On 20 January 2021, an international online "round table" was held on the topic: "Message from President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to parliament: a program for further transformation of Uzbekistan."
The event was organized by the Institute for Strategic and Interregional Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan (ISMI) together with the representative office of the German Foundation named after Konrad Adenauer in Central Asia.
More than 30 experts from leading think tanks from 20 countries, including Central and South Asia, CIS, EU, China, Turkey and Malaysia, took part in the online forum.
The Uzbek side was represented by the heads and specialists of the ISMI, the Institute for Legislation and Parliamentary Research under the Oliy Majlis of Uzbekistan, the National Center for Human Rights, the Center for Economic Research and Reforms under the Administration of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Development Strategy Center.
During the dialogue, representatives of analytical and research centers of Uzbekistan made reports on the results of large-scale reforms carried out in the republic, as well as on the priority areas for the country’s further development, outlined in the Address of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
The essence and significance of the initiatives and proposals of the Head of Uzbekistan in the spheres of social and state building, ensuring the rule of law, liberalizing the economy, social policy, pursuing an open, pragmatic and constructive foreign policy are revealed.
The forum participants were also presented with presentation materials of the Development Strategy Center and the Yuksalish movement, reflecting the practical results of the implementation of the strategic development course of Uzbekistan, the essence and significance of the main provisions of the Address of the Head of State.
Opening the international round table, Akramjon Nematov, First Deputy Director of the Institute for Strategic and Interregional Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, drew attention to the political and legal nature of the Address, as an important mechanism to ensure openness and transparency of the activities of the supreme body of state power, and its accountability to the people.
It was emphasized that the practice of addressing the Head of State is an important tool for establishing a direct and confidential dialogue with the people, consolidating and mobilizing society and the state to solve the most urgent problems of the country’s development, increase the political and legal consciousness and civic activity of the population.
The structure of the current Address and its characteristic features are revealed separately. It was noted that in preparing the Address, the results of the implementation of the Development Strategy of Uzbekistan for 2017-2021 were analyzed in detail, the opinions of scientists, researchers, bloggers and journalists who published their proposals in the media were studied. The proposals of entrepreneurs, citizens’ appeals to the virtual reception of the president were taken into account.
Therefore, as A. Nematov emphasized, it can be said without exaggeration that through the engagement of mechanisms for a broad dialogue with the population, the Address reflects the most pressing needs, aspirations and interests of all layers of society.
According to the ISMI expert, the appeal of the Head of Uzbekistan to the parliament was traditionally comprehensive and at the same time frank and specific. The President raised the persisting acute problems that hinder the implementation of reforms, set precise tasks for their solution. At the same time, the issues of the socio-economic sphere that most worried the population were in the center of attention of the Head of the country.
This, as A. Nematov noted, testifies to the fact that President Sh. Mirziyoyev not only listens, but hears the problems and proposals of each citizen, reacts to his hopes and expectations.
Speaking with a welcoming speech, the authorized representative of the Foundation. Konrad Adenauer in Central Asia Ronnie Heine emphasized that since 2017, under the direct leadership of President S. Mirziyoyev, Uzbekistan has been steadily following the important path of modernizing the country, implementing large-scale reforms that are highly recognized in the world.
Expressing all possible support from the Konrad Adenauer Foundation pursued the policy of reforms in Uzbekistan, R. Heine noted the interest of the German side in expanding and deepening mutually beneficial cooperation with the Uzbek side in all priority areas of the country’s development.
Addressing the participants of the round table, Director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS) Mikhail Fradkov emphasized that the new large-scale tasks presented by the Head of Uzbekistan consistently complement and deepen the previously adopted strategic programs of fundamental transformations in all spheres of the state’s activity.
According to the director of RISS, the message formulates the key directions for the further development of the economy, financial and banking spheres, improving social and domestic policies.
At the same time, M. Fradkov stressed, it is especially important that all this was done with an emphasis on increasing the level of material well-being of the people, increasing the attention of the authorities to the problems of various strata and categories of the population, taking care of the health and education of the nation, and educating the youth.
