Posted on Apr 22, 2022
The United Nations has hailed efforts by a central Asian country to help meet global the Sustainable Development Goals and mitigate climate change.
But Peter Yeo, Vice President of the UN Foundation, cautioned, "It will take all of us working together—governments, the private sector, and civil society—to create the progress the world needs.”
His comments came at the end of a recent United Nations Foundation (UNF) Congressional learning trip to Uzbekistan.
The high-level delegation from the UNF included staff members from U.S. Congressional offices.
Artel, Central Asia’s largest home appliance and electronics manufacturer,is a recent full participant of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and hosted the delegation, the only private sector company in Uzbekistan to do so.
The UNF congressional learning trip, held from 11-16 April, was designed to demonstrate the work of the United Nations in Uzbekistan, as well as highlight the country’s development needs and substantial recent progress. The delegation conducted multiple high-level meetings with Government ministers, cultural institutions and NGOs.
In 2021, Artel became one of Uzbekistan’s first companies to become a full participant in the UN Global Compact and says it is committed to uphold and promoting labour standards, sustainability and human rights.
The United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) was launched in 2000 and is a voluntary leadership platform for the development, implementation, and disclosure of responsible business practices. The non-binding pact seeks to encourage businesses and firms worldwide to adopt sustainable and socially responsible policies, and to report on their implementation.
Centrepiece of the Compact are its ten principles including a commitment to human rights, labour standards, sustainability and anti-corruption.
Over 10,000 companies worldwide, including Microsoft, Facebook and Nestlé, have reaffirmed the Compact’s principles.
Artel is also seeking opportunities to promote the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and, during this month’s UN visit, participants toured its Rohat manufacturing plant and witnessed the production of semi-automatic washing machines, refrigerators and thermoplastics. The group also saw Artel’s innovations in sustainable technology at its R&D facility, as well as one of the company’s 34 service centres.
The UN's Yeo, speaking after the visit, said, "We enjoyed our tour of Artel and learning more about how it and the UN office in Uzbekistan are partnering to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals."
Bektemir Murodov, Chief Financial Officer, Artel, said: “It was a real privilege to host the United Nations Foundation congressional learning trip to Uzbekistan today. As a recent signatory of the UNGC we are committed to championing the Sustainable Development Goals, not only within our operations, but for the benefit of our 9,000 employees and customer base. The private sector has a responsibility to advance these principles and drive our country’s sustainable and development. We are constantly striving to find ways to improve our position, including in areas such as sustainability, human rights and gender equality. We are grateful for our partnership with the UN and others who provide us with the opportunity to learn from international best practice.”
He said engaging with and learning from international partners is a key part of a “forward looking ESG strategy" and the company was improving the efficiency of its products, whilst finding other ways to mitigate climate chance, including through planting 4,000 trees in the national “Yashil Makon” initiative. Furthermore, it is working to align with international standards of corporate governance as part of the company’s ongoing transformation process.
Ahead of the visit, the company was among others taking part in a discussion with the delegation at Westminster University in Tashkent on how to champion gender equality in the workplace. On women’s rights, the company is a leading promoter of the UN campaign on 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, and is implementing a number of initiatives both internally and externally to drive forward gender equality.
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