12 February 2014
The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination today completed its consideration of the combined eighth to ninth periodic report of Uzbekistan on its implementation of the provisions of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
Presenting the report, Akmal Saidov, Director of the National Human Rights Centre of Uzbekistan, said that the preparation of the report under review had involved 30 government bodies and 20 non-governmental organizations. There were people belonging to more than 130 nations and ethnic groups in Uzbekistan, and more than 2,200 religious organizations were active in the country. The rate of literacy in the country was among the highest in the world, and stood at 99.7 per cent. Access to education was guaranteed to all national minorities. Uzbekistan consistently implemented its international obligations under 10 mandatory United Nations instruments, and regularly interacted with the treaty bodies. The International Cultural Centre, known as the “Palace of Nations and Friendship”, established in 1992, was helping more than 140 ethnic and national centres on the preservation of their traditions and languages.
During the discussion, Committee Experts expressed appreciation for the Government’s efforts on the preservation and promotion of the country’s multicultural spirit, and the comprehensive report developed on the basis of earlier concluding observations. They asked questions on the situation of the Roma and the Meskethian Turks, the organization and functioning of self-governing bodies, the fight against trafficking in human beings and the responsibilities of the Ombudsman’s office.
Concerns were expressed regarding the need for lawyers to be recertified, freedom of movement inside and outside the country, and the treatment of non-governmental organizations dealing with human rights.
In concluding remarks, Ion Diaconu, Committee Expert and Country Rapporteur for Uzbekistan, said that the meeting had been very interesting and that both the Committee and the delegation had learned something. It appeared that there were different approaches to the implementation of the Convention. He asked the delegation to check where each of the articles of the Convention could be found in Uzbek national legislation.
Mr. Saidov thanked the Committee for its constructive criticism and understanding and for acknowledging efforts made by the State party. He assured the Committee that Uzbekistan would continue to take positive steps in line with the Committee’s recommendations.
The delegation of Uzbekistan included representatives of the National Human Rights Centre, Office of the Prosecutor General, the International Cultural Centre and the Permanent Mission of Uzbekistan to the United Nations Office at Geneva.
The next public meeting of the Committee will take place at 3 p.m. today, when it will start its consideration of the combined sixth to seventh periodic report of Kazakhstan.
The combined eighth to ninth periodic report of Uzbekistan can be read here (CERD/C/UZB/8-9).
Presentation of the Report
AKMAL SAIDOV, Director of the National Human Rights Centre of Uzbekistan, said that the preparation of the report under review had involved 30 government bodies and 20 non-governmental organizations. In addition to the State party’s official report, the delegation had prepared and brought along a number of other documents and additional informational materials and brochures on the country’s ethnic make-up and the implementation of various international obligations.
There were people belonging to more than 130 nations and ethnic groups in Uzbekistan; more than 2,200 religious organizations were active in the country. The rate of literacy in the country was among the highest in the world, and stood at 99.7 per cent. Access to education was guaranteed to all national minorities, and classes were provided in seven languages. Media outlets operated in 12 different languages, the largest being Uzbek, Russian, Tajik and Karakalpak.
Regarding measures taken on the implementation of the Convention, Uzbekistan had improved the laws based on which the Convention was put into practice. The Uzbek Constitution provided for principles of equality and equal protection before the law and prohibited against any kind of discrimination. The equality principle was embodied in eight constitutional laws and more than 600 regular laws. Uzbekistan’s legislation provided for severe fines for those who violated the principles of equality; for example, inciting racial, ethnic or religious hatred was punishable by up to five years in prison. Various years had been dedicated to different topics, such as families, children or inter-generational solidarity.
Over the past three years, the Government had stepped up efforts to further develop the institutional framework for the protection of human rights and freedoms. Uzbekistan had earlier been recommended to establish a human rights institute, which had in turn been implemented by the Government. The National Human Rights Centre and the Ombudsman’s office were both fully operational now. All three branches of government had successfully functioning organs for monitoring human rights legislation. In order to step up the cooperation between various governmental bodies, a number of coordinating organs had been established, with their own sub-regional offices. The civil sector was also supported to help monitor the implementation of human rights norms and relevant legislation.
