12 September, 2011Politics:
Business and human rights: protection and social responsibility
Tashkent hosted an international conference on the theme “Business and human rights: the protection and social responsibility.” The event was organized by the National Center for Human Rights of Uzbekistan, Chamber of Commerce and the Federation Council of Trade Unions of the country with the support of the OSCE Project Coordinator in Uzbekistan.
The international conference, dedicated to the 20th anniversary of state independence of Uzbekistan, was attended by the members of Legislative Chamber and Senate of Oliy Majlis, representatives of ministries, agencies, institutions of civil society, foreign and international organizations and media.
At the event, director of National Center for Human Rights A. Saidov noted that Uzbekistan now served more than 70 major human rights instruments whose provisions are implemented in national legislation for protection of political, economic, social and cultural rights and freedoms. Uzbekistan has consistently and strictly fulfills international obligations, including the Millennium Development Goals and the Declaration on the Right to Development.
During the years of independence, public expenditure on social services increased by more than five times. Each year, about 60% of the budget goes to health, education, municipal services, social protection and other industries. In September 2010, parliamentary hearings were held on issues of implementation of UN Millennium Development Goals in Uzbekistan. One of their results was the adoption of a package of additional measures for achieving the Millennium Development Goals in Uzbekistan for the period 2011-2015 by the government. For 20 years the country achieved more than 3-fold decline of infant and maternal mortality, average life expectancy has increased by seven years, among men it reached 73, among women – 75 years.
At the forum, special attention was paid to the development of small businesses and private entrepreneurship in Uzbekistan. The year of 2011 was declared by President Karimov as the Year of small business and entrepreneurship. The main directions of state support of entrepreneurial structures were outlined. In particular, set of measures was adopted to further create favorable conditions for increased business activity, simplifying the procedure of state registration of enterprises and reducing government intervention in the financial-economic activity of enterprises, expanding economic freedoms and rights of the private sector.
In the Concept on further deepening of democratic reforms and formation of civil society, proposed by President Islam Karimov, it was noted that adoption of laws ensure the further expansion of the scope, role and share of small businesses (including family) and private entrepreneurship in the economy. Currently, the bills “On Social Partnership,” “On Public Control,” National Programme of Action for Human Rights are under intensive development.
Conference participants reviewed the international experience of business participation in the observance and protection of human rights. Reports were presented on more effective cooperation between government bodies, civil society and private sector in protecting human rights. (Source: UzA News Agency)
German delegation visits Uzbekistan
The delegation headed by Minister for Food, Agriculture, Consumer Protection and Development of the Federal State of Lower Saxony of Germany Gert Lindemann held talks at the ministries and state departments of Uzbekistan on 5 September.
At the meeting with Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources of Uzbekistan Shavkat Hamrayev, the sides noted that the relations between the two countries were developing in different spheres, including agriculture.
“Germany is interested in expansion of cooperation with Uzbekistan in various areas,” Gert Lindemann said. He expressed hope the talks and meetings scheduled during the visit would help boost bilateral cooperation.
The sides discussed the prospects of collaboration in food industry, agriculture and water management, personnel training, exchange of information and experience. (Source: UzA News Agency)
For 7 months companies in Navoi FIEZ produced nearly 12.8 billion soums worth of products
After the adoption of the Decree of the President of Uzbekistan "On Establishment of the Free Industrial Economic Zone in Navoi region" in December 2008 thirteen projects were carried out in Navoi FIEZ, five of which opened on the eve of the 20th anniversary of Uzbekistan's independence.
There are 8 enterprises with foreign investment in Navoi FIEZ manufactured products worth almost 12.8 billion soums (September 6, 2011. 1 USD = 1739,47 UZS) in the last 7 months.
Two of them produce polyethylene and polypropylene pipes of different cross-section diameter and another three components for cars GM Uzbekistan were appointed. Other existing facilities assemble a special device for receiving color television signals in digital format, as well as lotions, creams, mascara and other cosmetics.
Today Navoi FIEZ is fully ready to accommodate new facilities, all utilities are available. An office building and the building of the Financial Center to provide administrative, banking and finance and other related services were constructed. The construction of the customs terminal for conducting operations on the customs clearance of import and export goods completed. (Source: UzReport Agency)
Volume of coal trades at UZEX grows by 77% in past period of 2011
Some 143,400 tonnes of coal have been realized through electronic trade system of the Uzbek Commodity Exchange (UZEX) in past period of 2011, which grew by 77% in the past period of 2010.
From the beginning of 2011 to August 2011, the exchange prices for coal at UZEX grew from 47,000 soums to 79,000 soums (September 6, 2011. 1 USD = 1739,47 UZS) per tonne or 47%. UZEX noted that coal is becoming all-season fuel and seasonal price cycles are already in past.
UZEX analytical service said that the growth of coal sales is the result of BPK coal. At the same time, the share of BPK coal decreased from 90% to 74.5% in total coal sales volume. Sales of BP coal reached record volumes. Share of coal BOMSSH also increased.
