Uzbekistan's Action Strategy in line with SDGs
On 7 February 2017, Uzbek Presidential Decree № УП-4947 set the stage for the Strategy of Action for five priority areas of Uzbekistan’s development in 2017-2021 that seeks to bolster state and public development, ensure rule of law, further reform the judicial system, develop and liberalize the national economy, boost social services, ensure security, interethnic concord and religious tolerance.
Based on a comprehensive study of the population and entrepreneurs’ concerns, an analysis of the current laws and advanced international experience as well as broad public discourse, the Action Strategy and its priority areas are important for the current phase of Uzbekistan’s development and, in general, are in line with the vision and aspirations laid down in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) that were adopted by UN Member States at a General Assembly session in September 2015.
Such is the conclusion reached by the participants of a roundtable titled “The importance of the Strategy of Action for five priority areas of the development of the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2017-2021 in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in Uzbekistan” held on 27 April 2017 in Tashkent. The event was organized by Uzbekistan’s Senate jointly with the UN Office in Uzbekistan. The roundtable was attended by members of the Senate and the Legislative Chamber of the Parliament, representatives of Uzbekistan’s Cabinet of Ministers, respective ministries and departments, UN agencies in Uzbekistan, NGOs, the academic community, research centers, and reporters.
Roundtable participants noted that the Strategy, which includes pressing issues in improving state construction and the judicial and legal system, economic liberalization, and development of the social sphere, strengthening interethnic friendship and harmony in the country, has in fact become a ‘roadmap’ for reform in the country for the next five years, designed to stimulate the sustainable development of our country and society. Introducing a new vision of the strategic prospects for the development of state and society, the Strategy is also closely linked with the Sustainable Development Goals and contributes directly to their achievement at national level. As speakers emphasized, the programmatic activities provided by the strategy contribute to the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
The Sustainable Development Goals are a framework program that defines the development of the world for the next fifteen years, from 2016 to 2030, and consists of 17 goals and 169 targets seeking to promote economic growth and good governance, while ensuring that no one is left behind and creating environmental sustainability. These 17 goals are built on success in achieving the Millennium Development Goals and include new areas such as climate change, economic inequality, innovation, sustainable production, peace and justice, among other priorities. As was emphasized at the roundtable, all the goals are interrelated; oftentimes, success in achieving some of the goals is related to solving issues related to other goals.
Roundtable speakers noted that since the adoption of the SDGs the Government of Uzbekistan has demonstrated firm commitment to the implementation of the global goals at the national level. In February 2016, the Government began to adapt the SDG to the conditions and priorities of the country. Throughout 2016, SDG Theme Groups held extensive joint consultations involving a wide range of national stakeholders from respective ministries and agencies, national statistical offices, civil society organizations and think tanks.
The participants also noted that one of the most important tasks envisaged in the Strategy of Action for 2017-2021 in the field of public administration reforms is the further strengthening of the role of the Oliy Majlis (the parliament) in deepening democratic reforms and modernization of the country. The role of the Parliament is also seen as crucial in promoting and ensuring the success of the SDG agenda through the implementation of the Parliament’s functions in the field of lawmaking, the formation of the state budget and the implementation of parliamentary oversight.
With that in mind, speakers at the event noted the importance of integrating the national Sustainable Development Goals with cross-sector and regional development programs, action plans and budgets, as well as strengthening the monitoring system under the Strategy of Action at all levels of the executive branch with the participation of representatives of civil society, using measurable, comparable and result-oriented achievements. Participants also emphasized the importance of ramping up efforts to protect vulnerable groups. The gathering also paid particular attention to issues of environmental sustainability and the solution of problems related to climate change.
Following the discussions, those gathered adopted recommendations seeking to ensure successful implementation of the national Sustainable Development Goals within the framework of the Strategy of Action for the five priority areas of Uzbekistan’s development for 2017-2021.
These and other conclusions make up the bedrock of recommendations adopted at the roundtable.