Dear fellow citizens!
I sincerely congratulate you, all our multiethnic people, on the twenty-ninth anniversary of the state independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan!
These exciting moments I express my deep respect to our esteemed veterans, our dear women and youth, to all compatriots who are watching this festive ceremony in local studios, listening to my speech at home, on television.
As you know, this year, we have been unable to celebrate the Independence Day as widely as always – with extensive celebrations and festivities – due to the pandemic.
Taking care of the health of our people, we hold celebratory events in a narrower format, online. But, as before, our artistic masters have prepared wide-ranging show programs for this important date, to be broadcast on many television channels.
To be sure, the spirit of this greatest and most sacred holiday for all of us is present in our homes, families, and is filling our souls and hearts with joy.
The history of mankind is suggestive of the fact that only a free people is the master of its own destiny, has the right and opportunity to build a sovereign, independent state. Freedom will hardly be granted by fiat, it has to be fought for, asserted our great ancestors, the Jadids, who sacrificed their lives for this cherished goal.
Uzbekistan’s achievement of state independence with the great courage and steadfastness of our people under the leadership of the First President Islam Abduganievich Karimov became an event of exceptional significance that made the centuries-old dream come true.
No matter how troubling and harsh times we had to go through, no matter what successes and triumphs we achieved, the idea of independence and the spirit of freedom were always a solid backbone for us.
And today we have the right to proudly declare that we have overcome all trials with dignity thanks to the foresight, solidarity and selfless effort of our people.
Undoubtedly, the Day of Independence that revived our dignity, pride and honor, national statehood, returned our sacred religion to us will forever remain the brightest page in the glorious history of our Motherland.
Today, the expression “New Uzbekistan” is used more and more often all over the world when referring to our country. This is a recognition that over the past years we have broken through a completely new stage of development and achieved significant success on this path.
In this regard, one can say that today, when the great potential of our people is being fully realized, the foundation for a new era of the reawakening – the Third Renaissance is being laid in Uzbekistan. After all, the contemporary Uzbekistan is barely that of yesterday. And our people are no longer what they used to be in the recent past.
When we appreciate the thorny but glorious path overcome throughout independence years, our confidence in the future, in our own strengths and capabilities increases even more. The decisive factor for this is reforms across spheres and sectors, spearheaded on the basis of the Action Strategy for the Development of Uzbekistan.
In our life, the mobilizing idea “From national revival to national progress” is becoming more firmly established from day to another. It is on this foundation that we are taking important steps to radically improve the life of the people, ensure human rights and freedoms, the rule of law and social justice, and promote innovative development.
Our people themselves become the initiator and creator of all positive changes. Citizens of our country, wherever they are, feel that they are under the protection of the state, sense the power of law and justice.
Today it is becoming more and more obvious that the new system formed in Uzbekistan fully justifies itself in the current alarming situation, when various challenges and threats are growing in the world, as are clashes of interests.
As you know, we drew up extensive plans and tasks for 2020 at the dawn of this year. However, the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing global economic crisis, the natural disasters and man-made ones in the Bukhara and Syrdarya regions came to be a serious test for us. Our people, tempered by life itself, are becoming even stronger and more united in these intricate days, showing their inherent endurance, mercy and diligence.
In the current difficult situation, it is vital that we effectively solve two important, extremely urgent tasks at once. In the meantime, we are addressing issues of protecting the health and life of the population and restoring the economy, delivering conditions for people to work and earn for living.
Faced with the pandemic, our nation has become a truly powerful force, which was once again clearly demonstrated by the nationwide movement “Compassion and Support”. This noble initiative has united business people and entrepreneurs, our selfless youth, all fellow citizens.
Here I would like to quote the words of the great Alisher Navoi, which today acquire an even deeper meaning:
O man! Support those who are nearby, be a protection,
Be of use to people, get blessed by the nation.
Indeed, the time requires every one of us to be useful to the people by our good deeds, generosity, mercy.
The coronavirus pandemic has come to be a serious trial and a tremendous experience school for the national healthcare system.
