02 September, 2011Politics:
President Islam Karimov’s Independence Day Address
Today we celebrate a great holiday, an unforgettable historic date – the twentieth anniversary of independence Mother Uzbekistan – across the entire nation, in every single town and kishlak.
Two decades ago, decisively rejecting the old, obsolete totalitarian Soviet system, we started a new stage of historical development - of building an open, democratic state with a socially oriented market economy, free and independent life that had been sought by our people for many centuries.
It gives me a great pleasure to cordially congratulate you, my dear - and in your person our entire nation - on the greatest, the dearest holiday for us all to express my deep respect and reverence.
Strings of years, entire epochs will pass, but for our nation that has survived much in its millennia-old history, the independence of Uzbekistan that has fundamentally changed our lives and consciousness forever, will remain in the country’s history as an event of enormous proportions in the fullest sense, and will never lose its genuine value and essence.
In the intervening period we have experienced and profoundly discovered the hard-faced truth in our own case that no nation, no country in the world were given easy way to achieve independence, the very possibility to breathe freely, to build their own destiny and future with own hands.
Indeed, today, years later, we all should recall once again how difficult it was to free ourselves from the shackles of a totalitarian regime, how the situation in the country in the last days of that regime’s existence, on the eve of independence, exacerbated, getting dangerous, more and more menacing.
The most devastating effect on the state of affairs was provided by the one-sided hypertrophy of raw material-oriented economy of the country, a complete and unconditional monopoly of cotton production that had a destructive impact on the economy, environment and gene pool of the population. To understand the gravity of the situation prevailing then, it suffices to imagine the people in distress, subjected to lawlessness, whose patience was on the verge of abyss, and the country about ready to explode, when there stood quite pressing issues of basic human needs, of maintaining a healthy atmosphere in society.
Today we have without any hesitation every reason to loudly declare that whatever troubled days we had to endure, no matter what difficulties and obstacles on the path to independence we had to overcome, no matter what threats to our country might sound, in moments of toughest tests we remained faithful to the idea of independence, put the interests of Uzbekistan above everything, have not turned off from the chosen path and I am sure, will never do.
From the earliest days of the new life we have been deeply aware of the truth that the attainment of genuine freedom and sovereignty is not merely gaining independence, but also its formation and consolidation from political and economic perspectives and gaining respect and a decent standing in the world.
I am convinced all of us are well aware of the ways to achieve such noble objectives, that is, turning into a modern developed democratic nation by using all our natural resources, our rich industrial and intellectual potential, the strength, intelligence and energy of our industrious people who had seen much in life, and at the same time relying on cooperation with the international community.
On the way to improve the quality of life of the people, the principal priority for us is to gradually accelerate the pace of democratic renewal, the liberalization and modernization of all spheres of life.
I think I speak for all present at this majestic square attending this ceremony, for our wider public, for all the people, if I say that this is the surest way that has fully justified itself for the twenty years of our country’s recent history, the path that has acquired an extensive acknowledgement around the globe as the “Uzbek model”.
Today, one can cite many examples of greatest of our accomplishments over the past period. Confirmation of the heights and outcomes we have achieved for the twenty years is that Uzbekistan’s economy has grown almost 3.4 times, the average salary has increased 14 times, while the population’s total income in real terms has multiplied roughly nine times.
Clear evidence of sustained and stable economic development of our country is the fact that Uzbekistan is one of the few countries in the world, the negative impact of the ongoing global financial and economic crisis notwithstanding, who have been able to maintain steady pace of development. In the last 5 years, GDP average growth makes 8.5 percent, and it is expected this year that the current level will be preserved.
However, over the years of independence, public expenditures on social sphere rose more than fivefold, while about 60 percent of the budget goes to health, education, municipal services, social security and other sectors every year. Not common in the world, these figures clearly show that our fundamental goal is the human life, welfare and protection of their interests.
Here is another notable fact: for twenty years, infant and maternal mortality in the country has declined by more than threefold, average life expectancy has increased by 7 years, among men, it reached 73, among women - 75 years, the country's population currently stands at 28.5 million people.
Every one of us can confidently and proudly answer the question of what lies at the heart of our achievements, of our so noble heights: that is, first is the invaluable gift of independence, self-sacrificing work of our people everyday, changing identity and mentality of our people, their faith in tomorrow, their noble dreams and aspirations.
