His­toric Visit in the In­ter­ests of Uzbek­istan

Uzbekistan Today (English) - - FRONT PAGE - Igor Saneyev

The visit of the Pres­i­dent of our coun­try Shavkat Mirziy­oyev to the United States, his speech at the 72nd ses­sion of the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly has be­come a truly his­toric event that will act in the ser­vice of Uzbek­istan and fur­ther growth of our peo­ple’s wel­fare.

This was un­der­scored at the reg­u­lar ses­sion of the In­ter­na­tional Press Club, where jour­nal­ists were in­tro­duced into the de­tails and out­comes of the im­por­tant po­lit­i­cal event that has opened a new page in the life of our coun­try.

As re­peat­edly em­pha­sized by the speak­ers - First Deputy Chair­man of the Se­nate of the Oliy Ma­jlis Sodik Safoyev, Di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Cen­ter for Hu­man Rights Ak­mal Saidov, Head of the UNICEF Of­fice for Uzbek­istan Sascha Grau­mann, the visit of the head of our state to the United States and his speech at the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly be­came an im­por­tant his­toric event that re­flected the new im­age of the re­viv­ing Uzbek­istan.

The speech of the head of our state was distin­guished by the con­tent and sig­nif­i­cance of the is­sues it raised. De­spite its brevity, it cov­ered the most press­ing is­sues of our time: re­forms in Uzbek­istan, is­sues of democ­racy, hu­man rights, youth, re­li­gious tol­er­ance, in­ter­na­tional se­cu­rity, re­gional co­op­er­a­tion, ecol­ogy and oth­ers.

Pres­i­dent Shavkat Mirziy­oyev drew at­ten­tion to on­go­ing large scale re­forms in Uzbek­istan, in­ten­si­fied pro­tec­tion of hu­man rights, broad free­dom for in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions, to a new im­age of the coun­try, which is cur­rently shap­ing. He em­pha­sized that Uzbek­istan con­sid­ers the re­gion of Cen­tral Asia to be as the main pri­or­ity of its for­eign pol­icy, is de­ter­mined to en­gage in di­a­logue, con­struc­tive in­ter­ac­tion and strength­en­ing of the good-neigh­bor­li­ness. The head of our state re­ferred to the so-called exit visas as to “an ab­so­lutely out­dated legacy of the past”. When the Pres­i­dent of our coun­try showed a map re­flect­ing the scale of the Aral Sea dis­as­ter, all the par­tic­i­pants were lost in thoughts...

Shavkat Mirziy­oyev ap­pealed to com­mu­ni­cate the truly hu­man­is­tic essence of Is­lam to a broad world com­mu­nity. He said that the Imam Bukhari In­ter­na­tional Re­search Cen­ter in Sa­markand and the Cen­ter for Is­lamic Civ­i­liza­tion in Tashkent are be­ing es­tab­lished in fur­ther­ance of preser­va­tion and study of the rich­est legacy of our great sci­en­tists and thinkers, in­clud­ing Imam Bukhari, and dis­sem­i­na­tion of his doc­trine on en­light­ened Is­lam.

Af­ter the speech in the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly, the ap­plause did not abate for a long time. The heads of other states con­grat­u­lated Shavkat Mirziy­oyev, and shared their im­pres­sions. For in­stance, the Pres­i­dent of the Repub­lic of Turkey Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan noted that pre­vi­ously, none of the heads of states, stand­ing on the UN tri­bune, de­fended Is­lamic val­ues, men­tioned the name of Imam Bukhari, as the Pres­i­dent of our coun­try did.

An­other im­por­tant event for our coun­try and peo­ple took place within the frame­work of the ses­sion. A pro­to­type of Registan Square was in­stalled in the United Na­tions build­ing.

It is pro­foundly sym­bolic that the ex­hibit, which is an ar­chi­tec­tural brand of Uzbek­istan, is in­stalled in one of the most prom­i­nent places of the UN Head­quar­ters – in the pas­sage be­tween the halls of the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil and the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly, said the head of our state. Sci­ence, cul­ture, trade, ar­chi­tec­ture and crafts­man­ship have been de­vel­oped in our coun­try since an­cient times, as it ranks among the cra­dles of hu­man civ­i­liza­tion. Lo­cated in the heart of the Great Silk Road, Sa­markand was home to peo­ple from all over the world, who lived in peace and har­mony. Registan be­came a unique sym­bol of this an­cient world-fa­mous city.

