Rita French, the UK International Ambassador for Human Rights, paid her first “virtual” visit to Uzbekistan on 20-21 January 2021.
The purpose of the visit was primarily to enhance the bilateral relations between the UK and Uzbekistan in the area of human rights, and to engage in detailed aspects of the political relationship, covering human rights issues, including torture, media freedom, parliamentary work, civil society, religion, gender equality and others.
During the visit Ambassador French met high-level Uzbek officials including Ms Tanzila Narbaeva, Chairperson of the Senate, Dr Akmal Saidov, First Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Chamber and Director of the National Human Rights Centre. Ambassador French also held meetings with representatives of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ombudsman’s office, local NGOs, and civil society activists.
Commenting on her visit, Ambassador French said:
It was a great pleasure to make my first virtual visit to Uzbekistan. I hope that the global health situation will soon enable me to visit in person. The UK is committed to supporting human rights around the world. Our discussions with the government of Uzbekistan covered many topics. It is clear that progress has been made in a number of important areas, but also that further reform is still needed. The UK will continue to support the Uzbek government and civil society in their efforts to protect and advance human rights and freedoms.
The UK International Ambassador for Human Rights works with other countries to support and advance human rights and promote the UK’s priority campaigns.
Rita French is the Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva and the UK International Ambassador for Human Rights.