Today, all our compatriots living on this fertile land and considering Uzbekistan as their common home, regardless of ethnic origins or professional activity, have the right, with their head held high, to proudly declare that the accomplishments made by our Motherland include their own laborious work and well-deserved contribution.
From this rostrum, let me also express my appreciation to all our foreign friends who have always treated us friendly, supported, provided assistance, all countries and peoples we have good cooperation with, pass on kind wishes of happiness and prosperity to them.
I take this opportunity to express my sincere, heartfelt welcome and express our profound respect and reverence to the foreign ambassadors and representatives of international organizations present on this beautiful square, and say to all our dear guests: our holiday today is and your holiday, too.
There is much talk about what new horizons and opportunities have been open to us thanks to the independence. Among our greatest achievements, which will be forever in the annals of our independent country, there is one whose value does not measure and can not be overestimated.
This is our harmoniously developed, physically and spiritually healthy generation of young people who master modern knowledge and professions, have independently thinking mind, becoming the decisive force in our lives and, crucially, able to take responsibility for the future of the country.
It is they who are gathered in this magnificent area filled with enthusiasm and energy of young boys and girls, and through them - all the youth of the country would like to say today:
Not everybody is happy to be born and live in a beautiful blessed by the Almighty and unique land, whose name is Uzbekistan. And my fondest wish is that this vital truth penetrated deeply into your hearts and souls. May love for the country, devotion to the native land always accompany you.
Our sacred duty and honor is to always remember and pay tribute to the dedication of our ancestors, our fathers and grandfathers who survived tough times, many difficulties and trials, sacrificed themselves for freedom of the Motherland, and who preserved it for today's generations.
I think that I speak your noble thoughts and aspirations, and when I say that the honorable duty of every one of us to be ready to devote ourselves entirely, and if necessary - to give our lives for the future prosperity of the land dear for us all, in the name of its well-being and a great future.
Dear friends, dear fellow countrymen!
I am sure you will also agree with me that the coincidence in time of our major holiday with the sacred Eid Ramadan we may perceive as another manifestation of benevolence and compassion of the Almighty to our people and our country.
I embrace you all sincerely, and congratulate you with all my heart once again on the holiday and wish you a sound health, happiness and best of luck, prosperity and welfare to your families.
Let our beautiful sacred Motherland be eternal!
May peace always reign in our country and the sky above it be clear!
May our Independence be perpetual!
Winning the Future with Our Own Strides
Festive celebrations occasioned to the 20th anniversary of national independence have taken place at Alisher Navoi National Park of Uzbekistan.
Twenty years ago, President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov announced independence of our Motherland. A new independent state - Republic of Uzbekistan – emerged on the world map. A full member of the international community has become a country with a rich history and cultural heritage, enormous economic and enlightened capacities, with the people whose great forefathers had made an invaluable contribution to the evolution of world civilization, science and culture.
These days, our nation celebrates the great wide historic date - the 20th anniversary of independence of Uzbekistan, which is celebrated under the topic “Dearest, Holiest Motherland – Independent Uzbekistan”. It instills in the hearts of fellow citizens the feeling of boundless pride. We are more deeply aware of the enormous importance and essence of independence as the basis for fundamental transformation in society and people’s consciousness, its role in the political, social and economic life.
19.00. Those gathered for festive celebrations welcome the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov with applause.
Modern technical devices that are installed on the grand square attracted the attention of the audience. The screen demonstrates the unique video footage - the proclamation of independence of our country on August 31, 1991. Islam Karimov pronounces the following words: “I suggest to declare September 1, starting from today, Independence Day in the Republic, a national holiday.”
After independence, President Islam Karimov put forward the idea of "Uzbekistan - a state with a great future", stressing that it is not just a dream but a realistic goal, the achievement of which our nation relies on its great history and endless possibilities, and opened it deep socio-economic cultural and spiritual foundation. Carried out for the last time large-scale work, achieved significant results confirm that the people of Uzbekistan are really able to build a great future for their own hands.
... Attention again attracted huge screens. They demonstrated episodes connected with the adoption of the National Anthem, flag, constitution. Alternate history stuff: proudly flies the flag of Uzbekistan to the United Nations building, Uzbek President speaks at the UN and participates in international meetings, built in the years of independence, the majestic buildings, modern look of our towns and villages, and heroic work of our countrymen in various industries, the success of our young people ... These images, in tune with the noble feelings which fill our hearts, as if turning over in front of our eyes Chronicle of independence, a new history of the people.