The pro­to­type of Registan Square was made by skilled crafts­men of our coun­try, dec­o­rated with pre­cious me­tals and stones. Now, ev­ery em­ployee and guest of the United Na­tions can ad­mire a ‘par­ti­cle’ of Uzbek­istan, which has been the hearth of civ­i­liza­tion from time im­memo­rial.

Along with par­tic­i­pa­tion at the UN ses­sion, Pres­i­dent of our coun­try, as al­ways, man­aged his time ef­fec­tively. He held meet­ings with the heads of sev­eral states and in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of busi­ness cir­cles.

At the IPC meet­ing, the First Deputy Chair­man of the Se­nate of the Oliy Ma­jlis Sodik Safoyev noted that the head of our state man­aged to shortly but essen­tially ex­press the devel­op­ment trends of the repub­lic in his speech at the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly ses­sion.

“Speech is good when words are short, but thoughts are spa­cious,” the speaker said. “This was man­i­fested in the Pres­i­dent’s speech, which showed the sys­tem-based ap­proach of Uzbek­istan to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of re­forms. This refers to a pro­gram of in­ter­re­lated and log­i­cally ar­ranged ac­tions to sus­tain the po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic mod­ern­iza­tion of the coun­try, and reach the level of de­vel­oped coun­tries.”

Sodik Safoyev pointed out to that fact that pre­vi­ously «we talked much about the need to im­prove the re­la­tions be­tween the peo­ples of Cen­tral Asia, but, un­for­tu­nately, we have not achieved any con­sid­er­able re­sults in prac­tice. In a short pe­riod, the im­ple­men­ta­tion of re­gional for­eign pol­icy has helped to build a com­pletely dif­fer­ent at­mos­phere among neigh­bor­ing coun­tries. Of course, there are still some prob­lems, and we are ac­tively work­ing to pre­vent them. Eco­nomic in­vest­ment is an­other fac­tor that im­plies the im­prove­ment of re­la­tions in Cen­tral Asia. It is also nat­u­ral that for­eign in­vestors do not want to ‘linger’ on the bor­der, which, nat­u­rally, has a pos­i­tive im­pact on the eco­nomic state of the coun­try.»

The head of the UNICEF Of­fice for Uzbek­istan Sascha Grau­mann em­pha­sized that “Pres­i­dent Shavkat Mirziy­oyev de­liv­ered a con­struc­tive speech that echoes the key ob­jec­tives and goals of the UN. It re­flects the is­sues of peace and se­cu­rity, hu­man rights. The leader of Uzbek­istan once again con­firmed his and coun­try’s com­mit­ment to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the ‘road map’ of co­op­er­a­tion with the UN. He raised many is­sues that were dis­cussed with the UN Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral An­to­nio Guter­res this June. He touched upon press­ing prob­lems on Uzbek­istan’s, global and United Na­tions’ agenda, that is, the is­sues of wa­ter re­sources, com­bat­ing ex­trem­ism, the Aral Sea dis­as­ter, and the con­struc­tion of a new Afghanistan.”

“We also see pos­i­tive changes in the youth pol­icy of the repub­lic,” Sascha Grau­mann sug­gested. “The UN be­lieves that if chil­dren and young peo­ple are pro­vided with de­cent con­di­tions, the younger gen­er­a­tion can con­trib­ute to a tol­er­ant and open so­ci­ety. We have been re­peat­edly con­vinced that Uzbek­istan at­taches im­por­tance to the is­sues of youth devel­op­ment and state youth pol­icy. In par­tic­u­lar, UNICEF ob­tained ac­cess to chil­dren's ed­u­ca­tional and cus­to­dial in­sti­tu­tions. We were able to see the con­di­tions in which the chil­dren are brought up there. This demon­strates the open­ness of the coun­try, which is ready for new re­forms.”

