• KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09427 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09427 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09427 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09427 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09427 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09427 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09427 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09427 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 462

Uzbek Prison Visit by EU, US, and UK Diplomats

At the invitation of Uzbek authorities, UK Ambassador Timothy Smart, EU Ambassador Charlotte Adriaen and US Deputy Chief of Mission Paul Poletes visited a prison colony in the Chirchik district close to Tashkent, on 20 June. As reported by the Delegation of the European Union to Uzbekistan, the visit included a tour of facilities for medical care and therapy, as well as two workshops where prisoners produce garments and furniture. Presentations by staff, provided an insight into the daily lives of prisoners serving their sentences. The visit marks a milestone in engagement between Uzbekistan and the European Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and the diplomats acknowledged both the openness of the prison staff and  improvements made in recent years. Uzbekistan has announced its intention to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT) under which the National Preventative Mechanism will conduct comprehensive and independent reports on detention facilities to support the Uzbek government in forwarding reforms to improve the justice sector. Charlotte Adriaen thanked both the Uzbek government and the administration of prison #13 for enabling the visit and said: “Transparency in the penitentiary system is key to Uzbekistan’s path towards the ratification of OPCAT. In this regard, and considering the positive impression provided by today’s visit, it is my firm belief that openness and cooperation with international and national monitors can only benefit the life of prisoners and Uzbekistan.” Enthused by the visit, Timothy Smart added: “It is encouraging to see Uzbekistan continue its journey towards improving human rights in the country. In the UK we have had many issues with our prisons and through open discussion and independent scrutiny, have been able to improve conditions. I am most grateful to the Uzbek government and authorities of prison #13 for such access.  I was struck by both the quality of the facilities we saw today and the focus on rehabilitation. The life skills provided are invaluable to both the individuals as well as their mahallas”.

Kazakhstan: Preconceived Notions and Changed Minds

When I received the email stating that I had received a fellowship to move to Almaty, Kazakhstan, to teach English for a year, I nearly fell out of my office chair in Midtown Manhattan. I worked in a market research company fresh out of college but knew I needed to do something more exciting in my early 20s. I began studying Russian when I was 13 years old. I’m unsure what the exact catalyst for my language endeavor was. Still, coupled with my Ukrainian ancestry, Putin’s annexation of Crimea, and the Sochi Olympics, it seemed like a no-brainer to me. At this point in my life, I lived outside of Boston, Massachusetts, and began taking Russian classes on Saturdays in Brookline to satiate my desire to learn. After a year of classes, I enrolled in a Russian language immersion camp in Bemidji, Minnesota, for three summers. Following that, I received a grant from the US State Department to immerse myself in the culture for a summer in Narva, Estonia. I knew where and what I wanted to study after graduating high school. I started my studies at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University in Washington, DC, declared a major in international affairs with a minor in Russian language and literature, and never looked back. After graduation, my plans were in the air. I had been looking into opportunities to move to Russia or Ukraine, but this was now off the table due to the war. I worked in New York to get sorted, earn money, and start a new chapter of my life. At some point in April 2023, I received an email from a fellowship I had applied for in October 2022. I was initially placed on the waitlist, but I was notified that I had been accepted for the 2023-2024 cohort to relocate to Almaty, Kazakhstan. “Oh my god,” I said at my desk. My coworker asked me what had happened. I said, “I’m moving to Kazakhstan. “Kazakhstan, like Borat’s Kazakhstan?” she asked. [caption id="attachment_19278" align="aligncenter" width="370"] Horses graze along the way to Furmanov Peak – Almaty, KZ[/caption] Preconceived notions Questions arose after the excitement had settled and my family and friends were informed of my plans questions began to arise. “Why Kazakhstan?” “Is it safe there?” “Is that next to Serbia?” “Does the Taliban rule Kazakhstan?” It is shocking how little most Americans know about the 9th largest country on the planet. Spanning two continents with nearly 20 million people, most Americans only know Kazakhstan from Sasha Baron Cohen’s 2006 film, Borat, and nothing more. When they hear the word “Kazakhstan,” they picture a backward and socially undeveloped post-communist country in which people commute by donkey carts, are misogynistic, and are openly antisemitic. While the depiction of Kazakh culture is inherently incorrect, the message is stuck, and the film has become synonymous with Kazakhstan in the American mind. However, most Americans probably can’t find it on the map. I explained, “Kazakhstan is in...

