George Edgar » Ambassador to Uzbekistan

World Biodiversity Day

Over the last two years we have been keen buyers of local honey in Tashkent. One recent weekend we went to see where it comes from, and drove out of Tashkent to a meadow close to the hills behind Parkent. The beekeeper showed us the stack of hives stacked up on a large trailer, and explained how he tends the bee communities. We watched him introducing new queens into two … Read more »World Biodiversity Day

Guest blog: British and Uzbek women – representatives of diverse cultures with common aspirations

On the eve of International Women’s Day the Deputy Head of Mission Fiona Maxton highlights the role women play in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and UK efforts in preventing violence against women and promoting their rights globally. She also illustrates the British Embassy’s work that makes our small contribution to improving the status of women in Uzbek society. The British diplomatic service is considered to be one of the … Read more »Guest blog: British and Uzbek women – representatives of diverse cultures with common aspirations

New Year

Last weekend I joined a group of Tashkent bird-watchers for the annual new-year count of water birds at the Tuyabuguz reservoir. It’s part of a world-wide effort co-ordinated by Wetlands International, in which Uzbekistan has participated for the last eight years. The weather was terrible – cold and rainy and misty – but we did what we could, and our results will feed in to a global survey of the … Read more »New Year

International Human Rights Day

Today is International Human Rights Day, marking the promulgation in 1948 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. One of the important questions that will be discussed today – including by Baroness Anelay, the Foreign Office’s Minister with responsibility for human rights issues, when she hosts a reception in London – is the role of civil society. Civil society is often thought of as synonymous with non-governmental organisations – in … Read more »International Human Rights Day

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

From peace in the home to peace in the world

Today, 25 November, is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Violence against women is an issue that the British Government takes very seriously, domestically in the UK and internationally. In its resolution 63/155 of 18 December 2008, the United Nations strengthened its efforts to eliminate all forms of violence against women. Through this resolution the UN General Assembly urged States to end impunity for such violence … Read more »International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Changes to UK visa application process

On Friday a new British visa centre, where applicants in Uzbekistan can hand in documents and give their biometrics for UK visa applications, opened in the Tashkent Plaza. It’s run by Teleperformance, who won a tender last year to operate Visa Applications Centres on behalf of the UK visa authorities throughout Europe and Central Asia. This is the first time an office like this has operated in Tashkent, but similar … Read more »Changes to UK visa application process


Today is blog action day, which brings together bloggers from different countries, interests and languages to blog about one important global topic on the same day. This year’s theme is inequality. One aspect of inequality is discrimination – allowing people different opportunities or different rights for reasons that are not or should not be relevant. It’s not that long ago, for example, that women working in the Foreign Office had … Read more »Inequality


Arab Ata Mausoleum

Last Thursday I joined other Tashkent Ambassadors in a visit to Samarkand to hear President Karimov’s speech at the opening of the 99th Executive Council session of the World Tourism Organisation. The president spoke about the value of tourism as a means of encouraging contact and understanding between nations, and about the rich history and culture of Uzbekistan. After the conference I decided to do some practical tourism of my … Read more »Tourism

Siberia Challenge

Feature image for:  Siberia Challenge

Last Thursday I met a team of intrepid Brits who are driving from the westernmost point reachable by road in Europe – in the Dingle peninsula in the West of Ireland – to Magadan in the far East of Russia. They had just spent several days driving through Uzbekistan, having gone north from Ashgabat and come across the border near Khiva. They were going on to Shymkent in Kazakhstan the … Read more »Siberia Challenge

Guest blog: “Women in Business Week”

Feature image for:  Guest blog: “Women in Business Week”

At the beginning of the month, the Commercial Team at the Embassy ran a series of seminars and workshops in Nukus, Karakalpakstan. The Deputy Head of Mission Alison Beckett blogs below about the experience. Earlier this month I spent the week in Nukus, Karakalpakstan, working with the local Women’s Business Association to run a series of seminars and workshops under the banner “Women in Business Week” for local entrepreneurs and … Read more »Guest blog: “Women in Business Week”