A number of information and education measures had been taken with the view of promoting the Convention. Multiple publications had been issued on human rights topics, in cooperation with international partners, including the United Nations Children’s Fund and the International Labour Organization. The fight against discrimination was also accomplished through the publication of a number of economic, judicial and pedagogical journals and gazettes.
Uzbekistan consistently implemented its international obligations under 10 mandatory United Nations instruments, and regularly interacted with the treaty bodies. In 2013, the Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights had visited Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan had presented 32 national reports on the implementation of various United Nations human rights conventions. The State party was closely cooperating with the Human Rights Council and the Special Procedures, and took part in the Universal Periodic Review meetings. In addition, Uzbekistan was working closely with the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe, the European Union and the Venice Commission.
The International Cultural Centre, known as the “Palace of Nations and Friendship”, established in 1992, was helping more than 140 ethnic and national centres on the preservation of their traditions and languages. Cultural centres were also carrying out educational work among the youth, and trying to meet the needs of the diaspora. Often times, heads of those national centres were members of Parliament. Smaller ethnic groups, such as Bulgarians, Greeks or Poles, had Sunday classes in their languages, with the help of the embassies of their respective countries. Many of the centres issued publications in their languages, with the help of the Government.
Concerning the fight against human trafficking, which was an international scourge, the Government had acceded to the main international legal documents and developed domestic legislation. Uzbekistan had bilateral agreements with 30 countries on fighting organized transnational crime, including trafficking in human beings. A high-level state commission to combat trafficking was in place, with the aim of coordinating the activities of various governmental agencies and services. A rehabilitation centre had been established to provide help and recovery of the victims of trafficking. More than 1,000 Uzbek citizens, victims of trafficking, had gone through that centre and had subsequently been helped to find employment. The large majority of victims of human trafficking were ethnic Uzbeks, followed by ethnic Russians and Tajiks. In 2013, 650 perpetrators, including four foreign citizens, had been sentenced for the crimes of trafficking. Awareness campaigns had taken place to inform citizens how to stay away from the threats of trafficking.
Extremist religious propaganda present across the region of Central Asia, and in Afghanistan in particular, presented a significant challenge for the State party. It was one of the main tasks of the international community to come together to prevent extremism and eliminate all forms of racial or religious discrimination. Uzbekistan would continue to support all the initiatives of the United Nations dedicated to those causes.
Questions by Experts
ION DIACONU, Committee Expert and Country Rapporteur for Uzbekistan, stated that Uzbekistan was a party to the most important international instruments of human rights, as well as to new instruments concerning the fight against corruption and against terrorism. New legislation had been adopted on the protection of children and persons with disabilities and on the prevention of trafficking. The report under consideration contained plentiful statistics and it was clear from it that the State party had a clearly defined policy for the elimination of racial discrimination.
There was a need for more information on where the country’s different ethnic groups were living, and on the Roma in Uzbekistan. Close to 90 per cent of Roma were reported to be receiving material support from the State. What could the delegation say about the situation of the Meskethian Turks, who were now fewer than 15,000?
What was the status of the Republic of Karakalpakstan and what was the economic and political situation there?
The Country Rapporteur noted that there was no general prohibition of racial discrimination according to the Convention. There was also no definition of racial discrimination, in accordance with the Convention. The Political Parties Act of 1996 did not prohibit organizations from promoting and inciting racial discrimination, as it was requested, but forbade them from advocating war or ethnic or racial strife. He stressed that the existence of explicit internal law was needed in order to ensure the incrimination and sanction of racial hatred and racially motivated offences.
It was pointed out that some minority groups, such as the Karakalpakstan, were not represented in self-governing bodies according to their size. Efforts should be strengthened for that purpose. Could the delegation provide more information on the current economic and social situation in Karakalpakstan at the moment?
Did self-governing bodies, which were voluntary organizations, exist in all minority groups and what was their composition in different areas?
The Country Rapporteur wanted to know more about the stateless persons in Uzbekistan, their economic and social situation, and a possible path to citizenship. Could more details be given on the situation of women refugees from Afghanistan, who seemed to be in a particularly precarious situation?
Concerning the issue of trafficking in human beings, could the delegation provide details about foreigners-victims of trafficking?
Why were there no complaints on cases of racial discrimination and ethnic hostility? Regarding such violations in the field of labour, was the Ministry of Labour the only organ which could receive complaints?
