I sincerely congratulate you on a remarkable holiday – the 28th anniversary of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and express my deep respect and the best of wishes.
Unfortunately, this year, due to the coronavirus pandemic, we are not able to hold large-scale celebrations occasioned to the Constitution Day. Yet despite this, with all our hearts do we feel the joy and splendor of this holiday. It is marked with special enthusiasm in work teams, educational institutions and mahallas.
Four years ago, relying on the provisions and principles of our Basic Law, we adopted the Actions Strategy and started delivering on extensive, accelerated democratic reforms. They have been built on the 7 amendments made to the Constitution, 5 codes and about 250 laws as the legal foundation.
Over the past brief span of time, our society, the mindset of people has radically changed in political, legal and socio-economic terms, and every one of our fellow countrymen and women makes a commendable input into the advancement of our nation. All this is indicative of the vitality and tremendous potential of our Basic Law.
Today, relying on this enormous power, our people courageously overcome hard trials and selflessly work for the sake of building a new Uzbekistan – a free, comfortable and prosperous life in the country.
Today, the phrase New Uzbekistan is perceived of in the international arena not just as a new notion, but also as a reflection of reality.
Indisputably, these achievements, themselves an outcome of the extensive legal opportunities enshrined in our Constitution, make us all feel specially proud.
On the basis of the constitutional norm “The people are the sole source of state power”, an effective and sustainable system is being formed to ensure the supremacy of the Constitution and laws, whereby it is not the people who serve government bodies, but the latter serve the former.
Amid the current intricate times when the world has been changing rapidly, the system I have just mentioned, built on the norms of the Constitution, has fully justified itself in overcoming diverse trials and addressing new threats, the pandemic in particular, and in eliminating the consequences of natural and man-made disasters that took place earlier in the year in Bukhara and Syrdarya regions.
We have been implementing systemic democratic reforms that are irreversible and designed to ensure the principles of power of the people, social justice and humanism our Constitution is imbued with.
First of all, our every effort is aimed to secure and realize every person’s rights guaranteed by the Basic Law to receive qualified medical services and robust social protection.
During the pandemic, priority is placed on protecting public health, helping out citizens who lost their jobs, and entrepreneurs. The established Anti-Crisis Fund has raised 10 trillion soums, which is directed at providing financial support for the healthcare system, social infrastructure, population and enterprises.
During the passing year, more than 500 thousand entrepreneurs and over 8 million citizens have been provided with benefits in the amount of about 34 trillion soums, an additional 2.6 trillion soums were assigned to augment the size of social benefits, material assistance and boost employment.
Within the framework of the Affordable Housing State Program, once the most pressing social problem, more than 13 thousand of our compatriots were granted keys to new apartments this year alone.
In addition, a beautiful and modern town with multi-storey buildings and social infrastructure has been built for the families affected by the disaster at Sardoba reservoir.
Imbursement of initial payments for housing for more than 1,000 women who find themselves in difficult life situations is also among the kind actions.
In the course of spearheading proactive gender policy, accelerated work continues to improve the social and political status of women.
All of this helps to mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic and the resulting economic and social crisis, as well as to bolster the confidence of our citizens in the future.
Extensive efforts are undertaken to ensure in practice the constitutional principle of justice. Thus, in order to reduce poverty, new effective mechanisms of social support are being introduced.
In accordance with home visit studies conducted to enquire into the problems the people have to endure, 840 billion soums were allocated to support more than 2.5 million members of over 590 thousand families. The needs, life problems of women and young people in every family were studied, employment has been provided for able-bodied members of almost 300 thousand families.
Crucially, people develop the experience and skills to get out of poverty through self-employment, business skills and entrepreneurship.
Another vivid manifestation of humanism was the national movement Compassion and Support, set up during hard days for the nation by the business community, farmers and kindhearted citizens. As part of this movement, the categories of the population in need of social support received assistance in the amount of 204 billion soums.
On the basis of the principle “New Uzbekistan starts from the threshold of school”, great attention is paid to radically reforming the education system. Large-scale work is underway to promote science, culture, arts, literature, sports, and swell the effectiveness of spiritual enlightenment activities, identify the abilities and talents of young people, especially girls.
All this serves to create foundation for the Third Renaissance in our country – a new era of our national development.
Profound reforms are in progress in accordance with another important constitutional provision – ensuring human rights and interests in all walks of life, especially in the judicial and legal realm. This is confirmed by the fact that over the past four years, 2,600 citizens were acquitted, 2,400 were released from the courtroom, the number of judicial instances reduced from 7 to 3, the judicial system is formed on the basis of the principle of “one court – one instance”.
The National Human Rights Strategy is being implemented steadily.
