A draft national survey on SDGs in Uzbekistan: three days, three video conferences and more than four hundred participants
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- An online conference was held on 21 May, which brought together more than 80 representatives of ministries and departments, non-governmental non-profit organizations, international organizations, and the media.
Participants focused on the aspects of achieving national goals and objectives in the field of sustainable development with emphasis on ensuring the well-being of the population, its employment and increasing incomes, as well as social protection. This was reported by the press service of the Yuksalish National Movement.
It was noted that in September 2015, Uzbekistan, like other countries of the world, expressed its commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and committed to ensure sustainable, inclusive and sustained economic growth, social integration and environmental protection as well as contribute to peace and security on the planet. The Decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of October 20, 2018 approved the National Goals and Tasks in the Field of Sustainable Development for the period until 2030 and a “road map” for their achievement.
Based on the results of the first monitoring of the SDG implementation in Uzbekistan with the participation of the Cabinet of Ministers and all interested ministries and departments responsible for the indicators of national goals and objectives, an additional national review was prepared. It can serve as the basis for tracking global progress in achieving the SDGs and assessing real shifts in fulfilling commitments. The review focuses on the current dynamics, problems and future trends of changes in the most important SDG indicators based on the results of the monitoring. The information base was the data of the State Committee on Statistics, the Ministry of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction, the Ministry of Employment and Labor Relations and the results of sociological surveys, information from international organizations (UN, World Bank and others).
It was reported that in Uzbekistan there is a general downward trend in poverty. So, according to the latest data, the poverty level at the end of 2019 was 13-15% or 4-5 million people. However, there is a need to review the methodology and introduce a new systematic approach in defining the concepts of “poverty” and “poverty criteria”. In this regard, the task is to create the necessary legislative base - the Laws "On the subsistence minimum", "On social protection", "On minimum social standards" and others, as well as improving the methodology for determining the concept of poverty, the criteria and mechanisms for assessing it, taking into account foreign and domestic practice.
According to experts, certain risks for improving the welfare of the population and the development of Uzbekistan, ensuring food security are climate change and natural disasters provoked by this process. A part of the population lives in areas of natural hydrometeorological disasters (droughts, mudflows, landslides, floods, avalanches, frosts, dust storms, heat waves), where the situation may worsen due to an increase in precipitation, temperature and evaporation. Uzbekistan’s share in global greenhouse gas emissions remains limited (0.33 percent).
At the same time, there are tasks that need to be addressed. This is a transition to energy-saving technologies, the expansion of the use of alternative and renewable energy sources, and the modernization of energy infrastructure. Improving the sanitary-epidemiological situation in cities, especially in Karakalpakstan and Khorezm region, is of key importance. This requires the reconstruction of sewage and water treatment facilities, the construction and reconstruction of collectors and networks. It is advisable to create an automated system for observing and controlling air pollution.
It was also noted that since 2016, Uzbekistan has taken important positive steps towards protecting human rights, which underlies any rights-based approach to sustainable development. These include, in particular, the release of political prisoners and the reduction of the time of pretrial detention from 72 to 48 hours. The issue of introducing a national mechanism for the prevention of torture is currently being considered (annual reports should be submitted to parliament). The ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance is expected. One of the acute problems at the same time remains corruption in the public sector. Among the factors of its occurrence, experts call excessive regulation, unsystematic or non-transparent decision-making processes, and a relatively small number of electronic public services. In this direction, the government has yet to take a number of steps.
In general, over the past three days (on 19-21 May), the format of the online conference allowed us to discuss a draft additional national review on the first monitoring of the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Uzbekistan, involving more than four hundred specialists from ministries and departments, parliamentarians, NGO activists from all regions of Uzbekistan, representatives of UN agencies and other international organizations.
In particular, issues of ensuring human rights and legitimate interests, freedom of speech, gender equality, prevention of violence and discrimination, ecology and environmental protection in the context of sustainable development are covered. The presentation of the draft additional national review on the implementation of national goals and objectives in the field of sustainable development took place.
NGO activists made a number of proposals to improve the implementation of the SDGs, taking into account the specifics of the regions, ensuring inclusivity. At the end of the conference, it was noted that the views and suggestions expressed by the speakers, including representatives of civil society institutions, experts from relevant ministries and departments, will be reflected in the draft national review. In particular, it was proposed the preparation of a special manual on the role and participation of NGOs and other civil society institutions in the implementation of the National Sustainable Development Goals and Tasks.
The event was organized by the Legislative Chamber and the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan in conjunction with the Yuksalish National Movement, the UN Office in Uzbekistan, and the National Center for Human Rights of the Republic of Uzbekistan through video-conferencing.