December 11, 2017
Address by President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev at the Solemn Ceremony Dedicated to the 25th Anniversary of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Assalomu alaykum, dear compatriots!
Ladies and gentlemen!
Allow me to sincerely congratulate you and in your person our entire nation on today’s great holiday – the 25th Anniversary of adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Twenty-five years is just a moment for history. In this short period our beloved Uzbekistan has formed as an independent and sovereign state, secured its place in the world community, has indeed traversed a great path of development.
It is not for nothing that we attribute all our success on this complex and honorable way primarily to our Constitution. Since, our Main Law has defined the national independence, the course of national development, and the guarantees of human rights and freedoms, which have been long aspired by our people.
We can say with full confidence that the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan is a high example of political and legal thinking of our nation. It has been a legal guarantee of independent, free, peaceful and tranquil life. It has been serving as a firm foundation in building a law-governed state based on market relations, as well as a strong civil society.
The system of national legislation, the state bodies and the institutes of civil society have formed in our country on the basis of the Constitution. Currently, the large-scale reforms are underway in all spheres. Our social-economic, political and military potential is increasing and mindset of our citizens is expanding. All of this is, primarily, the result of creational power of our Main Law.
Dear fellow countrymen!
Today, as we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of our Constitution, with profound respect we recall the names of those people who made an indelible contribution to the creation of our Main Law.
As a result of two years-long diligent work of the Commission established under the leadership of our First President Islam Abdughanievich Karimov in June 1990, the first, the second and the third drafts of the Constitution were developed.
I always proudly recall that as a member of that Commission I also participated in this historical process. I vividly remember the heated discussions, various ideas and deliberations in the course of drafting the Constitution.
Our Main Law was offered for public discussion twice – in September and November, 1992. A broad public, our entire nation actively participated in discussing the drafts and numerous ideas and proposals were put forward with regard to the path of development and future of the country.
As a result of public discussion, around 100 amendments were made in the draft Constitution and on December 8, 1992 at the session of the Oliy Kengash (the Supreme Council) the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan was adopted.
All radical reforms and transformations for over the last quarter of a century in our country are being carried out on the basis of the Constitution. And it speaks for the fact that the Constitution is indeed an important and comprehensively thought-out political document, which meets the interests of our nation, as well as the strategic objectives of our state.
We have all grounds to be proud of this fact.
Along with this, we understand very well that enormous tasks are ahead in terms of full implementation of the provisions of our Main Law.
That is to say that much needs to be carried out to further improve the living standards of our people, ensure human rights and interests in practice. Above all, our people must feel the results of reforms in their lives not in the future, but today.
To this end, while stepping into the new stage of development, along with objective assessment of our potential and capabilities, we have thoroughly analyzed our mistakes and shortcomings.
On this basis we have adopted the Strategy of Action on the five priority areas for the development of the Republic of Uzbekistan. By its essence, this document turned into a “Road map” of systemic reforms in all areas of the life of society.
Within the framework of implementation of the Strategy of Action this year alone we have adopted over 20 laws and more than 700 by-laws.
The large-scale work has been accomplished in 2017, which was declared as the Year of Dialogue with People and Human Interests on the basis of the idea “Human interests are above all”. These works have become yet another enormous step in implementing the basic principles of our Constitution.
Certainly, we can speak about this in detail for a long time. But considering that today’s solemn ceremony is being held in a new form and content, I would like to dwell on only the most important changes.
The outcomes of this year and the issue of naming the forthcoming year will be thoroughly discussed in the Address of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan to be presented to the chambers of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic Uzbekistan in a few days.
It is an open secret that a totally new institution – the Virtual Reception Office of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and People’s Reception Offices on the ground were created in the system of state authority. These structures turned into an efficient system for the cooperation of the bodies of state authority and governance of all levels with the citizens and addressing the most urgent problems of the population.
The role and significance of the representative bodies of power elected by the population - the parliament and the councils of people’s deputies in the social and political life of our country has radically changed. Powers of the Oliy Majlis and the political parties have gradually been expanded. The parliamentary and public supervision institutions have been strengthened.