Which cases under the Convention were within the competence of the Ombudsman? The Ombudsman should be competent to consider any complaint of racial discrimination, the Country Rapporteur noted.
The State party had made serious efforts to support the education of minorities and the preservation of their cultures and identities, for which it should be commended. Nonetheless, more funds should be donated to schools, and Roma children should be better represented at all levels of education.
Could more details be provided on the composition and the relationship between the Cultural Centre and the Inter-Ethnic Cultural Centre? Was there a forum of minority groups involved in a dialogue with the Government on issues of interest for those groups?
Another Expert noted that, having close to 140 different ethnic groups, Uzbekistan had to be one of the most diverse countries in the world. More details were requested about relations between the Uzbeks as the predominant group and the minority populations?
What were the penalties provided for violating the equality of citizens? How many convictions and acquittals had there been?
Could more details be provided on the election, re-election and dismissal of judges?
An Expert said that the reported fact that the overwhelming majority of the population in Uzbekistan believed that there was no racial discrimination in the country might be a sign of over-optimism. The Expert recommended that statistical tools be sharpened with the view of minimizing the room for error. The absence of complaints was no assurance that racial discrimination did not exist.
Concerning the Roma population, reportedly 99 per cent of Roma had said that they had not experienced any stigmatization, and 92 per cent lived in private homes. The majority of Roma also reportedly did not have jobs – could more information be provided on that?
Another Expert noted that the high level of the delegation was a sign that the State party perceived the Committee with utmost seriousness.
What was the current status of the refugees from Kyrgyzstan mentioned in the report under consideration, an Expert asked.
What was the overall number of the Roma in the country? What was the average level of education in Uzbekistan, and how did the education level of the Roma population compare to it?
Europe was experiencing growing anti-Semitism – was that the case in Uzbekistan as well? Were there any different needs and requirements among different Jewish groups in the country?
Had there been any change in the composition of ethnic minorities over recent years, the Expert inquired.
Was the State party planning to retain the use of both Latin and Cyrillic alphabets?
Were mono-ethnic mahalas – neighborhood communities - composed of Uzbeks only, or were there any mono-ethnic mahalas of other groups as well? Were there people excluded from such communities?
Another Expert raised the issue of human trafficking and asked if the State party was planning to undertake any further measures to combat that problem. Where did the main burden of proof lie in that regard? What was the predominant social and ethnic origin of the perpetrators?
An Expert asked about the composition of the group defined as “others” in the latest census. Who were those people? Could more information be provided about the Meskhetian Turks, who normally lived in very difficult conditions in Central Asia and Eastern Europe?
Could the lack of cases of racial discrimination in courts be due to the fact that discrimination was not properly defined in Uzbekistan’s legislation?
Another Expert noted that there seemed to be some problems with the freedom of movement. Did the rule to receive an exit permit indeed exist in Uzbekistan? If so, that would be a major infringement on the freedom of movement. Why was the authorization required for permanent residents in the region of Tashkent, and what was the ground for such a difference?
As for acquiring citizenship or residence permit, one had to turn to the Constitutional Court, which would then pass on the case to relevant authorities. Could a clarification be provided on the given procedure?
The independence of lawyers and judges played a central role in protecting all human rights, an Expert stressed. In that regard, a law from 2009 required that lawyers be recertified every three years. That certification system was seemingly used to harass lawyers who were taking up cases against the Government. The Expert urged the delegation to welcome the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, who had requested a visit a long time ago.
Were human rights defenders subject to retaliation? There were also some indications that the Government was not welcoming to certain non-governmental organizations, which left a lot to be desired.
Concerning allegations of forced sterilization of women who had given birth to two or more children without their consent, could the delegation provide some assurance in that regard? There had been reports that such practices had targeted women from minority communities, especially the Roma. That matter was a concern not only for the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, but also for the Committee against Torture.
Was there a system in place limiting free movement inside the country and, if so, what were its rules? It had been reported that such regulations were intended to prevent the movement of poor people from the provinces to the capital.
Uzbekistan was rather poor in terms of water supplies. How did the Government ensure that all parts of the country had sufficient access to water?
Was Russian still taught primarily as a lingua franca, that is, to promote greater social cohesion and harmony in the country?
While 90 per cent of the population were Sunni Muslim, were there any other Muslim groups in the country, and how were their relations with the Sunnis? If there were any conflict situations, how were they resolved?
