability.
(Source: “Uzbekistan Today” newspaper)
elections to the oliy majlis of the republic of uzbekistan and local Kengashes of people’s deputies
The Central Election Commission of Uzbekistan Issued Mandates to the OSCE Observers
The meeting of the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan, chaired by the Chairman of the Commission Mirza-Ulugbek Abdusalomov took place today. The meeting was attended by representatives of political parties, members of the observer mission from the Office for democratic institutions and human rights (ODIHR) of the OSCE, headed by Ambassador Daan Everts, as well as representatives of mass media.
The meeting considered the matter and made a decision about the registration of the ODIHR / OSCE mission. At the end of the meeting, they were given mandates. Recall that the Central Election Commission on the eve held a meeting with members of the primary group of observers from the OSCE / ODIHR, who arrived in Uzbekistan.
The CEC head, M Abdusalomov told the guests about the election campaign in our country. In particular, the guests were familiarized with the implementation of the Program of activities of the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan for the preparation and conduct of elections to the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, regional, district and city Kengashes of people’s deputies in 2014. The mission members were acquainted with innovations in the electoral legislation of Uzbekistan, aimed at further democratization of the electoral process, the improvement of the practice of organizing and conducting elections.
The sides exchanged views on issues of organization of activities of the ODIHR / OSCE, its interaction with the Central Election Commission in the implementation of election observation in Uzbekistan.
During the meeting, the sides expressed confidence that the work of the OSCE ODIHR mission is to promote openness and transparency of the electoral process, its organization in accordance with international standards and norms.
2014th year – the Year of the Healthy Child
For the Sake of Children, in the Name of Future
Rearing a healthy and comprehensively advanced children and sharing their happiness and prosperous future is a noble idea, a dream of each of us, which has been reflected by the objectives of the Year of the Healthy Child Program.
The year 2014 is a follow-up of a socially oriented state policy with the priority of upbringing a comprehensively advanced, physically healthy and spiritually mature younger generation. The policies pursued in previous years’ ‘Year of the Youth’ and ‘Year of the Family’ State Programs also served these objectives. However, in the Year of the Healthy Child all this work has been carried out at a higher level, concurrently responding to new challenges posed by time.
An international forum titled ‘Social Partnership in the Name of the Child: Domestic and Foreign Experience’ took place in the capital city of Uzbekistan on November 25-26. Timed to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, it seems to have summed up the Year of the Healthy Child.
Representatives of international organizations, foreign and domestic experts in education, health and social protection emphasized special importance Uzbekistan attaches to the fostering of a comprehensively advanced generation, and enjoyment of the rights and interests of children. Uzbekistan has ratified five international conventions and adopted ten acts on the rights of the child.
The Year of the Healthy Child national program , as noted by the speakers, has become a motivation to further create favorable conditions for a spiritual, intellectual and physical development of young people, and to comprehensively support big families and children with special needs.
For instance, under the concept of ‘Healthy Mother, Healthy Child’, Uzbekistan has made significant headway in protecting mothers and children, and upbringing a healthy and harmoniously developed generation. As a result, over the years of independence maternal and infant mortality has decreased 3.1 and 3.2 times respectively. As a result of the ‘Mother and Child Screening’ Program, births with congenital abnormalities have decreased by 1.8 times since 2000. Today, 92% of children comply with the World Health Organization standards in developmental quotient. As rated by the international organization ‘Save the Children’, Uzbekistan ranks among the world’s top ten countries in terms of quality healthcare for the younger generation.
The measures taken by Uzbekistan to fully cover expectant mothers with screening, vaccinate children against infectious diseases and raise awareness of the young people on health issues contribute to the prevention of infant disability, congenital and hereditary diseases.
Adopted last September, the Law ‘On social partnership’ is a pivotal legislative platform conducive to more robust cooperation between governmental and public structures in upbringing a harmoniously developed generation and protecting mothers and children.
The international forum also focused on issues in strengthening social partnership with regard to the development of the younger generation, national and foreign experience in the fostering of spiritual values within families, targeted assistance to vulnerable families and children, personnel training and advanced training of specialists in the field.
Forum participants highly commended the successful policy Uzbekistan is pursuing for harmonious development of the child with interaction between families, schools, local authorities and other civil society institutions. They pointed out the internationally recognized effectiveness of the national model of maternal and child health protection.
For instance, the interaction based on the principle of ‘family – local community – educational institution’, the work of parent universities in citizens’ assemblies are highly relevant in terms of the establishment of a healthy atmosphere in the family, and the proper nurturing of children.
