Address Compared to Winston Churchill’s Fulton Speech
In this regard, we can safely say that all this was calculated to ensure the involvement of all layers of government and society in the political processes. The effect of this approach is that officials and people's representatives at all levels will feel their responsibility, and the population will take care of themselves.
From this point of view, the first aspect is important in the sense that every official, from the very tops to the lower levels, as well as people's representatives of all levels, should be in the orbit of political transformations. Since they are also involved in the process of public administration - each decision-making at its own level. Thus, having heard first hand, they will have to carry out the initiatives announced by the head of the state steadily.
Speaking of the second aspect such a broad broadcast of the event, it is necessary to take into account the fact that all proposals put forward in the Address relate to the everyday life of each of us.
The fact that after the appeal of Shavkat Mirziyoyev to the parliament on television was watched by several million people, on the official page of the head of state on Facebook video collected more than 170 thousand views and over 7 thousand comments. This indicates that the message did not leave anyone indifferent.
It is noteworthy that representatives of foreign media issued such an effective phrase: «Mirziyoyev entered the hall as a president, and left it as the leader of the nation.» Other journalists compared the Address of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to the Fulton speech of Winston Churchill, who «predefined the world order for half a century ahead.»
Thus, it can be concluded that the proposed transformations and a new vision are not tactical, but strategic.
- In its content, the Address marked an objective description of the real situation of the country in all spheres. How practical is this approach to its compilation?
- The President of Uzbekistan, having objectively characterized the state of all spheres of life of the state and society, once again confirmed his intention to «restart» the state system. Here it is appropriate to quote one axiom: «The solution to any problem begins with its study.» Thus, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, figuratively speaking, has made an accurate diagnosis of all the ailments of the state organism, especially in the sphere of economy the basis of all the targets supplied.
In this respect, Shavkat Miromonovich outlined his fundamental approach, which consists in a critical review of such an unacceptable method in economic policy as the race for unrealistic figures, the desire to present utopian plans for reality. In this context, he once again stressed that achieving concrete results and ensuring human interests are identified as the main goal of our reforms.
Thanks to the measures implemented in 2017, the steady growth rates of economic growth amounted to 5.5%, the volume of exports increased by 15%. The positive balance in foreign trade reached $ 854 million.
The measures taken also serve as a basis for optimistic forecasts of international financial institutions regarding the further development of the economy of Uzbekistan. Thus, according to the World Bank's October report, higher growth is expected in the medium term, to 6.3% in 2019, as the implementation of reforms in the second half of 2018 will become more sustainable, reducing uncertainty and supporting private investment and export-oriented growth. In the medium term, private investments are expected to increase. It is also projected that by 2019 the growth of incomes and remittances will continue, which will positively affect the reduction of unemployment in the near future.
It is very important that the head of state has a clear vision of the way out of the situation. This, in turn, was reflected in completely new proposals and initiatives to address each of the problems outlined in the Address.
- The announcement of last year's name was a pleasant surprise for many, this year's expectations were also positive. Why did the head of state rely on active entrepreneurship and innovative development?
- The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan unambiguously made it clear that Uzbekistan is moving to the path of innovative development. The semantic load of the announcement of 2018 as the Year of Support for Active Entrepreneurship, Innovative Ideas and Technologies comes from this strategic vision for the further development of the country.
To be sure, the choice of the President was not accidental for innovation. This indicates a clear awareness of the significant backlog of socio-economic development from the needs of the population. Under these conditions, innovative development is the most effective way of radical improvement of all spheres of life of the state and society.
Here we cannot ignore the notion of active entrepreneurship. As the head of state noted, this is a direction in the economy, when business activity is organized on the basis of innovative, modern approaches, advanced technologies and management methods.
And who are they - «active entrepreneurs»? This category means business people capable of producing competitive goods, the most important is creating new jobs that benefit not only themselves and their family, but the whole society. Providing them with all possible support, in particular, by creating favorable conditions for the importation and introduction of high-tech in the production, the latest achievements of science, the President intends to mobilize their efforts in solving urgent issues for our country.
- In the Address of the President, the first priority direction is the improvement of the system of state and public construction. What is its essence?
- The initiatives of the head of state in this direction fit into the general line of the first priority direction of the Strategy of Actions, which is reduced to increasing the effectiveness of the system of state and public construction.
From this point of view, analysts consider the proposals of the President of the country on creation of a completely new system in the sphere of public administration to be fully justified, providing for a worthy payment for labor and social security of state employees, introduction of effective mechanisms for fighting corruption. In this context the main legal basis will be the law on public service, proposed by the President, which is still absent in our country.
The head of Uzbekistan adheres to the consistency in strengthening the system of checks and balances between the branches of power. His principled position on strengthening the role of parliament in the governance of the state and society, identified in July 2017 at a joint meeting of both chambers of the Oliy Majlis was once again confirmed in the framework of his Address to the Parliament.
In this context, the proposal to create a special web page «My opinion», as well as the introduction of the procedure for introducing collective electronic appeal, essentially public petitions, demonstrates the President's commitment to the people's opinion.
An important democratic step will be the division of powers of hokims as heads of executive and representative branches. In this regard, the future reforms towards the rejection of excessive centralization of state administration and the transfer of authority of central bodies to territorial ones will serve to effectively realize the interests of people.
Some of our colleagues from foreign countries highly appreciated the fact that civil society will have opportunities for further development: dialogue with NNOs will be intensified, an institution such as the Advisory Council for Civil Society Development will work, and a mechanism for public control over the activities of state bodies will be ensured.
- From the text of the message follows the consistent continuation of reforms aimed at establishing a fair judicial and legal system. What are the principal points in this direction could be distinguished?
