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You are here : Home > News > Speeches > April 2005 > OSCE, Permanent Council No 550: EU Statement in response to the Head of the OSCE Centre in Uzbekistan, Ambassador Miroslav Jenca
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OSCE, Permanent Council No 550: EU Statement in response to the Head of the OSCE Centre in Uzbekistan, Ambassador Miroslav Jenca

Date of Speech : 14-04-2005

Place : Vienna

Speaker : Jacques Reuter, permanent representative of Luxembourg to the OSCE

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

The European Union warmly welcomes Ambassador Miroslav Jenca on the occasion of his first appearance before the Permanent Council. The comprehensive report presented today reflects an ambitious programme in the coming months. We wish Ambassador Jenca every success for his work and the Centre’s activities.

Recent developments have focused our attention on the Central Asian region as a whole. We share the assessment that increased regional co-operation in all dimensions of the OSCE could play an important role in ensuring long-term security and stability in Central Asia. We appreciate that President Islam Karimov in his speech to the new Parliament described maintaining peace and security in Central Asia as a priority and underlined the importance of the development of integration processes. The European Union encourages Ambassador Jenca in all his efforts to support Uzbekistan in reaching out to neighbouring countries.

In his speech, President Karimov also undertook to reform the judicial and legal system. The OSCE was the first security organization to recognize the inherent link between international security and human rights. We welcome the fact that Ambassador Jenca has outlined a range of activities designed to assist the Uzbek authorities in promoting respect for human rights, the rule of law, democracy, good governance as well as strengthening the dialogue with the civil society.

We strongly support the Centre’s aim to work with Uzbekistan to implement the recommendations made by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture. We appreciate President Karimov’s personal opposition to the death penalty and his intention to raise public awareness of the issue over a period of 2 to 3 years, with a view to abolition. We hope the Centre will work together with the Uzbek authorities in moving towards this aim. The EU renews its call for a moratorium on death penalty as a first step.

However, we remain deeply concerned about the fact that Uzbekistan continued in 2004 to execute prisoners on death row whose cases were lodged with the UN Human Rights Committee. At the same time we have noted that the death sentence of Ikrom Mukhtarov was commuted and Uzbekistan claimed to grant stays of execution in other cases being considered by the Committee, including that of Sodik Kodirov. We are grateful for the information received by the Uzbek authorities on the case of Shukrat Aripow in December and would be interested in receiving further information on this case.

We are also concerned that the ICRC has temporarily stopped its visits to Uzbekistan’s places of detention pending effective enforcement of the agreements on humanitarian activities for detained and imprisoned persons signed in January 2001.

In developing and implementing long-term strategies to support Uzbekistan in the promotion of OSCE commitments and principles, the European Union encourages Ambassador Jenca to co-operate further with other Centres in the region and to make full use of meetings of the Heads of Missions as fora for operational programming and planning. OSCE Centres could re-inforce each other further e.g. in activities dealing with labour migration or addressing minority issues.

The Candidate Countries Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and Croatia* align themselves with this statement.

* Croatia continues to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process

This page was last modified on : 15-04-2005

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