They emphasized that Uzbekistan attaches special importance to children deprived of parental care and those with disabilities, supports the activity of Mehribonlik mercy homes, where wards receive a full-fledged education and up-to-date professions.
The National Public Children’s Fund ‘Sen Yolg’iz Emassan’ (You Are Not Alone) and the Republican Centre for Social Adaptation of Children is working on improving children’s health, and protection of the rights and interests of children from vulnerable families. There are rallies on medical examination and treatment of children with congenital diseases, their parents are provided with social and legal support.
The forum’s agenda included plenary and breakout sessions, panel discussions, master classes and presentations.
Focus on Social Policy
The work on protecting mother and child health in Uzbekistan has been strengthened as part of a system policy. Its further catalyzation and enhanced efficiency remains an important mission of the state and society. This objective goes through the national program ‘The Year of the Healthy Child’. Among other issues, it spotlights the need for the development and adoption of a new program of measures in this direction for the years to come.
The act has been recently approved. The National Program on Further Strengthening of Reproductive Health, Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health in Uzbekistan for 2014-2018 has been approved by a Presidential Decree on August 1, 2014.
The program’s sections address such priorities as ensuring broad and equal access to quality health services on strengthening of reproductive health, improving the quality of medical and social rehabilitation of children with developmental disabilities, capacity building of health workers in the field of maternal and child health at all levels, particularly in primary care. They also accentuate the further development of modern infrastructure on the provision of qualified, specialized and high-tech medical care for mothers, children and adolescents.
The program envisages active involvement of the public in the activities on improvement of mother, infant, child and adolescent care, promotion of healthy lifestyles, healthy and happy families, streamlining of healthcare information system, ensuring of coordination, monitoring and evaluation activities on strengthening of reproductive health.
The document comprises 40 projects. They include the improvement of the quality of specialized medical services, educational programs and training of medical personnel, expansion of vaccination of children, construction of new hospitals and outfitting medical institutions. The program’s cost is 205.3 billion soums and $206.4 million(currency rates of CB RU from 3.12.2014 1$= 2405.41 soums).
It is worth noting that the program outlines specific measures, many of which have become traditional. For instance, there are monthly targeted health weeks for fertile women, children and adolescents, an annual extended medical examination in rural areas under the slogan ‘No One is Ignored!’ with the involvement of lead specialists of national specialized research centers and institutions.
As part of streamlining perinatal care for pregnant women and newborns, it is envisaged to establish neonatal surgery departments in the structure of diversified medical centers in Karakalpakstan, Andijon, Qashqadaryo and Samarqand regions. Eleven perinatal centers and four branches of the National Obstetrics and Gynecology Center will be additionally supplied with advanced medical equipment.
Coverage of Rural Health Units
Advanced access of women and children to quality health care is a part of the mission of the Year of the Healthy Child. In this regard, it is important to build the new and strengthen the logistical capacity of existing family polyclinics and rural health units. There are positive outcome of the measures taken in every corner of the country.
For example, along with a central diversified hospital and three polyclinics, the Nishon district of Qashqadaryo Region has 15 rural health units. Under the Health-2 Project all rural health units were equipped with up-to-date medical equipment worth 182 million soums. Covering 8,000 people, a rural health unit Do’stlik fairly ranks among the top ones.
“We have vaccination, physiotherapy, disinfection rooms, a lab, mother and child department,” says the head doctor of the health unit Musurmon Markaev. “We invite qualified doctors from the district center to help with the examination of the populace. More than 80% of the total number of residents have been examined as of 2014.”
The measures taken by rural health units on protecting women’s health are aimed at identification of various diseases and their effective treatment, the provision of social and legal assistance, and holding family planning events. Hundreds of expecting mothers have been registered at the RHU this year. All of them have been provided with free vitamin complexes. RHU specialists hold immunization campaigns against infectious diseases. Over 620 children have already undergone vaccination. Rural physicians also cover three secondary schools and a vocational college. More than 2,400 students are under permanent medical supervision.
Territory of Happiness
Hundreds of new objects for the rising generation are being built across the country. There are nursery schools, general schools, colleges and high schools, sports facilities, and music schools. Almost every street and every community has playgrounds – a territory of happy children’s smiles. Playgrounds are essential components of life of contemporary kids, the place where they enjoy their leisure time and make new friends.
For instance, the majority of all 120 playgrounds in Farghona have been renovated and equipped with new tools over the past three years. New playgrounds have been built in Ibrat and Tinchlik communities, illuminated and supplied with sports and play equipment. The reconstruction of the existing and construction of new playgrounds is supported by big local enterprises, including the Farghona Refinery, Nitrogen Company, and commercial banks. Children’s playgrounds are designed for meaningful leisure for over 23 thousand children under the age of 15.
