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A memorandum of understanding and cooperation was signed
On 11 December 2020, the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Uzbekistan co-hosted the blended event “the Digitalization of the Ombudsperson’s work: innovative mechanisms for promoting and protecting human rights and freedoms”, dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the Institute of the Authorized Person of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Human Rights (Ombudsperson). The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights’ (UN OHCHR) Regional Office for Central Asia, the United Nations Office in Uzbekistan, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR), the United Nations Democracy Fund, the United Nations Development Programme and Penal Reform International, co-organized the event.

Among the 150 participants were: the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights; the Chairperson of the Senate of Uzbekistan; the Speaker of the Legislative Chamber of Parliament; the leadership of the International Ombudsman Institute and of the European Ombudsman Institute; the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions; as well as the Ombudspersons from several OSCE participating States and Partners for Co-operation; OSCE/ODIHR representatives; UN OHCHR representatives and civil society representatives from Uzbekistan.

The high-level event was an opportunity to exchange good practices in the OSCE region and beyond on topics such as the use of contemporary information technologies in times of the COVID-19 pandemic and the experience of interacting with rights holders and the public during the pandemic. Additionally, discussions were held on working towards specific vulnerable groups, as well as on the co-operation between national human rights institutions and the civil society.

The conference was also the occasion for the OSCE Project Co-ordinator in Uzbekistan to sign a Memorandum of Co-operation with the Ombudsperson Institution.