25 years is a significant date in Uzbekistan's relations with the United Nations. These years have shown fruitful cooperation, thanks to which the national government and the agencies of the organization (UNICEF, UNFPA, UNESCO, WHO, etc.) constantly exchange experience, expand opportunities and prospects.
Background: In a letter to the UN Secretary General António Guterres on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Uzbekistan's accession to the UN, the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev expressed hope for a meeting in New York during the forthcoming session of the UN General Assembly. The General Assembly meets annually for a regular session on Tuesday of the third week of September. The current session is the 71st.
What will the bilateral cooperation be like from now on? We have talked with the new head of the UN agency in Uzbekistan – the World Health Organization (WHO) office, which is one of the active participants of the joint program "Ensuring the sustainability of the population affected by the Aral Sea crisis".
“Ms. Liane Kuppens, not long ago you started the duties of the chief of mission. What tasks do you plan to address in the first place?”
“As you know, the main task of WHO is to support the government of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the development and implementation of an integrated national health policy. In 2017, we will continue to work together to implement the National Strategic Action Plan for 2017-2021 to support the national reforms.”
“Have you already decided on the priorities?”
“Sure, in the first place it is tuberculosis and HIV / AIDS. Unfortunately, socio-economic, environmental, behavioral factors, as well as international travel and migration, contribute to the spread of infectious diseases. Further, we distinguish infectious diseases, for example, preventable by vaccination, or diseases related to food. In cooperation with governments, the WHO Regional Office for Europe is developing standards and norms for the successful implementation of programs for the prevention and control of infectious diseases.
Uzbekistan is assisted in scaling up the use of rapid tools for diagnosing tuberculosis, truncated treatment regimens and new drugs.
“And what measures are being taken in the fight against non-communicable diseases?”
“To mitigate the impact of non-communicable diseases on society, WHO advocates an integrated approach that requires joint action. Reduction of cases of such diseases is based on a reduction in the main risk factors - smoking, unhealthy diets, lack of physical activity and excessive alcohol consumption.
This year, WHO will continue to support the government and provide recommendations for the implementation of necessary measures to combat non-communicable diseases at the level of primary healthcare for their early diagnosis and timely treatment.”
“And what do you think of mental health?”
“Mental state is an integral and important component of health. The WHO Regional Office for Europe has developed and provided national governments with norms and standards that pay special attention to the development of integrated services in this direction. They include a full range of therapeutic, preventive and restorative measures.”
“You haven’t spoken on yet another key area of WHO activities, namely, works to improve the health of women.”
“This area belongs to the field of health promotion throughout life. Its development is aimed at improving the state of women, the effectiveness of providing services to newborns, improving services in the field of reproductive health.
Another important area is the reduction of environmental threats to women's health. In this regard, technical assistance is provided for the development of national and global plans to respond to environmental health.”
“Once we’ve started talking about threats, we would like to learn more about global challenges in public health, including control of antimicrobial resistance.”
“Resistance to antimicrobial safety drugs is one of the most serious threats to global health and food development. It requires action at all levels of the public sector. As early as 2015, the Global Action Plan against Antimicrobial Resistance, launched by the World Health Assembly, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Assembly of the International Environmental Bureau, was launched. The purpose of the plan is to ensure the effective use of antibacterial drugs for everyone who needs it.”
Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations on political issues Miroslav Jenca: Uzbekistan, which joined the UN in March 1992 as a genuine member of international relations, has been making a worthwhile contribution to enhancing the organization's authority and potential.