UN and OSCE in Uzbekistan Representatives Heads got acquainted with newly created conditions for ethnic minorities
UN Resident Coordinator in Uzbekistan Helena Fraser and OSCE Project Coordinator in Uzbekistan John MacGregor joined by the representative of ministries and agencies paid a visit to Altinkul village in Pakhtakor district of Jizzakh region, built within “Prosperous Villages” Program.
This village was built within a few months in the abandoned wasteland. President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev was personally supervising the implementation of the construction project. Less than in year, this area saw 460 new cottages, consumer services utilities and textile factory that provided 500 new jobs.
Currently, 939 families live in Altinkul. Out of that number 301 families comprising 1 225 people are representatives of gypsy community that live in the village alongside with Uzbeks, Tajiks, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Tatars and others. This new village has become yet another bright example of Uzbekistan’s commitment to human rights and freedom protection of all ethnic groups and nationalities living in the country. It also reiterates commitment to continue reform agenda in improving well-being and quality of life.
During the event, representatives of international organizations and state agencies were shown the video displaying the construction process of this village. It featured scenes of Altinkul’s previous living conditions. Two years ago, the village was steeped with old barracks; no amenities and infrastructure was present here.
UN Resident Coordinator in Uzbekistan Helena Fraser, while sharing her thoughts, noted that the UN puts a great emphasis on the issues of protecting the most vulnerable.
“Individuals with low income is our priority. I am very happy to see positive changes happening in the lives of people within “Prosperous Villages”. It is wonderful to see changes in lives of gipsy community that live alongside with other representatives of other nationalities. I am sure that other regions of the country will also see equal opportunities for people,” said Fraser.
In this regard, it is worth noting that Altinkul is not the first village built for the most vulnerable communities in Uzbekistan. Two years ago, new houses were built for Tajik living community in “Tong Yulduzi” village in Chinaz district. Similar projects initiated by the head of state in the Republic of Karakalpakstan, Andijan region, Manas village in Jizzakh region, Gagarin city in Mirzachul district and other parts of Uzbekistan. Currently, a makhalla neighboring to Almazar is witnessing construction of additional 400 houses specifically built for those vulnerable, persons with disabilities and families that lost breadwinners.
Foreign diplomats were impressed by the factory in Altinkul that became a workplace for women living in the community. Now, they have opportunity to pay their rent for housing. Representatives of international organizations also got acquainted with samples of finished products manufactured at the factory. They praised the working conditions and product quality.
OSCE Project Coordinator in Uzbekistan John MacGregor said that Altinkul is one of the examples of wide-scale reforms in the country.
“It is gratifying that the country is paying attention to the interests of small nations and nationalities. Noteworthy that these people feel the difference which makes them believe in themselves; it gives them hope that their children and grandchildren have bright future. Not only they have a house, but also a workplace. The factory we have been to provides 500 jobs for women and girls that is close to European standards. The attention, good living conditions and a job are key factors of a sustainable life. I would like to commend these efforts,” said MacGregor.
It is worth noting that in December 2019 in Geneva at a meeting of the 100th session of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the delegation of Uzbekistan, led by the director of the National Center for Human Rights A. Saidov, presented a report on the implementation of the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
Foreign diplomats expressed a common opinion on the importance of continuing efforts that reflect priorities of the head of state’s policy as well as tolerance and understanding in Uzbekistan.