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INSTITUTIONAL ASPECTS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN


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INTEGRATED DECISION-MAKING

Decision-Making: Coordinating Bodies  

In 1997, by decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the National Sustainable Development Commission (NCSD) was established. The basic tasks of the Commission were defined as follows:

The result of the first year of the NCSD's work has been, first of all, elaboration of the Concept of Sustainable Development of the Republic of Uzbekistan, which was accepted and approved on 14 December 1998. The Commission has also successfully engaged Major Groups in public discussion of the new Concept as it was being prepared.

Among the tasks of the NSDC for the year 1999 are the following:

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

Integrated decision making is a high priority for Uzbekistan bearing in mind the transition from a centrally planned to a market economy and the need for consistent progress towards sustainable development. From the beginning of the country's independence, the Government concentrated its efforts on carrying out a reform programme. The Environmental Protection Act adopted in 1992 became the fundamental instrument for the formulation of environmental policy.

The concept of establishing scientifically based economic and legal mechanisms for the use of natural resources in the Republic of Uzbekistan was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers on 26 June 1996. Subsequently on 26 March 1997, a decision by a Decree of the Supreme Assembly of the Republic of Uzbekistan was taken to draw up a State programme on environmental protection and rational use of natural resources. In addition, national and regional programmes to combat the Aral Sea crisis have been put into place.

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

At the second European Conference on Environment and Health (Helsinki, 1994), Uzbekistan was designated a pilot country for the formulation of a national plan of action on environmental hygiene. It was proposed that the document prepared by Uzbekistan would be taken as the basis for a recommendation to the countries of Central Asia and the Transcaucasus Region. The work is being coordinated by the State Environmental Protection Committee and the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Status 

Since 1992, the State agencies responsible for natural resources management and environmental protection have been implementing the following initiatives: the phased preparation and enactment of laws and regulations, and methodological and management documents on the transition to payment for use of natural resources; improvements in the monitoring arrangements and information base for assessing adverse environmental impacts; and formulation and submission to the Government action plans and coordination mechanisms to be taken by ministries, agencies, and organizations in the implementation of sectoral and regional environmental protection programmes.

Financing 

In Uzbekistan, environmental protection activities are financed from the State budget, local budgets, the resources of enterprises, and extra-budgetary sources.

Cooperation

The established processes of harmful ecosystem change are not an exclusively national problem since they have an effect on neighbouring countries as well. Accordingly, in tackling Uzbekistan's environmental problems particular attention is given to the joint efforts of the countries of Central Asia and international organizations, primarily in connection with the improvement of the environmental situation in the Aral Sea Basin.

As a result of the joint initiatives of the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and other international organizations, programmes have been prepared and measures implemented to combat the Aral Sea crisis since 1993. Other bilateral and multilateral agreements relate to environmental protection and the use of natural resources. For example, the Asian Development Bank has stated its intention to provide technical assistance to improve the organizational structure for environmental protection activities.

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This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the fifth and seventh sessions of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: January 1999

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MAJOR GROUPS

WOMEN

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women was signed on 17 July 1980 when Uzbekistan was part of the Soviet Union (USSR). Since independence, a decree specifying measures to enhance the role of women in building the State and society in the Republic of Uzbekistan has been signed (Order of 14 March 1995).

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

In Uzbekistan, policies and strategies are being drawn up for the achievement of equality in all aspects of society, including issuing a strategy by year 2000 to eliminate obstacles to full participation of women in sustainable development. In addition, mechanisms are to be established by 1996 to assess the impact of development and environment policies and programmes on women. The preparation of educational materials to promote the dissemination of gender-relevant knowledge is under revision.

Status 

The proportion of women in various categories related to decision-making for 1992, 1993, and 1994 respectively is as follows: admission to secondary education (% of total admissions) 49, 48.9, and 48; graduation from secondary education (% of total graduation) 44, 45, and 47.3; admission to training courses in higher education institutions (% of total students) 39.3, 40.3, and 41.1; female labour force (% of total labour force) 46.5, 45.9, and 43.5; parliamentary deputies (% of total deputies) 9.4, 9.4, and 9.4; and administrative/managerial staff (1994 data only) 17.5.

