TEHRAN (Iran News) – On August 31, 2021, in the “Yangi Uzbekistan” Park in Tashkent, festive celebrations were held in honor of the 30th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan, in which the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev delivered a congratulatory message to the people of Uzbekistan.
In his speech, the President of Uzbekistan stressed that over the past five years, serious changes have taken place in the national electoral legislation. He emphasized that, according to leading international experts, in the new Uzbekistan, the gradual improvement of electoral legislation and the practice of holding elections has reached a qualitatively new level.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted that the presidential elections will be held for the first time on the basis of the Electoral Code adopted on June 25, 2019.
“These elections are a very important political event for all of us, which provides answers to key questions about the future development of Uzbekistan, about how to build the future of our children, our families, our country. Therefore, both our multinational people and the world community are following this political process with great interest and attention, ” the Head of State emphasized.
Observers from about 50 countries and dozens of international organizations are expected to take part in the upcoming elections.
“In this sense, I believe that the upcoming elections will be held on the basis of high democratic criteria and will clearly reflect the growing political thinking, social activity and cultural level of the people of the new Uzbekistan”, Shavkat Mirziyoyev said.
It should be noted that five candidates from five parties registered in the country will take part in the presidential elections in Uzbekistan: Liberal Democratic Party – Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Ecological Party – Narzulla Oblomurodov, Social Democratic Party “Adolat” – Bakhrom Abdukhalimov, Democratic Party “Milliy Tiklanish” – Alisher Kadirov and the People’s Democratic Party – Maksud Varisova.
For a complete presentation to the attention of readers, we offer to read the full text of the speech of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan at the solemn ceremony dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the state independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan, which covers a wide range of historical, cultural, spiritual, scientific, political, socio-economic development of Uzbekistan during the years of independence, as well as the achievements of this country.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Today is a great holiday in our country, a great celebration. The multinational people of Uzbekistan are celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the independence of their beloved Motherland with great joy.
We celebrate Independence Day for the first time in this beautiful park, which was given a symbolic name – “Yangi Uzbekiston”.
I sincerely congratulate you and in your person all our people, I express my best wishes to you.
As you know, for centuries the cherished dream of our people was a free life in a just society. In the name of achieving this sacred goal, he fought selflessly, courageously overcoming the most difficult trials on his way.
No foreign yoke and violence could break the people in their noble striving for freedom. Our entire ancient history testifies to this.
On August 31, 1991, a truly great historical event took place, which became a turning point in the fate of the republic. Our people, always confidently looking into the future with great hopes, have fulfilled their age-old dream – gained state independence.
On this significant day, all of us, all our people, remember the First President of the country, the respected Islam Abduganievich Karimov, who proclaimed the independence of Uzbekistan and headed the state in the most difficult and difficult period of its history, about what huge transformations were carried out under his direct leadership thanks to courage and resilience of our people.
During the years of independence, a large and very important work has been done to build a new state and society. The Constitution of the country was developed in a short time. The foundations of modern statehood, legislative, executive and judicial branches of power have been formed.
The Armed Forces have been created, capable of reliably protecting the state sovereignty of the country, the inviolability of its borders, and the peaceful and calm life of the people.
The national currency was introduced – the soum, gold and foreign exchange reserves were formed. Our ancient history, national identity, rich cultural heritage and spiritual values have been revived.
Our people, having shown strong will and great potential, have traveled a long way of development in a short period of time by historical standards.
Uzbekistan has taken a worthy place in the world community.
I am proud that, together with many compatriots, I took an active part in such great historical processes.
Dear participants of the celebration!
Today we are building a new state and a free civil society based on the principles of democracy and democracy, giving priority attention to such an important task as the strengthening of peace and stability – our truly priceless heritage.
We all, of course, understand how important this is in the current conditions, when all over the world, including in our region, at our borders, tensions are growing, and various challenges and threats are intensifying.
Large-scale democratic reforms are being implemented at a dynamic pace, aimed at strengthening the political and legal foundations of our state and society, modernizing the country, strengthening the role of parliament and political parties, and public control in this process. Particular attention is paid to ensuring human rights and legitimate interests, freedom of speech and religion – the main principles of democracy.
