Assalomu alaykum, dear compatriots!
Ladies and gentlemen!
Today is a great holiday, a great celebration in our country.
The multinational people of Uzbekistan are celebrating the glorious thirtieth anniversary of the independence of our dear Motherland with great joy and solemnity.
Today, for the first time, we are celebrating the Independence Day in this huge honorable park called the «New Uzbekistan».
In this regard, I sincerely congratulate you, dear ones, in your person, all our people and express my sincere and good wishes.
All of us know that for centuries our people have dreamt of a free and fair life, of an equitable society. They fought valiantly for this sacred goal, bravely overcoming hardships.
No invasion, oppression and violence have lost the noble aspiration for freedom in the hearts of our people. This is evidenced by our ancient history.
On August 31, 1991, a truly great historical event took place, which marked a turning point in the life and destiny of our country.
Having looked at the future with great hope and confidence for hundreds of years, our people, who have always lived patiently, have achieved a big dream – to achieve their state independence.
On today’s sacred holiday, it is natural to recall the name of the First President of our country, respected Islam Abduganiyevich Karimov, who has declared the independence of Uzbekistan and led our state during the most difficult and challenging periods of our history, and to recall the enormous work accomplished under the direct leadership of this person, with the courage and determination of our people.
During the years of independence, an important work has been carried out in our country to build a new state and society. In a short time, the Constitution of our country was developed.
The foundations of modern statehood, the legislature, the executive and the judiciary have been formed.
The Armed Forces have been established, which are able to reliably protect the independence and sovereignty of our country, the inviolability of our borders, the peace and tranquility of our people.
Our national currency, the Uzbek soum has been introduced, and our gold and foreign exchange reserves have been formed. Our ancient history, rich cultural heritage, national and religious values, our identity have been restored.
In short, our people, who have seen a lot, have demonstrated their strong will and perseverance, their incomparable potential, and in a historically short period have passed the path of profound development.
Our country has taken a worthy place in the world community.
Along with many of my compatriots, I am delighted to take an active part in such significant historical processes.
Distinguished participants of the ceremony!
Today we are building a new state of Uzbekistan, a free civil society based on democratic principles.
To this end, we attach priority to strengthening peace and stability, which are our priceless treasures.
All of us well understand the importance of this issue in today’s world and in our region, in the context of growing tensions, various threats and dangers on our borders.
The large-scale democratic reforms aimed at strengthening the political and legal basis of the state and society, modernization of the country, the role of parliament and political parties in this process, strengthening the public control are being carried out.
A particular attention is paid to ensuring human rights and legitimate interests, freedom of speech and conscience, which are the basic requirements of democracy.
The National Strategy for Human Rights has been adopted in our country. Forced and child labor, which were a serious problem for many years, was completely abolished.
In response to the call of the United Nations on citizenship, in 2020 alone, more than 50,000 of our citizens were granted citizenship of Uzbekistan.
It is well known that an independent and strong judiciary is a prerequisite for human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
More than 40 laws, decrees and decisions have been adopted on priorities in this area. At present, serious practical work is being carried out on their basis.
I have signed another important decree yesterday on Independence Day as a logical continuation of such good deeds. According to the document, 215 people serving prison sentences, who sincerely repented of their actions and resolutely embarked on the path of recovery, were pardoned and given the opportunity to return to their families and relatives.
For the first time in history, the Republic of Uzbekistan was elected a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
This is a clear confirmation of the fact that our reforms in this area are recognized by the international community.
It should be noted that the past five years were a period of tough challenges for the whole country, our people and all of us.
In particular, the coronavirus pandemic that began in 2020 and the resulting economic crisis have created serious problems for Uzbekistan as an integral part of the global world.
According to the United Nations, the pandemic is the largest global test since the World War II.
If you remember, in the early days of the pandemic, we have set ourselves the goal of recovering from these challenges and becoming stronger and more powerful.
Owing to the mercy of the Almighty Creator, the unity of our people and selfless labor, we are courageously overcoming these difficult challenges.
The rapid and large-scale reforms being carried out in our country have ushered in a new era in our country – the new era of Uzbekistan.
Today, we have every reason to say that in a historically short period, a completely new political, socio-economic, scientific, educational and cultural environment has emerged in our country.
According to the analysis of the International Monetary Fund and reputable rating agencies, in the current difficult and complex conditions, Uzbekistan is one of the few countries in the world to ensure financial and economic stability, revitalize production and increase economic activity.
The same opinion is expressed in the recent analytical report «Uzbekistan: Rising like the Sun» published by the U.S. Investment Bank J.P.Morgan.