An­swer­ing a ques­tion of a jour­nal­ist, the speaker noted that the po­si­tion of Uzbek­istan to­ward ter­ror­ism and ex­trem­ism is ac­knowl­edged by the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity. It is very im­por­tant that Shavkat Mirziy­oyev pointed out to the need to un­der­stand the ‘root causes’ of this prob­lem. We can see the on­go­ing sys­tem-based ini­tia­tives in this di­rec­tion.

The Di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Cen­ter for Hu­man Rights Ak­mal Saidov stressed that the speech of the head of our state raised three vi­tal is­sues. First of all, he rep­re­sented a new im­age of the na­tional Uzbek­istan, with on­go­ing pro­cesses of ac­tive mod­ern­iza­tion the coun­try. Se­condly, he at­tached im­por­tance to the re­gional level, that is, to the rel­e­vance of Uzbek­istan's for­eign pol­icy in Cen­tral Asia. Fi­nally, the Pres­i­dent touched upon the global level, that is, the pro­pos­als that were put for­ward at the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly, in­clud­ing the adop­tion of a new Con­ven­tion and two res­o­lu­tions.

“Along with rais­ing the prob­lem of the Aral Sea dis­as­ter, the head of state for the first time ever ev­i­dently demon­strated the very map of the dis­ap­pear­ing sea, which made a great im­pres­sion on those present in the hall. This in­no­va­tion has never been used in pre­vi­ous ses­sions of the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly,» the speaker said.

Ak­mal Saidov drew at­ten­tion to the in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence on se­cu­rity in Cen­tral Asia, which will be held un­der the UN aus­pices in Sa­markand on Novem­ber 10-11.

Speak­ing on the Con­ven­tion on the Rights of Youth, the IPC speak­ers noted that the pro­posal to adopt such a doc­u­ment had not yet been put for­ward in in­ter­na­tional le­gal prac­tice. It can be safely said that this is the know-how of the Pres­i­dent of Uzbek­istan. The United Na­tions of­ten talk about chil­dren, el­derly, dis­abled, women. Many in­ter­na­tional doc­u­ments have been adopted on them, but noth­ing has been said about youth to this day. The study of the prob­lems of youth, the cre­ation of con­di­tions for their fu­ture, should be re­flected in the Con­ven­tion on the Rights of Youth.

Shavkat Mirziy­oyev’s pro­pos­als on the UN ac­tiv­i­ties on en­sur­ing peace and se­cu­rity in the world com­mu­nity, sus­tain­able eco­nomic devel­op­ment, are also highly rel­e­vant and sup­ported by the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, the IPC stressed. The con­sis­tent devel­op­ment of all sec­tors within the frame­work of the Strat­egy for the fur­ther devel­op­ment of Uzbek­istan in the next five years, the an­nounce­ment of 2017 the Year of Di­a­logue with the Peo­ple and of Hu­man In­ter­ests in Uzbek­istan, was rec­og­nized as a vivid con­fir­ma­tion that the coun­try has en­tered a new stage of its devel­op­ment.

The Pres­i­dent’s speech cov­ered the im­por­tant ini­tia­tives that are aimed at en­sur­ing sta­bil­ity in the world, strength­en­ing the con­sent be­tween the peo­ples, fur­ther strength­en­ing of the role of the UN, which drew in­ter­est of many lead­ers, in­ter­na­tional ex­perts, po­lit­i­cal sci­en­tists. The head of our state stressed that the on­go­ing re­forms in Uzbek­istan are built on the prin­ci­ple ‘Hu­man in­ter­ests come first’, the grow­ing po­lit­i­cal ac­tiv­ity in our so­ci­ety pro­motes strength­en­ing of the con­struc­tive di­a­logue not just with Cen­tral Asian states, but also with other re­gions.

The IPC par­tic­i­pants ex­changed views on the im­por­tance of meet­ings and ne­go­ti­a­tions in the frame­work of the visit of the head of our state, and the agree­ments reached.