“Previously, we had no children’s playground,” says a resident of the third citizens’ assembly of the regional center, Anvar Maksudov. “It has been built near our house this year. Playgrounds and sports tools have been arranged very conveniently, so now kids have fun and motivation for healthy lifestyles.”
No Child Is Ignored
Children deprived of parental care and those with disabilities are lavished with special care in Uzbekistan. With this in mind, major work on strengthening the logistical capacity of Mehribonlik mercy homes and specialized boarding schools and preschools, drastic improvement of the educational process with an eye to the best practices of developed countries is underway throughout the country this year.
There are excellent conditions for children in Mehribonlik Mercy Home 29 in Jizzakh city. The beautiful building is not just a hostel, but a comfortable home. For example, this year the heating system there has been replaced with up-to-date winter/summer air conditioners.
Most children make up their mind about their future profession during their study at school. They get prepared for entering a college and then a higher education institution. The executives of Mehribonlik mercy homes are proud of the fact that many of their ex-students graduated from universities, became worthy members of the society, and often visit their mentors, who have become dear to them.
Children enjoy excellent conditions for education. They can choose classes to their interest and abilities. They attend various clubs, music and art schools, and sports facilities.
The dance group Mehrjon is a sort of school for introducing children to the arts. The group has won the first prize at this year’s national review contest among art teams of orphanages.
“Finding an approach to each child and gaining his confidence is the most effective educational tool,” said Norkul Togayev, the director. “Only in this way is it possible to create a family atmosphere, where educators replace parents. This is the way our teachers work.”
Last year, a group of adult wards of the mercy home moved into a new house in Uchtepa block in Jizzakh district, which was built in accordance with a Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers. The construction of the two-story building with all amenities was funded from the government budget, and sponsors provided furniture and household items.
Sports Every Day
Bright and unforgettable events – festivals of children’s creativity, contests and competitions – have been held this year across the country as part of the policy on the development of intellectual, spiritual and athletic abilities of the younger generation. One of them – Barkamol Avlod (Comprehensively Advanced Generation) sports games – took place late May in Namangan.
The qualifying rounds involved over 810 thousand college and lyceum students, evidencing of their scale. Like Umid Nihollari (Sprouts of Hope) and the Universiade, the Barkamol Avlod competitions, open up vast opportunities for boys and girls to develop their aptitudes and skills. They draw young people into healthy lifestyles, physical education and sports. Today, about two million young people in Uzbekistan, including more than 840 thousand girls, are regularly engaged in 30 kinds of sports.
Three-stage competitions allow improving sports infrastructure in all regions of the country and building new up-to-date facilities. The starts of the ‘small Olympics’, which is an embodiment of the ideas and principles of the Olympic Games, open up new names. So it is no coincidence that our compatriots have demonstrated excellent performance in this year’s Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing (China), Summer Asian Games in the South Korean city of Incheon, and other prestigious international competitions.
Family and Community
Spiritual atmosphere in the family and parenting is imaginable without the local community. The national program the Year of the Healthy Child has outlined the objectives on catalyzing the interaction of citizens’ self-government bodies with educational institutions, and enhancing the role of local communities in raising healthy children.
There are more than 9,750 citizens’ assemblies in Uzbekistan. The majority of them are successfully maintaining cooperation ‘family – community – educational institution’, which significantly contributes in assessing the quality of school education, strengthening of parental responsibility for the child’s education, in the study of student attendance and progress. Moreover, such an interaction has a positive impact on expansion of youth employment, arrangement of leisure of the young people, and prevention of homelessness among minors.
Local communities are also contributing in the formation of love and mutual respect within families, nurturing high ethical and moral features, provision of financial support for families, especially the young ones.
Citizens’ assemblies hold cultural and enlightenment events and rallies like ‘The whole community is in charge of each child’, ‘We are the children of Uzbekistan’, ‘We are the builders of happy life in the free and prosperous country’, sports competitions. They promote cultivation of respect for national values in the youth, formation of independent thinking, enhance their responsibility towards family, community, country, and strengthen their sense of belonging to the fate of the motherland.
Throughout the year boys and girls of local communities were involved in review contests ‘The Top Bibliophile’, ‘Diligent Girls’ and others, as well as a national tournament ‘The Future of Our Football’.
Afterword. This is just a short list of good deeds under the national program the Year of the Healthy Child. The list is too long to cover. Funded by over 4.5 billion soums and almost $303 million, the Year of the Healthy Child is underway. Its noble ideas will be still relevant in the future, since they meet the cherished dream of every citizen for the happiness of his or her children.
(Source: “Uzbekistan Today” newspaper)
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