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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan

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22 November 2018

President Greets Participants of Asia Human Rights Forum

Distinguished participants of the forum!

Ladies and Gentlemen!

It is a great pleasure for me to welcome all the participants and guests of the Asian Forum on Human Rights in the ancient city of Samarkand and congratulate them on the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

I am sincerely grateful to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. António Guterres, for supporting the initiative to hold this forum, organized in our region for the first time.

I am grateful for the participation in it of high representatives of the United Nations, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the International Organization for Migration, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, other partner organizations, national human rights institutions of Asia, as well as prominent government and public figures from abroad, leading experts in the field of human rights, heads of diplomatic missions accredited in Uzbekistan.

The significance of the forum “The Effects of the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Challenges of Time and the Realities” is dictated by the need to consolidate efforts in bolstering the role and magnitude of this fundamental document.

As noted by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Michelle Bachelet, “we can achieve more sustainable peace, security and development only if we move towards greater justice and equality.” And I fully agree with this key principle.

All civilizations, world cultures and religions were created, as history shows, under the influence of humanistic ideas, on the basis of which the basic concepts of human rights were formed.

For example, in the most ancient written monument “Avesta”, created in Asia more than 2,700 years ago, the ideas of human rights and freedoms, building inter-ethnic relations based on the principles of mutual respect and trust, are designated an important role, while violence and injustice are rejected.

In addition, one of the eminent jurists of the East, Burkhaniddin Marginani, writing in the 12th century in his treatise “Hidoya”, put forward the idea of the need to respect the rights of every person.

These unshakable values have not lost their relevance to our days and are consonant with the agenda of this forum.

One should stress that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted 70 years ago opened up new opportunities for the adoption of the principles of democracy and humanism throughout the world.

Unfortunate as it is, what we all witness today is the intensification of complex, ambiguous trends that impede this positive process.

It is primarily the armed conflicts, the mounting mistrust and aggravating antagonism, inter-ethnic and inter-faith disagreements, other global challenges and threats to sustainable development, including those occurring in the space from South-East Asia to the Middle East.

We cannot be detached observers of the growing number of internally displaced persons and refugees, of the problems associated with the inaccessibility of education and healthcare, human trafficking and forced labor, with ensuring equal rights and opportunities for women and men, the need to eradicate poverty and hunger.

In this regard, we firmly believe that the future of the Asian continent with a total population of over 4.5 billion people largely depends on the readiness to follow the objectives defined in the United Nations agenda in sustainable development for the period up to 2030, as well as the formation of effective regional mechanism for the protection of human rights.

Dear members of the forum!

Today, we in Uzbekistan, at the new stage of national development, are guided by the underlying principle, “It is not the people who should serve government bodies, but the authorities should serve the people”. This was the basis for the implementation of the Development Strategy of the Republic of Uzbekistan through to 2021.

We have significantly expanded the powers of the parliament, strengthened the institutions of public control, and are actively promoting the development of civil society. The judicial system and law enforcement agencies are radically reformed. A lot of work is being done to consolidate the institution of the family and the spiritual and moral foundations of society; an environment is being delivered conducive for fostering a comprehensively advanced generation in the spirit of respect for national and universal human values.

We have been enhancing our close partnership with international institutions in the field of human rights, and a constructive dialogue has been established with non-governmental human rights organizations.

We are committed to continuing this important mission. Our foremost priorities are all-round assistance in self-realization, securing the protection of fundamental human rights and legitimate interests of people. Peace, stability and well-being bank on these criteria.

I am convinced that the Samarkand Declaration adopted following the discussions at the forum will contribute to boosting international cooperation in the field of human rights, lifting this noble work to a new, higher level.

The proposals and initiatives put forward by the contributors to the conference, as well as their conclusions, will be taken into account when elaborating national programs and strategies in human rights.

I wish all the participants and guests of the forum a fruitful work and enjoyable stay in our country.

Shavkat MIRZIYOYEV,

President of the Republic of Uzbekistan



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