The National Human Rights Strategy was adopted. Such negative phenomena as forced and child labor, which have been a big problem for us for many years, have been completely eradicated.
In accordance with the appeal of the United Nations to reduce the number of stateless persons, in 2020 alone, more than 50 thousand of our compatriots were granted the citizenship of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
As you know, an independent and strong judiciary is the main condition for ensuring human rights, strengthening democracy and the rule of law. Based on the priority tasks in this area, more than 40 laws, decrees and resolutions were adopted. Serious practical work is currently being carried out on this basis.
As its logical continuation the other day, in connection with the Independence Day, I signed a decree, according to which 215 persons serving sentences who sincerely repented of their deeds and firmly embarked on the path of correction were pardoned, and today they have the opportunity to return to their families, to their family and friends.
For the first time in its history, the Republic of Uzbekistan was elected a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council, which was a vivid confirmation of the international recognition of our reforms in this direction.
It should be especially noted that the last five years have become a period of difficult trials for all of us, the entire country and people. In particular, the coronavirus pandemic that began in 2020 and the economic crisis caused by it created serious problems for Uzbekistan as an integral part of the global world.
According to the UN, this pandemic was the biggest global test since the Second World War.
If you remember, in the early days of the pandemic, we set ourselves the task of getting out of this difficult situation even stronger. With the support of the Almighty, thanks to the solidarity and selfless work of our people, we are worthily overcoming these difficult trials.
The large-scale reforms being carried out in the country today marked the beginning of a new stage in our development – the era of New Uzbekistan.
And today we have every reason to say that over a historically short period, a completely new atmosphere has formed in the country in the political, legal, socio-economic, scientific, spiritual and cultural terms.
According to the analysis of the International Monetary Fund and reputable rating agencies, Uzbekistan is one of the few countries in the world that, in the current difficult conditions, manage to ensure financial and economic stability, the recovery of industrial sectors and the growth of economic activity.
The same findings are cited in a recently published analytical report by the American investment bank J.P. Morgan “Uzbekistan: on the way to the zenith”.
In this regard, I would like to cite some data regarding structural reforms in our economy and the main macroeconomic indicators.
During the period 2017-2020, economic growth in the country amounted to 18.3 percent, the gross domestic product reached $ 60 billion. It should be noted that foreign trade turnover increased from $ 24 billion in 2016 to $ 36 billion at the end of 2020. The volume of industrial production amounted to 369 trillion soums, an increase of 23.4 percent compared to 2016. As a result, the share of industry in GDP increased from 19.5 to 27.4 percent.
Thanks to economic liberalization and simplified customs procedures, exports in 2020 amounted to $ 15.1 billion, which is 25 percent more than in 2016.
Reflection of the positive results of our reforms in various world ratings created opportunities for the country’s entry into international financial markets. In particular, this year foreign investors were sold state Eurobonds in the amount of $ 635 million and 2.5 trillion soums, corporate bonds of Ipoteka Bank – for 785 billion soums and Uzavtomotors Joint Stock Company – for $ 300 million.
We have managed to significantly strengthen investor confidence in our economy. This is evidenced by the fact that the total volume of investments in a short period of time increased by 2.1 times, including foreign investments – almost 3 times.
The tax system has been reformed over the past three years. The number of types of taxes has been reduced, and turnover taxes have been abolished. The value added tax rate has been reduced from 20 to 15 percent, and an integral chain of this tax has been created.
In 2017-2020, the total capital of our banks increased by 5.7 times, or by $ 5 billion.
Within the framework of structural changes in the electric power industry, the oil and gas industry and the utilities sector, the functions of state and economic management have been separated, important steps have been taken to create a competitive environment in these industries.
Along with this, new infrastructure facilities have been created. Thousands of kilometers of roads, power transmission and gas supply lines have been built and repaired.
The public transport sector is developing consistently. In particular, two new underground metro stations and an overground metro line with a length of about 12 kilometers have been commissioned in Tashkent. Construction work has been completed on the Sergeli metro line with a length of 6.2 kilometers.