- In this context I would like to draw attention to such fundamental aspects as the strengthening of parliamentary and public control over the judiciary, the continuation of the work on the introduction of the Habeas Corpus and the strengthening of judicial control in the conduct of the investigation; strengthening the rule of law in the activities of law enforcement agencies, further strengthening the fight against corruption in their ranks.
As an example, one can emphasize the proposal to transfer to courts the right to issue a sanction for conducting a search and listening to telephone conversations of persons suspected of committing a crime. This will contribute to the further strengthening of mechanisms for the protection of human rights and freedoms.
In this direction, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev also drew attention to the important issue related to the creation of such a system in accordance with which no law enforcement agency will go beyond its powers, duplicate the functions of the other.
Thus, he clearly marked this framework. The bodies of internal affairs should deal with ensuring public order and security, and national security agencies protecting the state from internal and external threats. The prosecutor's office is called upon to oversee the execution of laws. The main task of the courts is to ensure justice, making a legal, justified and fair decision in each case.
In this regard, it was proposed to develop and adopt laws «On law enforcement agencies» and «On the National Security Service», which will create strong and reliable guarantees for the further strengthening of constitutional rights and freedoms, the safe life of our citizens.
- Skeptics did not hide their hesitation regarding the liberalization of the Uzbek economy. However, in our opinion, the President's Address contains exhaustive answers to all the questions on this matter. What are your comments in this regard?
- Shavkat Mirziyoyev from the first days seriously took up the defense of business. The formulated theses of the economic block of the Address once again confirmed this firm position.
In particular, the imposition of a moratorium for two years on the audit of financial and economic activities of entrepreneurs by experts should be regarded as a chance for businesses to get on their feet.
Here it is appropriate to recall the quote from the speech of Churchill about entrepreneurs: “Someone thinks that the businessman is a cow that can be milked constantly. And only a few understand that an entrepreneur is a workhorse that pulls on itself the burden of the economy”.
This phrase refers to a signal about the need to change the attitude of government agencies to the private sector.
The initiative to reduce and optimize the tax burden for all business categories, on this basis to expand production and taxation base, to pursue a policy of stimulating dynamically developing, enlarging enterprises will serve to increase the investment attractiveness of the country in the medium term.
It should be emphasized that the ongoing reforms to ease the conditions for doing business in the country have already begun to bear fruit. Uzbekistan climbed
13 positions and took 74th place in the Doing Business-2018 rating of the World Bank (WB) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), becoming the leader among the countries of Europe and Central Asia in terms of improving the business environment.
The announcement of the development of the «Program for the innovative development of the construction industry up to 2030», according to observers, should attract the focused interest of the «giants» of this industry, for which the construction market in Uzbekistan remains undeveloped.
- The social sphere has always been the focus of the policy of the President of Uzbekistan. What innovations will be introduced in this direction?
- Despite all efforts to liberalize the economy, Uzbekistan remains a socially-oriented country. Discussing priority areas in the social sphere, experts draw attention to the fact that the starting point of activity in this direction should be the legislative consolidation of the concept of «consumer basket», on the basis of which the minimum level of income necessary for a decent life of the population will be revealed.
- Would you like to hear your comments regarding the identified priority areas in the field of security, interethnic harmony and religious tolerance, as well as in foreign policy?
- In this area, the President characterized the main trends observed in the context of globalization, associated with the emergence of economic competition increasingly acute, the intensification of information and terrorist threats.
According to foreign experts, the Address attaches great importance to the development of the cultural and humanitarian sphere. Uzbekistan is traditionally the key center of Islamic culture in the region. At the same time, serious efforts are being made to preserve and popularize it internationally. In this regard, the creation of the Center of Islamic Civilization in Uzbekistan, the international research centers named after Imam Bukhari and Imam Termizi, the Islamic Academy, schools for the study of hadiths, Islamic law, and Sufism have received full support. Initiatives of the leadership of Uzbekistan on joint study of historical and religious literature in the rich book collections of the country have received worthy attention of our partners, as this will give a new impetus to overcoming ignorance and preventing the spread of radical ideas.
International experts acknowledge the validity of Uzbekistan's calculation of the mahalla as a public institution capable of ensuring sustainable development of the individual, and if some of its members fall under the influence of destructive organizations, the least painful social rehabilitation, which implies timely response to new trends in countering radicalization.
In this regard, the head of state drew attention to one of the important aspects, which in fact is the imperative of the times, namely the organization of special departments within law enforcement bodies to prevent information threats and attacks through various information resources.
We also identified the new and important tasks facing us in the defense sphere. The President underlined the tasks to ensure the effective and timely implementation of the National Security Concept and Defense Doctrine. In this context, it is pointed out that it is necessary to adopt the State Program for the Formation and Development of the Defense Industrial Complex to provide the Armed Forces with modern weapons and military equipment.
The head of state reaffirmed that in accordance with the Strategy of Actions adopted in our country, we will consistently continue the policy of comprehensive development of friendly, mutually beneficial relations with all countries of the far and near abroad, primarily with neighboring states, as well as with international organizations.
According to foreign experts, within a short period of time, Uzbekistan has created a completely new atmosphere in the region, which in the future can significantly improve the image of all Central Asia in the international arena. It deserves attention such assessments as the historical nature of visits and the achievement of breakthrough agreements by Uzbekistan with neighboring countries is gradually shaping the notion of the region as a full-fledged Central Asian five.
In general, the President's Address to the Parliament marked a new milestone in the further democratic path of development of Uzbekistan. 2017 was the starting point for a radical reform of all spheres of state and public life in the country. The next year will be a year of fundamental changes in the reforms that have begun, as evidenced by the high bar, based on the provisions of the Address of the Head of State.