At the International Congress Center in Tashkent City business district, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev delivered his address to the Senate and the Legislative Chamber.
According to our correspondent, the President began his address with the views on the past elections and democratic reforms. Highlights:
“I would like to address to all the deputies and senators, and in their person, to the people of Uzbekistan, that the path of democratic reforms is the only and right path for us. The new idea that society is the initiator of reforms is increasingly embedded in our daily activities”.
"At the same time, special attention should be paid to optimizing the three-tier election system for local councils, increasing the role of district and city election commissions".
“It should be noted that before only the state had been the main reformer in Uzbekistan to some point, and this had been politicized, with every single decision going from "top-to-bottom". Now the reforms are based on the real state of the society. And the problems that plague people are being identified through the media, social networks, public receptions and other “barometers”.
“In the Year of Active Investments and Social Development, the foreign direct investment to Uzbekistan was by 3.7 times higher than a year ago, with the share of investments to GDP reaching 37%.”
"Our country received the first ever international credit ratings and successfully placed US$ 1 billion worth of Eurobonds."
"As the scholars of the East say: The greatest of all richness is the intelligence and knowledge; the greatest of legacies is good upbringing;
“Therefore, obtaining modern knowledge, becoming truly enlightened and having a high culture must become a lifelong necessity for all of us.”
“In order to achieve progress, we need digital knowledge and modern ITs.”
“Although our country improved by 8 positions in the ICT Development Index in 2019, we are still lagging far behind.”
“It would be safe to say that most ministries and agencies, enterprises are nowhere in terms of digital technologies.”
“Certainly, we know very well that for the formation of a "digital economy" we need the infrastructure, a lot of cash and personnel.”
“However, no matter how hard it may be, when do we have to begin if not today? Coz’ tomorrow It will be too late.”
“Therefore, a swift transition to the digital economy will be one of our top priorities for the next 5 years.”
“Digital technology not only improves the quality of products and services, but also reduces costs.”
“At the same time, it is one of the most effective remedies to counter the most troublesome plague that bothers me most which is the rampant corruption.”
“We all need to understand this.”
"In order to further develop science in our country, I would like to declare 2020 the Year of Development of Science and Digital Economy."
“The ultimate goal of the new parliament should be to improve the lives of the Uzbek people. In this regard, I would like to say to our deputies that it is necessary to develop specific programs and roadmaps to address the urgent issues raised by the public during the pre-election meetings.“
“There is still a lot of work to be done to improve the governance, to fully ensure the basic principle that state bodies should serve the people, not vice versa. The fact that more than one million complaints are received every year by Virtual and Public Reception centers indicates the need to elevate the dialogue to a new level.”
“Our goal is to make Uzbekistan a developed country, which we can achieve only through intensive reforms, education and innovation.”
“First of all, we need to upbring strategically thinking, educated and skilled new generation, who will emerge as reformers. That is why we have begun to reform all levels of education, from kindergarten to university.”
“In 2020, the Homeland’s Hope Foundation will send more than 700 scholars and professors abroad for research and training.”
“Every higher education and research institution should cooperate with reputable foreign universities and research centers.”
Relations with EAEU, WTO, EU
“I want to draw your attention to another important issue.
We need new markets to increase income, create more jobs and increase production.
That's why we need economic integration!
About 80% of our foreign trade goes through the transit corridors of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Russia.
In addition, Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan account for 50% of our finished products exports.
Taking these factors into consideration and creating favorable conditions for our citizens who are employed in Russia and Kazakhstan, the issues related to Uzbekistan's cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Union are currently being studied.
We, of course, rely on the will of our people in this serious matter, above all, in the interests of our people.
Therefore, our deputies and senators, who are representatives of the people, should discuss this issue in the Parliament chambers, and take responsibility and give sound conclusions.
At the same time, we will continue our dialogue with the World Trade Organization, as well as on signing a new Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the European Union.
We will also strengthen our participation in other international and regional economic organizations.”
High speed Internet, digitalization
“It is necessary to introduce information technologies that meet international standards at all levels of education.”
“Taking into account the fact that last year the high-speed internet connection was completed in all cities and districts, in the next two years we should provide all rural areas with such high-speed Internet.”
“More than 7,000 healthcare facilities, preschools and schools have access to high-speed Internet so far, and another 12,000 will be connected to the Internet in the next two years”.
“The E-government system needs to be reviewed, and many IT Parks were created and the 1 million Uzbek Coders project was launched.”
“The development of the program Digital Uzbekistan - 2030 will be completed within two months.”
“In order to deliver our products to foreign and domestic markets, to reduce their cost, we need to develop transport and logistics.“
“International experts have concluded that Uzbekistan can increase its transit potential from 7 million to 16 million tons by improving existing infrastructure, applying flexible tariffs and establishing new promising routes.”
“We had closed Uzbekistan’s borders with other countries for 20 years. [As a result] the transit routes through us have gone to other countries.
“But we have invited the experts, and now 7 million tons of cargo is now being transported through Uzbekistan. Our capacities can carry up to 16 million tons of cargo. Imagine that 16 million tons of cargo will go through Uzbekistan.“
Reforming propiska system
“Another important issue is a huge gap between the provinces where our main workforce lives and the regions where most jobs are created. The solution is to liberalize internal migration.”