It should be noted that a number of large investment projects are currently being implemented in Uzbekistan. Among them, as you know, the construction of the third copper-processing plant of the Almalyk Mining and Metallurgical Combine worth $ 2 billion, which we recently launched.
Recently, a solar power plant built at the expense of $ 110 million in investments was commissioned in the Karmaninsky district of Navoi region, and this was the first important step in the development of new energy in Uzbekistan.
Two new plants were put into operation in the Navoiazot Joint Stock Company – for the production of nitric acid, as well as ammonia and urea. Thanks to the implementation of these projects, the total cost of which is $ 1.5 billion, the volume of production of Navoiazot products will triple.
All these important events indicate the beginning of a new stage in the history of domestic industry.
The number of small businesses and private entrepreneurship in our country has doubled, 1 million 400 thousand new jobs have been created in this area. Of particular importance is the fact that more than half of these enterprises were organized only in the last three years.
In order to ensure freedom of entrepreneurial activity, 16 laws and more than 100 resolutions have been adopted. Over the past year, the procedure for registration has been simplified, the terms for issuing licenses and permits have been reduced. To protect the rights of entrepreneurs, a moratorium was introduced on all types of inspections.
As a result of the creation of favorable conditions for ensuring self-employment of the population, 500 thousand citizens registered their labor activity during the year.
Thanks to this approach to the development of entrepreneurship, Uzbekistan has risen from 141st to 69th place in the World Bank’s Doing Business international rating in five years. Of course, this is a significant indicator, but still insufficient for us. Therefore, we will consistently continue this work.
As you know, we recently held a meeting with entrepreneurs in a new format. More than 10 thousand representatives of the business sector from all over the country took part in it. In preparation for the open dialogue, more than 15 thousand proposals and initiatives were studied in detail, practical measures were outlined to resolve the issues raised by entrepreneurs.
We will continue to create all conditions for entrepreneurs to introduce real market relations and, on this basis, develop the country’s economy. After all, entrepreneurs are the main support and locomotive of our economy and our reforms.
No one should forget this truth.
Today in our country, information and communication technologies are widely introduced, which are the most promising sector of the modern economy. For this, dozens of IT parks, small industrial zones, training centers for the training of specialized specialists are being created, and special projects are organized for gifted programmers.
We are constantly focusing on the development and improvement of the village, where most of the country’s population lives, increasing the efficiency and competitiveness of the agricultural sector, and creating jobs here.
We have ruled out government interference in pricing in agriculture, and the state order for the procurement of cotton and grain has been canceled. 122 cotton-textile clusters have been created, yields are increasing. The system of financing agriculture is being revised.
We introduced a new system of working with regions, their integrated development in conjunction with industries. As a result, the financial capabilities of the regions have expanded. In 2021 alone, it became possible to attract an additional 3 trillion soums for the implementation of territorial programs.
Today we can say that Uzbekistan is emerging from the most difficult period of the global crisis.
The pace of development of economic sectors can also be judged by the fact that real incomes of the population as a whole increased by 28 percent compared to 2016. Currently, the average nominal monthly wage is 2.7 million soums, which is 2.1 times more than in 2016.
According to the recently signed Decree, from September 1, salaries, pensions, scholarships and benefits will be increased again.
We will continue to attach great importance to the consistent growth of incomes and living standards of the population.
You all know very well that a new system for solving social problems has been created in our country. For this purpose, methods of targeted work are being introduced according to the principle of “iron notebook”, “women’s notebook”, “youth notebook”, “notebook of mercy” in the context of each family and mahalla.
The programs adopted as part of the reforms serve to improve the social environment in society and increase the well-being of the population. For example, only within the framework of the programs “Obod kishlok” and “Obod mahalla” in almost 8 thousand villages and mahallas, repair and construction work and landscaping for a total of 20 trillion soums are underway. I think that says a lot.
To carry out all this great practical work, we have identified the guiding idea “We live in a new Uzbekistan – a free and prosperous country!”
Our priority task is to provide the population with housing. During 2017-2020, more than 140 thousand affordable and high-quality houses and apartments were built. This figure is almost 11 times higher than in 2016. The system of mortgage lending is being consistently developed.