The district level councils of people’s deputies have been established in the capital city of Tashkent. So far, the residents of the capital’s districts did not have such representation.
We have restored justice in this regard and made the relevant amendments in our Constitution. Now the people of Tashkent have the opportunity to participate in the management of districts through their representatives – the deputies.
You are well aware that elections to the district councils of the capital will be held for the first time on December 24 this year. We are confident that those who indeed care about the country and its people, who enjoy respect among the population for their humanly qualities and civil position, will be elected as people’s representatives at the forthcoming elections.
The work on democratization of executive power has been consistently carried out for over the past period. Tasks and scope of powers of the government have been expanded and the level of its accountability and responsibility before the parliament was strengthened. It will be indeed true to say that this is a practical reflection of the sublime idea that says that “people are the sole source of state power” which is enshrined in Article 7 of the Constitution.
Along with this, the necessary measures were taken to ensure in practice the constitutional provisions on the right to freedom and personal inviolability and presumption of innocence.
Certainly, full implementation of this rule in practice is primarily intertwined with real independence of courts and their operating in a fair manner.
To this end we are paying a special attention to drastically reform the judicial sphere. In particular, in order to ensure a uniform judicial practice we have combined the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan with the Supreme Economic Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
In order to prevent unlawful interference in the selection and appointment of judges, create an open, transparent and alternative system of selection, the Supreme Council of Judges was established.
We have put in practice the procedure of appointment of judges for an indefinite term. On this basis the guarantees of the independence of judges in protecting the rights of citizens have been strengthened.
As a logical continuation of these reforms, we have put in practice the activity of administrative courts. Now, in case of violation of the rights of our citizens by state bodies, they may go to administrative courts which were established in each district and city.
In order to increase the accountability of courts before people, the candidatures of judges nominated for appointment are considered by public and active members of the makhalla (neighborhood community). The judges are appointed only subject to positive public opinion about their candidature.
Serious attention is paid to strengthening the correctional role of courts, ensuring openness and transparency it their activity, taking the public opinion into account in imposing a sentence. To this end, field hearings have been putin practice. While 373 thousand 256 cases have been considered by court for over the past period of this year, 169 thousand 289 or 45 percent of them were considered at field hearings.
The period of consideration of cases in exercise of supervisory power has been reduced from 3 to 1 year. The guarantees of delivering a final decision by the court of higher instance at the stage of appeals or cassation instances have been consolidated. Thus, the negative practice of red-tape and wandering of citizens among courts has been eliminated.
The procedure of returning criminal cases for additional investigation by courts has been abolished.
This has raised the responsibility of judicial and investigative bodies in terms of unraveling the truth, as well as making justified and fair decisions.
It should be especially noted that for over 10 months of this year the court acquitted 191 persons, whereas previously even one acquittal was an extremely rare event in the activities of courts.
The quality of investigation has improved while the accountability of investigative officers has increased. In particular, for over the past period, the investigative bodies established that no criminal action has been committed in 238 events. In 302 cases the expiration of limitation period and in 370 cases the sincere repentance of defendants was taken into account. In 549 cases the absence of danger to the public and in 1,636 cases the absence of the element of crime was proved. Based on these grounds over 3,5 thousand criminal cases were dismissed.
In order to ensure the legality and justness of each sentence, the practice of consideration of public opinion has been put in place.
Based on the testimonials of the makhalla councils, district and municipal councils of the Youth Alliance of Uzbekistan, as well as women’s committees, defendants, especially the youth are imposed the types of punishments not related to imprisonment. They are given another chance to return to a right path.
In particular, this year alone public testimonials were taken into account in imposing punishment against 173 individuals in total, of which 152 were the testimonials of the assemblies of the makhalla residents, 18 – testimonials of the Youth Alliance and 3 – testimonials of the women’s committees. Thirty-eight of these individuals are youth, 18 are minors, and 11 are women. For example, in Shaykhontokhur district alone, testimonials of the assemblies of the makhalla residents were taken into account in imposing punishment against 15 individuals.