Challenges

The Government recently introduced a number of State programmes and laws designed to enhance the situation of women and secure greater involvement of public organizations, including women's organizations, in the decision making process. However, the shortage of State funds to implement these programmes often impedes the introduction of measures to enhance the situation of women, causing increased unemployment among women and deterioration of the health system, etc.

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This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

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CHILDREN AND YOUTH

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

During the years since independence, Uzbekistan has been working constantly to enhance the situation of children and women. The Foundations of State Youth Policy Act was adopted on 20 November 1991. The State attaches first priority to the task of helping the young generation receive education and then make full use of their knowledge under a climate of freedom and democracy, encouraging them to become genuine creators and inventors.

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

The Uzbekistan Government is developing mechanisms that permit youth access to information and the opportunity to present their view on implementing Agenda 21. At present, the role of youth in national affairs is casual and intermittent. Youth representatives are as yet little involved in the country's political and economic life or in the drafting of State documents relating to the environment and sustainable human development. However, there is an increasing desire for cooperation on the part of both the State and youth organizations. The goal set in Agenda 21 that by the year 2000 more than 50% of youth, gender balanced, have access to secondary education has been reached.

Capacity-building, Education, Training and Awareness-raising 

Methodological, practical, and material assistance to improve education and training, and the spiritual growth of young people in the regions, school collectives, and the family is provided by urban and district authorities.

Financing 

In addition, the "Kamolot" youth fund and the "Umid" fund, especially with respect to support and encouragement of talented young people, and international organizations (including United Nations' agencies, for example the United Nations Children's Fund (UNESCO)) provide assistance. The Japanese-Uzbek Friendship League has established a fund to support higher education institutes in Uzbekistan from personal savings in order to provide material assistance to outstanding students and young scientists of Uzbekistan, and for a number of other national and international public organizations.

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This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

 

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE

Decision-Making: Major Groups involvement 

In recent years, the legislative and policy framework has been created for more active participation by indigenous people in decision making affecting the development of their lands. Arrangements for active and full participation in national policies have been strengthened. The process for involving indigenous people in resource management strategies and programmes at national and local levels is under development.

Status 

Uzbekistan is a multi-national country with representatives of 100 nationalities and peoples. Inhabitants of non-Uzbek nationality make up 24.2% of the total population.

In the process of forming a multi-national society in Uzbekistan, great importance is attached to language as a means of communication between nationalities. Since 1984, the Uzbek language has acquired the status of State language and is becoming a means of communication among citizens of different nationalities in all areas of activity. Disparagement of the State or other languages is forbidden.

At present, the instruction in general-education schools is conducted in seven languages. Uzbekistan has 353 schools using the Karakalpak language, 595 the Kazakh, 70 the Kyrgyz, 332 the Tajik, 66 the Turkmen, and 917 the Russian language. About 900,000 pupils of these nationalities are taught in these schools (over 17% of the total enrollment in general-education schools).

The regular holding of international festivals, conferences, competitions, and exhibitions in such areas as culture, literature, folklore, national handicrafts, and creative work by children has a significant influence on the formation of high moral qualities. Such events are important for young people to gain a respect for the rich cultural heritage of the peoples living in Uzbekistan and for their national traditions.

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This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

 

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

Status 

Before independence, Uzbekistan had no arrangements for the creation and functioning of NGOs. Their emergence and development became possible during the past five years and they currently play a substantial role in the formation of public opinion and in governmental decisions on the most important social issues.

Mechanisms that allow NGOs to play their partnership role in sustainable development responsibly and effectively do not exist, although NGOs are being granted consultative status and are responsible for carrying out certain tasks. In this context, NGOs will participate in the conception, establishment, and evaluation of official mechanisms to review Agenda 21 implementation to the extent possible.

