The Legal Framework of the Modern Foreign Policy of New Uzbekistan is Developing

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The admission of the Republic of Uzbekistan to membership in the United Nations on March 2, 1992, defined the status of the country as an equal subject of international law.

This has been stated by the Head of the Treaty and Law Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan Komil Rashidov, in an analytical article “The Legal Framework of the Modern Foreign Policy of New Uzbekistan is Developing”, reports “Dunyo” IA correspondent.

«The admission of the Republic of Uzbekistan to membership in the United Nations on March 2, 1992, defined the status of our country as an equal subject of international law. This international status has laid a solid foundation for the independent implementation of the fundamental principles of the foreign policy of Uzbekistan set out in the Constitution.

In particular, Uzbekistan has recognized the independence of many sovereign states in the international arena. Previously, this process was carried out based on resolutions of the Oliy Majlis. After the accession of Uzbekistan to the UN and the adoption of the Constitution on December 8, 1992, establishing diplomatic relations with foreign countries began to be approved by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. To date, Uzbekistan has established diplomatic relations with 137 countries.

Over the years of its independence, Uzbekistan, as a full-fledged actor of international relations, has formed a legal framework for mutually beneficial cooperation with foreign partners and develops it in the areas of mutual interest. Thus, being the main sources of international law, international treaties constitute the legal basis of interstate relations and serve as a guarantee of the stability of the obligations of the states.

Uzbekistan concluded bilateral international agreements with many countries, as well as ratified universal conventions of the UN and other international organizations by the resolutions of the Oliy Majlis and the President. On this basis, the universally recognized norms and principles of international law have been strengthened in the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, namely in its foreign policy chapter and constitutional powers of the Oliy Majlis and the President in foreign-policy activities.

The first legal act regulating the sphere of international treaties in Uzbekistan was the Law adopted on May 7, 1993, which established the procedure for concluding and denouncing international loan and guarantee agreements between the Republic of Uzbekistan and international financial institutions.

Then, on December 22, 1995, the Law “On International Treaties of the Republic of Uzbekistan” was adopted.

As part of ensuring the implementation of this Law, several resolutions of the Cabinet of Ministers were passed.

However, previous legislation on international treaties of the Republic of Uzbekistan did not specify the subject of legal and other expertise of international treaties, lacked an effective mechanism to ensure the fulfillment of international agreements and monitor this process, and did not pay proper attention to the inventory of legal instruments.

Taking into account the legal regulation of these issues and the experience accumulated in the treaty practice of independent Uzbekistan, on February 6, 2019, a new Law “On International Treaties of the Republic of Uzbekistan” was adopted.

This document was developed within the scope of the Strategy of Actions for Further Development of the country, approved by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the main purpose of which was to form the legal framework of foreign policy in accordance with comprehensive socio-economic reforms.

To ensure the “direct application” of the Law, 5 existing legislative acts – 2 laws and 3 by-laws – were merged into this Law.

The new Law represents an implementation act of the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, to which 116 countries are parties.

The Law “On Approval of the Concept of Foreign Policy of the Republic of Uzbekistan” adopted on September 10, 2012, defines the main fundamental principles of the country’s foreign policy, strategic priorities for cooperation with foreign countries and international organizations.

The Concept of Foreign Policy of Uzbekistan identifies the strengthening and improvement of the legal framework of international cooperation, the conclusion of bilateral and multilateral agreements as one of the political and diplomatic tools of a unified state policy.

Foreign policy activities of Uzbekistan aimed at further strengthening and expanding relations with near and far abroad based on the National Action Strategy on Five Priority Development Areas for 2017-2021 are recognized by the world community and supported in the international arena. In particular, 4 special resolutions of the UN General Assembly were adopted on the initiatives of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev on addressing regional and global problems.

Today, the range of international legal documents of the country is significantly expanding and their number is growing from year to year.

Treaties of the Republic of Uzbekistan consist of more than 4,200 documents, about 500 of which are universal and regional international treaties. More than 3,700 are bilateral international documents.

In particular, over the past five years, 781 international documents have been signed with foreign partners, and Uzbekistan has become a member of 26 universal international treaties.

These international agreements are mainly aimed at stimulating and mutual protection of investments, trade-economic, military-technical, financial, cultural-humanitarian, scientific-technical cooperation, taxation, labor, transport, energy, environmental protection, legal assistance and fighting against crime.