Work continues on the application of the institution of clemency. During the year 2020 alone, more than 300 persons who have committed crimes out of ignorance and sincerely repented of their deeds have been pardoned and released from penal institutions; for 200 persons, sentences have been reduced.
People who did not have citizenship for a long time have now become full-fledged citizens of the Republic of Uzbekistan. If over the past twenty-five years, citizenship was granted to only 482 persons, then this year alone, more than 8 thousand people received the right to be citizens of our country.
Thanks to the elimination of restrictions related to the acquisition of real estate in the city of Tashkent and the Tashkent region, more than 40 thousand citizens were able to register housing purchased in the capital region under their name.
A consistent policy aimed at furthering the democratic reforms in Uzbekistan, ensuring human rights and freedoms, improving the wellbeing of the population is widely acknowledged by the world community.
When one talks about this, notable is the international support for a number of global and regional initiatives and specific proposals put forward by Uzbekistan in September this year at the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
For the first time in the history of our nation, in October this year, Uzbekistan was elected member of the Human Rights Council – one of the principal bodies of the UN.
This is another great accomplishment of our open and proactive foreign policy.
Owing to the improvement of the investment and business environment in the country, growth in tourism and export potential, the active implementation of standards and norms of the International Labor Organization, Uzbekistan’s positions in international ratings are strengthening.
Despite various obstacles and problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the global economic crisis, our external relations have not been interrupted. Ties with neighboring states and partner countries in the political, trade, economic, humanitarian spheres are developing.
Our people are well aware that concrete measures have been taken this year to promptly and positively resolve the problems of Uzbek citizens abroad, provide them with legal assistance and bring them back home. Thus, amid the pandemic, more than 500 thousand of our citizens returned to the native land. Assistance of various kinds was provided to almost 100 thousand compatriots who found themselves in a tricky situation outside the country.
Humanitarian activities continue to return our citizens, mainly women and children, who, falling on false promises, left the country and today are left face-to-face with difficulties in the Middle East, in the region caught under armed conflicts.
In this regard, I would like to emphasize again: the citizens of Uzbekistan will always be under the protection of their state and the Constitution, and we will continue to firmly adhere to this principle.
We are all well aware that our achievements over the past four years are only the first steps towards the big goals we have set. On this path, we have to address very important tasks.
First, today life itself requires perfection of the Constitution and laws. In particular, it is necessary to adopt laws that will serve the interests of the people, liberalize all spheres of our life, abolish legislative acts that do not meet the requirements of the time, optimize the regulatory framework, and reduce unnecessary norms regarding the regulation of business activities.
I think the political parties and civil society institutions will participate even more actively in the implementation of these tasks.
Second, it is essential to devise and apply effective mechanisms to prevent and combat corruption, the principal enemy of our development.
The urgency of this issue is confirmed by the fact that over the past two years, a total of 1,986 officials have been brought to justice for crimes related to corruption, who by their illegal actions caused damage to the state in the amount of 2 trillion soums.
To systemically and comprehensively continue work in this direction, we are elaborating a National Anti-Corruption Strategy for 2021–2025.
I want to stress once again: this remains the most critical and priority objective for us. After all, corruption is an extremely dangerous challenge that destroys the state from within and damages our national security, and an uncompromising fight against this phenomenon is the duty of every one of us.
Third, we need to amplify attention to the issues of consolidating the peace, tranquility, interethnic harmony and interreligious tolerance, the protection of public order in the country. For the practical provision of the principle “The law is above everything, punishment for crime is inevitable”, all the forces and capabilities of the law enforcement agencies will be mobilized.
Fourth, our priority task will continue to be to ensure the vital interests of our veterans, respected women and motivated youth, to strengthen the atmosphere of peace and cohesion in families, mahallas and in our multiethnic nation in general, where we all live as one family.
Fifth, we will step up efforts to ensure freedom of speech and press, independence of the media, and the establishment of public control over the activities of government authorities.
Every one of us must clearly understand that the processes of openness and transparency, pluralism of opinion and democratic renewal in our society have become as irreversible as the reforms carried out in all areas, and we will resolutely continue with this course.
To steadily uplift the level and quality of life of our people, make it even more thriving and affluent so that every person in the country, regardless of ethnic origin, language and religion, feels the attention and care of the state and society is our key task.
I am convinced that all our compatriots, uniting on the path to this noble goal, will become active builders of a new Uzbekistan.
Once again, I sincerely congratulate you on the Constitution Day, I wish you all a sound health, happiness, great success in life and activities for the benefit of society.
May peace and harmony always reign in our homes, in our beautiful country!
May all our good dreams and aspirations come true!
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan