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Barbara Dietrich, CEO of Diplomatic World, receives Golden Pen Award from Uzbekistan

Barbara Dietrich, CEO of Diplomatic World, received the Oltin Qalam (Golden Pen) National Award from Uzbekistan at a ceremony organised and hosted by the Embassy of Uzbekistan in Belgium. The ceremony was attended by representatives of European political, diplomatic and expert circles, as well as the media. Ambassador of Uzbekistan to Belgium H.E. Dilyor Khakimov presented Barbara with her second place diploma, a statuette, a badge and a cash prize.

In the nomination “For the best article of foreign journalists about Uzbekistan”, the first place went to the Editorial Office of the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) in Uzbekistan.

Second places were taken by:

  • Urinboy Usmonov – Correspondent of “Khalk Ovozi” (Voice of People) newspaper (Tajikistan);

  • Barbara Dietrich – CEO of Diplomatic World magazine (Belgium)

  • Khalid Taimur Akram – Editor of the National Herald Tribune, Executive Director of the Center for Global and Strategic Studies (Pakistan);

  • Sanjay Kumar – Journalist of The Korea Herald newspaper (Republic of Korea).


In his congratulatory speech, Ambassador Khakimov noted that in recent years, Uzbekistan has undergone significant positive changes in the field of national journalism, ensuring freedom of speech and information. In this regard, in the ranking of the Index of Freedom of Speech 2022, compiled by the international non-governmental organization "Reporters Without Borders", it was noted that Uzbekistan has improved its performance by 24 positions, rising from 157th to 133rd place.

The Golden Pen National Award, held by the Creative Union of Journalists of Uzbekistan since 2006, is important in terms of supporting the media, encouraging them to do research, increasing their activity, and communicating the pace of reforms to the world community quickly, impartially and fairly.

This year, 448 participants submitted about 5,000 creative works to the international competition for the Golden Pen National Award. In particular, more than 50 foreign journalists from 20 countries took part, which testifies to the growing interest abroad in the ongoing events in Uzbekistan, its domestic and foreign policy, and the dynamically pursued comprehensive reforms. Among them, the work of the prize winner Barbara Dietrich in promoting Uzbekistan in Europe deserves special recognition.

In particular, in a special issue of the Diplomatic World magazine devoted to the 30th anniversary of independence of Uzbekistan published in 2021, a series of articles and interviews covered in detail the essence of the comprehensive reforms and innovations undertaken and implemented by Uzbekistan over the past five years.

In addition, Barbara Dietrich has participated in a number of political and international events in Uzbekistan, including the 2019 parliamentary and 2021 presidential elections, the July 2021 Tashkent conference Central and South Asia: Regional Connectivity, Challenges and Opportunities, the First Tashkent International Investment Forum in March 2022 as well as the cultural forum Central Asia at the Crossroads of Civilizations held in the historic city of Khiva.

Since her first visit to Uzbekistan in 2017, Barbara Dietrich has seen the country dynamically evolve and develop. The Uzbekistan of today is radically different from the Uzbekistan of five years ago, at the time when President Shavkat Mirziyoyev initiated an ambitious series of reforms across all spheres of the economy and society which have laid the foundation for a new, prosperous Uzbekistan for future generations.


Furthermore, Barbara Dietrich has helped set up the Brussels-Uzbekistan Friendship Group, which intends to become a rich resource for analytical work devoted to bringing the latest developments in Uzbekistan and Uzbekistan-EU relations, as well as to help organise events in the cultural, educational and economic spheres, that help bring Uzbekistan to a much broader audience.

Expressing deep gratitude to the jury, the people and the leadership of Uzbekistan for the high award, Barbara Dietrich said that she will continue making a humble contribution to the further expansion of relations between Uzbekistan and the European Union, as well as the enhancement of Uzbekistan’s global image and prestige.


Alberto Turkstra, Project Manager, Diplomatic World

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