Response from the Delegation
Mr. Saidov thanked all the members of the Committee, and in particular the Country Rapporteur, for being frank and thorough in their comments.
He explained that the specialized statistics bureau of the country had provided all the figures in the report, and even if some observers might find the figures unusual, those were the official numbers.
Uzbekistan had followed the concluding remarks from its previous review by the Committee, and, in line with those, had adopted the national plan of action on combatting racial discrimination and conducted a number of other activities. After each consideration at one of the United Nations treaty bodies, the delegation reported to the Parliament and proposed a further course of action.
Implementing the Convention could not come overnight, but it was a work in progress. The delegation had no illusions that the State party’s work was completed. Uzbekistan had implemented a number of actions in accordance with the Committee’s guidance and was happy to see that the overall reception was positive.
The delegation assured that non-governmental organizations were kept informed and involved in the process of the implementation of the Convention. Non-governmental organizations had also been given a copy of the previous concluding observations by the Committee. The most important aspect of work of non-governmental organizations was in the dissemination of information. The Government was striving to engage as many national and international partners in the process as possible. Parliament was the body deciding on the Government’s support to non-governmental organizations, and over the past years, a large number of such organizations had received State funding.
Mr. Saidov reminded that 35 innovative general recommendations had been issued by the Committee after its previous session. A list of implementation indicators would also be very useful to the State party.
Mr. Saidov said that historically, Uzbekistan had been a very tolerant country, hosting many different communities for millennia. Inter-confessional and linguistic tolerance was a defining feature and the very essence of the country. Uzbekistan had a long scientific and cultural tradition, including the invention of algebra and the production of very important medical works.
Answering questions posed by the Experts, the delegation said it had prepared a basic, core document, while a number of sociological investigations had taken place in the aftermath of the last review. The delegation stated that the State party was closely following discussions on strengthening of the treaty body system. The delegation praised the Committee for its advanced techniques of report consideration and interactive dialogue.
As of January 2013, there were 30 million inhabitants in Uzbekistan, 25 million of whom were ethnic Uzbeks, 1.5 million were Tajiks, 800,000 Russians, 800,000 Kazakhs, 660,000 Karakalpaks, 200,000 Koreans, and so forth. Many leading figures in the society were of Korean background.
There were around 40,000 Meshketian Turks, who had been deported from Georgia under Stalin’s regime, and some of them were still declaring themselves as Azeris. The community had been warmly welcomed in Uzbekistan and protected by the authorities. After the breakup of the Soviet Union, many Meshketian Turks had moved from Uzbekistan to the Russian Federation. Cultural and traditional activities of the Meshketian Turk community nowadays were vibrant and supported by the Government.
The delegation said that there were some 50,000 Roma, called Luli in Uzbekistan. While their education level was indeed lower on the average, there were a number of prominent Luli holding doctorate degrees, and one prominent Luli had published a history of the community in Uzbekistan. Some 3,400 Roma children were enrolled in Uzbek schools, studying in Uzbek, Russian and Tajik languages.
The Karakalpakstan Republic was an autonomous region within Uzbekistan, with its own government, ministries and state committees. The borders of Karakalpakstan could not be changed without the Republic’s consent, and the Republic could leave Uzbekistan if it so wished. Karakalpakstan had all the symbols of statehood, including a flag and anthem. The Republic had been a backward agricultural area in Soviet times, and the situation had worsened after the independence of Uzbekistan. Shortly afterwards, the Government had focused on helping that region and today Karakalpakstan was difficult to recognize, with a wide range of active international businesses and a growing population. The issue of the social and economic development of the Republic remained a priority for the central Government.
Concerning the situation of the Roma, the delegation stated that there was a myth that polygamy was prevalent among that population. Average Roma families had between two and four children. Many Roma served in the armed or police forces, and some worked in civil service and the State apparatus. Since the Committee had raised the issue of the Roma, the State party had studied their status in more depth.
The drying up of the Aral Sea was an issue of concern, and had led to the lack of drinking water and a rise of the unemployment in the area. The Government was aware of its responsibility in that respect. The issue had been looked into in detail, and the focus was on cutting down poverty and bettering the overall standard of living in the affected area. Those in large and vulnerable families had been particularly targeted. The building of large hydro-power plants in Central Asia could have severe environmental consequences on a number of countries in the region, including Uzbekistan, and had to be addressed bilaterally.
