UN expert welcomes Uzbekistan roadmap to ensure freedom of religion or belief
The Parliament of Uzbekistan has adopted a roadmap on the Government’s actions to implement the recommendations made by the UN expert of freedom of religion or belief following his visit to the country last year.
“I welcome the adoption of the detailed roadmap, which demonstrates the political commitment to improve the situation in the country and to ensure freedom of religion or belief for all,” said the UN expert, referring to the parliament’s passing of the roadmap after his visit from 2 to 12 October 2017.
The roadmap includes the 12 recommendations made by the UN expert after his visit, the mechanisms needed for their implementation, the suggested deadlines for these actions, the responsible agencies and the expected results.
“It is heartening to see the government bind itself to these processes in a time-bound manner. I encourage the government to adopt a human-rights-based approach to the implementation of the roadmap. It will require, inter alia, an open, accessible and participatory process, and a focus on the enjoyment of human rights by all. I also call on all stakeholders to contribute to this process,” he said.
On 5 May 2018, the President of Uzbekistan, Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, adopted a Decree on the programme of events dedicated to the 70th Anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It includes 38 measures, aimed at ensuring close cooperation with international organizations and further strengthening coordination of activities of state bodies and civil society institutions related to human rights issues. This includes improving the effectiveness of mechanisms and procedures for the implementation of international standards of human rights and freedoms in legislation and practice.
“The formulation of the roadmap is an important first step, and it will require continued and clear political commitment to translate well-intentioned ideas into meaningful action and deliver tangible results to the people. The UN office and I stand ready to assist the country in implementing the roadmap,” said UN expert.
Mr. Ahmed Shaheed (the Maldives) was appointed as Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief by the UN Human Rights Council in 2016. Mr. Shaheed is a Visiting Professor at Essex University, UK; a former member of the Maldivian presidential Commission Investigating Corruption; and a foreign policy advisor to the President of the Maldives. He was Foreign Minister of the Maldives from 2005 to 2007 and from 2008 to 2010. He led the country’s efforts to sign and ratify all nine international human rights Conventions and to implement them in law and practice.
The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.
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This year is the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN on 10 December 1948. The Universal Declaration – translated into a world record 500 languages – is rooted in the principle that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” It remains relevant to everyone, every day. In honour of the 70th anniversary of this extraordinarily influential document, and to prevent its vital principles from being eroded, we are urging people everywhere to Stand Up for Human Rights: www.standup4humanrights.org.