The foundation of independence was laid in 1989 with the election of the leader of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov. As the head of state Islam Karimov took courage and determination to protect the rights and interests of the country’s people. The institution of President was established in Uzbekistan on March 24, 1990, the first such act among the Soviet republics. This was a manifestation of courage, an important step towards the attainment of national sovereignty.
Twenty years. In the annals of the independence they had already written in golden letters as equal ages in the way of building a new society, a new state based on democratic principles and market economics.
Eternal Memories of Our Ancestors
President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov visited Shahidlar Hotirasi memorial complex on August 31 to commemorate those who died for freedom and independence.
There is no future without historical memory. This truth is especially relevant during the celebration of two decades of independence of our motherland. The essence and meaning of such notions as independence, peace and tranquility can be seen on an example of our countrymen who fought and sacrificed their lives for these lofty ideals, President Islam Karimov said. It is known that the victims of the terrible mass political repression of the colonial regime were the best representatives of our nation - thousands of intellectuals, representatives of clergy and enlighteners. Their dignity and honor were trampled, lives broken.
With the proclamation of independence Uzbekistan has restored the historic justice. Feat and heroism of our ancestors and their dedication serve as examples for us, especially the younger generation. And it is of great importance in enhancing the spirituality in the society. After all, we should cherish and appreciate the present prosperous life, peace and harmony in the country.
To be able love their country the youth must deeply understand the value of heroism, hardship and difficulties that had won us the current bright days, and be worthy of their self-sacrificing ancestors, he noted.
On the same day, President Islam Karimov visited the Independence Square and laid flowers to the Monument of Independence and Humanism, a symbol of freedom, bright future and noble aspirations. The head of state got acquainted with the landscaping and beautification work implemented on the square.
The country’s central square and the adjacent territory in recent years have become even more beautiful and comfortable. Shade trees, flower beds and clean water in Anhor add a special beauty to the square.
Independence Square is always full of people. They come to visit this square from all around the country with joy and happiness on their faces.
So beautiful and picturesque squares created in Tashkent and in all regions of Uzbekistan are primarily a manifestation of peace and tranquility prevailing in our country, Islam Karimov said. They arouse the sense of beauty. And the beauty brings a sense of kindness, mutual respect and generosity.
The chambers of Oliy Majlis, Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan, ministries, agencies and the public, too, laid flowers to the monument.
ECONOMYThe growing economic power and creative capacities of Uzbekistan
President Islam Karimov traveled on August 28 to the new joint venture designed to manufacture automobile engines and the new air terminal in Tashkent to serve local flights to familiarize with ongoing efforts in these two facilities.
Thanks to the wide-ranging constructive and creative works, every single year of independent development has been inscribed in the chronicles of our Motherland with golden letters. The steadfast reforms led by President Islam Karimov have been yielding remarkable effects in economic and social spheres. All this has stimulated to build up the economic power of Uzbekistan, to shore up its standing in the international arena, to improve the wellbeing of the people.
Uzbekistan is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its independence with new achievements, extensive transformation, and wide-scale constructive works.
General Motors Powertrain Uzbekistan joint venture built in Tashkent region’s Zangiata district on the initiative of President Islam Karimov to manufacture car engines and the new air terminal in Tashkent to serve local flights have become a well-deserved gift for the greatest, the dearest holiday.
As a result of project worth 521.8 million US dollars, a unique and intricate industrial sector to encompass GM Powertrain Uzbekistan has been created in Uzbekistan for a relatively short period of time.
The new enterprise occupies 40 hectares of land, while its productive capacities absorb 44.7 thousand square meters.
The joint factory is going to manufacture a new generation BDONC engines with working capacity of 1.2 and 1.5 liters. These small-capacity novel engines have been developed by General Motors and are installed in global models of this company’s cars. That means that GM Powertrain customers will include not merely the car industry of Uzbekistan, but also other enterprises of GM’s global network. Thus, to date, the newly born plant has received orders from nearly ten assembly ventures of GM chain.
The level of production localization by the time full-scale production will be launched at the enterprise is 50 percent. Following locally manufactured engines’ installation, the share of localization in the value added goods of GM Uzbekistan will make 82 percent.