It should be noted that in our country, construction on a similar scale has not yet been carried out.
For families in difficult life situations, the down payment for new housing is paid from the state budget. We will continue to work in this direction; this year alone, about 50 thousand families will celebrate housewarming.
We all well understand that health care, science, education, culture and art, sports play a key role in the development of the state and society, ensuring the well-being of the people.
Today, the healthcare sector of our country is changing dramatically, as is the content of this activity. First of all, we are raising the quality and efficiency of primary health care and the introduction to a healthy lifestyle to a new level. The material and technical base of polyclinics and multidisciplinary hospitals is being strengthened, and their personnel potential is growing.
In accordance with modern requirements, the ambulance system has been reorganized and its financial support has been strengthened. The number of ambulance stations increased from 800 in 2016 to 1666 at present, and the number of brigades from 1648 to 2685.
As you know, in the past, many of our citizens were forced to travel abroad to carry out complex medical operations. As a result of reforms in the development of the sphere, many of these operations are now being carried out in our country.
In 2016, 10 specialized medical centers and only 2 of their regional branches operated in the republic. Today the number of such centers has reached 20, with 124 branches in the regions. In continuation of this work, 48 more regional branches of such centers will be created this year.
Thanks to timely reforms, our health care system has withstood an extremely heavy burden during the pandemic. All the necessary measures to protect the health and life of people were promptly developed. In particular, special medical centers have been created to combat coronavirus, a stock of medicines and protective equipment has been formed.
60 oxygen stations opened in the regions ensure uninterrupted oxygen supply to specialized hospitals. The development of a vaccine has begun in the country.
The State Budget for 2021 provides for 3 trillion soums to fight the pandemic, measures are being taken to protect public health and mass vaccination against coronavirus infection.
Reforms aimed at providing the country’s population with effective and high-quality medical care will be consistently continued.
I want to remind again the wise words of our outstanding educator Abdullah Avloni: “Education and upbringing for us is the most important issue, our happiness, our very life and destiny depend on its solution.”
In recent years, this approach has become the criterion of our work in the field of education. Indeed, if we change education, education will change a person. If a person changes, our entire society will change.
Therefore, we pay special attention to improving lifelong education, raising children with harmoniously developed personalities, and training highly qualified teaching staff.
All of you are well aware of the changes in the field of preschool education, which is the primary link in the system. In order to pursue a unified state policy in this area, we have created the Ministry of Preschool Education.
If in 2017 there were 5,211 kindergartens in the country, this year their number, please note, reached 19,316. Thanks to the introduction of public-private partnership mechanisms and the opening of family kindergartens, the provision of a number of benefits, more than 13 thousand private preschool educational institutions have been created. As a result of these reforms, we were able to increase the coverage of children with preschool education to 62 percent, including children aged 6 years – up to 77 percent.
Educational institutions of a new type are being created, in particular, Presidential, creative and specialized schools. In 2020 alone, 56 such schools were created in the country in mathematics, 28 in chemistry and biology, 14 in computer science and information and communication technologies.
New approaches are being actively introduced in the field of education. Tell me, was it possible just four or five years ago to imagine such a rapid growth in the number of private schools and kindergartens?
We study world experience in this area and introduce new standards, modern teaching methods. In particular, the procedure for obtaining a license to open a private school has been simplified. Thanks to broad government support, the number of non-state educational institutions has now reached 195.
All this gives positive results, as evidenced by the fact that in 2017-2020 our students won 30 medals at international subject Olympiads.
Last year, 339 vocational schools, 194 colleges and 195 technical schools were created for young people to acquire modern, in-demand professions.
Today our reforms, life itself dictate the need for the accelerated development of the higher education system. So, over the past 5 years, 64 new higher educational institutions have been created in the country, and now there are 141. The quotas for admission to universities have been increased by 3 times.
Please note that the enrollment of youth in higher education reached 28 percent, while in 2016 it was at the level of 9 percent. In the near future, it is planned to bring this figure to 50-60 percent.