At this point, I think it is necessary to provide some information about the structural reforms in our economy and the key macroeconomic indicators.
In 2017-2020, the country’s economic growth rate made up 18.3% and the GDP reached $60 billion.
Speaking of which, it should be noted that the foreign trade turnover increased from $24 billion in 2016 to $36 billion in 2020.
The industrial production amounted to 369 trillion Uzbek soums, an increase of 23.4% compared to 2016.
As a result, the share of industrial production in GDP increased from 19.5% to 27.4%.
Thanks to the liberalization of the economic sector, including the customs procedures, exports in 2020 amounted to $15.1 billion, an increase of 25% compared to 2016.
The recognition of the results of our reforms in various international rankings has created opportunities for our country to enter the international financial markets.
In particular, this year state Eurobonds for $635 million and 2.5 trillion Uzbek soums, the «Ipoteka Bank» corporate bonds for 785 billion Uzbek soums and «UzAuto Motors» JSC for $300 million were sold to the foreign investors.
We have managed to cardinally increase the confidence of investors in the economy of our country.
This is evidenced by the fact that the total volume of investments in the short term increased to 2.1 times, including nearly 3 times the volume of foreign investment.
Over the past three years, a new tax system has been introduced. The number of taxes has been significantly reduced, and taxes on working capital have been abolished.
The value-added tax rate was reduced from 20% to 15%, creating an integrated system of this tax chain.
In 2017-2020, we were able to increase the capital of our banks to 5.7 times or $5 billion.
As a result of structural changes in the electricity, oil and gas and utilities sectors, the public administration and economic functions have been separated, and important steps have been taken to create a competitive environment.
Along with this, the new infrastructure networks were built. The thousands of kilometers of new roads, electricity and gas networks have been constructed and repaired.
Public transport is under steady development. In particular, the two new metro stations and about 12 kilometers of on-ground metro lines have been commissioned in Tashkent.
The construction work on the 6,2-kilometer «Sergeli» line has been completed. It should be noted that many large investment projects are currently being implemented in Uzbekistan.
Among them, you are well aware that the foundation stone was recently laid for the construction of the third copper concentrator at the Almalyk Mining and Metallurgical Complex for $2 billion.
The solar photovoltaic plant, which was launched yesterday in Karmana district of Navoi Region with an investment of $110 million, was the first big step in the energy system of Uzbekistan.
At present, the «Navoiazot» joint stock company has launched two new plants – the nitric acid, ammonia and carbamide. Thanks to these $1.5 billion-worth projects, the «Navoiazot’s» production volume will triple.
Such important events indicate the beginning of a new era in the history of our national industry.
The number of small and private businesses has doubled in our country, and 1,4 million new jobs have been created in the industry.
Of particular importance is the fact that more than half of these enterprises have been established in the last three years.
16 laws and more than 100 regulations were adopted to liberalize the business activities.
Over the past year, the procedure for issuing licenses and permits has been simplified and the deadlines for their issuance have been reduced.
A moratorium has been declared on all inspections to protect the rights of entrepreneurs.
Additionally, 500,000 citizens registered and started their activities on a legal basis in a year by creating favorable conditions for the self-employed population.
Over the past five years, as a result of this approach in the field of entrepreneurship, Uzbekistan has risen from 141st to 69th place in the World Bank’s Doing Business international ranking.
Indeed, this is a significant indicator, however, it still does not satisfy us. Therefore, we will continue our work in this direction.
As you know, we have recently held a meeting with entrepreneurs in a new format. It was attended by more than 10,000 businesspersons across the country.
In preparation for the open dialogue, more than 15,000 proposals and initiatives were studied in detail, and practical measures were identified on the issues raised by entrepreneurs.
We will continue to create all conditions for entrepreneurs to introduce real market relations in our national economy, and on this basis to develop our country.
After all, the entrepreneur is the buttress and locomotive of our economy, our reforms.
This truth must not be forgotten by anyone.
Today, the information and communication technologies, which is the most promising sector of the modern economy, is widely introduced in our country.
For this purpose, dozens of IT parks, small industrial zones, training facilities for specialists in the field and special projects for talented computer programmers are being organized.
The issues of developing and improving the rural areas, where the majority of the population lives, increase the efficiency and competitiveness of the agricultural sector, the creation of new jobs in the sector are in the focus of our attention.
We have abolished state intervention in the formation of prices in agriculture, the state order in the cultivation of cotton and grain has been abolished.
The 122 cotton-textile clusters have been established and high yields have been achieved. The agricultural financing system is being revised.