As a result of these works, 63 individuals across the country were released in the courtroom, 11 individuals were acquitted, and 97 individuals were imposed a more lenient punishment.
Distinguished participants of the ceremony, let us think: what is the purpose from prosecuting a person? Isn’t it to try and correct him, returning him to the right path? Isn’t it preventing a crime?
However, it is impossible to correct a person by punishing, by repressive methods alone. For that the whole society needs take action, we must, above all, eliminate from our life the reasons and factors which give rise to criminal circumstances. We must all contribute together to this work.
At the same time, all of us well understand that much needs to be done to ensure the independence of courts and turn them into the real defender of human interests.
The results of an open dialogue that we maintain with the people vividly demonstrate one truth: the circumstances, which put obstacles in the way of ensuring lawfulness and objectiveness during collection and assessment of evidence, have not been completely eliminated from judicial and investigative practice.
To this end, last week the Presidential Decree “On the additional measures to strengthen citizens’ rights and freedoms in judicial and investigative activity” was adopted.
In accordance with this Decree, from now on, torture, psychological, physical pressure, as well other types of cruel violent treatment will not be tolerated in Uzbekistan at all.
Any person who committed such criminal acts, whoever he is, will certainly be brought to account.
It is strictly prohibited to use any unlawfully obtained information, including audio and video materials, as well as material evidence in the framework of criminal cases. It is prohibited to torture, infringe the right to protection, deceive and use other unlawful method during investigation.
A separate criminal liability will be imposed for forging of evidence.
From now on, the lawyers will be entitled to collect and submit evidence on the criminal case. This evidence is subject to compulsory verification and assessment by investigative and judicial bodies.
In order to strictly restrict such unlawful method as torture pretrial and temporary detention facilities will be equipped with video surveillance systems.
Most importantly, no report on the use of unlawful methods must remain overlooked. The bodies of the prosecutor’s office shall conduct a thorough examination on each case and shall ensure inevitable liability of all culprits.
It is not for nothing that we are paying particular attention to reforming judicial and legal sphere.
It is because ensuring human rights, which is enshrined in our Constitution, is directly intertwined with a practical result of these reforms.
The main attention in this process was attached to creating broad opportunities for our citizens to enjoy their rights. The Law “On the appeals of physical and legal persons” was adopted in a new edition. Thus, the procedure for people’s appealing by convenient means of communication – helpline and hotline numbers, as well as videoconference communication has been put in practice. In order to ensure the right of our citizens to appeal to the bodies of state authority and people’s representatives, which is enshrined in the Constitution, the procedure has been approved for accepting appeals at public meetings. At present, not people come to the officials, but officials come to the people. This is a big change.
This year, the heads of judicial, law enforcement and controlling bodies, as well as the managers of commercial banks held on-site receipt of visitors in many regions of the country. These meetings which discussed the problems of fighting and preventing corruption were attended by 43 thousand 127 citizens.
At these meetings the citizens put forward 22 thousand 186 appeals related to the allocation of credits, decisions of law enforcement and judicial bodies, employment and payment of wages, entrepreneurship, supply of electricity and natural gas, healthcare and others.
Out all appeals, 6 thousand 484 were resolved at once, 15 thousand 702 appeals were forwarded to the relevant agencies for consideration and internal investigation was ordered on 94 cases and the culprits were brought to account.
In this regard, yet another important document – the new Law “On dissemination and use of legal information” was adopted. The Law has further expanded the possibilities for studying the documents and materials related the rights and interests of citizens.
From now on, it is guaranteed that our citizens shall receive legal information from state authorities, other organizations, and officials without any restrictions.
Improvement of the system of national human rights institutions was in the focus of our attention. In order to practically implement the Constitutional provisions which go as “Each person is entitled to be a proprietor” and “Private property shall be inviolable and under protection of the state as other types of property”, the new institution – the Representative for protection of the rights and lawful interests of the entities of entrepreneurship at the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan was established.