For ex­am­ple, Shavkat Mirziy­oyev's meet­ing with a group of our com­pa­tri­ots liv­ing in the US was very in­ter­est­ing. The Pres­i­dent spoke about the im­por­tance of the Strat­egy of Ac­tion for Five Devel­op­ment Pri­or­ity Areas of Uzbek­istan's in 20172021, the Con­cept of ad­min­is­tra­tive re­form. He spoke about changes in the ju­di­cial, le­gal, fi­nan­cial sec­tors, in the field of small busi­ness, tourism, medicine.

The Pres­i­dent of our coun­try spoke about the im­por­tance of the Strat­egy of ac­tions on five pri­or­ity areas of devel­op­ment of the Repub­lic of Uzbek­istan in 2017-2021, the Con­cept of ad­min­is­tra­tive re­form, changes in the ju­di­cial and le­gal, fi­nan­cial spheres, in the field of small busi­ness, tourism, medicine.

He men­tioned scaled on­go­ing ini­tia­tives in Uzbek­istan on the devel­op­ment of sci­ence and ed­u­ca­tion, mod­ern staff train­ing, the essence and sig­nif­i­cance of the state youth pol­icy, ac­tiv­i­ties of the Union of Youth of Uzbek­istan in en­sur­ing the rights and in­ter­ests of young peo­ple.

Shavkat Mirziy­oyev urged our com­pa­tri­ots to be in­volved in large-scale re­forms in Uzbek­istan, to in­vest mod­ern knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence in its devel­op­ment.

At the same time, “we can­not say that po­ten­tial, knowl­edge and strength of yours and thou­sands of our com­pa­tri­ots who live abroad like you, are fully used. Be­ing aware of de­sire and po­ten­tial in your hearts and soul for mak­ing your con­tri­bu­tion in the on­go­ing pro­cesses in our coun­try, I be­lieve that we still have much to do in this di­rec­tion. Today, new ap­proaches are needed to achieve high re­sults in sys­tem-based changes in Uzbek­istan. I would like to em­pha­size that I am ready to work with the pro­gres­sively think­ing peo­ple, who are deeply aware of the goal of re­forms we are im­ple­ment­ing.

I in­vite to Uzbek­istan all the com­pa­tri­ots who live abroad and who wish to con­trib­ute to the devel­op­ment of our coun­try,” said the head of our state. “I am ready to support and com­pre­hen­sively stim­u­late them. I am con­vinced that if we unite and work to­gether to­ward the pros­per­ity of our dear Mother­land, we will cer­tainly achieve the high mile­stones we are fac­ing.”

For­eign pol­icy is­sues were also dis­cussed dur­ing the in­ter­na­tional round-ta­ble dis­cus­sion on ‘Uzbek­istan's For­eign Pol­icy within the Frame­work of the Strat­egy of Ac­tions’ in Tashkent.

The event was or­ga­nized by the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs of the Repub­lic and the Univer­sity of World Econ­omy and Diplo­macy. It brought to­gether mem­bers of par­lia­ment, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of min­istries and de­part­ments, in­ter­na­tional and pub­lic or­ga­ni­za­tions, ex­perts from the United States, United King­dom, Swe­den, Bel­gium, France, China, Rus­sia, Ja­pan, In­dia and Pak­istan.

The speak­ers em­pha­sized that, ini­ti­ated by the head of our state, the Strat­egy of Ac­tions along Five Pri­or­ity Areas for the Devel­op­ment of the Repub­lic of Uzbek­istan in 2017-2021 pur­sues such goals as a dra­matic in­crease in the ef­fi­ciency of on­go­ing re­forms, cre­ation of con­di­tions for in­te­grated, bal­anced and ac­cel­er­ated devel­op­ment of state and so­ci­ety, mod­ern­iza­tion and lib­er­al­iza­tion of all areas.

The fifth area of the Strat­egy of Ac­tions fo­cuses on for­eign pol­icy and for­eign eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity. It is pri­mar­ily aimed at cre­ation of de­cent liv­ing con­di­tions for our peo­ple, fur­ther strength­en­ing of the au­thor­ity of our coun­try in the world com­mu­nity, en­sur­ing of peace, sta­bil­ity, and se­cu­rity. The re­lated large-scale re­forms vividly prove the con­sis­tent con­tin­u­a­tion of the for­eign pol­icy con­cept of Uzbek­istan at the new stage by Pres­i­dent Shavkat Mirziy­oyev, which fully meets demo­cratic re­quire­ments and in­ter­na­tional cri­te­ria.

