Tuesday, February 22, 2022 – The Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Ecology and Environmental Protection (SCEEP) held an official ceremony for the opening of GGGI’s new country office in Uzbekistan today. The opening event was attended by high-level government officials and development partners. Keynote speakers for the event were H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon (President and Chair of GGGI), Ms. Helena McLeod, (Deputy Director-General of GGGI), H.E. Mr. Narzullo Oblomuradov Naimovich, (Chairman of SCEEP), and Dr. Aaron Russell (Country Representative of GGGI Uzbekistan).
H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, President and Chair of GGGI, in celebrating this important milestone for GGGI’s growing partnership with the Government of Uzbekistan, recognized in particular “the effort and invaluable support of the SCEEP under the leadership of H.E. Narzullo Oblomuradov, Chairman of SCEEP, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the leadership of H.E. Kamilov Abdulaziz, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and guidance of H.E. Vitaly Fen, Ambassador for the Republic of Uzbekistan to the Republic of Korea.” He also congratulated the Government of Uzbekistan for the successful endorsement of the UN General Assembly Special Resolution: “Declaring the Aral Sea region a zone of ecological innovations and technologies”, and the Presidential Initiative for National Greening. He concluded his remarks by extending his warmest regards to H.E. President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and that he looks forward to “working closely together to further Uzbekistan’s vision for charting a green and prosperous future for the people of Uzbekistan.”
Ms. Helena McLeod, Deputy Director-General (DDG), expressed her great appreciation for the active support by GGGI’s implementing partners, including national and development partners. Ms. McLeod also reiterated GGGI’s commitment to further developing a robust partnership with the Government of Uzbekistan and to supporting its efforts in tackling issues of climate change. Ms. McLeod highlighted and discussed three vital aspects to bringing about an ambitious green vision for the Aral Sea region to life: “Radical innovation”, “Radical results”, and “Radical partnerships.” She illustrated her point with a quote from anthropologist Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful and committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Finally, she reaffirmed GGGI’s strong commitment and support to Uzbekistan’s environmentally sustainable economic growth.
H.E. Mr. Narzullo Oblomuradov Naimovich, Chairman of SCEEP, emphasized the country leadership’s commitments for the implementation of green growth principles and green transition of the economy. He also highlighted the importance of partnerships to address the Aral Sea Crisis. The promotion of green recovery, mobilizing financial resources to create green jobs, and innovative solutions for environmental challenges stand at the core of this initiative. Finally, he stated that “this fruitful cooperation with impactful and sustainable projects will serve to support Government’s effort toward Green Transition and Sustainable Development Goals.”
Dr. Aaron Russell, Country Representative of GGGI Uzbekistan, presented GGGI’s vision and strategies for GGGI’s engagement with Uzbekistan and its partners to support Uzbekistan’s transition toward a low-carbon and climate-resilient development pathway. He introduced the key action points to be considered for inclusion in GGGI’s 5-year Country Planning Framework currently under development with the Government of Uzbekistan: green investment, climate action, climate resilient agriculture, waste management, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. These efforts will align with national goals and priorities expressed in Strategy of New Uzbekistan for 2022-2026, the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), and the Strategy for Uzbekistan’s Transition to Green Economy for 2019-2030.
The official ribbon cutting ceremony and GGGI office plaque unveiling were conducted jointly by Ms. McLeod, GGGI DDG, by H.E. Mr. Sidikov Furkat Ahmedovich, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and by H.E. Mr. Umarbek Khalilov, First Deputy Chairman of SCEEP. In addition, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between GGGI and the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS) – Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development (ICSD).
The Republic of Uzbekistan became a full treaty member of the GGGI Assembly on March 9, 2019, and GGGI signed a Host Country Agreement with the Government of Uzbekistan on May 25, 2021. Through the establishment of its country office embedded within the Government of Uzbekistan, GGGI is able to provide a unique form of client-centered partnership support. GGGI believes that this close engagement with the government is critical for effective support of the government policy development and implementation priorities. Furthermore, this relationship greatly enhances the policy relevance and sustainability of its Technical Assistance and the likelihood of mobilization green finance.
Finally, it should be noted that as the organization’s first Country Office in Central Asia, GGGI’s team of green growth policy and investment experts in Uzbekistan will provide a significant role in supporting the development of GGGI’s new country programs in, and regional partnerships among, Uzbekistan’s neighboring countries. GGGI is pleased to announce that the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Turkmenistan have joined the membership of GGGI within the last year, and engagement with other Central Asian governments is underway.
Read more about GGGI’s work in Uzbekistan here.