We have introduced a new system of integrated development of regions together with industries.
Consequently, the financial capacity of the regions has expanded, and in 2021 alone, an opportunity to generate additional 3 trillion Uzbek soums for the local programs has been created.
Today we can say with confidence that the hard times of the global crisis are over for Uzbekistan.
The pace of development of economic sectors can also be seen when the real gross income of the population increased by 28% compared to 2016.
Presently, the average monthly nominal salary is 2,7 million Uzbek soums, which is 2.1 times more than in 2016.
According to the recently adopted Decree, from September 1, we have again increased the amount of salaries, pensions, stipends and allowances in our country.
We will continue to attach a big importance to the continuous improvement of the income and living standards of our population.
You are all well aware of the creation of a new system of solving social problems in our country.
For this purpose, the methods of working «iron book», «women’s book», «youth book», «mercy book», «makhalla book» are being introduced.
As a part of the reforms, major programs were adopted to improve the social environment and increase the welfare of the population in our society.
I think, if we take only into consideration the programs such as «Obod Qishloq» (‘Prosperious village’) and «Obod Makhalla» (Prosperous makhalla), the construction, repair and renovation works for 20 trillion Uzbek soums of about 8,000 villages and makhallas this year demonstrates a vast volume of work.
All this is being done on the basis of a noble call, «Let us live freely and prosperously in the new Uzbekistan».
The issue of housing is also a priority for us.
During 2017-2020, more than 140,000 affordable and of high quality housing units were built. This figure is almost 11 times higher than in 2016. The mortgage system is consistently developing in the country.
It should be noted that such a large-scale construction work has never been carried out in our country before.
The initial housing payments for families living in difficult living conditions are paid from the state budget.
We will continue to work in this direction, and this year alone, another 50,000 families will be provided with housing.
All of us well realize that health, science, education, culture and arts, sports play a key role in developing state and society, welfare of the people.
It is fair to say that today the medical sphere in our country, the content of its activities is changing radically.
First of all, the quality and efficiency of primary health care, a healthy lifestyle has reached a new level.
The material and technical base of multidisciplinary polyclinics and hospitals, human resources are being strengthened.
The ambulance system has been reorganized in line with modern requirements and financial support has been extended.
The number of 800 ambulance stations that were in 2016 have reached to 1,666 till today. The number of ambulance crews was increased from 1,648 to 2,685.
It is known that in the past, many of our compatriots had to go abroad for complex medical operations.
As a result of reforms in the development of the industry in recent years, such operations are now being successfully implemented in our country, as well.
According to the index of 2016, the number of specialized medical care centers for the population of Uzbekistan was 10, and their regional branches were only 2.
Today, the number of such centers has reached 20, and 124 branches have been established at the local level. Continuing this work, another 48 regional branches will be established this year.
You are well aware that we did not panic in the face of an unexpected pandemic, as we have started the healthcare reforms on time and chose the right path.
We have immediately worked out all measures to protect the health and life of our people.
In particular, special medical centers have been established to combat the coronavirus. A stockpile of medicines and protective equipment has been formed.
The 60 oxygen stations launched in the regions serve to the uninterrupted supply of oxygen to the relevant hospitals. A practical work on the production of vaccines has begun in our country.
In the state budget for 2021, a reserve of 3 trillion Uzbek soums has been formed and we are taking measures to protect the health of the population and vaccination against coronavirus.
The reforms on provision of our people with fast and efficient, quality medical care will be continued.
I will never tire of repeating the wise words of our famous enlightened ancestor Abdulla Avloni: «Education is for us a matter of life or death, salvation or destruction, happiness or calamity».
In recent years, such an approach to the issue became a principle of our work in this sphere.
Indeed, if we change education, education will change a man. When a person changes – the whole society changes.
Therefore, we pay a special attention to the improvement of continuing education, the upbringing of our children as competent people, the radical improvement of the training of highly qualified teachers.
You are all well aware of the changes in the pre-school education system, which is the primary level in education.
The Ministry of Preschool Education was established to pursue a unified state policy in the field.
In 2017, there were 5,211 kindergartens in the country, but this year the number of kindergartens reached, just imagine, to 19,316.
Thanks to implementation of public-private partnership mechanisms and family kindergartens, a range of benefits, more than 13,000 non-governmental preschool education organizations have been established.
As a result of these reforms, we have managed to increase the coverage of preschool education by 62% and among 6-year-old children – by 77%.
The new types of educational institutions, in particular, the Presidential, art and specialized schools are being established.