Today, Uzbek­istan's open, con­struc­tive, mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial for­eign pol­icy with for­eign coun­tries, pri­mar­ily neigh­bor­ing states, is seen im­por­tant for the Cen­tral Asian re­gion. State vis­its of the Uzbek leader to Turk­menistan, Kaza­khstan, Rus­sia, China, Kyr­gyzs­tan prac­ti­cally prove the spe­cial at­ten­tion our coun­try has been pay­ing to the good neigh­borly re­la­tions. As noted in the speech of the head of our state at the 72nd ses­sion of the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly, we man­aged to cre­ate a com­pletely new po­lit­i­cal at­mos­phere in the re­gion in a short time.

The state vis­its of the Pres­i­dent of Uzbek­istan have demon­strated the pri­or­ity di­rec­tions of the for­eign pol­icy of our coun­try. The de­tails of the vis­its were widely dis­cussed not only in po­lit­i­cal cir­cles, but also among the pub­lic and ex­perts. All this sug­gests the con­sis­tent pol­icy of our coun­try to­ward the fur­ther devel­op­ment and strength­en­ing of re­la­tions with for­eign states.

“The Strat­egy of Ac­tions is re­mark­able for its fo­cus on the all-round dy­namic devel­op­ment of the state and so­ci­ety in Uzbek­istan,» said Mo­hamed Iltaf Sheikh, mem­ber of the House of Lords of the Bri­tish Par­lia­ment, Vice-Chair­man of the All­Party Par­lia­men­tary Group for Uzbek­istan. “It takes into ac­count the best for­eign prac­tices and in­ter­na­tional stan­dards, deeply de­fines prospects for all areas of devel­op­ment of Uzbek­istan. The im­ple­men­ta­tion of these re­forms will un­doubt­edly lay a foun­da­tion for build­ing the coun­try's great fu­ture.”

As noted dur­ing the de­bates in sec­tion meet­ings of the con­fer­ence, in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence was care­fully stud­ied in the process of devel­op­ment and im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Strat­egy of Ac­tion. The pri­or­ity di­rec­tions of Uzbek­istan's for­eign pol­icy are based on open, con­struc­tive and mu­tu­ally ben­e­fi­cial co­op­er­a­tion. Ac­cord­ing to in­ter­na­tional ex­perts, these strate­gic goals will pro­vide great op­por­tu­ni­ties for the full im­ple­men­ta­tion of the coun­try's ob­jec­tives on the in­ter­na­tional arena, and achieve­ment of sus­tain­able devel­op­ment.

“We are con­stantly track­ing the changes tak­ing place in Uzbek­istan,” says Pro­fes­sor Lunda Ma­tias Bayer (Swe­den). “I can say for sure that le­gal re­forms in the coun­try are not lim­ited to the adop­tion of state pro­grams and laws, but also demon­strate con­sis­tent ac­tions and mea­sures for their prac­ti­cal im­ple­men­ta­tion. The fact that the Strat­egy of Ac­tions cov­ers all areas of devel­op­ment of the so­ci­ety sug­gests that Uzbek­istan will achieve great suc­cess in the fu­ture.”

Dur­ing the round­table dis­cus­sion, the par­tic­i­pants ex­changed views on ma­jor prin­ci­ples of the for­eign pol­icy of our coun­try, the fur­ther strength­en­ing of friendly re­la­tions with neigh­bor­ing states, in­ter­re­gional strate­gic part­ners, and the fur­ther devel­op­ment of in­ter­state co­op­er­a­tion to sus­tain trade and eco­nomic re­la­tions of Uzbek­istan.

(As part of the so­cial or­der of the Oliy Ma­jlis Pub­lic Fund for Support of NGOs and Other Civil So­ci­ety In­sti­tu­tions)

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