In addition, the activities of the Representative of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan for human rights were improved. Powers of the Representative in terms of oversight in penal facilities were expanded.
Granting another chance to those who committed crime through ignorance or those who sincerely repent their actions, returning them to society, to their family is among important social issues. Since, they are also the citizens of Uzbekistan, the children of this county.
On the eve of today’s historical date, I, as President, using my constitutional authority have signed a Decree on granting pardon to 2 thousand 700 individuals sentenced by courts.
Such decree was adopted in the history of Uzbekistan for the first time.
All of us are well aware that so far the amnesty acts used to be adopted in our country on annual basis. The main essence of the amnesty is that it initially defines the category of crimes and only then the individuals are establishedwho fall under this category of crimes.
Certainly, amnesty is an important mechanism in terms of granting pardon to the people who committed a crime. However, the analyses show that granting amnesty without prior and thorough examination resulted in facts when the amnesty was granted to those who did not repent their actions or those who did not fully compensate the caused damage. This in turn prevented such persons from deeply feeling the punishment, led to the formation of a delusive mood as if they could get away with everything.
The worst is that in granting the amnesty the opinion of the victim or public was ignored which caused justified objection of citizens.
Therefore, unfortunately, there were the cases when the individuals, who have been freed on amnesty, used to commit a crime again.
Taking these circumstances into account, the special commission members talked to each convicted person on an individual basis. They have conversed to people of his makhalla and learned about the opinions of the victims. Along this process, the special commission members have also taken into account the graveness of committed crime and to what extent the court sentencing was fair. As a result of an in-depth analysis and scrutiny, the concrete convicts were identified, who have sincerely repented of their deeds known to have been committed knowingly or unknowingly, and strongly decided not to commit them again. It was those who have been granted amnesty.
I believe that each and every person, who was granted a presidential pardon, will justify a high trust laid on him, will make a commendable contribution to large-scale reforms being carried out in our country and will find its niche in our society.
In this regard, I think it is appropriate to draw your attention to another important issue.
It is an open secret that there was the so-called “system” of selection of cadres for employment with state bodies which remained from the old regime. It was about not to hire citizens for jobs or not to appoint them to higher posts, whose close relatives were known to have been convicted by court. Due to such an unacceptable approach, many of our youth and skilled specialists were found “guilty without guilt” and suffered only of what their relatives have done.
Please, tell me: is it fair? Why an entire generation (kith and kin) must be held accountable for one crime? Why the children must be held accountable for their father’s deeds or little brother must be held responsible for his elder brother?
From now on we will entirely abandon such an unjust “system” – which corresponds neither democratic norms nor modern requirements of life.
In order to strictly follow the provision on banning the forced labor stipulated in the Article 37 of our Constitution, a number of measures were taken during the year.
In particular, a solid parliamentary and public supervision was established. A Parliamentary commission was set up to provide for the labor rights of citizens. The working groups consisting of deputies and senators are traveling to all regions of our country and implementing the parliamentary supervision over not allowing the child and forced labor.
All of you saw and heard this year that we have strictly banned engaging the staff members of state budget-sponsored organizations and students in cotton harvesting practices.
During the cotton picking season the International Labor Organization has led a systemic monitoring over not allowing for child and forces labor practices.
Thank to the fact that it was firstly ourselves who introduced a strict control that not a single negative case was observed. The international organizations and let alone the broad public are recognizing the effectiveness of implemented measures.
Our activities aimed at ensuring human rights are entirely consonant with Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations Organization. This was admitted by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights ZeidRa’ad Al Hussein and Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief Ahmed Shaheed, who visited Uzbekistan for the first time in our history.
It should be noted that basic principles of the Universal Human Rights Declaration were reflected in our Constitution. In 2018 the 70th anniversary of this declaration will be broadly celebrated worldwide. We will also adopt a Special State Program to comprehensively propagate the essence and substance of the declaration which stands as the first universal international document on human rights.
