UN Human Rights Chief pays first-ever visit to Uzbekistan
On 10-12 May, 2017, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein paid a visit to Uzbekistan, becoming the first person in this role to visit the country since the post was created.
The high-ranking UN official met with President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, heads of the Legislative Chamber of Parliament, the Prosecutor General’s Office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Justice, the National Center for Human Rights, as well as with the Oliy Majlis Human Rights Commissioner and representatives of civil society.
Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein underscored that Uzbekistan is pursuing reforms on the basis of a Strategy of Action and noted the attention that human rights receive along the way. He highlighted the laws the Uzbek Government is adopting to boost the effectiveness of the judicial system and ensure fair and independent judicial process. These processes meet high international standards and testify to the country’s openness to dialogue and efforts to bolster the nation’s welfare, he said. The UN official confirmed the UNHRC’s readiness to work towards developing long-term bilateral cooperation.
According to the UN’s human rights chief, the purpose of his visit to Uzbekistan was to support reforms planned by the Government. “We understand that these reforms are long-term and they will take time. But most importantly, the process has started. We want to act in accordance with these reforms as partners of the Government and members of civil society; only through joint work can we resolve the existing problems,” he said.
On 11 May, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein participated in a press conference of the International Press Club, which served as a platform for dialog between the human rights commissioner and journalists.