Over the past six months, we have done an unprecedented job in the fight against this dangerous disease. In particular, many new hospitals and quarantine zones have been commissioned. A large number of additional medical equipment and ambulances were purchased. Taking into account the best foreign practices and our own experience, the methods of treatment are being improved. Our attention is constantly focused on the worthy stimulation of the selfless work of medical workers who have been steadfast in combating the coronavirus round the clock. As a result of all this work, thousands of patients are recovering and getting back to their families.
We did a lot to return and support our compatriots who went abroad to work and study but found themselves in a difficult situation because of the pandemic. These efforts will continue.
No one should forget: no matter how tough it is, no matter how much money and effort required, not a single citizen of Uzbekistan will be left to fend for themselves.
As you know, representatives of two professions take an oath of allegiance to their duty: servicemen and women who defend the native land, and doctors who take responsibility for human health. Today, life itself proves that this is no accident. In the current hard situation, our doctors remain faithful to their sacred oath and work heroically, not sparing their lives.
Our people and state will never forget your steadfastness, your feat.
Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, the coronavirus infection has claimed the lives of many of our compatriots. For us, these are heavy, irreparable losses. Those who have passed away are close to our hearts like family members.
I express my deep condolences to our fellow citizens who have lost their loved ones, and I ask the Almighty to give them patience and strength.
As the popular wisdom goes, life is like a river, and thus it does not stand still. This truth is confirmed by the remarkable deeds we have embarked on in this challenging situation.
Such reputable financial institutions as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund note that Uzbekistan is one of the few countries who succeeded to thwart economic decline, and predict significant growth in the coming years. This is undoubtedly the result of the timely measures we have taken.
Amid lockdown restrictions, we have been consistent in promoting large-scale work to develop industry and agriculture, and create modern production facilities.
We have managed to preserve the sources of income and the standard of living for the majority of the population. As a result of the introduction of shutdown restrictions, 16.7 thousand of the 72.5 thousand industrial enterprises suspended their activities. Thanks to systemic efforts, production has been resumed at 16.6 thousand enterprises.
We are fulfilling our plans to ensure access of domestic products to world markets. This is confirmed by the fact that since the start of the year, the volume of exports has amounted to $ 9 billion.
I would like to draw your attention to one more statistics. This year, projects worth $ 11 billion will be implemented in the industrial sector alone.
Speaking of such major projects, the new Tashkent Metallurgical Plant is worth special mention. Equipped with cutting-edge and environmentally friendly technologies from Germany and Italy, the enterprise will produce 500 thousand tons of rolled metal a year.
Mills with a capacity of 500 thousand tons of nitric acid and 100 thousand tons of polyvinyl chloride per year were put into operation at the Navoiazot JSC. By the end of the year, additional factories will be launched here to annually produce 660 thousand tons of ammonia and 577 thousand tons of carbamide. The plant under construction, Uzbekistan GTL, is organizing the release of 1.5 million tons of synthetic fuel a year based on methane produced at the Shurtan Gas Chemical Complex.
Projects are in progress to triple the production of non-ferrous and precious metals at the Almalyk Mining and Metallurgical Combine, as well as dozens of other major projects in the oil, chemical, electrical engineering, construction materials, pharmaceutical, textile, leather and footwear and other industries.
As a result of such extensive reforms in the economic sphere, our international foreign exchange reserves have grown by almost $ 5.5 billion to reach $ 34 billion today. Undoubtedly, this is our great achievement.
Agriculture is instrumental in ensuring sustainable growth in the country’s economy. In order to modernize this area, projects worth $ 1.2 billion are being implemented with the help of international financial organizations. In particular, the World Bank assigned funds in the amount of $ 500 million to create modern agricultural service centers in each region of Uzbekistan.
In recent years, for the first time, we have directed such huge financial resources to the development of agriculture.
This year, our skilled dehkans and farmers, selflessly working in difficult conditions, have grown a grain harvest of almost 6.5 million tons. Significant outcomes are also secured in animal husbandry and poultry farming, gardening, vegetable and melon growing.
I express my sincere gratitude to hardworking dehkans and farmers, workers of cluster farms, all toilers of the fields – the creators of our prosperity and wellbeing.
Particular importance is attached in our country to the development of private entrepreneurship and small business. As you know, during the pandemic, in order to support and ensure the continuity of the activities of entrepreneurs, they were provided with various benefits and preferences.
This year, over 4 trillion soums will be allocated for the realization of the Every Family Entrepreneur program.
