George Edgar » Ambassador to Uzbekistan

Guest blog: “Women in Business Week”

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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”

Ust-Yurt

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I recently joined a visit by a UN team to the Ust-Yurt plateau in Karakalpakstan. The UN were there in connection with their joint programme that works on education, health, prosperity and environment issues in Karakalpakstan. For me it was an opportunity to find out more about the UN’s work here but also to see a little of an unfamiliar and remote part of the country. On the first day … Read more »Ust-Yurt

Environmental Economics

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I visited the Banking and Finance Academy in the week of Earth Day to give a lecture about what the British Government is doing to make the UK economy greener – that is, more environmentally sustainable. Environmental economics is a fascinating subject. At the centre of it is the idea of “internalising externalities”. Market systems are very efficient at allocating resources to the most profitable uses, and thus to providing … Read more »Environmental Economics

Termez

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I have visited Termez twice since the beginning of the year, once in February and then over a weekend in April. The first time was for business, meeting the regional Hokim, seeing the border crossing point where trains carrying ISAF equipment enter Uzbekistan, speaking to students at the University. The second time was private, so I could visit some of the historic sites with my family – Alexander the Great’s … Read more »Termez

Navruz

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This year I attended the official celebration of Navruz in Tashkent. Last year I was away with my family in Khorezm and missed it. Like the festive event for Independence Day, it features music and dancing in the presence of the President and other senior figures. But for Navruz the tone is different and reflects the nature of the festival as a celebration of spring. Its origins go back two … Read more »Navruz

Science

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Last week Dr Eric Morgan, a scientist from Bristol University’s School of Veterinary Sciences, visited Tashkent for a round table with the Academy of Sciences in Uzbekistan. The topic was animal parasites and the impact on their prevalence and transmission of climate change. I spent a fascinating morning listening to Dr Morgan speaking about the transmission of parasites among and between wild and domestic animals, the methods used to study … Read more »Science

Human Rights Day

Today, 10 December, is Human Rights Day, which marks the anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – this year is the 65th anniversary. The anniversary was marked in Uzbekistan by a conference on 24 October organised by the National Centre for Human Rights, which also celebrated the 20th anniversary of the UN’s presence in Uzbekistan. The conference was addressed … Read more »Human Rights Day

Important Bird Areas

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Last weekend a colleague and I joined a trip by the Uzbekistan Society for the Protection of Birds (UzSPB – http://www.uzspb.uz/) to one of the country’s Important Bird Areas (IBAs). The IBAs have been identified as part of an international programme, overseen by BirdLife International, to identify, document and protect a network of sites that are critical for the conservation of the world’s birds. UzSPB are working with partners who … Read more »Important Bird Areas

Protocol

Last week I spoke to members of the diplomatic course at the University of World Economy and Diplomacy about the British approach to protocol. I have twice worked in jobs directly responsible for protocol work – once when I revised the Foreign Office’s protocol guidance, to make it easier to read and to change things that were evidently out of date or didn’t make sense in the modern world; more … Read more »Protocol

Climate again

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On Friday the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (the IPCC) published the first part of their fifth Assessment Report on climate change. The Assessment Reports are a summary of the best available scientific knowledge, and are each divided into three parts: on the physical science basis; on impacts of climate change, vulnerabilities, and means of adaptation to the impacts; and on mitigation (which essentially means actions to reduce the volumes … Read more »Climate again