Uzbek Women's Committee’s Role in Implementing the National Plan of Actions
On the 14th of March, 2012, a round table entitled "The role of the Women's Committee of Uzbekistan in implementing the National Plan of Action on the Concluding Observations of the CEDAW Committee on the Fourth Periodic Report of Uzbekistan," was held at Women’s Committee of Uzbekistan (WCU) jointly with UN Women Sub-Regional Office in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (SRO EECA) and the Resident Mission of the Asian Development Bank ADB in Uzbekistan (ADB). The event was held under auspices of the "Year of Family" State Program, and in celebration of the International Women's Day – the 8th of March. The meeting was attended by WCU representatives, representatives of UN agencies’ and international organizations accredited in Uzbekistan: UN Development Programme, UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Uzbekistan, the U.S. Embassy, USAID, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), UNESCO, the Turkish International Cooperation Agency (TICA), UNAIDS, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), UNODC, UNFPA, World Bank, UNICEF, the Office of the OSCE Project Coordinator in Uzbekistan, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ).
The purpose of this meeting was to discuss joint efforts to implement the National Action Plan on CEDAW Convention, as well as development of approaches for strengthening coordination of UN agencies and donor organizations in the frameworks of intergovernmental agreements and framework documents (such as UNDAF) in the efforts to empower women. The meeting was opened by WCU Deputy Chaiperson Dilfuza Khasanova, who spoke about the goals and objectives of the organization, and also made a presentation on "Participation of Women's Committee of Uzbekistan in implementation of the "Year of Family” State Program."
The presentation attracted a great deal of interest among representatives of international organizations, and in the ensuing discussion covered the following issues:
1. Timeframe of the program: In view of the fact that the preparation of the budgets of international organizations for the next financial year starts from the middle of the year, in the future it would be useful to organize a further meeting in the second half of 2012 to develop relevant budgets for implementation of state programs that involve WCU for the first half of 2013 (this was raised by the representatives of the World Bank, ADB and UNDP).
2. To coordinate the interaction between the donor organizations and WCU, it was proposed to establish a permanent dialogue in the format of the working group with participation of the WCU and representatives of international organizations, to identify priority areas of cooperation between WCU and donor organizations. The general notions of interaction are identified in the country programs and intergovernmental agreements, but they often lack reference to specific cooperation priorities (The proposal was voiced by the representative of UNAIDS, and supported by all the representatives of UN agencies and international organizations).
3. Due to the fact that the meeting in the given format was held for the first time, the representatives of international organizations welcomed the initiative as the first step, and expressed the hope that the meetings in such format will continue in the future.
4. The representative of UN Women raised the issue of the need for designing a “unified conceptual apparatus” concerning the terminology used in the development of gender equality [in the country]. A common understanding of terminology and concepts in the field of gender equality would allow more accurate use of it, not only in the programs and projects, but it would also provide an opportunity for the media to be more accurate in their reports.
5. CEDAW Convention: given that the CEDAW Committee proposed in its Final Recommendations on the Fourth Periodic Report (2010) that Uzbekistan will present its Fifth Periodic Report (due in 2012), and its Sixth Periodic Report (due in 2016), as a combined report in 2016, the UN Women proposed that a monitoring of [the implementation of] the current NAP be carried out, and offered assistance in the development of the [next] NAP on CEDAW for the period between 2012 - 2016. Donors have expressed readiness to provide technical assistance, if necessary, in organizing translation services.
After the discussion on the activities of the WCU and the State Program, representatives of international organizations made brief presentations on the mandates of their organizations.
In particular, UN Women paid a special attention to implementation of the NAP of CEDAW in the country, stressed the need to strengthen the effectiveness of the Working Group on Monitoring the activies on the CEDAW Convention, created under a resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as the Working Group for the Study of International Experience in Combating Violence Against Women. In addition, it was mentioned that there is an intention to hold a series of trainings on capacity building of the provincial branches of WCU on the harmonized approach to monitoring the implementation of the international commitments (CEDAW, BPfA, MDGs, etc.) taken by Uzbekistan on the promotion of gender equality and the advancement of women.
Representatives of all international organizations who attended the meeting have expressed their willingness to receive proposals on implementation of projects from WCU in accordance with its charter, and expressed the intention to prepare their proposals and submit to WCU in the near future.