The head of our state had a talk with foreign specialists and local youth working at the factory.
“This major project is a new stride toward advancing our automotive industry founded in the wake of independence,” Islam Karimov suggested.
“Our youths are working at these sorts of sophisticated production facilities equipped with cutting-edge technologies meeting the latest standards, which naturally makes us happy and stirs up the sense of pride.”
As soon as the plant enters its projected capacities, up to 1,200 people will be employed, while 450 personnel are currently working here. All of them have been trained by foreign specialists. In particular, 120 young Uzbek professionals have passed retraining internships at leading General Motors plants in the United States, Germany, Austria, India and South Korea.
In his speech during a meeting in Tashkent city administration back in 1990 (January 20), Islam Karimov had noted with pity that the sufficiency of human resources in Uzbekistan notwithstanding, some 125 thousand workers and specialists had been drawn in the Republic from outside Uzbekistan to form the personnel of newly set up production companies. At that time, it was nothing but a disdainful attitude to local specialists, a no-confidence manifest toward them.
The consistent and efficient efforts under the leadership of the President have proved the flimsiness and groundlessness of that approach. It is supported by the fact that thousands of Uzbek young people have successfully been working at the high-power modern complexes in Karaulbazar, Mubarek, Shurtan, Dehkanabad, Kungrad, automobile factories in Asaka and Samarkand as well as many other modern major production facilities.
Our young specialists fly latest airliners today; they manage high-speed trains, with a growing number of young people commanding perfectly the state-of-the-art technologies. All this testifies that the Uzbek youth is second to no one.
“Quite gifted youths are working in this venture,” Janos Covax, production director of the JV, shared. “They have grasped all the complicated processes in foundry and assembly lines. This underlines the Uzbek youths’ zeal and intellectual capacities.”
A test production of first engines has been carried out at the factory. Following all the essential tests and certification procedures, batch production will be launched this November. The plant is expected to work in full production capacities as soon as in 2013.
The enterprise hosting both foundry and assembly lines in one area is to become a single such factory of General Motors throughout the world.
On the same day, President Islam Karimov acquainted himself with the new local flights air terminal at Tashkent airport commissioned on the eve of the 20th anniversary of national independence.
The new terminal has been constructed in national architectural traditions with a capacity to serve 400 passengers an hour.
Reviewing the extensive and modern conveniences and customer-friendly environment created here, Islam Karimov underscored in particular the priority significance of ensuring passenger safety and security.
To meet these goals, the new terminal is outfitted with latest electronic equipment and technical capacities. The building is surrounded with a security zone containing two check points.
Among the many advantages of the terminal is that passengers arrived in Uzbekistan from abroad can directly fly to other regions of the country without the need to leave the airport territory.
The tremendous creative efforts and large-scale reforms undertaken in Uzbekistan is a practical effect of the opportunities provided by the independence. These types of modern buildings and facilities erected across the nation ahead of the greatest, dearest holiday events are a testimony to the high economic power of Uzbekistan to serve further elevation in the wellbeing of the people.
(Source: UzA News Agency)
Sharq Taronalari music festival ends in Samarkand
The eighth international music festival Sharq Taronalari (Oriental Melodies) completed in Samarkand on 30 August.
This year’s festival, organized since 1997 on the initiative of President Islam Karimov, was attended by artists from 56 countries.
During one week, they demonstrated their skills at the Registan square, as well as recreation parks Yoshlik and Sugdiyona in Samarkand city and Urgut, Samarkand, Taylak, Pastdargom, Payarykskom and Jambay districts.
Within the music festival, a scientific conference, exhibitions, art evenings and meetings were held.
At the closing ceremony of the festival, its participants and guests expressed gratitude to the leadership of Uzbekistan for the high-level organization of this international forum.
The Grand Prize of the festival was awarded to the South Korean group “Sodo-Sodo”. Musicians from China and Lithuania won the first place, Uzbekistan, Russia and Iran were second, and Turkmenistan, Georgia and Madagascar came third.
The most active participants of the festival received special UNESCO prizes in various nominations.
After the awarding, a concert with participation of the winners of the festival and artists of Uzbekistan was demonstrated.
Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan A.Aripov and hokim of Samarkand region Z.Mirzaev attended the Sharq Taronalari closing ceremony.
(Source: UzA News Agency)