September 30, 2014
Local Solutions Produce Global Effect
Real sector of the Uzbek economy has been advancing dynamically. In the first half of 2014 the industrial output exceeded 34.6 trillion soums with 8.1% growth YOY. According to experts, the efforts directed at intensifying the localization in the production of modern competitive finished goods and components out of local feedstock has been one of the main factors on this front. (Currency rates of CB from 30.09.2014 1$= 2367.40 soums)
Current economic realities are increasingly pushing the country towards the development of its own production through localization and import substitution. Dependence on external markets and imported goods amid the global economic uncertainty and geopolitical shocks might come at a reasonable cost for any economy. Therefore, many nations face the challenge to foster an industry that would guarantee national security and independence. Uzbekistan has been moving along this way for more than twenty years. Development of local production facilities and establishment of joint ventures with the world’s leading manufacturers has ensured the production of a diversity of consumer goods and technological equipment.
Meanwhile, progress is a never-ending process. Today, Uzbekistan banks on expanding a cross-sector industrial cooperation, particularly between small businesses and large enterprises, which is vital in terms of creating new jobs and providing employment. The inclusion of 31 new projects in the localization program last month might be a decent example. The initiatives vary and cover a wide range of domestic and foreign markets.
Manufacturing companies are best represented. The JV Andijonkabel projects to increase the annual production of automobile cables with European technologies to 25 thousand kilometers by 2016 with localization level at 85.8%. The Tashkent Radio Engineering Plant Zenith Electronics plans to increase the level of localization of semi-automatic washing machines to 52.6%, and automatic machines up to 39.3%.
Uzbek companies have been actively involved in the process of introduction of energy-efficient technologies and innovations. The JV Mir Solar is going to manufacture 900 solar systems of hot water supply (64% localization) and combined photovoltaic stations KFS with the total capacity of 300 thousand Watts (65% localization) later this year. Another joint venture, Nur Invest Texnologiya, is scheduling to launch the production of modern energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs and bring the annual capacity to seven million items.
Another interesting initiative is proposed by the company O’zfant: it is expected to establish the manufacture of technical whole color fabric with high waterproof and fireproof impregnation, and its derivatives. The annual capacity is estimated at about 660 thousand square meters of fabric chiefly out of the local feedstock.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
elections to the oliy majlis of the republic of uzbekistan and local Kengashes of people’s deputies
Political Parties and Elections
An international roundtable discussion in Tashkent has addressed the topic “Political parties and elections: international practice and the experience of Uzbekistan.”
The event was organized by the Independent Institute for Monitoring the Formation of Civil Society and the Central Election Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and was attended by specialists of the sphere from Uzbekistan, United States, Germany, South Korea, France, as well as experts from a number of international organizations, including OSCE, UNESCO, the National Democratic Institute (USA), the Friedrich Ebert Foundation (Germany), along with deputies of the Legislative Chamber of Uzbekistan’s Oliy Majlis, members of the Central Election Commission, representatives of research and education institutions, political parties, public organizations and mass media.
Participants of the panel discussion stated that wide-ranging reforms have been in progress under the leadership of President Islam Karimov across all walks of life, including the electoral system. Publicity is being ensured in the work of electoral commissions during the preparations for and conduct of elections.
In accordance with the Funding Political Parties Act, a political party is entitled for government resources to fund its authorized activities in the case it has received a necessary quantity of deputy seats as a result of elections to the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis to form a fraction (parliamentary group) of a political party in the lower house. In line with laws on Elections to the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Elections to Regional, District and Municipal Kengashes of People’s Deputies, political parties have a right to nominate one observer each to take part in all events within the preparations for and conduct of elections as well as in the rooms for voting on the day of elections and during ballot count.
These documents have consolidated the multiparty system of the country and created a foundation for the enhancement of participation of political parties in the work of the parliament and other representative bodies of local government, and in making decisions important for the development of the country. Currently, fractions of four political parties as well as a parliamentary group from the Ecological Movement of Uzbekistan are working in the national parliament.
The forthcoming elections in Uzbekistan are to be held in novel conditions and environment created in accordance with the principles of advanced democratic country and civil society. Thorough preparations have been undertaken in the nation to this important process.
The Concept of Intensification of Democratic Reforms and Formation of Civil Society in the Country outlined by the head of our state serves as a beginning of a new stage in the perfection of nation building, legal-normative system and electoral legislation. Triggered by the Concept, the amendments introduced to the electoral law facilitate the further improvement of mechanisms in the liberalization of electoral processes, in securing their openness, and the free and independent expression of will of citizens.
The adoption of the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan on the Introduction of Amendments and Addenda to the Laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Elections to the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan and Elections to Regional, District and Municipal Kengashes of People’s Deputies to Further Provide for a Freedom of Choice and the Evolution of the Electoral Legislation, has bolstered the effectiveness of mechanisms in providing the candidates for deputies and political parties with equal conditions and opportunities for the election campaign. The legislative fixation of norms of free expression of will by citizens, of securing the openness of the activities of electoral commissions, of thwarting violations of the electoral law has cemented the guarantees of electoral rights to a greater extent.
