Historic Visit in the Interests of Uzbekistan
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 The head of our state referred to the so-called exit visas as to “an absolutely outdated legacy of the past”.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)