On 14 July the National Human Rights Centre of the Republic of Uzbekistan jointly with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Uzbekistan presented first translations of the Refugee and Statelessness Conventions in the Uzbek language.
This initiative supports Uzbekistan’s desire expressed at the 30 session of the Universal Periodic Review in the Human Rights Council to join a majority of UN member states in becoming a party to the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, the 1954 Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons and the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness.
“Protecting uprooted people is a tradition of all cultures of humanity and an important component of international solidarity and law. Uzbekistan also has a long, honourable tradition of generously protecting persons fleeing war or persecution and over the last years has taken impressive steps to resolve the problem of statelessness on its territory. The United Nations system remains committed to strongly supporting Uzbekistan joining other United Nations member states by acceding to and implementing the Refugee and Statelessness Conventions,” said Ms. Helena Fraser, UN Resident Coordinator in the Republic of Uzbekistan.
“I must emphasize the fundamental importance of partnership in tackling the problem of statelessness. In particular, UNHCR support is key to preventing statelessness. Translating publications of international documents into Uzbek will help people familiarize themselves with the general principles of international law on statelessness rights and find out how the provisions of the convention are implemented, what rights and freedoms, and what obligations stateless persons have. Knowledge in this area is essential more for officials, as they play a leading role in promoting respect and tolerance for stateless persons and in promoting public respect for the situation of stateless persons, their acceptance as individuals who can contribute. in the development of the host state,” said Akmal Saidov, Director of the National Center for Human Rights of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
“We were glad to support the translation of these important treaties into the Uzbek language, thereby bringing the protection of refugees and stateless persons, with its long history and good models, closer to legal practitioners, scholars, and decision makers here in Uzbekistan. We trust that these translations will support the development of effective national legislation, practices, and institutions to protect asylum seekers, refugees and stateless persons,” said Mr. Hans Friedrich Schodder, UNHCR Representative for Central Asia.
The 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol are the key universal treaties that define who a refugee is and what her/his rights and obligations are in host countries. The two Statelessness Conventions set universal standards and legal foundations for addressing the causes and consequences of statelessness that are not covered by any other treaty.