During the roundtable discussion, international experts drew a special attention to the fact that the guarantees of citizen electoral rights envisaged in the national electoral legislation of Uzbekistan comply completely with the universal provisions of international law. The actions dedicated to refine the electoral system in line with the Concept received a high acknowledgement. It was stressed also that the conduct of elections on the basis of multiparty system allows for the elevation of socio-political activity of citizens and their role in public and state administration.
As Erica Breth, director of America’s National Democratic Institute office in Uzbekistan, has suggested, democracy is unimaginable without political parties. In her opinion, the availability of a multiparty system implies the pluralism of views. That is one of the most critical and principal conditions of democracy.
It was underscored at the panel discussion that as a result of the emphasis placed in the country to the development and consolidation of the multiparty system, the role and effectiveness of political parties has been enhancing in addressing critical issues of national importance. It was noted that political parties, building on Uzbekistan’s legislative base, are becoming an effective force in the process of cardinal reforms in the society.
According to Emmanuel Dupuy, President of the Institute for Prospective and Security in Europe, noteworthy is the uplifted role of women in the activities of political parties of Uzbekistan with the purpose of expanding their participation in nation building. Securing a 30-percent quota for women in Uzbekistan for the nomination of deputies from political parties facilitates growth in their socio-political activity.
Participants of the panel discussion exchanged views on issues related to the development of competition among political parties and the provision for their active participation in the life of the society. They also got familiar with systemic reforms carried out in Uzbekistan to further refine the electoral legislation and expand the involvement of political parties in the electoral process. The forum contributors were introduced also to the extent of employment of information-communication technologies in the election campaign and the expertise of civil society institutions in the preparations for and conduct of elections.
The occasion served as a platform to inquire into the experience of participation by Uzbekistan’s political parties in elections to representative bodies of local government. Studies carried out by the Independent Institute for Monitoring the Formation of Civil Society suggested that inter-party competition has been mounting throughout all the phases of elections.
Professor Jun Young Choi of the department of political science and international relations at the Inha University of the Republic of Korea said crucial in the activities of political parties of Uzbekistan is that each one of them has been expanding with a growing number of members and supporters and thus actively engaging in the activities of representative bodies of government.
Forum participants discussed the reports on the peculiarities of activities of Uzbekistan’s political parties, their place and role in the democratization and modernization of society, on the universally recognized principles and norms pertinent to the participation of political parties in elections to legislatures, on the expertise of advanced democratic nations on this front, and the efforts underway toward the creation of equal opportunities in elections for political parties.
President Signs Resolution on Celebration of Qurbon Hayit
President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov signed a resolution on 26 September on celebrating Qurbon Hayit (Eid al-Adha) holiday.
Taking into consideration of the Muslims’ Board of Uzbekistan, the first day of Eid al-Adha, 4 October 2014, is announced as a day-off and will be marked as a holiday in Uzbekistan.
The resolution states that the sacred Eid al-Adha holiday has a great importance in the spiritual life of our people and in preserving the national and spiritual values.
Nuroniy and Mahalla funds, as well as Kamolot youth movement and other agencies and public organizations have been entrusted with organizing the events related to Eid al-Adha in all regions of the country on a high level and in accordance with national values of the Uzbek people, while the National TV and radio company of Uzbekistan, Uzbekistan national news agency and other mass media are recommended to widely report on celebrations.
Address by the Minister of foreign affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan A.Kamilov at the General Debates of the 69th session of the UN General Assembly
Dear Mr. Chairman!
Distinguished heads of delegations,
Ladies and gentlemen!
I would like to speak about some most important issues on the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly.
First, the growing regional and international security challenges and threats, escalating conflicts and wars, aggravation of geopolitical confrontation between the large «centers of power» capable to lead to the new spots of tension in the world and exacerbate addressing the ongoing global financial-economic crisis now raise a serious alarm and deep concern.
Uzbekistan firmly believes that tackling any acute contradictions and confrontations is possible only by political way and peaceful means given strict observance of fundamental principles of international law enshrined in the United Nations Charter.
The persisting instability in Afghanistan which exhibits a tendency to further escalate poses a serious threat to stability and security of Central Asia and greater region. In the unfolding situation the accelerated drawdown of the International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) may turn to be counterproductive, and this can yet more complicate the state of affairs in Afghanistan.
Today one can say with confidence that all interested parties in resolving the Afghan problem are unanimous in one opinion – there is no military way to achieve peace in Afghanistan. President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov stated about this yet in 2008 at the NATO Summit in Bucharest and in 2010 – at the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Summit.
The presidential elections in Afghanistan this year have vividly demonstrated that the Afghan people are tired of bloodshed and violence, long standing misery and devastation, and today they wish peace and stability, and enjoy a right to define their fate on their own.
The only reasonable way to tackle the Afghan problem is to search for a political settlement of the conflict through peaceful negotiations and achieving consensus, establishing a coalition government in which there would be represented all confronting parties, national and religious groups of Afghanistan.
