International Development Law Organization
Home > News E-Library > Policy Statements

Fundamental Rights as Eternal Values

Statement by the Director-General, Ms Jan Beagle

Tashkent Law Spring Conference, Plenary Session

“Fundamental Rights as Eternal Values”

Tashkent, 17 May 2023


It is a pleasure to address the third edition of the Tashkent Law Spring on behalf of the International Development Organization (IDLO).

This important forum is quickly becoming a leading venue for legal dialogue in Central Asia and beyond, and this year’s theme of “Fundamental Rights as Eternal Values” is particularly important at this time of intersecting global crises.

The law is ultimately an instrument that should express and advance society’s fundamental values and aspirations.

It can be a powerful engine for peace, and sustainable development.

Well drafted laws and policies can promote clarity, certainty and procedural efficiency.

However, what distinguishes the rule of law from rule by law, are the principles of justice, human rights, due process and equality before the law.

It is this vision of the law that IDLO promotes in all regions of the world through our programmes, research and advocacy.

To ensure that the eternal and universal values of human rights endure, they must be protected by the rule of law.

I would like to congratulate the nation of Uzbekistan on the increased protections for human rights and the rule of law in its recently adopted Constitution.

IDLO is committed to supporting you in furthering the reforms and progress made.

The benefits of a rule of law based approach are many and self-evident. I will mention just a few.

First, the development of sound policy and regulatory frameworks, grounded in the rule of law, can help to increase access to justice, eliminate discriminatory laws and practices, reduce corruption, and enhance transparency.

In so doing, the rule of law creates an enabling environment for inclusive economic development.

IDLO values our evolving collaboration with the Government of Uzbekistan, which has made legal reform a cornerstone of its national development policy.

An important initiative has been the development of commercial mediation, which is key for fair and effective dispute resolution, especially for small and medium sized enterprises.

We were reminded of this during the COVID-19 pandemic, which created significant barriers to justice around the world by giving rise to numerous disputes, while limiting access to courts and tribunals.

I am pleased to share that IDLO’s ongoing collaboration with the Government and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to promote commercial mediation in Uzbekistan is progressing well.

IDLO appreciates that the Tashkent Law Spring includes a dedicated session on alternative dispute resolution to explore how to strengthen it in Uzbekistan and Central Asia.

Secondly, the full and equal participation of women and girls in public life is essential for the sustainable development of any country.

We are working in partnership with UN Women and governments in many countries to undertake comprehensive reviews of legislation to identify and repeal gender discriminatory laws.

Eliminating these discriminatory laws and practices is not only a legal and moral imperative, but can also help unlock game-changing development gains.

In April the government of Uzbekistan took a vital step towards complying with its international human rights obligation to eradicate gender-based violence.

With the passage of new legislation, Uzbekistan criminalized domestic violence for the first time in its history.

IDLO is prepared to support the Government in its implementation, drawing on its extensive experience in this area.

We must close the gender justice gap.

Third and finally, the rule of law helps combat climate change and environmental degradation, by empowering people and communities to claim their rights and participate in climate decision-making.

Effective laws and institutions promote the trust and accountability needed to mobilise climate finance, and deal with issues of loss and damage equitably and support the transition to a greener, more climate resilient development model.

IDLO welcomes the efforts of the Government of Uzbekistan in supporting the climate justice agenda, the regional efforts in revitalizing the Aral Sea, and the joint efforts of the international community and the Uzbekistan to mitigate the consequences of climate change.

This conference provides a vital forum to share expertise and best practices. IDLO is committed to working together with you, and our partners in all regions, to promote peace and sustainable development by making the rule of law and access to justice a reality for all.