If we take a look at the year 2020, 56 such schools in mathematics, 28 chemistry and biology based schools, as well as 14 in computer science and communication technologies have been established in our country.
The new approaches to education are being actively introduced. Tell me, was it possible to imagine a private school or a kindergarten in our country four or five years ago?
We are studying the world experience in this area and introducing the new procedures and modern teaching methods.
In particular, the procedure for obtaining a license to establish a private school has been simplified.
The number of non-governmental educational institutions grew to 195 thanks to the widely state support.
All this is yielding its positive result. This is clear from the targets of 2017-2020. Our students won 30 medals in prestigious international science Olympiads.
Last year, 339 vocational schools, 194 colleges and 195 technical schools were established to train young people in modern in-demand professions.
Today, the demand of our reforms, life itself, requires the rapid development of higher education.
Therefore, 64 new higher education institutions have been established in the country over the past five years, bringing their number to 141. The admission quota has been tripled.
Now the coverage of graduates with higher education has increased from 9% in 2016 – just pay attention – by 28%. It is planned to increase this figure by 50-60% in the near future.
Supporting the population in need of social protection, especially the youth, is in the focus of our constant attention.
For this purpose, 3,155 additional admission quotas for the young people with disabilities, 1,580 of them for the graduates of orphanages in Mercy houses and Children’s townships, and 2,000 additional admission quotas for women from low-income families have been allocated as state grants this year.
Today, our innovative and independent-minded, conscientious, self-motivated and patriotic young people are achieving high results in various fields and directions in the world arena.
Recently, at the recent 32nd Summer Olympic Games in Japan, our talented athletes became winners and won medal places, and made all of us happy.
The Summer Paralympic Games in Tokyo are fervently continuing in these days. The participating members of the Uzbek team have won 5 gold, 4 silver and 5 bronze medals, at the same time they are demonstrating unequal courage.
We wish new success to these brave sons and daughters who are defending the honor of our country.
Today, children born in the first year of our independence have reached the age of thirty – the same age of maturity.
I would like to address these young people, my dear sons and daughters.
The greatest happiness for us, the immense wealth, is that you, as children of independence, sovereign and free people, boldly enter life.
I am confident that you will master the summits of modern knowledge and development and continue the work we have started with dignity!
With your high enthusiasm and merited work, you will definitely be able to build a new Uzbekistan – the Third Renaissance in our country!
Never give up, my dear children! May you always be happy and have good luck!
As all of you are witnessing, in recent years we have made significant reforms to further improve our Armed Forces and increase the defense potential of our country on the basis of the noble principle «The people and the army are one body and one soul». The National Guard and the State Defense Industry Committee were established.
There is a constant focus on training modern personnel, providing housing for military personnel, supporting their families and military retirees.
Today, our major achievement is that our national army is becoming a fast and compact, and that capable force to deal with any threat.
Certainly, the army is not only strong with military weapons and equipment.
The army is strong, first of all, with soldiers who are ready to give their lives for the Motherland – the soldiers and sergeants, officers and generals.
Today, the brave and resilient are serving in the ranks of our Armed Forces who think of being a defender is a real value that consider the purpose of their life.
They are honorably continuing the battle skills of our profound ancestors, such as Amir Temur, Jaloliddin Manguberdi and Bobur Mirzo.
All of us know well and appreciate the selfless service and courage of our brave and courageous guards, who have pledged themselves to accomplish their duty conscientiously in any situation.
It is our pride and dignity that the shields of the Motherland, who have dedicated their lives to the sacred and responsible work of defending Homeland and proving it in practice every day, every minute.
In order to consolidate peace and stability in the country, the fundamental reforms of the system for ensuring the security of the state, society and the individual are under way.
To this end, the lowest system – the system of preventive inspectors – was formed as a modern structure.
They work closely with local makhalla community offices.
It should be noted that today the series of crimes decreased to 12 thousand compared to 2017, and in the first six months of this year, no crime was committed in about 50% of the existing 9,251 makhallas.
Certainly, it shows the positive effect of our reforms and requires a consistent continuation of our work.
Dear participants of the ceremony!
As you are well aware, from the early days of our country’s renewal we have been pursuing an open, pragmatic and practical foreign policy.
In the past short period, the political role and prestige of our country in the region and the world has increased dramatically.
The principles of cooperation and the spirit of trust to Uzbekistan are strengthening in the world.
First of all, the friendly and good-neighborly relations have been established with the countries of our continent. The borders have been opened, people are reestablishing ties with their relatives and moving freely from one country to another.
The phrase «the Central Asia Spirit» has appeared in world politics. In the international arena, the new initiatives were launched on behalf of the region.
