Uzbek­istan Land of Leg­ends

H.E. Mr. Is­lam Ka­ri­mov, Pres­i­dent of the Repub­lic of Uzbek­istan

The Diplomatic Insight - - Front Page -

As­salamu alaykum, dear com­pa­tri­ots!

Dis­tin­guished guests!

To­day our na­tion is cel­e­brat­ing with great hap­pi­ness and de­light the truly great­est, the dear­est and un­for­get­table date in the glo­ri­ous his­tory of our coun­try – the 23rd an­niver­sary of the In­de­pen­dence Day of our Home­land. I am happy from the bot­tom of my heart to con­grat­u­late you, my dear com­pa­tri­ots, and in your per­son our en­tire na­tion on this sa­cred oc­ca­sion, and ex­press my deep re­spect and es­teem to all of you.

Dear com­pa­tri­ots and dear friends! As we cel­e­brate the In­de­pen­dence Day of our Home­land, which was gained in the tough­est and se­vere tri­als and strug­gle, it is nat­u­ral that we un­will­ingly pon­der over what we have lived through and what we have achieved dur­ing this his­tor­i­cally short pe­riod of time that left a deep trace in our life, and lit­er­ally ask our­selves: «Who were we yes­ter­day and who have we be­come to­day?». The in­de­pen­dence and sovereignty as a great bless­ing stand as an ut­terly in­com­pa­ra­ble land­mark date in the his­tory of our Home­land. First of all, it has granted lib­erty and free life to our na­tion, al­lowed us to re­gain our hu­man dig­nity, na­tional con­scious­ness, val­ues and self-es­teem, and re­turned to all of us the feel­ing of self-iden­tity, the mother tongue, our sa­cred re­li­gion, cus­toms and tra­di­tions. For us the in­de­pen­dence means that tak­ing our des­tiny to our own hands we be­came able to man­age the nat­u­ral re­sources of our coun­try, re­al­ize our enor­mous ma­te­rial and spir­i­tual po­ten­tial, and gain a com­mend­able place in the in­ter­na­tional arena. The peo­ple who lived dur­ing the old despotic regime know well: who did then know the beau­ti­ful land by the name of Uzbek­istan and the great na­tion by the name of Uzbeks? Who did rec­og­nize us as an in­de­pen­dent state? Who did have any idea that our coun­try is the land of enor­mous and rare wealth, the home to many saints and great schol­ars, sci­en­tists and thinkers? Who did know that we are the heirs to the un­matched her­itage and the suc­ces­sors of out­stand­ing peo­ple? Could it be more despair, suf­fer­ing and law­less­ness in those times when our na­tional self-es­teem and dig­nity, our sa­cred re­li­gious val­ues, cus­toms and tra­di­tions were ig­nored, dis­re­garded and mer­ci­lessly tram­pled down? Wasn’t our Uzbek­istan the most back­ward agrar­ian repub­lic in the for­mer Soviet Union that was turned into the land which had to only sup­ply raw ma­te­ri­als and had a lop-sided econ­omy where the cot­ton mo­nop­oly took a cat­a­strophic scale? Can we for­get the times when to feed our peo­ple we used to bring the nec­es­sary food com­modi­ties from abroad beg­ging some­one out there? Is it pos­si­ble to for­get that in the last days of reign of the old regime we had seven-ten days and stood on the brink of famine? How­ever, no mat­ter what in­jus­tice and tyranny was ex­erted on us by the despotic regime, our peo­ple never faith and re­li­gion. And no mat­ter what se­vere and tough tri­als and hard­ships we had to live through, we con­tin­ued

keep­ing our dig­nity high. And no one must ever for­get about that.

