UN and parliamentarians discuss the way forward to ensure the right to social protection for all in Uzbekistan
ТАШКЕНТ, 5 December 2020 – The United Nations Joint Programme on Strengthening Social Protection in Uzbekistan held a round-table meeting in close collaboration with the Senate and the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and civil society organizations. The consultations focused on the strengths and challenges faced by the national social protection system and the role of the Oliy Majlis in supporting strengthening of the social protection in Uzbekistan.
The event gathered together over 30 representatives of the Oliy Majlis, Association of Disabled People of Uzbekistan, the “Yuksalish” Nationwide Movement, Development Strategy Center, national think-tanks and UN agencies.
Participants discussed the progress in the field of the social protection system reform, as well as the challenges faced by the system.
“Today we pay special attention to ensuring social protection of the population, which is considered to be one of the key goals of sustainable development. A key role is given to ensuring employment opportunities to the population, especially to women and youth. We believe that the UN Joint Programme on strengthening social protection in Uzbekistan will keep on contributing to effective efforts toward achieving the goals.” - highlighted Ms. Tanzila Narbaeva, the Chairperson of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
While the COVID-19 global pandemic continues, social protection of population is defined as a key area of development in the state policy. Assisting population in getting appropriate social protection from the Government will ensure that every member of society, including children, women, persons with disabilities, workers, elderly, migrants, and minorities, can enjoy their rights.
“UN Joint Programme supported by the Global Sustainable Development Fund for Social Protection harnesses the expertise of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) partnered with International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to assist the Government of Uzbekistan in developing the National strategy on social protection, designing an effective legislative, institutional and monitoring mechanism for coordination and delivery of social protection, and significantly improving social protection of people with disabilities, this accelerating progress towards Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”– stated Mr. Akmal Saidov, First Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
“As COVID19 has once again exposed the importance of expanding social protection to the most vulnerable groups, we are pleased to witness political commitment on social protection in Uzbekistan and willingness of the Government to address issues of coordination and to define a long-term vision for the system reform. UNICEF, ILO and UNDP with support of the Joint SDG Fund and by joining efforts with partners like the World Bank continue supporting the Government in addressing issues of adequacy and low coverage of existing programs, e.g. cash assistance, social services, insurance, pensions and active labour measures and following the principle of leaving no one behind” – noted Mr. Munir Mammadzade, RC a.i., UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan.
Participants discussed the social approach to disability assessments as an essential element of the effective social protection system. The approach removes barriers which prevent people with disabilities from participating in society, accessing work and living independently. It also recognises that negative attitudes towards disabled people creates unnecessary barriers for inclusion and requires people to take proactive action to remove these barriers.
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities recognises that disability is an evolving concept and that disability results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinders their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.
In this context, participants welcomed the adoption of the Law on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which guarantees rights and freedoms of the people with disabilities for decent living condition, education and employment.
“We need to work out specific mechanisms for realizing the rights of persons with disabilities for protection against discrimination, as it was stated in the new Law on the rights of persons with disabilities and was prescribed in the International Classification of Functioning, Disabilities and Health. We hope for productive cooperation in the field in the closest future.”– shared Mr. Oybek Isakov, the Chairperson of the Association of Disabled People of Uzbekistan.
The participants of the round table meeting welcomed the efforts of Uzbekistan to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and the application of the International Classification of Functioning, Disabilities and Health in Uzbekistan, will serve to implement comprehensive measures to further improve the system supporting the realization of the rights of persons with disabilities, strengthening guarantees for the protection of their rights and freedoms, including the right to social protection.
Participants underlined that it is important to joint efforts in strengthening social protection system in Uzbekistan. The UN Joint Programme on Strengthening Social Protection in Uzbekistan and the Oliy Majlis agreed to strengthen cooperation in the field through conducting joint activities and initiatives.