Welcoming words for Eco Garden Upgrading Stefan Priesner, UN Resident Coordinator in Uzbekistan
Dear Mr. Abdusamatov, Excellencies, partners from Government and international agencies, dear friends,
Thank you very much for coming and welcome on behalf of the UNCT.
When we planned today’s event we chose early April, because this is when the magic time of the year is in full swing – spring with all its colours and nature in full bloom. Well, the weather has let us down a little, but we are delighted to have you with us.
At the outset I would like to thank the Government for allocating a part of its beautiful National Park named after Alisher Navoii in the center of Tashkent to establish a UN eco-garden (show size of park).
This is why two years ago (October 2015) at the occasion of 70th anniversary of the UN more than 200 UN staff came out here to plant some 400 trees of many species, including some that are in the Red Book of endangered species. We would like to thank the Hokimyat of Tashkent for its support in this regard.
This year marks another important anniversary – 25 years of Uzbekistan in the UN. At this occasion the UNCT Uzbekistan decided to upgrade the garden as a token of appreciation for the partnership - with a pathway and a small pavilion for the public to enjoy the garden.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to highlight our appreciation for the cooperation with the Government of Uzbekistan with the UN at all levels – your contribution to the global institutions, your cooperation at regional level and with the UNCT at country level.
At the same time we dedicate the garden to the agenda that we are jointly working towards: the Sustainable Development Goals that has been universally endorsed in September 2015 with a view of making the world a better place by 2030.
We all know the core philosophy of the SDGs – economic development that “leaves no one behind” and is environmentally sustainable. And this can only be achieved if Governments all around the world, with the help of development partners, the private sector and civil society work together to achieve the goals
We therefore commend the Government of Uzbekistan which has demonstrated strong commitment to implement the global goals at the national level.
UN was honored to be part of the inclusive and consultative SDG localization process, which set robust and ambitious yet achievable national SDG goals and targets tailored to Uzbekistan’s current stage of development as a middle-income country.
The Action Strategy 2017-2021 recently adopted by the Government of Uzbekistan is seen as closely linked and indeed as a means of achieving national SDGs.
A word on sustainability: With a world that grows smaller literally by the day, in which resources are finite and many of them are quickly depleted sustainability is one of the key principles of the SDGs.
As the saying goes “we have not inherited the world from our ancestors, we have borrowed the world from our children”.
Hence the establishment of the eco-garden is to remind us of the importance of sustainability. We are proud that this is the first UN garden in Central Asia.
I would like to thank the Government once again for their trusted partnership. And I would also like to extend my sincere thanks to the our partners of the international community. We look forward to collaborating towards the achievement of the SDGs in line with Action Strategy and UNDAF.
Let me end by expressing the wish that the garden will flourish and will be a symbol for our flourishing and sustainable partnership!