The focus of our attention is constantly on the support of the population in need of social protection, especially the youth. For this this year, additional admission quotas have been allocated under state grants: 3155 – for young people with disabilities, 1580 – for graduates of Mehribonlik homes and Children’s Towns, another 2000 – for girls from low-income families.
Today our young people who are proactive and devoted to the Motherland, possessing independent and innovative thinking, a sense of responsibility, achieve high results of the world level in various fields and directions.
Thus, a number of our talented athletes became winners and prize-winners of the recent XXXII Summer Olympic Games in Japan, which made us all very happy.
The Summer Paralympic Games in Tokyo continue these days. The members of the national team of Uzbekistan, taking part in these games, have won 5 gold, 4 silver and 6 bronze medals to date and are showing unprecedented resilience and will to win.
We wish new successes to our brave sons and daughters who worthily defend the honor of our Motherland.
Those who were born in the first year of Uzbekistan’s independence turned 30 this year. In the East, this age is considered to be the period of maturity.
Addressing the wonderful young generation of our country, I want to say: for all of us – parents, mentors, teachers, all our people – the greatest happiness is to see you, peers of independence, free and independently thinking individuals who boldly enter life with pure thoughts and aspirations.
I am sure that, having mastered modern knowledge and achievements of progress, you will make a worthy contribution to the work we have begun.
With your dedication and selfless work, you will certainly build a New Uzbekistan and bring about the Third Renaissance in our country.
Never turn off the chosen path, my dear children! I wish you all health, happiness and success!
All of you are witnessing important reforms carried out in recent years in order to further improve the Armed Forces and increase the state’s defense capability based on our principle of “The Army and the People are One”. The National Guard and the State Defense Industry Committee were created.
Constant attention is paid to training modern military personnel, providing servicemen with housing, supporting their families and veterans of the Armed Forces.
Today, the national army of Uzbekistan is becoming a mobile, compact combat force capable of adequately repelling any threat, and this is our most important achievement.
Of course, the army is strong not only in weapons and equipment. The army is strong first of all by its soldiers and sergeants, officers and generals, who are ready to give their lives for the Motherland.
Today, brave men and women serve in the ranks of our Armed Forces, for whom the defense of the Motherland is the meaning of life. They honorably continue the glorious traditions of the military art of our great ancestors Amir Temur, Jalaliddin Manguberdy, Babur Mirzo.
We all know well and highly value the selfless service and courage of our valiant defenders, faithful to their oath in good faith, to fulfill their duty in any conditions.
We are proud of these people who have dedicated their lives to fulfilling a responsible mission – to defend the Motherland with a reliable shield and prove this in practice every day.
In order to strengthen peace and stability in the country, the system of ensuring the security of the state, society and the individual is being radically reformed. Its lower level has been reorganized – the system of preventive inspectors. Currently, they closely interact with the mahalla authorities.
It should be noted that compared to 2017, the number of crimes decreased by 12 thousand. In the first six months of this year, almost 50 percent of mahallas, and there are 9,251 in total, not a single crime was committed. This undoubtedly testifies to the positive results of our reforms and requires their consistent continuation.
Dear participants of the celebration!
As you know, from the first days of Uzbekistan’s entry into a new stage of development, we have been pursuing an open, pragmatic and constructive foreign policy.
Over the past short period, the political authority and role of our country in the region and the world have grown significantly. In the world community, the tendencies towards strengthening trust and cooperation with Uzbekistan are growing.
First of all, relations of friendship and good-neighborliness with the states of the region were established. Borders were opened, people restored the interrupted ties with their relatives and friends, were able to freely move from one country to another.
In world political science such a concept as “Central Asian spirit” has appeared. In the international arena, more and more initiatives are being put forward on behalf of the region.
It has become a good tradition to hold regular meetings of the heads of state of Central Asia. At the recent Consultative Meeting held in Turkmenistan, new promising areas of cooperation were identified.
In recent days, we have all watched with concern the events in neighboring Afghanistan. We support the early establishment of peace and stability in this country.
We are confident that Afghanistan will be able to become a bridge in strengthening the interconnectedness of Central and South Asia.