In this regard, it should be noted that the strategic partnership of our country with neighboring and other partner countries is regulated by bilateral documents.

In particular, in recent years, relations with Turkmenistan (2017), Kyrgyzstan (2017), Turkey (2017), Tajikistan (2018), Hungary (2021), Pakistan (2021) have risen to the level of strategic partnership, as for the United States, Japan, Azerbaijan, Russia, South Korea, India, China and Kazakhstan, international documents serve as a legal basis for further strengthening of the existing strategic relations.

In the first years of independence, the main emphasis in this area was placed on the further improvement of legal cooperation and active participation in the creation of international norms aimed at solving the tasks set in the “National Actions Strategy” and “Programs of the Year”.

Over the past period, the introduction of a two-tier system of consideration of international agreements with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in accordance with the Law “On International Treaties of the Republic of Uzbekistan” has become a very relevant and important practice.

In particular, for the first time in the legislation, the study of the practical significance of international agreements, the establishment of rules for the legal, economic, linguistic and other types of expertise of their texts, serves to increase the demand for their quality.

Moreover, the Law clarifies the legal status of international acts (declaration, joint statement, memorandum of understanding, etc.) and simplifies the procedure for their conclusion.

These types of documents allow ensuring efficiency and flexibility in the current conditions of intensification of international relations, to reach preliminary agreements with foreign countries without delay.

In the context of the new foreign policy of our country, the practice of adopting “Road Maps” approved by the President and the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan on planning and signing international agreements and the implementation of international agreements have become common. This, in turn, contributes to a thorough study of draft documents and accession to international treaties at the expert level, ensuring the implementation and enforcement of international treaties in national legislation, strengthening cooperation between the competent authorities on these issues.

The use of modern information technologies and their effective application has become a necessity of the time, especially in the context of a pandemic. In particular, the practice of online negotiations with foreign partners on draft international agreements and documents as well as signing documents through diplomatic channels has become widespread. In addition, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regularly provides information on social networks to raise public awareness of the signed and entered into force international agreements.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the Ministry for Development of Information Technologies and Communications is introducing modern information technologies to improve the work on accounting, inventory and monitoring of international agreements. In particular, an electronic database of uniform accounting, inventory and monitoring of international agreements of the Republic of Uzbekistan is to be launched.

The launch of this electronic database will not only coordinate and improve the interaction between ministries and departments on the implementation of international agreements, but will also contribute to the creation of an efficient, convenient and citizen-oriented system of public services, and will also provide the public with full information on bilateral and multilateral international agreements.

In recent years, strengthening of the international institutional cooperation has been a priority for our country, in particular, multilateral relations within the UN and its specialized agencies, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States and other international organizations.

Uzbekistan has become a party to multilateral international treaties in the fields of transport and logistics, intellectual property law, labor law, environmental protection, legal assistance, culture, adopted within these international institutions. In particular, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the World Intellectual Property Organization Copyright Treaty, the International Labor Organization Convention No. 144 on Tripartite Consultations (International Labour Standards), the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants, the International Plant Protection Convention, UNESCO Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, the Istanbul Convention on Temporary Admission, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, etc.

In 2019, Uzbekistan acceded to the Nakhichevan Agreement on the Establishment of the Cooperation Council of Turkic-Speaking States to further expand relations with Turkic-speaking countries and deepen integration with them and became a member of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States.

On March 4, 2020, Uzbekistan became a full-fledged member of the Hague Conference on Private International Law.

The organization, which includes 88 countries and the European Union, deals with the unification of private international law. Uzbekistan’s membership in this organization will serve to ensure the participation of our country in the process of unification of international civil, family and private law, as well as the reflection of our national interests in future international documents.

In the Address of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev to the Oliy Majlis (December 29, 2020) outlined a task on the revision of the Concept of Foreign Policy of the Republic of Uzbekistan, taking into account the open, pragmatic and practical foreign policy of our state and our long-term strategic goals.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has developed a new draft of the Concept of the foreign policy of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Currently, its edition is under consideration by the competent state authorities.

It should be noted that in the process of revision of the Concept, the fundamental and constitutional principles of the country’s foreign policy, the inviolability of the basic principles enshrined in the Defense Doctrine of the Republic of Uzbekistan as well as the Actions Strategy were emphasized.

In conclusion, it is noteworthy that the Actions Strategy and its manifestation in the foreign policy of New Uzbekistan are approved by our people and widely recognized by the international community, especially by the United Nations».

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