As an outcome of such practical activities we are initiating to conduct the Asian International Forum for Human Rights in November 2018 in the city of Samarkand.
All of you are well aware that the interior bodies take on a very important role in ensuring human rights and freedoms. From this point of view, for over the past time their activities were also radically reformed. We have defined the criterion of their work as serving the people’s interests.
The new programs and objectives are being realized to prevent crimes. In particular, the information and communication technologies are being actively introduced to the sphere. More than 114 thousand video surveillance tools were installed at residential areas, streets, supermarkets and communal service areas. Nearly 10 thousand crimes were revealed using these technologies.
During 2017 the number of crimes decreased by 14 percent against the year 2016 and accomplishment of the aforesaid was very important in achieving this.
If we briefly describe our goal in this sphere, in the future we should create the system of interior bodies which will win the trust and love of our people and will become a truly people’s interior bodies.
Certainly, as a result of implementation of the “Safe city” project, the efficiency of our work in this direction will rise.
Along with this, we clearly comprehend that this work is just a beginning of a big path and this is just an initial stage. We will channel all our strength and capacities to provide for the following principle in our society: “The law and justice are priority, crime shall surely be punished”.
It should be especially emphasized that we have established an integral system of combating corruption – an accomplishment, which stands among other commendable measures in this direction. The adoption of the Law “On combating corruption” has allowed to unite the efforts and capabilities of both state apparatus and institutes of civil society in fighting against this evil.
The essence of activities of law enforcement bodies has completely changed. The entirely new system of prophylaxis of law infringements and combating crimes was established. It became an important task not only to frighten with punishment and dealing with consequences of violation of law, but rather timely averting the infringement of law.
It is well-known that our Main Law has the following provision: “State shall reflect the will of people and shall serve their interests”. With an aim to provide for this norm in practice, we have adopted the Concept of administrative reforms.
According to the Concept, we have identified 6 priority directions of radically reforming the system of state governance and in line with the “Road map”, the activities of over 100 bodies of executive power are being reviewed.
The major goal of implementing the administrative reforms is to create the compact and professional system of executive bodies which serve our people and the system based on modern management.
In this regard, I wish all of us clearly understand the following idea.
The effectiveness of reforms being carried out now in our country, first of all, directly depends on increasing the number of young cadres with high spirituality and independent thought capable to take on a responsibility for the fate and progress of our Homeland.
Another important document was adopted in this purpose: the Decree “On raising efficiency of state policy for youth and supporting the activity of Uzbekistan’s Union of Youth”.
As we speak about this, it should be noted that more than 60 percent of Uzbekistan’s population make up the youth under the age of 30. You are well aware of the extent of our enormous work we have been accomplishing in terms of creating all necessary conditions for the youth – starting from their healthy birth to ensuring solid growth.
Along with this, it is an open secret that the system of preschool education – the most important link in the upbringing of our children – lags behind the modern requirements. We should openly speak that many problems were accumulated due to weakening of our attention to this sphere some time ago.
I believe that there is no need to prove to anyone that a child, who goes through preschool, will have a high conscious and solid worldview.
Taking all these circumstances into consideration, in September this year we have established the Ministry of Preschool Education. Proceeding from priority directions defined as a part of administrative reforms, a number of important tasks were laid on this Ministry.
According to the program adopted in this regard, in the forthcoming 2-3 years in each region of our country – whether they are big cities or remote villages, we need to build thousands of kindergartens.
We should supply them with modern equipment, provide with qualified kindergartners and specialists, as well as new curricula.
Imagine for yourselves what new and broad opportunities will open up for mothers, our elder and little sisters living in the rural area if their children will go to a kindergarten. A child will grow up in kindergarten in a healthy atmosphere and ready to attend the school.
Our respected women will be comforted in their hearts for their children and will find a proper time to engage in social work and housekeeping activities. Besides, they will find a bit of additional comfort to have a rest and think about how to better their health.
