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May 22, 2017




Director of the National Center for Human Rights of the Republic of Uzbekistan:

– A delegation of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights led by Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein visited Uzbekistan in early May.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights was received by the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev. During the meeting, it was emphasized the importance of further evolving and strengthening the constructive and open dialogue between Uzbekistan and the United Nations, the institutions of this authoritative international organization, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

It should be noted that in our republic, the protection of human rights is seen as one of the priorities of the cooperation with the UN. A stable political system were created in the country that meets the modern criteria of democracy and human rights, the legislative, executive and judicial authorities of all levels are actively working. However the most crucial thing is that the society affirms the respect for the principles of the rule of law and human rights.

Uzbekistan developed the national indicators on the realization of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The Strategy for Actions adopted by the head of our state on the five priority directions of the country’s development in 2017-2021 is a road map for the implementation of sustainable development goals of the UN. It is important to note that the opinions of not only the expert community, but also the general public, as well as our international partners, including the UNDP were taken into account during the adoption of the Strategy for Actions.

Uzbekistan is the first of the Central Asian states to create a system of national human rights institutions which includes the Parliamentary Ombudsman and the National Center for Human Rights. Most recently, Uzbekistan created a new extrajudicial mechanism to protect the rights of entrepreneurs – the Business Ombudsman.

As part of the realization of the Strategy for Actions, legislative and organizational measures have already been taken to further strengthen the rule of law and the true independence of the court. For example, in order to prevent the bureaucracy and unreasonable delay of the courts, the terms of their consideration were radically revised. The application of the Habeas Corpus institute was expanded, the periods of preliminary detention were shortened up to 48 hours, as well as the preliminary investigation, the powers of lawyers in judicial proceedings were strengthened.

These measures were aimed at implementing the recommendations of the Human Rights Council and the UN treaty bodies on the outcomes of the consideration of the national reports of Uzbekistan.

The institutions of civil society play an increasingly significant role in securing the human rights. An open, strong civil society cannot be imagined today without a developed system of independent political parties, independent non-profit organizations, free media and other civil society institutions representing the interests of various social groups and broad sections of the population.

Today in Uzbekistan there are more than 8,700 non-governmental organizations, 2,239 religious organizations, 1,400 mass media. These figures clearly demonstrate the role played by civil institutions in the life of our society.

The texts of the main international documents of the UN, ILO, UNESCO in the field of human rights were translated into the state language and are widely used in the system of primary, secondary and higher education. The courses on human rights are conducted in the training and professional development of judges, prosecutors, lawyers, jurists, law enforcement officers, military personnel, representatives of business structures.

The delegation of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights also met with the speaker of the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis, the director of the National Center for Human Rights of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the chairman of the Women’s Committee, the Ombudsman and others.

The delegation also paid a visit to Samarkand where the discussions were carried out with representatives of national cultural centers and religious confessions. The UN High Commissioner visited the People’s Reception Office of the President of Uzbekistan in the Samarkand region, as well as the citizens gathering of the mahalla “Yuksalish”.

During the visit, Zeid al-Hussein stressed that consistent reforms are underway in Uzbekistan on the basis of the Strategy for Actions and noted the special attention placed on the human rights in this process.

“We understand that these reforms are long-term, it will take some time to realize them, but most importantly, the process has already begun. We want to act within the framework of these reforms, bоth partners of the government and civil society. Only together we can solve existing problems”, said Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein.

A preliminary agreement with Uzbekistan on the resumption of cooperation with special rapporteurs and establishment of the work with the Regional Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Bishkek can be called one of the significant outcomes of the visit.

Zeid al-Hussein assured that the Office of the High Commissioner supports all directions of judicial and legal reform in Uzbekistan, stressing that the most important is the expansion of alternative types of punishment which is a significant legal guarantee for securing the rights of the individual”.

In addition, he noted the importance of promoting women in public administration, holding high positions, ensuring gender equality. This, in his opinion, will be vitally crucial for the country in order to fulfill those ambitious tasks that are on the agenda.

Highly assessing the results of his visit, the UN High Commissioner confirmed his readiness to develop long-term and systematic cooperation with our country.

For my part, I want to add that the Uzbek side values the prospects for a constitutional and equal dialogue with the Office of the UN High Commissioner and hopes that the results of the talks will be a powerful incentive for the fruitful advancement of the relations in the field of human rights.