Dear friends! To­day as we cel­e­brate the 23rd an­niver­sary of our in­de­pen­dence and as­sess the work we have car­ried out in build­ing a demo­cratic state and civil so­ci­ety and join­ing the ranks of the de­vel­oped coun­tries of the world, the fol­low­ing: any per­son liv­ing in our coun­try both young and old, ir­re­spec­tive of his na­tion­al­ity, lan­guage and re­li­gion, keep­ing his head high, has a right to say that there is also his wor­thy con­tri­bu­tion to the world­fa­mous work to make our Home­land – Uzbek­istan pros­per­ous. In­deed, we are pro­foundly proud that all our achieve­ments in build­ing the na­tional state­hood, the largescale pro­gres­sive re­forms that re­sulted in sta­ble growth rates of our econ­omy, growth of liv­ing stan­dards of our pop­u­la­tion and con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment of the look of our coun­try, are worthily rec­og­nized in the in­ter­na­tional arena and raise our au­thor­ity and re­spect to­wards us. In the years of in­de­pen­dent de­vel­op­ment our na­tional econ­omy grew about 5 times or per capita - 3,7 times, and the in­come per capita, which liv­ing stan­dards of our pop­u­la­tion, grew 8,7 times. Th­ese in­dices prove that dur­ing a short pe­riod of time Uzbek­istan – once a repub­lic un­able to sus­tain it­self – has turned into a mod­ern state with rapid growth rates. and eco­nomic cri­sis, dur­ing the last 10 years the an­nual growth rate of Uzbek­istan’s econ­omy has ex­ceeded 8 per­cent and such a sta­ble progress can now be ob­served just in few coun­tries. More than 180 bil­lion dol­lars (in­clud­ing over 60 bil­lion dol­lars of for­eign in­vest­ments) have been chan­neled to our econ­omy to de­velop our coun­try with such high growth rates, mod­ern­ize it and im­ple­ment the large-scale re­forms. Cer­tainly, there are many ex­am­ples which show that thanks to th­ese in­vest­ments we were able to rad­i­cally change the struc­ture of our econ­omy, es­tab­lish the mod­ern en­ter­prises with cut­tingedge tech­nolo­gies, man­u­fac­ture the com­modi­ties com­pet­i­tive in the world mar­ket, and raise Uzbek­istan’s po­ten­tial to a new level. Dur­ing th­ese years alone the num­ber of our coun­try’s pop­u­la­tion grew 10 mil­lion 300 thou­sand, and to­day it makes up 31 mil­lion. This fac­tor raises Uzbek­istan’s hu­man po­ten­tial the new level of de­vel­op­ment and new ob­jec­tives.

Dear com­pa­tri­ots! We were not in rush in tran­sit­ing from the ob­so­lete sys­tem to a new one, in build­ing a solid foun­da­tion for this pur­pose. We fol­lowed a wise truth which goes: «Do not de­stroy the old house un­til you build a new one». We have cho­sen a grad­ual and evo­lu­tion­ary path to move to­wards our goals and ob­jec­tives phase to phase and step by step. We found it right for us and put this prin­ci­ple to big tests. As years are pass­ing by, the life it­self has proved that the course of deeply and thor­oughly thought-out demo­cratic re­forms to achieve our great goals, and which is rec­og­nized by the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity as an «Uzbek model», was truly right. The ex­perts and rel­e­vant in­ter­na­tional in­sti­tu­tions, which did not then join us in sup­port­ing this truth, are now be­com­ing con­vinced of it. Speak­ing of this, it will not be a mis­take to say that in se­cur­ing the new stages and hori­zons in de­vel­op­ment of our all, is the at­mos­phere of sta­bil­ity and co­op­er­a­tion, mu­tual re­spect, kind­ness and cour­tesy pre­vail­ing in our coun­try, as well as the ever grow­ing worldview, con­scious­ness and mind­set, le­gal and po­lit­i­cal aware­ness and ac­tive­ness of our com­pa­tri­ots. Our ac­tiv­ity to en­hance the spir­i­tu­al­ity of our peo­ple is yield­ing their re­sults. Avail­ing my­self of this op­por­tu­nity, I our most im­por­tant achieve­ment is that we are not in­fe­rior to any­one in terms of ac­com­plish­ments in this sphere, and we have out­run many pow­er­ful states in this re­spect. It should be men­tioned that we have timely at­tached an im­por­tant pri­or­ity to up­bring­ing a healthy and har­mo­niously de­vel­oped young gen­er­a­tion able to master mod­ern knowl­edge and pro­fes­sions, take on a re­spon­si­bil­ity for our fu­ture, our dear chil­dren with in­de­pen­dent think­ing and worldview who will con­tinue our en­deav­ors. We have raised this is­sue to a na­tional level and the life it­self has proved that it was the most right, far-sighted and time-hon­ored his­tor­i­cal step. Let us as­sume, if 17 years ago we didn’t launched the pro­grams which have com­pletely trans­formed the sphere of ed­u­ca­tion and el­e­vated it to a new mod­ern stage, could we to­day meet the crit­i­cal and com­plex re­quire­ments of the rapidly chang­ing time of glob­al­iza­tion, the chal­lenges of the In­ter­net age which is yet deeper pen­e­trat­ing our lives? Could we en­sure the progress and fu­ture of our coun­try, and put for­ward a great goal of build­ing a state with great fu­ture?