In accordance with the Constitution, social life in Uzbekistan is conducted on the basis of a variety of political institutions, ideologies, and opinions. The political parties and public organizations are represented in the Supreme Assembly of the Republic of Uzbekistan. The conditions have been created for NGO activities, and their leaders are included in delegations to the regular meetings of the Heads of State of the countries of Central Asia on the problem of the Aral Sea Basin, as well as in the preparation of important governmental decisions.

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This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

 

LOCAL AUTHORITIES

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

Since the proclamation of its independence, Uzbekistan has ratified or acceded to many international conventions, including conventions on environmental protection. The country intends to fulfill the commitments arising from these conventions to the extent practical.

In order to develop initiatives that aim at broader participation of women and youth in decision making by local authorities, the following legislation has been adopted: the Local State Power Act (2 September 1993); and the Organization of Civil Self-Government Act (2 September 1993). Uzbekistan is currently establishing its National Commission on Sustainable Development, whose membership will include individual representatives of local government bodies. As the Commission's activities develop, it is envisaged that a strategy and concept of sustainable development will be elaborated at the national and local levels for broad involvement in decision making of public and non-governmental organizations, various population groups and, primarily, women and young people.

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This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

 

WORKERS AND TRADE UNIONS

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

In Uzbekistan, International Labour Organization (ILO) Conventions have been ratified. There is partial participation of workers in the implementation and evaluation of Agenda 21.

Status 

The democratic foundations of social development have been developing more quickly since Uzbekistan's independence, and trade unions represent and defend the socio- economic rights and interests of workers. Trade unions play a leading role in the organization of workers' leisure, and they own a large proportion of recreation facilities. As the principal organizations for the protection of workers' rights, trade unions have begun to take a more active part in discussions on Agenda 21.

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This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

 

BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY

Status 

State policies are in the development stage to encourage increasing the efficiency of resource use, including recycling and reduction of waste per unit of economic output. Large and a few small and medium-sized enterprises have adopted sustainable development policies. The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) brought about some increase in the interest of business in environmental and sustainable development issues. In spite of a number of positive examples in this area, the economic crisis and the decline in industrial activity have confronted most enterprises with the problem of survival. In such a climate, environmental problems and sustainable development are not yet priorities.

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This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

 

SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL COMMUNITY

Information 

Some efforts are being made to improve the exchange of knowledge between the science and technology community and the general public. Several popular publications have been produced, articles have been published in the mass media, and conferences and seminars have been held. Similarly, some effort to develop, improve, and promote acceptance of codes of practice and guidelines related to science and technology and their role in achieving sustainable development is evident.

On the whole, society's awareness of the importance of development is still not sufficient. But by means of the kinds of activity mentioned above, scientific and technical circles have been promoting the dissemination of these ideas among the general public and decision makers. This activity has facilitated Uzbekistan's transition towards sustainable development.

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This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

 

FARMERS

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

In order to create the conditions for the development of the farm movement, Uzbekistan adopted the Small Private Farms Act on 3 July 1992. This is supported by the Decree on "Further regulation of small private farms and State support for business activities in Uzbekistan" (29 November 1991) and the Order on "Measures for the further development and consolidation of small private farms in Uzbekistan" (30 December 1991).

Decision-Making: Strategies, Policies and Plans 

Uzbekistan is implementing a policy of State support for farming, including the cultivation of private plots and enhancement of their role in providing the country's food supply. However, enhancing the participation of farmers in the design and implementation of sustainable development policies has not yet begun.

Programmes and Projects 

In conjunction with the World Bank, the Government is completing the technical and economic justification for a project on the development of small farms in Uzbekistan. The project is intended to encourage the involvement of farmers in the development and introduction of sophisticated agricultural technologies to enhance the sustainability and efficiency of farm output.