I am convinced that thanks to such systemic endeavors, we will ensure the smooth operation of production facilities and the stability of the national economy through to the end of the year.
New enterprises and residential buildings, roads and bridges, infrastructure, education, science, healthcare, culture and sports facilities are being built today in our country, which has turned into a huge construction site. Currently, in the social sphere alone, about 2.4 thousand objects are constructed at an accelerated pace.
New over- and underground lines of the Tashkent Metro, put into operation just yesterday, as well as splendid complexes such as Victory Park and Writers Square in the capital city, modern buildings and edifices erected in all regions are vividly indicative of the great creative potential of our people.
As you know, the main goal of our national independence is to ensure in practice the priority of life, rights and interests, honor and dignity of every person in the country.
Continuing this work, guided by the principle of social justice, we raised the poverty reduction and support for the population in need of assistance to the level of state policy. In particular, the number of those receiving social benefits has grown almost 1.5 times. By the end of the year, their number will increase from 774 thousand to 1.2 million. 12.5 trillion soums have been allocated from the national budget to support this category of citizens and restore the economy.
Recently, we shaped a system of social protection, material assistance and identification of families in need through home-to-home study. In total, 417 billion soums have been allocated for material assistance. Also in September, sets of clothes, school uniforms and educational supplies to children from families in need of support and who have lost their breadwinner, as well as children with disabilities will receive material assistance in the amount of about 426 billion soums.
Uzbekistan has never seen such a large-scale work in the social sphere.
Quite naturally, today, on this glorious holiday, we talk about our work on the comprehensive development of the young generation – the future of our independent Motherland.
Over the past four years, 43 new higher educational institutions were opened in the country, and their total number reached 121. This year, about 1.5 million young people applied for admission to universities, which is 40 percent more than last year.
These figures, above all, testify to the high hopes and firm confidence of young men and women and their parents in the future, in the future of their native country.
Soon, these young people will have to pass entrance tests. Let’s wish them good luck and success!
Significant changes are also taking place in the system of preschool education and general education, which play a key role in upbringing the younger generation. We are consistently continuing our work on the construction of Presidential, creative and specialized schools, the introduction of Modern School program.
Agency for Youth Affairs and the Interagency Council for Youth Issues have been established in our country. Youth parliaments were set up under both houses of the Oliy Majlis, as was the Youth Academy under the Ministry of Innovation Development. “Project Factories” started operating in the regions.
Within the framework of the Youth Is Our Future program, about 1.7 trillion soums of soft loans have been allocated for the implementation of more than 8 thousand business projects of young men and women.
Our main purpose will continue to be the delivery of all conditions for the young generation to realize their talents and abilities, noble aspirations, to boost their social activity, and have them take a well-deserved place in life.
We also continue our work to protect the institution of family, as well as motherhood and childhood, the rights and interests of women, improve their working and living conditions, and ensure gender equality.
As you may know, this year we introduced a new system to expand access to higher education for girls from low-income families. Thus, in the new academic year, they were allocated an additional 940 seats for studying in full-time departments of universities on government fellowships.
We all see how tough competition is becoming today around the world. In such a rapidly changing competitive environment, only the widespread introduction of the achievements of modern science and innovation will allow us to adequately respond to this challenge. This strategic task is becoming a priority area of our activity.
In recent years, scientists of Uzbekistan have made progress in a number of branches of fundamental science and the application of their achievements to life. In particular, important practical results are seen in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, pharmaceuticals, geology, seismology and other fields. Our work in the development of mathematics, chemistry, biology and the teaching of these disciplines is reaching a new level.
I think the international Muhammad al-Khorezmi Prize, which we have established, will be another important factor in stimulating young talents in mathematics.
It is known that any independent state can achieve high development only if it has strong ethical foundations.
To this end, within the framework of the Concept of Continuous Ethical Education, we are introducing the discipline Ethical Upbringing into the curricula of general education schools for the first time.
The most critical direction in this area remains the development of the Uzbek language – a symbol of our national statehood and consciousness. This year, on October 21, we will widely celebrate the Uzbek Language Day.
Recently, a number of decrees and resolutions have been adopted to raise the development of our national culture and arts to a new level.