My dear and beloved chil­dren! From the bot­tom of my heart I would like to share my idea with you – the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of our young gen­er­a­tion who have gath­ered to­day in this sub­lime square, my chil­dren – the en­tire youth of Uzbek­istan: each time I meet you and see you in the full bloom of youth, your sparkling eyes and wit­ness your achieve­ments, like many of us, I feel as if I also get my own wings. Wher­ever and in which­ever sphere you are – whether it is ed­u­ca­tion or reach­ing the peaks of sci­ence, mas­ter­ing the mod­ern pro­fes­sions or de­vel­op­ing the business sphere, cel­e­brat­ing the glory of Uzbek­istan at in­ter­na­tional sport are­nas and re­veal­ing your­selves to the world, you are surely mak­ing all of us happy. It will be the very truth to say that the strik­ing ev­i­dence of the afore­men­tioned

is the re­sults of par­tic­i­pa­tion of our 28 young sports­men at the Sec­ond Sum­mer Youth Olympic Games held in the city of Nan­jing of the Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China, where they have won 4 gold, 3 sil­ver and 3 bronze, and in to­tal, 10 medals. And this was a great con­tri­bu­tion of Uzbek­istan’s youth to the 23rd an­niver­sary of our In­de­pen­dence. My dear chil­dren, do not ever for­get that I con­sider your ac­com­plish­ments and vic­to­ries as our peo­ple’s vic­to­ries, and I will spare no ef­fort and strength to make your to­day and fu­ture even brighter.

Dear friends! It is nat­u­ral that grow­ing ex­trem­ism and ter­ror­ism, con­fronta­tion, blood­shed, threats and chal­lenges in var­i­ous ar­eas and re­gions of the world, in the near and far neigh­bor­hood, and in gen­eral, con­tin­u­ous es­ca­la­tion of sit­u­a­tion

raises alarm and con­cern in all of us. Un­for­tu­nately, such bloody clashes, the rise in­stead of be­ing tack­led and re­duced. In such an ex­tremely tur­bu­lent and dan­ger­ous con­di­tion the most im­por­tant is­sue is not to over­look the newly emerg­ing stand­offs and ris­ing the world oc­cur, so that to keep the sit­u­a­tion un­der con­stant con­trol of the world com­mu­nity to pre­vent them from es­ca­lat­ing into a large-scale war. The po­si­tion of Uzbek­istan is as fol­lows: such sit­u­a­tions, grave con­fronta­tions and clashes must be re­solved only by po­lit­i­cal and peace­ful means in com­pli­ance with the ba­sic prin­ci­ples and in­ter­na­tional norms set by the Char­ter of the United Na­tions, by ob­serv­ing the prin­ci­ples of in­vi­o­la­bil­ity of state sovereignty and bor­ders, preven­tion of vi­o­lence and use of force. Such an ex­tremely tense sit­u­a­tion re­quires from all of us to be alert, vigil and shrewd. The time it­self re­quires that our common lan­guage with our near and far neigh­bors, en­hanc­ing co­op­er­a­tion on the ba­sis of common ob­jec­tives that unite us and es­tab­lish­ing the mu­tu­ally Avail­ing my­self of this op­por­tu­nity, it gives me a pro­found plea­sure to ex­press my high re­spect and es­teem to our dear guests, am­bas­sadors of for­eign coun­tries and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions who have joined us in this great and dear­est hol­i­day. On be­half of our na­tion I sin­cerely thank you for your con­tin­u­ous support and prac­ti­cal as­sis­tance ren­dered to Uzbek­istan, and wish a sound health to all of you and pros­per­ity to your coun­tries. Dis­tin­guished com­pa­tri­ots, my dears! In this lu­mi­nous evening, em­brac­ing all of you and con­grat­u­lat­ing on the In­de­pen­dence Day, I wish you peace and tran­quil­ity, hap­pi­ness and joy, as well as abun­dance and plenty to your house­holds and our coun­try! Let our Home­land be peace­ful and our skies be al­ways clear! Let our In­de­pen­dence be eter­nal!

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