Therefore, it is both a must and duty for us to implement such profound reforms in the sphere of preschool education. No matter how difficult it is going to be, we must carry out this historical task and certainly we will accomplish it together.
It is well-known that the Article 53 of our Constitution provides for the following provision: “State shall act as a guarantor of inviolability and protection of economic activity, freedom of entrepreneurship and private ownership”. As a practical proof of this norm, this year we have opened up a path for free convertibility of our national currency – Uzbek soum (currency rates of CB RU from 11.12.2017, 1$= 8096.33 soums).
The customs duties were reduced 2 times. The unscheduled and arbitrary inspections of activities of businesses were abolished.
In order to create decent living standards for our people, first of all, we need to build a strong economy, ensure the competitiveness of our country in the international arena.
Today, ruthless competition around the world is becoming more acute. In such a difficult situation, we must work without wasteful introduction of modern achievements of science and innovation. At this point, this issue is becoming a decisive factor in improving the welfare of the people, the sustainable development of the state and all spheres of society, the formation of a bright future for our country.
The recently adopted Decree “On the Establishment of the Ministry of Innovative Development of the Republic of Uzbekistan” is of great importance, since it is aimed at achieving these goals.
Dear fellow countrymen!
In order to ensure social rights of our citizens laid down in the Constitution 24 thousand residential buildings in the rural areas and 187 modern multi-storey houses in cities were built on the basis new model projects.
In order to provide the population with centralized water supply, 218 projects were implemented. The water supply was improved for 350 thousand people. In 2017 on the basis of rural medical posts, about 800 family polyclinics and more than 400 emergency bureaus were formed. The ambulance services were provided by 1260 special vehicles. More than 300 preschool educational institutions were overhauled.
The priority of our state and our society was aimed at ensuring the level of social justice, creating decent living conditions for people with disabilities and needy individuals.
This year, people with disabilities were paid about 2 trillion 600 million soums of pensions and benefits.
The agreements were signed to allocate affordable housing for more than 1200 disabled citizens more than 22 billion soums have been allocated for initial payments.
972 women with disabilities were provided with sewing machines for domestic work and a source of permanent income was created for them.
More than 7000 prosthetic and orthopedic devices, over 6500 wheelchairs and about 1600 hearing aids were provided free of charge to citizens of this category.
For disabled people and those of retirement age, about 23500 vouchers were allocated for free medical treatment in healthcare facilities.
There are many more of such examples.
But we still have a lot to accomplish in terms of supporting socially vulnerable layers of population, providing them with qualified medical and social assistance, vocational training and employment.
Therefore, a commission was set up to prepare proposals for radically improving the system of state support for disabled people, and in this area, in-depth studies were carried out.
Based on the opinions and suggestions of members of public, the Decree “On Measures for the Basic Improvement of the System of State Support for the Disabled” was adopted.
According to the decree, from March 1, 2018, it is prohibited to purchase urban passenger vehicles not adapted for people with disabilities.
Since 2018-2019 academic year an order of allocation of additional 2 per cent quota for persons of this category will be established during admission of students in higher educational institutions.
In addition, a fixed tax rate of 50% of the minimum monthly wage will be applied from next year for persons with disabilities of the 1st and 2nd groups engaged in individual entrepreneurship.
Another important document in this area is that the Law “On the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” will be adopted.
To address the above issues, the Foundation for the Support of People with Disabilities, set up under the Ministry of Health, must function effectively. In addition, a special structure should be strengthened for the social security of single elderly people and other vulnerable groups.
I believe that our society and all our people will actively participate in the realization of such noble works.
Dear participants of the ceremony!
I think we all understand that the country has enormous and important tasks to deepen democratic reforms.
In this regard, any reform should be carried out in accordance with constitutional principles and regulations, rule of law should be the main criteria.
Our goal is to ensure the people’s power not only in words, but in practice. This is the main requirement of today’s complicated era. It is to repeat – our people are waiting for positive changes in their lives today.
