TEHRAN (Iran News) – “Youth message” sounded from Tashkent. On the initiative of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, on August 12-13, 2021, the World Conference on Youth Rights “Involving Youth in Global Action” was held in Tashkent.
The event was organized by the National Center for Human Rights in partnership with the Agency for Youth Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the UN, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the OSCE, the OSCE Project Coordinator in Uzbekistan and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.
The conference was opened by the First Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis, Director of the National Center for Human Rights Akmal Saidov.
At the event, the Chairman of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan Tanzila Narbaeva made a welcoming speech.
In her report, the head of the Senate noted that the youth issue in Uzbekistan is defined as one of the priority directions of state policy. Over the past 5 years, more than 50 laws and other normative legal acts have been adopted to protect the rights and interests of young people. The first among them was the Law on State Youth Policy.
At present, youth parliaments have been created in the chambers of the Oliy Majlis (Parliament). More than 260 young deputies work in local Kengashes of people’s deputies.
At the opening of the forum, was delivered a message from UN Secretary General António Guterres. The message noted that the UN supports the efforts of the Government of Uzbekistan for its tireless efforts and commitment to ensuring the protection of the rights of youth, which was highlighted in the speech of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan earlier this year at the 46th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
The message also emphasized that in the history of the UN, a system-wide strategy was adopted for the first time – the Youth Strategy until 2030, and Uzbekistan is one of the 10 countries in the world in which this strategy is being implemented at an accelerated pace. It is noted that the UN welcomed the creation in Uzbekistan in a short period of time, the Youth Parliament, the UN Youth Advisory Council; declaring 2021 the Year of Youth and Health, ratifying the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopting multiple policies, programs and financial instruments to ensure real youth engagement and empowerment.
The hybrid format of the conference allowed experts of all sizes to speak out – from members of the leadership of reputable international organizations to directly representatives of young people.
In particular, at the opening of the forum, its participants were also greeted by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, UN Secretary General’s Envoy for Youth Jayatma Vikramanayake, Secretary General of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly Mohammed Reza Majidi, Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Martin Chungong, OSCE Secretary General Helga Maria Schmidt, President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Margaret Sederfelt, Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee-Executive Secretary Sergei Lebedev, Director of the Decent Work Technical Support Group and other heads of international structures Olga Kulaeva.
High-ranking participants in their speeches noted the initiative of Uzbekistan in promoting the interests of the younger generation at the international level. Thus, the idea of holding this forum was proposed by the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev at the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council. Earlier, at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly, the head of the country proposed to develop a Convention on the Rights of Youth.
Such concern of modern Uzbekistan that the voice of young people is even more taken into account in the decision-making process at various levels is natural. In the country, the number of young people under 30 is more than 18 million people, which is almost 55% of the population. This leads to the fact that youth issues are not only the most important area of international cooperation, but also a priority task of the state policy of Uzbekistan.
UN Secretary General’s Envoy for Youth Jayatma Vikramanayake:
“Uzbekistan is a country with enormous potential for rapid development inherent in young people – key members of society, who make up more than half of the country’s population and deserve to have their full potential realized. The commitment of the Government of Uzbekistan to constant dialogue with young people at the highest level and the progress achieved in involving young people in making real decisions deserve high praise.”
OSCE Secretary General Helga Maria Schmidt:
“Supporting the younger generation is a common goal of both Uzbekistan and the OSCE. Uzbekistan has taken a number of important initiatives to promote the rights of youth in the country. Engaging young women and men in global action is key to building peace and security. Our efforts are more important today than ever. I firmly believe that only by involving young people can we find sustainable solutions to today’s and tomorrow’s problems.”
The World Conference on Youth Rights “Engaging Youth in Global Action” was attended by over 500 representatives from more than 30 countries and international organizations.
Following the results of the World Conference, its participants adopted the Tashkent Youth Declaration “Involving Youth in Global Action”. The document reflects the results of the discussions of 3 plenary and 3 parallel sessions of the world forum, contains recommendations and a call to action for young people.
In particular, in such a direction of the Declaration as “Pandemic and Youth”, it was noted that “The pandemic not only highlighted the existing weaknesses and imbalances in the education, health care, employment systems, but also gave impetus to increasing efforts to reform and strengthen them”.
While highlighting the role of young generations in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Tashkent Youth Declaration emphasizes that, unfortunately, youth “are still largely excluded from the formal decision-making and political participation.” In this regard, the participants of the World Conference call on countries to “introduce the position of youth SDG ambassadors, whose tasks will include the preparation of annual reports on the measures taken to achieve the SDGs and broad public awareness of the global development goals.”
The Tashkent Youth Declaration also calls on states to “promote the establishment of youth parliaments, and where they already exist, strengthen them, and establish the World Association of Youth Parliaments”.
The Tashkent Youth Declaration insists on the importance of adopting national youth strategies, applying new forms of “political, economic, cultural and social involvement and participation in solving specific youth issues, using online and offline methods, in particular, to create youth councils under state bodies, national institutions on human rights to promote and support youth rights, taking into account the principles of “Nothing about us without us” and “Leave no one aside”, as well as provide full support to youth organizations involved in human rights issues. ”
The Tashkent Youth Declaration also contains provisions aimed at creating in the countries of the world the necessary conditions for youth to access quality education and health care, to ensure employment, the contribution of young people to the digital economy, to develop and implement mechanisms for protecting the rights of youth.
“Reaffirming the important role of international youth cooperation and joint programs, we support the initiatives of Uzbekistan on the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of Youth, as well as the creation of the Youth Council of Central and South Asia, the holding of the Central Asian Youth Forum,” the Declaration adopted by the participants of the World Conference on youth rights.
Secretary General of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly, Mohammad Reza Majidi:
“The initiative of Uzbekistan to host the World Conference on Youth Rights“ Engaging Youth in Global Action ”provided all of us with an excellent opportunity to share our views on such an important issue in partnership with the United Nations. The Government and Parliament of the Republic of Uzbekistan really deserve praise for their global vision of youth and their right.
Today we live in a young world where more than half of the population is under 30. This rich human resource takes the largest share in today’s activities. Therefore, it is very important to pay due attention to the physical and psychological health of young people, as they play a critical role in sustainable development.
In this regard, the involvement of this population group in the process of making political, economic and social decisions, especially in young densely populated countries, is undoubtedly very important. Young people are a largely untapped resource that can greatly contribute to the effort to tackle global problems. “