Another regional environmental problem was the Tajik aluminum plant, which was creating harmful emissions, and Uzbekistan had raised it a number of times, including at the United Nations General Assembly.
On the definition of racial discrimination in Uzbek legislation, the delegation said that a conclusion had been reached that there was a need for a separate definition. The State party approached all kinds of discrimination equally and in a wholesome manner, and did not distinguish racial discrimination as such. The Constitution provided for the equality of all citizens, regardless of their ethnic origin, and more than 30 articles referred to equality. Inciting racial hatred was considered a criminal act.
Concerning indirect discrimination, the delegation ask for some clarity on the term, which would be of great assistance to the State party in fully implementing the Convention. As far as the delegation was aware, Uzbekistan’s Criminal Code had provisions in line with article 4 of the Convention.
The delegation expressed an opinion that the Ombudsman’s office was functioning well.
Regarding the Labour Code, it had one article dealing with discrimination, which was sufficient, in the opinion of the delegation.
The Law on Political Parties explicitly prohibited the establishment of any parties or organizations whose purpose was to promote war, racial or ethnic hatred and discrimination.
The delegation informed that in 2012, there had been nine criminal cases on racial discrimination, involving 14 persons, and in 2013, there had been 15 such criminal cases involving 21 offenders. The delegation concurred that the absence of complaints did not prove the absence of discrimination, which was why the Government was proactive, with special services investigating any allegations of racial discrimination.
Concerning the system of mahalas, the delegation explained that anyone over 18 living in their respective areas could take part in those citizens’ self-governing bodies at the level of villages or small districts. Mahala leaders had special responsibilities, and their activities were streamlined through a number of governmental commissions. Those organizations were financed through local and central budgets, and through donations. In 2013, elections had taken place in mahalas, electing new leaders of mahalas, with an increasing proportion of women. The delegation stressed that there were both multi-ethnic and mono-ethnic mahalas. Mahalas were the basic system of democratic organization and involved all adult citizens of Uzbekistan.
The delegation stated that foreigners and stateless persons were granted the same rights and freedoms in keeping with the international law. In line with the Law on Citizenship form 1992, in order to receive Uzbek citizenship, one had to reside in the country for five years and renounce any other citizenship. Uzbek citizenship was also granted to those born in Uzbekistan or if they could prove that one of their parents or grandparents was Uzbek. Dual citizenship was prohibited. The Citizenship Commission reviewed and decided on granting citizenships.
On the number of refugees in the country, according to United Nations data, there were currently only 185 registered persons. They could not be subjected to refoulement. They were being resettled in third countries, with the assistance of the United Nations. Tens of thousands of refugees from Kyrgyzstan had arrived to Uzbekistan during the turmoil several years earlier, but they had now returned to their home country.
Uzbekistan was considering accession to the Convention on Statelessness, which would require significant work, as the country’s legislation would need to be amended. The Government was, as a matter of principle, against both statelessness and dual citizenship.
Follow-up Questions by Experts
An Expert said that the State party seemed to be making the best use of the Committee’s concluding observations, which had served as a ground for drafting the current plan of action. Could the State party consider including all the detailed supporting documentation with its next report?
How many women ambassadors did Uzbekistan have?
While today the State party might not feel the need for a definition of racial discrimination, the Committee would still recommend that such a definition be adopted, as conditions in the country might change.
The Expert shared the delegation’s concerns over water resources, which might lead to conflicts and play one ethnic group against another in the future.
The Expert commented that it was for the better that a single treaty body had not been established, as each of the existing committees had its expertise, niche and specific history.
Another Expert commended the State party for acceding to a number of international legal instruments over the previous two decades. The Expert inquired about the process of appointment of judges and the guarantees for their independence. Could any verdicts be re-opened in front of the Supreme Court?
The issue of non-governmental organizations was raised by an Expert. Could more details be provided about the work of “political” non-governmental organizations and unions? How were State funds distributed to the civil sector? Could information be given about lawyers’ associations?
Was the freedom of conscience recognized – were citizens allowed to change their religion, or have no religion at all?
Response by the Delegation
The delegation stated that the double discrimination against women was a crucial problem, and the State party was working with the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women on such issues. There were a number of highly ranked women diplomats, and Uzbek diplomats reflected a wide array of ethnic groups.
