A ‘New Uzbekistan’ on the horizon

Democratic transformations, big opportunities and practical deeds to steer Uzbekistan to great heights, affirms its President Shavkat Mirziyoyev


Nisthula Nagarajan

Published: Tue 31 Aug 2021, 5:07 PM

The ‘New Uzbekistan’ concept is becoming a reality. As the head of state, the initiator of these socio-political processes and the leader-reformer at their centre, what is the essence of these reforms?

It should be noted first and foremost that any nation, any people with the great goal of building a free and just life of a just society in its country, is going through a difficult, thorny and complex path of development. The Uzbek people, always looking at the future with great hope and confidence, living and patiently overcoming all challenges, on August 31, 1991, realised their sacred dream — our dear motherland gained independence.

In a few days, we will celebrate the 30th anniversary of this significant date.

On the eve of this glorious holiday, big preparations are underway in our country. Large-scale creative and improvement work is being carried out on the ground. In particular, the ‘New Uzbekistan’ park and a unique Complex of Independence are being built on a vast territory of more than 100 hectares of land adjacent to the capital.

It should be noted that building a New Uzbekistan is not a whim, not a subjective phenomenon, but an objective necessity, which has its own fundamental historical foundations, due to the current political, legal, socio-economic, spiritual and educational situation, based on the centuries-long aspirations of our people and fully conforming to their national interests.

The New Uzbekistan is a state, developing in strict compliance with the universally recognised norms in the field of democracy, human rights and freedoms, on the basis of the principles of friendship and cooperation with the international community, the ultimate aim of which is to create a free, comfortable and prosperous life for our people.

In the process of political, legal, socio-economic, spiritual and educational reforms being carried out in Uzbekistan, priority is given to the implementation of an important constitutional principle, according to which, “It is not the people who serve the state bodies, but the state bodies must serve the people”. Why?

From a political and legal point of view, the state is defined as “the body that expresses the will of the people.” Who does form the state? The people and their plenipotentiaries. So, to who, then, should the state and its bodies serve in the first place? Certainly, to the people, citizens who voted for the officials and expressed confidence in them.

In this sense, our people have every right and deserve to be satisfied with the service of the state.

Only state power based on such principles is truly a people’s democratic authority. The political and legal, social and economic, spiritual and educational roots of such a state and society will be strong and powerful.

In the course of building a New Uzbekistan, special attention is paid to foreign policy, the development of friendly cooperation with neighbouring and other countries. What is the current scenario of domestic and foreign policies in this direction?

First of all, it should be noted that from the early days since our country has embarked upon the new era, we attach importance to the implementation of an open, pragmatic and constructive foreign policy, strengthening close friendly relations and cooperation with all progressive countries of the world, especially with neighbouring states. Uzbekistan has been and remains committed to this strategic course and fully accomplishes its obligations to its partners and international organisations.

Over the past short time in historical terms, the political role and status of our country in the Central Asian region and in the international arena have increased significantly. The spirit of trust in Uzbekistan and the desire for cooperation with our country have increased in the world.

First, the problems accumulated over the years in our relations with neighbouring countries have been resolved. The borders were opened. The broken bonds between the neighbours, brothers, a father and a son and relatives were restored. People began travelling freely from one country to another. The visa issues have been resolved. The trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian ties are developing at an accelerated pace.

Our countries, since ancient times linked by the ties of friendship and fraternity, have started to closely cooperate on the regional and global issues, the socio-economic development. The term ‘the Central Asian spirit’ has appeared in the world of political science.

Necessary conditions are being created in the country to ensure the protection of youth rights and interests so that they can be educated, work, demonstrate their knowledge and abilities. One of the practical demonstrations of this was the announcement of 2021 as the Year of Supporting Youth and Strengthening Public Health. What do you think is the role and main tasks of the youth in the process of building the New Uzbekistan?

The youth is the nation’s hope and support. The young people act as a decisive force in the effective implementation of large-scale reforms. The youth play a leading role in the further development of the country. Therefore, today we attach importance to training representatives of the younger generation, realising their talent and potential in science, innovation, literature, art, sports, ensuring their active participation in public and political life.

We have started extensive work in this direction. In order to train competitive personnel with in-depth knowledge and high skills, we have increased the number of universities in the country to 141 and opened up branches of 26 foreign higher educational institutions. Meanwhile, in 2016, there were only 77 universities in the country.

Over the past five years, the quotas for admission to higher education institutions have been increased threefold. This year, 182,000 young people were given the opportunity to become students. This means that the overall educational coverage has reached 28 per cent. We intend to increase the enrolment rate of school, lyceum and college graduates in higher education to 50 per cent by 2030. This year, the New Uzbekistan University, which meets the highest international standards, was opened in Tashkent. This university will become a model for all higher education institutions in the country.

Over the past four years, the coverage rate of children in pre-school education has grown from 27.7 per cent to 60 per cent, that is, it has doubled. And the number of kindergartens has tripled and exceeded 14,000 — these are the results of our reforms.

Currently, our country is undergoing major changes in the school education system based on the idea of New Uzbekistan.

As a renowned leader, who since the early days of independence taken an active part in building a new state and society in our country, and today, as an initiator of the concept of constructing a New Uzbekistan and the national leader, what would you wish to your people on Independence Day be?

Certainly, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of our country, we sum up the outcomes of the development of all spheres and branches, as well as set specific plans for the future. In particular, we will stick to our main goal of ensuring the rights and freedoms, as well as the lawful interests of each person in our country, achieving a more free and prosperous life for our people.

Taking today’s opportunity, I sincerely and cordially congratulate our multinational people on the forthcoming holiday of Independence. I want to wish every family, each fellow citizen peace and tranquillity, well-being and happiness.

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