Uzbekistan adheres to the policy of non-interference in internal affairs of Afghanistan. Uzbekistan builds and will develop the stable and friendly relations with Afghanistan proceeding from the national interests of both countries and exclusively on bilateral basis rendering support to the very government which the Afghan people will elect on their own.
Second, in the conditions of ongoing global financial-economic crisis, transport and communication development and strengthening of regional economic cooperation are one of the key conditions to ensure stability and sustainable development of Central Asia.
The implementation of large infrastructure projects in the transport and communication sphere which connect our region with global markets will promote the interregional trade and economic cooperation, attraction of investments, development of social and industrial infrastructure, as well as steady progress of neighboring regions.
Firstly, we speak about such projects as the International transport corridor «Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran-Oman» which will link the countries of Central Asia with Middle East through the shortest, reliable and secure route.
Uzbekistan’s assistance to construction of the railroad route «Khairaton-Mazaree-Sharif» – the first and so far the only functioning railroad linking Afghanistan with external world – became historically landmark event.
Third, today when the states of Central Asia, as much as many other countries of the world, are experiencing the growing shortage of water resources the fair and reasonable use of water resources of transboundary rivers of Amudarya and Syrdarya becomes an extremely important for the life support and well-being of the population of Central Asia.
Uzbekistan firmly adheres to the principle position that the issues of reasonable use of water resources of transboundary rivers of Central Asia must be resolved in line with universally recognized norms of international law and in the framework of relevant UN conventions on the use of international watercourses which clearly define the principles of preventing damage to the environment and interests of neighboring countries.
We believe it is unacceptable that certain countries of the region promote the projects of construction of large hydropower stations with gigantic dams without conducting an international, truly independent, unprejudiced and professional expert examination.
The implementation of such projects without a thorough analysis of the entire spectrum of their repercussions may disturb the natural flow of transboundary rivers creating a threat to the water, food and environmental safety of Central Asia. It may lead to the growth of tension and conflict potential in the region. The construction of such grandiose hydro-technical facilities in a high-mountain and highly seismic zone with a possibility of earthquakes of 9 and higher magnitude may create a threat of devastating man-made catastrophe.
I would like to underscore that in the conditions of aggravating ecologic problems the growing number of countries in the world refuse the construction of gigantic dams and opt for small and medium-size hydropower stations which do not cause damage to the environment, safety or social-economic well-being of the population.
Fourth, a dynamic development of the economy and modernization of all spheres of the country’s life allow Uzbekistan to ensure implementation of the UN Millennium Development Goals ahead of schedule.
For over the years of independence Uzbekistan’s economy grew almost five-fold and per capita income increased 8,7 times. This testifies to the growth of the level and quality of life. During the last ten years Uzbekistan’s annual GDP growth has been exceeding 8 percent. By 2030 we intend to increase the per capita GDP to 9,3 thousand dollars.
About 60 percent of state expenditures are channeled to funding the sphere of social development, of which over 34,3 percent – go to education. The coverage of school-age children with secondary schools makes up almost 100 percent.
The share of women in the employment structure grew to 45,4 percent. The tangible successes are achieved in the sphere of improving the health of mother and child: the mortality rate among children below 5 years of age decreased 1,8 times and maternal mortality rate – 1,6 times.
Uzbekistan will further put all efforts to sooner achieve all intended plans in implementing the MDG and will continue carrying out the large-scale programs in terms of the post-2015 development.
Thank you for your attention.
(Source: Press Service of the MFA of the Republic of Uzbekistan)
Jubilee on the Horizon
The Bobur Music and Drama Theater in Andijon has opened the 95th season with a play based on Utkir Hoshimov’s work ‘To’ylar Muborak’ (Happy Wedding Day) on the old customs in modern weddings.
Often, parents for all their life save money on wedding of their children. After spending all the savings in one day, they remain in debt. This story encourages viewers to be natural and not strive to look better in the eyes of others. Love wins over greed, and the main female character decides to marry her daughter if not to a rich young man, but for a loved one.
The theater now begins preparation for its 100th jubilee. The facade of the building has been reconstructed. And the musical fountain brings together locals every evening. The theater schedules to overhaul the hall and the stage. New performances are included in the repertoire.
This year, the theater will delight the audience with two premiere performances.
Recently the premiere of a children’s play ‘Hunardan Zar Unar’ (Craft Is Gold). This musical tale is about a good, but a little stupid king who can not marry his capricious and spoilt daughter. Wise astrologer predicts her that she falls in love with an ordinary artisan, who is engaged in carpet weaving. And so it happened. He wins the hearts of all, including the king, with his brilliant products.
Princess falls in love with him, and they marry. This tale teaches children to be diligent.
“The director of the Muqimiy State Theater of Music Bahodir Nazarov staged in our theater a play ‘Aqldan Ozish Hech Gap Emas’ (It Is Easy to Go Mad), which encourages people to be kinder to each other,” says the director of the theater Sochkhon Mirzakarimova.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
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