Therefore, we have to commence our endeavor in accordance with the slogan “A great future starts today” and use all our strengths and capabilities to ensure the well-being of our people.
While speaking about it, I would like to draw your attention to the following priorities:
First, the constitutional principle of the priority of human rights and freedoms must be guaranteed absolutely in the daily activities of state bodies.
The principle “It is the state bodies that should serve the people, not the people should serve the state bodies” should become a key rule for the leadership at each level.
It is essential for officials to visit regions and live with the needs and problems of the people and deal with them not by falsified manner, but in practice.
It is known that as a first step towards entering the nation and establishing dialogue with the people we have set up the Peoples’ Reception Offices in each district and city. They became a unified system of tackling many problems of our people. Nearly 1.5 million addresses were considered in one year.
Today our population’s confidence in Peoples’ Reception Offices is growing. The role of these structures in raising public officials’ responsibilities is becoming more and more perceptible.
All of us understand that by the growth of the life standard of our people and solution of many problems the addresses to the People's Reception Offices will be reduced. In this regard, we will redirect the capabilities of these bureaus to the public services sphere.
To this end the issue of effective organization of the services rendered by the “One Stop Shop Centers” affiliated to the Ministry of Justice through the “People’s Reception Offices” is being considered. In this regard, it is envisaged to entrust dealing with these issues to the Service for the Protection of Human Rights, Supervision and Coordination of Work with Applications of Individuals and Legal Entities at the President Office.
It would be a good idea to establish a new structure as a part of this unit and call it Quick State Services Agency.
It is well-known that almost every day we address various state agencies.
For example, it takes a whole day standing in the queue for getting a simple certificate in the notary, archives or cadastral office, gas, electricity, water supply agency or makhalla.
This is how much time and nerves people spend on things that seem to be insignificant at first sight. But this all can be solved at one place, in an urgent and centralized order.
There are offices in all cities and districts of the country, for example, in the remote Chimbay or Kurgan-Tepa district. They are designed to serve the people. But, unfortunately, in most cases, it is right to say that they are cut off from the people.
In fact, in the 21st century – Internet and information communications era – it is possible to do all these things on the computer sitting in the house.
Such a system is already in place in all developed countries. Do we have the opportunity to introduce this system in our country? Yes, of course. But we have become accustomed to looking at this issue as a minor matter.
Whereas, everything that concerns life and interests of the people cannot and should not be a small issue.
To eliminate this situation we now create the task on absolutely new basis. Now organizations and structures of public service go directly to regions, makhallas and serve the population.
The People’s Reception Offices in provinces, cities and districts will coordinate and control the activity in this direction.
Once we set up such a system, I think, it would be comfortable for our nation and people will agree with us.
In this regard, the Cabinet of Ministers together with the relevant ministries and agencies will be tasked to submit within 15 days a draft of Presidential Decree on this issue.
Second, we all need to grasp the essence of the constitutional principle of the people’s power.
For this purpose, it is necessary to broadly implement the practice of people representatives’ report of various executive authorities before parliament and local councils. We need further development of mechanisms of parliamentary, representative and public supervision.
Every government official should never forget that he is responsible before the nation.
Along with this, transparency in public administration is an indispensable factor in the implementation of the principle of public administration. We must create all opportunities for the people to be objective and know what government institutions and their elected officials are doing.
Third, the implementation of constitutional norms regarding the health of our population, which is our greatest wealth, should become the most important priority of state policy.
In this regard, it is our primary objective to improve the system of qualified medical care, increase the efficiency of disease prevention, patronage and screening services, and provide the population with affordable and high-quality medicines. We also must work hard to promote a healthy lifestyle and medical culture in the communities.
Fourth, our work should focus on the most important constitutional procedure – the principle of social justice.
Social justice is to ensure the equality of all citizens before the law, regardless of their political position, gender, nationality, language and religion. These are equality of opportunities in education, medicine and other fields. These are freedom of guaranteed work, equal opportunities in carrier growth. And the most important is the care for the elderly and needy citizens.