Special emphasis is also placed on the advancement of spiritual education and enlightenment, including in the field of religion.
The construction of the Center for Islamic Civilization continues at an accelerated pace. This unique complex will reflect the enormous contribution that our people have made to the development of world civilization. As a continuation of this noble effort, we recently began to establish the Imam Maturidi Research Center.
A lot of work is undertaken in our country to ensure human rights and freedoms.
The practical results achieved in the judicial system of Uzbekistan were recognized at the session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. This became an objective assessment of our efforts on this front.
For the first time, the National Strategy of the Republic of Uzbekistan on Human Rights has been adopted.
This August, the Samarkand web forum took place on topical issues of protecting the rights of youth. It proved important in building up global cooperation to improve the lives of young people, not only in our country, but also around the world.
Significant efforts are undertaken to further improve the judicial and legal system, liberalize criminal legislation, return people who have gone astray to normal life.
The institution of pardoning persons serving sentences for crimes, widely used of late, is a practical expression of mercy and humanism inherent in our people. As a logical continuation of this work, on the eve of the Independence Day, I signed another decree. In accordance with it, 73 people who sincerely repented of their deeds and firmly embarked on the path of correction were released from penitentiary establishments and returned to their loved ones. The terms of serving sentences were also reduced for 40 persons.
Significant steps have been taken to restore citizenship, which is an essential condition for the observance of human rights. More than 50 thousand people who have lived in the country for many years, but did not have citizenship of the Republic of Uzbekistan, have received this long-awaited status.
Our country is waging a large-scale fight against corruption – a disgusting phenomenon that causes great harm to development. In this regard, the creation of a new body – the Anti-Corruption Agency – testifies to the relevance and our constant attention to this issue.
I would like to emphasize once again that the work we have begun to liberalize all spheres and even deeper affirm the principles of freedom of speech and the press, openness and transparency in life, and establish effective public control over the activities of government bodies became irreversible.
The current grim situation notwithstanding, as you may know, we are fulfilling all our international obligations and agreements. We are actively developing mutually advantageous cooperation with our foreign partners.
Taking this opportunity, on behalf of our people, I express my sincere gratitude to the United Nations, the World Health Organization, as well as China, Russia, the United States, Turkey, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, Japan and other partner countries for their practical assistance in combating coronavirus.
We are grateful to the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and other organizations for supporting joint programs and projects, as well as assistance in mitigating the impact of the pandemic.
I wish the peoples of all countries of the near and far abroad, our friends and partners, who congratulate us on the Independence Day with wishes of peace, wellbeing and prosperity.
The current difficult circumstances require each of us to be even more active and responsible.
Our people have a wise saying: Eyes are upset [in front of great deeds], but hands are brave. In the present conditions, our eyes, our hands, and our hearts must be bold and courageous. If we work decisively and hard with good intentions, we will certainly achieve our goals.
As sacred books suggest, every hardship will bring relief.
We all hope that together we will celebrate many more national holidays, including Navruz and Eid holidays, and important historical dates.
The 30th anniversary of the independence of our Motherland will be marked next year. We intend to celebrate this glorious date in the history of the country widely and with dignity.
Recently, on the eve of this holiday, a bulky group of our compatriots selflessly working in various fields and industries were granted high state awards – honorary titles, orders and medals. I cordially congratulate all of them and wish new triumphs in life and activities for the benefit of society.
I take this opportunity to once again express my sincere gratitude to workers and employees, builders and entrepreneurs, farmers and dehkans, our youth, all who, deeply aware of their human duty and civic responsibility, generously work towards the consolidation of our independence.
I sincerely thank our esteemed deputies and senators, government officials and mahalla activists, military servicemen and women, scientists and artists, veterans, representatives of the general public and the media for their dedicated service to the interests of the nation.
I firmly believe in the wisdom and determination of our people characterized by remarkable human qualities, resilience and solidarity, real courage especially vividly manifest these challenging days.
With a feeling of filial love and devotion, I bow deeply to our noble, heroic people.
Once again, I sincerely congratulate you on the twenty-ninth anniversary of the state independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
I wish you all health, happiness and good luck!
May peace and harmony always reign in our beautiful country, the life of our people be happy and prosperous!
May the Almighty protect us from all adversity!
May our independence be perpetual!