Statement attributable to Ms. Helena Fraser, UN Resident Coordinator in Uzbekistan, On the occasion of Human Rights Day
On 10 December 1948, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly to complement the UN Charter and guarantee the rights of every individual everywhere. Since then, every year Human Rights Day has been observed on 10 December, to promote international awareness and action on human rights.
The Declaration affirms that recognizing the “equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice, and peace in the world.” This affirmation is fundamental to every undertaking of the United Nations.
The UN family in Uzbekistan is committed to support the Government of Uzbekistan in implementing the country’s obligations under international human rights Conventions and recommendations of United Nations Charter and Treaty Bodies. Under the mutually-agreed UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), the UN system collaborates with national stakeholders in support of current legal and judicial reforms aimed at further ensuring the protection of the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of citizens. In addition, the UN Country Team implements projects and programmes aimed at strengthening protection of the rights and freedoms of women, persons with disabilities, lonely elderly, youth and children. At the institutional level, the UN Country Team promotes judicial independence, enhancing court administration, protecting labour and social rights, as well as child sensitive justice.
Recently, the UN system and the Government jointly developed and endorsed the Action-oriented Roadmap on further cooperation between the United Nations and Uzbekistan for 2017-2020, which draws on the Sustainable Development Goals and the national Action Strategy. It outlines key actions to foster the attainment of the strategic priorities of the Action Strategy and overall, to contribute to sustainable development in Uzbekistan as well as to fulfilment of the Government’s commitments under a range of UN human rights instruments. Notably, out of four cooperation areas identified in the Roadmap, one is dedicated to human rights.
Indeed, 2017 was a ground-breaking year for UN cooperation with Uzbekistan on human rights. This year witnessed the first ever visit of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr. Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, to Uzbekistan as well as the visit of Mr. Ahmed Shaheed, the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief. Both visits demonstrate the increased efforts of the country in engaging with the human rights system of the United Nations, including the Special Procedures.
This year also witnessed the adoption by both Chambers of Oliy Majlis of the Plan of Actions on further development of cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), as a follow-up to the country visit of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Plan identifies new areas for technical assistance and cooperation in the field of human rights, including inviting Special Procedures to visit the country, action on prevention of torture, advancement of women rights, strengthening the role of national human rights institutions in line with the Paris Principles, improvement of human rights legislation in line with international human rights law and the involvement of OHCHR experts in supporting the implementation of Action Strategy of Uzbekistan for 2017-2021 as well as the Sustainable Development Goals in Uzbekistan.
These developments promise an auspicious year ahead in our joint efforts to further strengthen the protection of human rights, on the basis of agreed international standards. On behalf of the United Nations in Uzbekistan, I would like to extend most cordial congratulations on Human Rights Day and to confirm that the UN in Uzbekistan remains committed to further support the ambitious national agenda to deliver greater shared prosperity and dignity to all citizens of the country.