Our main task in ensuring the principle of social justice in society is the adoption of fair laws.
In short, if law is fair, if it protects human rights in practice, then people are respected and they obey law.
Fifth, ensuring the constitutional rights of citizens to freedom of thought, expression and belief is a prerequisite for building a developed democratic state and a strong civil society.
We must ensure the current potential of our citizens who are ready to participate directly and actively in the political and public life of the country during democratic reforms.
In this respect, the rapid development of a multiparty system, competition among parties, ideas and programs is extremely important.
The mass media should become the most important and effective tool of transferring the needs of population to local authorities, the closest supporter of the people and protector of democracy.
The critical and objective assessment of the activities of the government and management authorities, shortcomings in various areas and bold definition of current issues should become the most important criterion of their activity.
Sixth, one of our crucial tasks is to gradually implement the principle of mutual responsibility, rights and duties among citizens, state and society.
This principle is a constitutional basis in addressing the problems facing our country that ensures effective interaction between the state and individual, the state and civil society.
We are all responsible citizens, for the sake of society and the state, for the sake of our Motherland, for the sake of strengthening peace and stability in our country, preserving, enriching our historical, spiritual and cultural heritage.
We need to further intensify our efforts to maintain an atmosphere of friendship and harmony, maintain and strengthen mutual respect between representatives of various nationalities living in our country.
Seventh, the freedom of entrepreneurship and the inviolability of private property will remain a priority in public policy.
Without exaggeration, we can say that the consistent implementation of this constitutional provision determines the essence and meaning of our work on the accelerated development of a socially-oriented market economy.
We will continue the policy of further liberalization of economy and providing for wider access for entrepreneurs.
As a head of state, my constant attention and control will be a matter of full support and removal of obstacles in this sphere.
Again, I would like to emphasize that an obstacle to entrepreneurship is a betrayal of state policy.
Eighth, we must ensure the implementation of the constitutional provision that the Republic of Uzbekistan guarantees the legal protection of its citizens both on its territory and abroad.
Unfortunately, up to now the issue of protecting the rights of citizens working abroad has not been properly taken into account.
Taking into consideration this fact, it is necessary to note that the attitude towards the citizens studying abroad on a legal basis is changing dramatically.
The Government of Uzbekistan will further protect the rights and interests of its citizens wherever they may be.
We have taken the initial steps towards implementing these tasks. Agreements on labor migration with Russia have been reached. Special delegations from Uzbekistan are holding meetings with our compatriots abroad.
Together with local authorities the necessary measures were taken to improve their living and working conditions and ensure their rights.
The necessary measures are being created to render consular and other services to our compatriots abroad, ensure them unhindered travel to our country and making contribution to the progress of Uzbekistan. In the future we will expand such activities.
Here is another important issue – unconditional provision for the norms of the Constitution and rule of law, as well as lawfulness stands as a significant guarantor of protecting human rights and freedoms. We must comprehend this notion clearer.
From this point of view, to firmly follow the Constitution and requirements of law must turn into a main criterion of our spiritual consciousness and culture.
At present, we are implementing the large-scale reforms along the path of placing our dear Motherland among the ranks of advanced democratic states.
I am confident that state bodies, broad public and all our citizens will make their commendable contribution in achieving these noble goals.
As the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and guarantor of observing Constitution, I deem it is not only my task, but firstly it is my sacred duty to ensure the rule of law in our society, protect the rights and freedoms of each and every citizen.
There is no doubt, the years and centuries will pass, but our Constitution, which is a supreme example of political and legal consciousness of our people, will serve as a law for life and solid foundation in the course of addressing the life’s acute problems.
I once again congratulate you, my dear fellow countrymen, on the landmark date of our Constitution and wish all of you a sound health, peace in your families and enjoyment with happiness of your children and grandchildren.
Let Almighty Creator save our Homeland from various evils! Let Almighty Creator always help us in our noble deeds!
Thank you for your attention.