Status 

An association of small private farmers and plot-holders has been established to coordinate their activities and protect their rights and interests. The farm movement in Uzbekistan is in the early stages of development. Between 1992 and 1997, 90,800 small private farms were established, and 308,200 ha of irrigated land were transferred to them for their use. At this stage, the State's policy consists of providing them with assistance, creating a favourable climate for their operation, establishing the necessary infrastructure, and creating the legal and regulatory framework.

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This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

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SCIENCE

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

The legislation of the Republic of Uzbekistan concerning scientific activities includes: the Civil Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan (Section iv on "Intellectual property"); the Copyright and Associated Rights Act; the Inventions, Working Models and Industrial Models Act; the Information Technology Act; the Trademarks and Trade Names Act; the Legal Protection of Computer Programmes and Databases Act; and the Plant and Animal Species Selection Act. The existing legal framework provides effective protection for items of intellectual property, and stimulates the development of innovations in Uzbekistan in tune with the priorities of sustainable economic and social development, and ecological balance.

Programmes and Projects 

Funding in 1997-1998 for a project in the Kyzylkum desert is being provided by the State Committee for Science and Technology as part of an inventory programme. The programme will study the mechanisms of degradation of vegetation cover and recommend strategic means of rehabilitation and protection. The plan is to publish materials connected with problems of the environment and sustainable development.

Work is proceeding on the preparation of an international programme on the study, preservation, and rational use of the resources of the deserts of Central Asia. The implementation of these projects depends on grants from the International Association for the Promotion of Cooperation with Scientists from the Independent States of the Former Soviet Union (INTAS), INCOCOPERNICUS, the Scientific Committee of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the McArthur Fund.

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This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

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INFORMATION

Status 

The availability and quality of sustainable development information at the national level can be summarized as follows:

Agenda 21 Chapters

Very good

Good

Some good data but many gaps

Poor

Remarks

2. International cooperation and trade    

X

   
3. Combating poverty    

X

   
4. Changing consumption patterns    

X

   
5. Demographic dynamics and sustainability    

X

   
6. Protecting and promoting human health    

X

   
7. Promoting sustainable human settlement development    

X

   
8. Integrating environment and development in decision-making      

X

 
9. Protection of the atmosphere    

X

   
10. Integrated approach to the planning and management of land resources  

X

     
11. Combating deforestation    

X

   
12. Managing fragile ecosystems: combating desertification and drought    

X

   
13. Managing fragile ecosystems: sustainable mountain development    

X

   
14. Promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development  

X

     
15. Conservation of biological diversity    

X

   
16. Environmentally sound management of biotechnology    

X

   
17. Oceans, seas, coastal areas and their living resources  

X

     
18. Protection and rational use of freshwater resources    

X

   
19. Environmentally sound management of toxic chemicals    

X

   
20. Management of hazardous wastes      

X

 
21. Disposal of solid wastes and sewage      

X

 
22. Disposal of radioactive wastes      

X

 
24. Global action for women towards sustainable and equitable development    

X

   
25. Children and youth in sustainable development    

X

   
26. Recognizing and strengthening the role of indigenous people and their communities    

X

   
27. Non-governmental organizations    

X

   
28. Local authorities' initiatives in support of Agenda 21    

X

   
29. Strengthening the role of workers and their trade unions    

X

   
30. Strengthening the role of business and industry    

X

   
31. The scientific and technological community    

X

   
32. Strengthening the role of farmers      

X

 
33. Financial resources and mechanisms    

X

   
34. Transfer of environmentally sound technology, cooperation and capacity-building      

X

 
35. Science for sustainable development    

X

   
36. Promoting education, public awareness and training  

X

     
37. International cooperation for capacity-building  

X

     
38. International institutional arrangements  

X

     
39. International legal instruments  

X

     
40. Information for decision-making    

X

   

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This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.

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INTERNATIONAL LAW

Decision-Making: Legislation and Regulations

As a subject of international law, Uzbekistan is a party to the following United Nations conventions relevant to Agenda 21:

Uzbekistan is also considering the possibility of acceding to a number of other international agreements and conventions.

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This information was provided by the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the fifth session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development. Last Update: 1 April 1997.



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