Testing Limits: Marathoners Head For the Shrinking Aral Sea to Run in the Desert

By Christopher Torchia   The dry bed of the Aral Sea, a symbol of ecological disaster in Central Asia, will host one of the world’s more extreme marathons on Sunday. Supported by aid stations and medical staff, a small band of athletes will run on sand, gravel and stones, inhaling salty air in scorching temperatures and bracing themselves against strong winds. The Aral Sea Eco Marathon is being held in Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan and planners aim to draw attention to what was once the fourth biggest saltwater lake and is now about 10 percent of its original size. Race promoters also want to highlight the need for sustainable use of water. The marathon roughly coincides with the United Nations-designated day to combat desertification and drought, which falls on June 17.  Andrey Kulikov, founder of the ProRun running school in Uzbekistan, ran a marathon distance in the area last year with American ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes in 4:51:18. Kulikov planned this year’s event with the help of Aziz Abdukhakimov, Uzbekistan’s minister of ecology, environmental protection and climate change. A limit of 100 runners was set, though far fewer signed up. Still, Kulikov said participants are from countries including Japan, China, France, Pakistan, Kenya, Togo and the Philippines. He hopes to expand the event next year. Uzbek participant Denis Mambetov said in a text interview on Telegram that he is taking part because of “a passion for adventure, for something new and unusual, to test one’s strength, and, of course, to draw the attention of others to an environmental problem of global proportions.” The Aral Sea, which lies between northern Uzbekistan and southern Kazakhstan, began shrinking significantly in the 1960s when water from the rivers that fed it was rerouted for Soviet-led agricultural irrigation. The subsequent emergency of the Aralkum Desert and the sand and dust storms arising from the world’s newest desert have polluted the environment and severely affected health in local communities. There are regional and international efforts to restore the Aral Sea ecosystem, including seed-planting and the implementation of water-saving technologies. The five Central Asian countries - Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan – formed a group three decades ago, soon after independence from Soviet rule, to address the problem. The gap between goals and results is wide, though the countries are recognizing the wider threat of water scarcity as the planet becomes hotter.  “Colleagues are well aware that the problem of water shortage in Central Asia has become acute and irreversible and will only worsen in the future,” Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said at a regional meeting on the Aral Sea last year. “Experts believe that in some regions of Central Asia pressure on water resources will increase three times by 2040. Economic damage could eventually reach 11 percent of regional gross product.” Nurbek Khusanov, who will run the marathon on Sunday,  works at SQB, a top bank in Uzbekistan, and is a leader of its efforts to promote “green” policies that aid the environment. The marathon will “attract more...

Uzbek Citizens Still Facing Difficulties When Entering Russia

Migrants from Uzbekistan are facing difficulties when entering Russia, due to which Uzbekistan's embassy in Russia has sent an appeal to Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Citizens are complaining about excessive additional checks by airport services. According to the embassy, there has been an increase in complaints by Uzbek citizens to the diplomatic mission's call center about difficulties entering the country, or transiting through Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport. Following the terrorist attack at Moscow's Crocus City Hall on March 22nd, which citizens of Tajikistan stand accused or perpetrating, there has been an increase in reports of Central Asian citizens facing difficulties entering Russia. A Moscow official has explained this is due to increased security measures nationwide.

Uzbekistan Joins ILO Convention on Equal Opportunities for Working Family Members

Uzbekistan has ratified the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention No. 156, ensuring equal opportunities and rights for male and female workers with family responsibilities, Gazeta.uz reports. The country's president Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed a law ratifying this convention, which guarantees equal treatment and opportunities for all workers, regardless of their family obligations. The main objective of ILO Convention No. 156 is to create conditions under which working men and women with family responsibilities can perform paid work without facing discrimination while successfully combining professional and familial obligations. The Senate of the Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan, the upper house of parliament, when considering the law on ratification, emphasized that all the requirements of the Convention have already been fully implemented in the country's national legislation. To date, 45 out of 187 ILO member states, including Norway, Sweden, Spain, France, Japan, South Korea, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan, have ratified the Convention.

World Bank Awards Uzbekistan $7.5 Million in Carbon Credits for Emissions Reduction

On 21 June, it was announced that the Uzbekistan is the first country in the world to receive payment from the World Bank for reducing carbon emissions through a policy crediting program. The pioneering project known as the Innovative Carbon Resource Application for Energy Transition (iCRAFT) was designed to support Uzbekistan in implementing energy efficiency measures, phasing out energy subsidies, and transitioning to cleaner energy sources. Under the iCraft project, the World Bank awarded Uzbekistan a $7.5 million grant for cutting 500,000 tons of carbon emissions. Congratulating the country on this significant achievement, Marco Mantovanelli, the World Bank Country Manager for Uzbekistan, said: “This initiative is the world’s first to leverage climate finance in support of policy reform. The iCRAFT project aims to transition from individual transactions to program-level carbon trade interventions. We are eager to see how this pilot can set a precedent for reforms in other sectors in Uzbekistan and for other countries to follow its example.” Jamshid Kuchkarov,  Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance of Uzbekistan, highlighted the significance of this climate finance transaction: “The first payment transferred under the iCRAFT Project marks a key step for Uzbekistan towards reducing energy subsidies and achieving cost recovery in the energy sector. It also contributes to the government’s broader efforts for a green economy to foster economic growth and reduce poverty.” The payment is the first of several anticipated payments under the Emissions Reduction Payment Agreement (ERPA) concluded between the government of Uzbekistan and the World Bank as part of the iCRAFT Project. Under the agreement, Uzbekistan could receive up to $20 million in grants for verified emission reductions or carbon credits generated through its energy subsidy reforms. Uzbekistan aims to reduce 60 million tons of CO2, with iCRAFT set to purchase approximately 2.5 million tons of CO2. Using systems and processes established by iCraft, the country can sell the remaining carbon credits on international carbon markets.  

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