§ Clare Short
The EBRD's new strategy for Uzbekistan clearly states the concerns about the situation in Uzbekistan and the need for progress356W with economic and political (including human rights) reforms. The strategy also sets out seven key benchmarks for political (including human rights) and economic progress, and states that the bank will monitor progress towards these benchmarks after one year.
At the annual meeting I will seek to ensure these messages are delivered strongly, so as to encourage the Uzbek authorities to undertake essential economic and political reforms, which will enhance the country's economic growth, attract investment and reduce poverty.
Central Asia is a region of desperate poverty, of high levels of debt and corruption, and of deteriorating infrastructure and public services. We hope that the EBRD Annual Meeting will focus international attention on the region, and will provide a forum for a full and open discussion of the need for progress in achieving economic and political transition, tackling poverty, strengthening the investment climate, increasing regional co-operation and improving human rights.
§ Clare Short
EBRD's new two-year strategy for Uzbekistan clearly states the need for improvements in the human rights situation. Encouraging progress with economic and political (including human rights) reform is a central part of the bank's work and the UK Delegation at EBRD has been closely involved in the bank's discussions on Uzbekistan. In addition I have met EBRD's President Lemierre twice in the last six months to discuss the EBRD Annual Meeting, and conditions in Uzbekistan and Central Asia more widely.