"The parliament and the government should, by April 1, 2020, study the international experience and must make concrete to reform the propiska system.”
“We all know how difficult this issue is. Unable to resolve this issue for the last 30 years, we have stymied our economy.”
“Unless our own citizens will be able to register, work and buy property anywhere they want in the Republic of Uzbekistan, we will not achieve significant results.”
Acknowledgement of poverty in Uzbekistan
“It's no secret that most of the population, especially in rural areas, does not have sufficient income. We have no right to hide it. Now we must say openly, there is poverty in Uzbekistan, we used the euphemism the low-income populations. Dear deputies and senators should know this.”
“The Uzbekistan’s poverty level is at 12-15%. These are not small numbers. We are talking about 4-5 million people. This is a huge number.”
“We need to implement a comprehensive economic and social policy to reduce poverty, stimulate entrepreneurial spirit among the public, tap full human potential and create new jobs.”
“Therefore, I propose to develop the Poverty Reduction Program for the first time with the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program and other international organizations.”
“At the same time, it is necessary to conduct an in-depth study on the basis of international standards and to develop a new methodology, which includes the concept of 'poverty', the criteria for its definition and methods of assessment.”
“We need to strengthen the role and place of our doctors in our society, to enhance the image of our medical staff, like our teachers, and to change the way we treat them.”
“We see in our social networks that people get violent against doctors and doing things that are not in our mentality. Therefore, practical measures should be taken to build respect and increase incomes for health care workers.”
Governors and mayors powers
“There is a need to create a new system to monitor how well the governors and mayors have been using their extensive powers over the past three years, and the effectiveness of the territorial structures of ministries and departments.
"Therefore, a system will be introduced to the regional and district governors and mayors to report to the provincial councils about their programs and their implementation."
“Another important issue. The current legislation envisages about 300 tasks and functions of governor and mayors’ offices.”
“Of these, 175 are essentially not the main functions of governors and mayors and basically duplicate the functions of other bodies.”
“This has a negative impact on the quality of work and discipline.”
Separate Anti-Corruption body
“Unfortunately, corruption in various forms in our society is hampering our development.
“If we do not prevent this evil scourge, it will be impossible to create a real business and investment climate, and not a single sector will advance.”
“Entrepreneurs are still facing corruption in land management, cadastre, construction, licensing, customs, banking, public procurement, which is testified by many letters to the President, as well as by reports from the press and social media.”
“Unless all segments of the population and the best experts are involved in the fight against corruption, we will not achieve the high goals that we all want, unless they are vaccinated with the “vaccine of honesty”.
“What would you say if I proposed to create a separate body that would be responsible for combating corruption which will report to the parliament and the president?!”
“Let the Presidential Administration, together with the relevant committees of the Chambers of the Oliy Majlis, within three months develop a draft Decree”.
"Project factory that will support entrepreneurs must be set up within the banking system.
“All state-owned banks will be gradually sold to strategic investors. If we do not sell them, there will be no progress. Without an investor, there would be no development. We will attract investors from the most good faith, most developed countries”.
“We must teach the banks to work for clients.”
“Also, qualified specialists from the leading foreign financial institutions were engaged in order to introduce modern banking practices, management and services in state banks, and this process will continue.”
“Banks need to radically renew their software through the widespread introduction of information technologies.”
“By July 1 of this year it is necessary to fully implement the "credit history" information system.”
“It is necessary to restore the public trust in the banking system and to stop interference from the outside into a bank’s activity”.
“Reforms in the area of early prevention of offenses need to be elevated to a new level. We are implementing serious reforms to improve the work of the law enforcement agencies.
“However, it should be admitted that police have not yet become a genuine protector of the people. There are no clear criteria for public order, crime prevention and public service delivery.”
“1989 people were acquitted in the last three years, while in 2019 alone 859 citizens were acquitted. In addition, in 2019, 3081 persons were released from the courtroom, while unlawful charges against 2623 citizens were dropped.”
"Our judges’ delivering acquittals and ensuring the rule of law is undoubtedly our greatest achievement in the judicial sphere."
“I, as the President, express full support for this courage and determination of judges.”
“Now it is time for not only acknowledgement of courts’ merit in restoration of human rights, but also to explore why human rights and freedoms were violated in the first place.”
“It is necessary to limit the old practice of questioning of court rulings by the prosecutor's office.
“Now only if a complaint is filed against the case can the prosecutor examine the court's ruling”.
“The government officials must grasp one thing that: the issue of judicial independence will remain under the personal control of the President.”
“Everyone who steps into the courtroom in Uzbekistan must be convinced that the justice will be served .”
“Otherwise, as the great German philosopher Immanuel Kant puts it, "If justice perishes, then it is no longer worthwhile for men to live upon the earth."
“We must never forget this fact. Judges in Uzbekistan must be strong advocates of the law, strong pillars of justice”.
"The main laws and codes in the judicial sphere were adopted almost 20-25 years ago and do not meet modern requirements."
“Therefore, I believe that a number of codes should be reviewed.”
"Parliament is to re-enact the new Civil, Criminal, Criminal, Criminal, and Administrative Codes in the coming years".
Special attention should be paid to the introduction of advanced human rights standards in investigative and judicial practice.”
"The purpose of the lawmaking is not just to pass a law, but to think about how the new laws will benefit people tomorrow and make their lives easier."