Tashkent city and Tashkent region are leasing on coal demand among regions. Their share in total volume reached 35%. But the share of Tashkent region in total coal purchases decreased up to 15% compared previous year, while Samarkand region and Andijan region increased their shares up to 20% and 17% respectively.
Uzbekugol open joint stock company mined 3.34 million tonnes of coal in 2010 and executed its plan by 100%. Uzbekugol OJSC and Apartak OJSC develop Angren coal mine.
Shargunkomir OJSC develops Shargun and Baisun coal mines and process them at Shargun briquette plant and Baisun briquette plant.
Uzbekistan has proved coal reserves for 1.9 billion soums, of which 1.853 million tonnes are brown coal and 47 million tonnes – coal.
Forecasted coal reserves make up 5.7 billion tonnes. Large volume of coals is located in southern regions – Surkhandarya and Kashkadarya regions. Currently, three deposits – Angren brown coal mine, Shargun and Baisun coal mines are developed in Uzbekistan.
Uzbekneftegaz commissions new object in Kashkadarya region
Uzbekneftegaz national holding company commissioned the 18th block of desulfurization at Mubarek gas processing plant in Kashkadarya region.
The company said that the project implementation will allow to ensure stable work of capacities on cleaning natural gas from sulphuretted hydrogen and acid gas in long-term perspective and compensate the volume of processed natural gas.
The project is realized with the presidential resolution “On priority development of industry in Uzbekistan in 2011-2015” and presidential resolution “On investment programme for 2011”.
The cost of the project “Compensation of retiring capacities at Mubarek gas processing plant, blocks No. 16, 17 and 18” makes up US$171.8 million. The project will allow to clean 6 billion cubic meters of gas a year.
New pharmaceutical joint venture opens in Termez
First line of NOVA PHARM, an Uzbek-Indian joint venture, has been commissioned in Termez city, Surkhandarya region of Uzbekistan.
Total cost of the project is US$8 million, of which US$2 million were invested to construction of the first line of the joint venture.
UzA reported that NOVA PHARM JV will produce 14 medical products.
Currently, the second production line is under construction.
Currently, Uzbekistan has 117 pharmaceutical enterprises. They produce 1,050 types of medicaments and export part of them.
Ecologic Movement of Uzbekistan sends letter to UN General Assembly
On 6 September 2011, Ecologic Movement of Uzbekistan handed over to Country Office of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Uzbekistan appeal of Surkhandarya region, addressed to the UN General Assembly, which includes protests against negative impact of the activity of the State Unitary Enterprise “Tajik Aluminum Company” (TALCO) to health of population and environment.
Ecologic Movement said that the appeal, which was signed by over 757,259 citizens, was handed over to the UNDP office in Tashkent by MPs from Ecologic Movement of Uzbekistan at the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan, elected from Surkhandarya region.
In the appeal, the citizens of Surkhandarya region to the UN General Assembly said that people are feeling impact of catastrophic pollution of environment by TALCO.
Emission of aluminum plant, which consists of fluoric hydrogen, pollute atmosphere and environment both Tajikistan and southern regions of Uzbekistan. The letter said that TALCO and Tajikistan are not taking care about it.
TALCO annually emits 22,000 tonnes polluting means, of which 120 tonnes are fluoric hydrogen, which is very dangerous and harmful to health of people and environment.
As it is know, one tonne of fluoric hydrogen is dangerous than 1,000 tonnes of carbonic acid gas. Major of these substances are carried to Sariasiya, Uzun, Denau, Altnsay, Shorchi, Qomqurgon district of Surkhandarya region of Uzbekistan, where over 1.1 million people live.
Population of these regions has to breath with air, including fluoric hydrogen and other dangerios substances, about 18-19 hours each day.
Population is suffering from endocrine and musculoskeletal apparatus system, upper respiratory system diseases, and others.
As it is know, aluminum production also emits toxic gases - carbon monoxide and brimstone. They cause purulent bronchitis, chronic pneumonia, giddiness, migraine and growth of blood arterial pressure.
The letter said that number of miscarriages and still-born is increasing in these regions. It added that children are suffering from many diseases.
Citizens of Surkhandarya region and Ecologic Movement held meetings and protects. But TALCO management ignores problems of people and ecologic situation worsens in the region.
Based on this, citizens of Surkhandarya region adopted appeal to international organizations – UN General Assembly, UNEP, WHO, and it was signed over 750,000 people.
The appeal calls immediately halt production at TALCO, and carry out independent international ecologic expertise to determine damage to environment and fauna.
Uzbek citizens called to modernize and equip TALCO with cleaning establishment and after that resume production. They also asked to oblige TALCO to fully reimburse damage.
The letter said that Uzbekistan citizens believe that international community will not disregard fate of thousands of people, who are prevented from right to healthy environment on their own soil.
Ms. Anita Nirody, UNDP Resident Representative/UN Resident Coordinator, received the appeal and said the documents will be delivered to the UN General Assembly. (Source: UzDaily.com)