The head of the leading Russian think tank expressed confidence that, despite the current difficult international situation, the pandemic and the global crisis, the implementation of the plans and serious innovative approaches will ensure the further successful movement of the people of Uzbekistan towards the creation of a modern, open, free, socially oriented, prosperous society.
The head of RISS also noted the consistent increase in the status of Uzbekistan in the world arena, the growth of its authority in leading international organizations, in the space of Central Asia. In this context, as M. Fradkov emphasized, the experience of the first successful chairmanship of Uzbekistan in the CIS will also make it possible to energetically and constructively lead in 2021 - 2022. work in the SCO as its chairman.
M. Fradkov welcomed the commitment of the leadership of the Republic of Uzbekistan to develop all-round friendly relations with the Russian Federation, as well as with China, the Central Asian states and other countries.
The firm readiness of British political circles to provide all-round assistance in promoting the reform program of President Mirziyoyev was also expressed by a member of the House of Lords, Baron Mohamed Sheikh.
Appreciating the efforts of the Head of Uzbekistan to modernize and liberalize all spheres of life in Uzbekistan, the member of the House of Lords of Great Britain separately dwelt on the relevance of initiatives to further develop parliamentarism, increase the role of women in public administration, improve the judicial and legal sphere, improve the quality of education, and create new jobs, especially among young people.
M. Sheikh stressed that an absolutely new political atmosphere and business environment is being formed in Uzbekistan, which increases the country’s attractiveness for investors, tourists, scientists from different countries of the world. The British politician drew particular attention to the new opportunities opening up for foreign investors in various fields, incl. in agriculture, energy, green economy, tourism, banking.
Eduard Soloviev, head of the Center for Post-Soviet Studies at the IMEMO RAS, agreed with this assessment.
In his opinion, a distinctive feature of the reforms being implemented in Uzbekistan is their complexity, the comprehensive nature of the reforms.
Comprehensive consideration of not only modern progressive trends, but also the stake on the revival of cultural and historical heritage, the mutual consistency of socio-economic and socio-political reforms, building an effective feedback mechanism with the people are the main guarantors of the implementation of the development strategy of Uzbekistan.
Such a deeply thought-out comprehensive approach, the Russian expert believes, certainly gives a positive impetus to the development of all spheres of society and the state, first of all, to improve the business environment and improve the quality of life of the population.
According to Shabir Ahmad Khan, director of the Center for Regional Studies at Peshawar University, President Sh. Mirziyoyev is taking "revolutionary" measures to reform and transform the country. Uzbekistan sets ambitious goals and is already making significant progress in the fight against poverty reduction, in the areas of economic liberalization, support for entrepreneurship, improving the investment climate, improving the quality of life of the population in the countryside, and eradicating corruption.
Shabir Ahmad Khan stressed that large-scale positive changes in Uzbekistan, witnessed by the entire world community, have a positive effect on the stability and sustainable development of Central Asia, open up broad and at the same time unprecedented prospects for expanding and deepening cooperation in the vast Eurasian space.
The expert noted that for the development of broader economic cooperation, Uzbekistan needs to continue work on improving the regional transport and logistics system, providing access to the Central Asian countries to the ports of the Indian Ocean, including the Pakistani ports of Gwadar and Karachi.
At the same time, according to a scientist from the University of Peshawar, the tasks designated by President Sh. Mirziyoyev in the Address testify to a strong political will, despite all the difficulties, to steadily continue the chosen strategic course of domestic and foreign policy. This instills confidence that Uzbekistan will certainly achieve its goals.
During the event, foreign experts were presented with the draft State Program for 2021, which provides for specific measures to implement the tasks, initiatives and proposals voiced by President Mirziyoyev in his Address. It was emphasized that the foreign partners participating in the event can familiarize themselves with this document in detail and express their vision and expert proposals, which will be taken into account when finalizing it.
At the end of the event, an active discussion took place on the topical issues voiced. The participants agreed that the Address is a large-scale programmatic document reflecting the strategic vision of the country’s development, where a person, his interests and well-being remains at the head of the entire system of priorities of the President of Uzbekistan. As noted, it is in this that the uniqueness of the strategy of the leader of the republic for the modernization of the country, its wide support among the population, is manifested.