On why Uzbekistan had chosen to ratify certain human rights treaties, the delegation explained that human dimension treaties had been ratified, and their implementation was taking significant time, which could explain the State party’s incremental approach.
It was explained that higher judges were elected by the Senate, while the judges of the lower courts were appointed by the President after a selection committee recommended candidates to the President. The mandatory requirement was having completed a number of training courses.
There was no institution of constitutional complaints in Uzbekistan, which meant that citizens could not turn to the Constitutional Court directly. Only legal entities could address the Court, whose main focus was the constitutionality of legislation. As for the Supreme Court, which was the highest tribunal, there were no restrictions in accessing it, and that applied for ethnic minorities.
There were four active political parties in Uzbekistan. There were quotas of 30 per cent for women’s representation on party lists, but voters elected candidates directly from party lists, so there was no guarantee for a minimum representation of women in the Parliament.
Trade unions were the largest non-governmental organizations and were the main partner of the Government, along with employers’ associations. Sixty percent of the budget was earmarked for socio-economic issues in general.
Regarding the lawyers’ association, lawyers received accreditation once and for all, but every three years they were tested whether their knowledge was up to date. The lawyers’ association was now known as the lawyers’ bar, it was a self-financed body and all lawyers had to be its members.
Answering questions on human trafficking, the delegation said that the General Prosecutor would be informed of all pertinent recommendations made by the Committee. The main focus of the Government was on prevention. Uzbekistan seemed to be a country of origin of trafficked persons, but there were no persons trafficked into the country.
The national human rights institution of Uzbekistan was guided by the Paris Principles and ought to be judged by its results. The institution had taken part in a number of international fora.
More than 99 per cent of Muslims in Uzbekistan were Hanafi Sunni, while there were very few Shia among Azeri and Iranian communities.
Follow-up Questions by Experts
An Expert asked if the delegation was satisfied with the way government bodies had responded to the Committee’s recommendations and the desired results had been achieved.
The Ombudsman’s report referred to having received more than 10,000 complaints and mentioned vulnerable groups. Who did the State party consider to be vulnerable groups?
Another Expert noted that a small number of the Meshketian Turks who had left Uzbekistan wanted to return to the country.
On indirect discrimination, the Expert said that there were general indicators used by the Committee, such as the proportion of minority groups among the country’s prison population.
The Country Rapporteur suggested that the issue of discrimination ought to be approached on the basis of the Convention, and the State party’s legislation should go along those lines, rather than the eight listed grounds of discrimination.
An Expert noted that the fact remained that lawyers had to take exams every three years, and it was reported that the provision was used to retaliate against lawyers critical of the Government or defending minorities.
Could any supplemental information be provided on reported sterilizations of Luli/Roma women?
Was it true that some Karakapkal geographic names were being replaced by Uzbek names?
What happened to the profits of those involved in trafficking of human beings?
Response by the Delegation
The delegation asked that if the State party were to limit itself only to racial discrimination, what would happen to other types of discrimination, such as on the ground of gender. The delegation acknowledged the possibility of dual discrimination.
Some ethnic minorities could be considered as vulnerable, including the Meshketian Turks, and they would be given particular attention in the following report.
There were a number of complaints submitted to the Ombudsman, which would be looked into in more detail and be addressed in further reports.
The delegation would provide details on the sterilization of Roma women subsequently, once it collected data.
Trafficking was a major problem and the State party was doing its best to address that issue.
ION DIACOUNU, Country Rapporteur for Uzbekistan, said that the meeting had been very interesting and both the Committee and the delegation had learned something. It appeared that there were different approaches to the implementation of the Convention. He asked that the delegation check where each of the articles of the Convention could be found in Uzbek national legislation. All the criteria in the Paris Principles had to be looked at, as the existing National Human Rights Centre did not meet them in full.
AKMAL SAIDOV, Director of the National Human Rights Centre of Uzbekistan, thanked the Committee for its constructive criticism and understanding and for acknowledging efforts made by the State party. He assured the Committee that Uzbekistan would continue to take positive steps in line with the Committee’s recommendations. Efforts taken under various conventions would be better coordinated; that would make the national plan of action more effective, which was an ongoing process.
For use of the information media; not an official record