Ministry of Public Education of Uzbekistan and UNODC to Enhance Cooperation on Youth Empowerment, Social Cohesion and Crime Prevention

4 February 2020, Tashkent, Uzbekistan - H.E. Mr. Sherzod Shermatov, Minister of Public Education of the Republic of Uzbekistan met Ms. Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Representative for Central Asia, to discuss achievements of mutual cooperation, implementation of ongoing youth projects and development of a "Roadmap" for future engagement between the Ministry and UNODC.

"Promoting a safe learning environment in schools is a key priority for our Ministry. We need to work together to prevent crime and bring positive change to our children. Synergies with organizations like UNODC contribute to this objective. We are strongly committed to enhance our cooperation, which will be reflected in a joint plan of activities." - highlighted H. E. Mr. Sherzod Shermatov.

The Ministry of Public Education and UNODC have been implementing joint programs for over 7 years. Family strengthening programs have reached 42 000 families and 4300 schools since 2013 producing strong results in terms of drug and crime prevention.

"UNODC stands ready to support the Ministry in further scaling up these programs to promote social cohesion and active participation of young people in society" - noted Ms. Ashita Mittal, UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia. "With some 60% of the population under the age of 29, investment in life skills is an investment in social cohesion and sustainable development of the country" - Ms. Mittal added. 

In addition to family strengthening programs, UNODC's Education for Justice (E4J) Initiative for primary and secondary schools has to date provided over 120 educators in Uzbekistan with tools to develop critical thinking among school pupils, promote integrity and other values and support youth in solving ethical and moral dilemmas. The program, which is aimed at promoting the rule of law through education, reached 7000 children in Uzbekistan last year.

In 2019, the UNODC "Line Up Live Up" program, which promotes sport-based life skills training to prevent crime and violence among youth, was piloted in 18 schools in the Fergana Valley involving over 600 children between ages 13-18. Model United Nations conferences provided over 100 high school students with a safe space to learn about socially relevant topics and practice communication and other skills. All these initiatives are set to continue in 2020 as part of the partnership between UNODC and the Ministry of Public Education.

For more information:

UNODC ROCA on Twitter

UNODC in Central Asia on Facebook