Sunday, 03, December, 2023

The delegation of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), headed by the High Commissioner Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein took part in the civil forum titled "Human Rights and Cooperation" which took place at the Development Strategy Center today.

About 50 representatives of NGOs and other civil society institutions participated in the forum. The intent of the event - exchange of opinions and elaboration of new proposals for the protection of the supreme human values - his life, freedom, honor, dignity and other inalienable rights enshrined in the Constitution.

"It is very difficult to imagine a sustainable system of protecting and ensuring human rights without an active civil society," Zaid Ra'ad al-Hussein said. "It is for this purpose that we have always supported the activities of civil institutions and non-governmental organizations."

Civil society institutions and NGOs should not be entities that merely conduct activities in line with the state’s frameworks. They must express their own opinion, be in constant dialogue with the government, the UN High Commissioner stated.

"Therefore, we are always looking for an opportunity to provide all kinds of support to such institutions," he stressed. For the things to go in proper manner, it is necessary to ensure an appropriate level of openness and transparency, as well as to provide the necessary access to information.

"We have come here to support the reforms planned by the government," Zaid Ra'ad al-Hussein said. - We understand that these reforms are for long term and they will take certain time, but the most important thing is that the process has been launched. We want to act as partners for the government in these reforms, at the same time we want to be your partners (NGOs and civil institutions - ed.), only together we can solve existing problems."

Zaid Ra'ad al-Hussein noted that it is necessary to create such a system for ensuring the protection of human rights, which would guarantee all the rights and all fundamental freedoms of every citizen.

The UN High Commissioner admitted that there will be always violations, but the main thing is that there should be appropriate mechanisms through which you can draw the attention of the state, inform about these violations.

At the event it was stressed that such a meeting with the participation of activists, representatives of NGOs, civil institutions and mass media was held for the first time in the last 12 years. "If indeed this has been the first time in 12 years that you have gathered like this in one room because I came here with my team, then I think that I should come here much more often," Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein joked.

"Uzbekistan is changing, and we are here to support your country in these changes," he said.

During the visit, the delegation of OHCHR will visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the National Center for Human Rights, the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis, and also meet with students from the University of International Economics and Diplomacy.

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