Uzbekistan remains committed to the principles of supporting friendly and good-neighborly relations with Afghanistan and non-interference in the internal affairs of this country. We consider it extremely important to carry out the transit of power in Afghanistan, taking into account the generally recognized norms of international law, peacefully on the basis of national consensus.
In recent years, effective agreements and agreements have been reached with Russia, China, South Korea, Japan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and other states. New steps have been taken to further develop pragmatic cooperation with the United States of America and Western countries.
Interaction with such international structures as the United Nations, the Islamic Cooperation Organization, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the Commonwealth of Independent States has been raised to a qualitatively new level. In 2019, our country became a full member of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking States, which opened up new opportunities for us economically, politically and culturally in the international arena.
In a short time, Uzbekistan, in the status of an observer state, has established effective ties with the Eurasian Economic Union. In 2020, the country held the chairmanship of the Commonwealth of Independent States for the first time. Despite the difficult conditions of the pandemic, this activity in Uzbekistan was organized successfully and was highly appreciated.
This year we will take over the chairmanship of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and are already doing a lot of preparatory work for the upcoming summit of the organization next year.
The effective use of the methods of economic diplomacy has a positive effect on the growth of our exports and the flow of investments to the republic.
Much attention is paid to support and fruitful cooperation with compatriots abroad. They are involved in the socio-economic processes taking place in the country. As you know, we have recently created a public fund “Vatandoshlar”, directly dealing with such important issues.
At the same time, our priority task is to strengthen relations of friendship and partnership with all progressive countries of the near and far abroad.
On this joyful day, I wish the distinguished ambassadors of foreign states, representatives of international organizations, our foreign partners, all friends of Uzbekistan, peace and prosperity participating in today’s celebration. In particular, we express our deep respect to the representatives of the French Senate present here.
As you know, on October 24 this year, the elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan will take place.
Over the past five years, there have been major changes in the electoral legislation of our country. As noted by authoritative international experts, work on the consistent improvement of the national electoral system and the practice of holding elections has been raised to a qualitatively new level in Uzbekistan.
The next presidential elections will be held for the first time on the basis of the Electoral Code adopted on June 25, 2019.
These elections are an extremely important political event that will answer key questions: what will be the future path of Uzbekistan’s development, how will we build the future of our children, families, and the country as a whole? Therefore, our multinational people and the world community are following these political processes with great interest and attention.
Observers from almost 50 countries of the world and dozens of international organizations are expected to take part in the elections.
I am sure that the upcoming elections will be held on the basis of high democratic standards and will vividly demonstrate the growing political consciousness, public activity and cultural level of the citizens of the new Uzbekistan.
In recent years, thanks to the conscientious and selfless work of our people, we have achieved important results aimed at ensuring national interests, improving the level and quality of life in the country.
The most important achievement is that the reforms we have begun have acquired an irreversible character, our today’s society has been radically transformed.
No one can stop the development of a society that has been spiritually revived, and a people that is confidently moving into the future, setting themselves great tasks. Such a people is supported by the Almighty himself, opening all roads for him.
Today, millions of our compatriots have changed their outlook, they consider themselves directly involved in the processes of transformations, the life and fate of their native country.
Today we are a single people, a single nation, confidently moving towards our lofty goals. Relying on the priceless cultural and spiritual heritage and the creative power of our people, we will definitely build a New Uzbekistan, turn our cherished, noble dream into reality. Uzbekistan will become a comprehensively developed, prosperous, free, democratic state.
I am happy to see each of you, my dears, all our compatriots, regardless of nationality, language and religion, active participants in the national movement of the creators of New Uzbekistan.
Years and centuries will pass. New generations will come. But our independence, which opened up such unprecedented opportunities for the revival of national statehood, prosperity and well-being, will always be the brightest, unfading page in the glorious history of our beloved Motherland.
Once again, with all my heart, I sincerely congratulate you – our veterans, caring women, purposeful youth, all our people – on Independence Day.
On this greatest holiday for all of us, with great filial love and gratitude, I bow low to our courageous, hardworking and generous people.
May our noble people be happy – the creator of all our achievements!
May all the good hopes and dreams of every family, every person living in our beautiful country come true!
Let our independence be eternal!