It became a good tradition to hold regular meetings of the Central Asian leaders. At a recent Consultative Meeting in Turkmenistan, the new promising areas of cooperation were identified.
We are all observing with concern the recent events in neighboring country of Afghanistan. We are in favor of a speedy establishment of peace and stability in this country.
We believe that Afghanistan can serve as a bridge in strengthening the connectivity between the Central and South Asian regions.
In our relations with Afghanistan, we stay faithful to the principles of friendship, relations of the good-neighborliness and non-interference in internal affairs.
We believe that it is vital that the transfer of the power in this country is carried out peacefully based on a national accord taking into account the universally recognized norms of international law.
In the past, we have reached the effective contracts and agreements with Russia, China, South Korea, Japan, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and other countries.
The new steps have been taken towards pragmatic cooperation with the United States and the countries of the West.
The relations with international organizations such as the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Commonwealth of Independent States are being continued at a quality new level.
We became a full member of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States in 2019. This has opened the new economic, political and cultural opportunities for our country in the international arena.
In a short period of time Uzbekistan established productive relations with the Eurasian Economic Union as an observer state.
In 2020 our country chaired the Commonwealth of Independent States for the first time.
Despite the fact that this period was a pandemic, the activities of Uzbekistan in this area were successfully organized and praised.
This year we will chair the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. We are carefully preparing for its next year summit.
The effective use of economic diplomacy instruments has a positive effect on the country’s exports and investment flows.
A special attention is paid to the support of our compatriots abroad and effective cooperation with them. They are involved in the socio-economic processes in the country.
As you all know, we have recently established a public fund «Vatandoshlar» (‘Compatriots’), which directly tackle such important tasks.
Along with this, our priority will remain strengthening friendly and cooperative relations with all developed countries, both near and far.
On this joyous day, we wish peace and prosperity to the distinguished ambassadors of foreign countries, the representatives of international organizations, our foreign partners and all the friends of Uzbekistan. In particular, we express our deep respect to the distinguished representatives of the French Senate who are taking part in our ceremony.
As you are well aware, we have an important political event ahead of us. The elections of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan will be held in our country on October 24 this year.
Over the past five years, there have been significant changes in the national electoral legislation of our country.
According to distinguished international experts, the gradual improvement of electoral legislation and the practice of conducting elections have reached a quality new level in the new Uzbekistan.
This presidential election will be held for the first time on the basis of the Electoral Code adopted on June 25, 2019.
This election is a vital political event for all of us, which addresses the crucial questions of the future development of Uzbekistan such as how to build the future of our children, our families, our country.
Therefore, both our multinational people and the world community are looking at this political process with solid interest and attention.
The election is expected to be attended by observers from about 50 countries and dozens of international organizations.
In this regard, I believe that the forthcoming elections will be held on the basis of high democratic criteria and will clearly demonstrate the growing political thinking, social activeness and cultural awareness of people of the new Uzbekistan.
My dear and respected compatriots!
In recent years, we have achieved significant results by working hard to ensure our national interests and the satisfaction of our people.
The main result is that thanks to our reforms, today the spiritual awakening of our society has become irreversible.
No one can stop a spiritually awakened society that consists of PEOPLE WHO are STEPPING confidently into the future by setting major tasks for themselves.
The Almighty God supports and always opens up the way to such a nation.
Today, the minds of millions of our compatriots have changed, and they see themselves as directly involved in the reform process, becoming the active participants in these transformations.
Today, we are one nation and we are moving towards our high goals.
As long as the great power inherited from our ancestors is alive in our bodies and veins, we will certainly build a new Uzbekistan, which is our noble dream and goal. Uzbekistan will become a prosperous and peaceful, free democratic country in all aspects.
I am glad to see you, dear compatriots, regardless of nationality, language and religion, in such a great and honorable ranks – in the ranks of the builders of the new Uzbekistan.
Many more years and centuries will pass. The new generations will be born in our country. Our independence, which has restored our national statehood and created such a big opportunities for us to achieve development and prosperity, will always be the brightest, unforgettable page in the glorious history of our Motherland.
I would like take this opportunity to once again sincerely congratulate you, our esteemed elderly, dear women, courageous young people, and all our people on the Independence Day.
On this joyful event, I bow with love of a son to our hardworking, courageous and generous, tolerant and noble people, the creators of all our achievements.
May long live our nation who brought us up with care and love!
May every family and every person living in our country achieve their noble goals!
May our Independence live forever!
Thank you for your attention!
The text is translated by the Bureau of
Interpreters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
of the Republic of Uzbekistan