Honorable heads of delegations!
Ladies and gentlemen!
I am profoundly pleased to see you all today at the ceremony of presenting the International Anti-Corruption Excellence Award in the beautiful city of Tashkent.
Welcome to the land of New Uzbekistan, dear guests!
First of all, I would like to express my deep gratitude to the founder of this prestigious award, my dear brother, Amir of the State of Qatar, His Highness, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, as well as to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime for their proposal to hold this solemn event in our country and their close assistance.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to sincerely congratulate our Qatari friends participating in this event and, in their person, the people of Qatar on the National Day, widely celebrated yesterday.
It is worth noting that under the wise leadership of His Highness the Amir, in recent years, the State of Qatar has been living in a spirit of renewal, with significant transformations taking place in the country and securing far-reaching and outstanding accomplishments.
I had the pleasure of personally witnessing these achievements during my visit to marvelous Doha.
The FIFA World Cup 2022, the UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries, the Doha Expo 2023, and many international initiatives held at a high level once again confirm that Qatar is becoming a center of global cooperation and diplomacy.
In this regard, I would like to note with particular pleasure that due to our active dialogue, relations between our countries have reached an entirely new level. Together, we have started ambitious projects.
The fact that today’s event is being held in our country is a vivid symbolic reflection of the similarity and coherence of our goals.
Dear participants of the forum!
Indeed, establishing a global award for anti-corruption, one of the most pressing issues in a rapidly changing world, and holding an award ceremony on all continents are highly plausible.
Hence, the fight against corruption is the sacred duty of every person with integrity, every democratic society, and every state.
Recognizing the world’s most active champions in the fight against corruption through this prestigious award fully aligns with the United Nations Convention against Corruption requirements, which was adopted precisely 20 years ago.
Ladies and gentlemen!
Looking at the history of humanity, we can see that the evil of corruption brought the most powerful and influential countries to the brink of collapse and left them in complete chaos.
Corruption is a dangerous threat that affects all of humanity, the foundations of all societies and economic development, undermines the rule of law and people’s trust in state policies and hinders the development of democratic institutions.
In addition, it seriously threatens our plans to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
According to analysis, currently the global damage from corruption reaches nearly $3 trillion.
However, I believe these big figures do not fully reflect the actual situation and the exact amount of real damage caused by corruption.
The most frustrating thing is that nothing can measure the moral damage done to society.
Fully realizing the consequences of this acute problem, we have been working closely with influential international organizations such as the United Nations, the World Bank, and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
We have been systemically implementing legal and institutional reforms to combat corruption.
Having passed the Anti-Corruption law, we have established a special Agency.
We are widely implementing preventive mechanisms to ensure the openness and transparency of government activities and increasing its responsibility, reducing bureaucracy, simplifying public services, and preventing corruption.
In particular, compliance and performance rating systems have been introduced in all government agencies. The public procurement system has been fully digitalized.
Uzbekistan became a member of the International Open Data Charter in 2021.
Our country is actively participating in the Istanbul Programme of Action, the Global Operational Network, the Eurasian and Egmont groups, and many other platforms. It acts as the Secretariat of the West and Central Asian Asset Recovery Network.
Tashkent annually hosts the traditional International Anti-Corruption Forum.
In recent years, our country has climbed 42 points in the “Transparency International” index and has the highest ranking in our region. We aim to improve by another 50 points by 2030.
In the Open Data Inventory ranking this year we have secured the 30th place. Uzbekistan ranks 4th in the world on Open Data Sources.
Dear participants of the forum!
In New Uzbekistan, where democratic reforms have become irreversible, we have also set ambitious plans and tasks to combat corruption.
Along the pathway of this responsible and uncompromising struggle, we are committed to mobilizing all our efforts with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and all our international partners.
First. We will develop and implement the National Anti-Corruption Strategy 2030.
Special attention will be paid to ensuring transparency, increasing accountability of public agencies, improving open data systems, and strengthening legal and institutional mechanisms.
Second. We will actively support and participate in new regional and global projects to fight corruption.
In this regard, we intend to fully utilize the potential of the Regional Platform of the Convention Against Corruption, which was launched last month in Tashkent.
Additionally, I propose establishing a Regional Research Center for the Problems of Corruption to exchange experience, strengthen dialogue, and conduct scientific work by actively attracting non-profit and non-governmental organizations.
Third. The capacity of the Anti-Corruption Agency will be enhanced by strengthening its cooperation with similar foreign institutions.
We will create new mechanisms based on advanced international practices, including the establishment of an “initial inquiry” institute for corruption investigations.
Fourth. Our priority is to raise a new generation, whose minds and hearts have been inoculated with the “Integrity Vaccine” since childhood.
In this regard, we are interested in the wide-scale implementation of the United Nations Global Resource for Anti-Corruption Education and Youth Empowerment Program.
Fifth. We appreciate the role of mass media on the frontlines in the fight against corruption.
In this regard, we believe that you will support our proposal to hold a Global Media Forum that aims to effectively harness the power of journalists in the fight against corruption and increase their influence.
It is a significant fact that all the winners of this international award are coming together for the first time and a Champions’ Meeting is being organized with their participation.
The global efforts of the Amir of Qatar, who has shared his development achievements and profitable investments with the world’s countries and has shown steadfastness and enthusiasm in the fight against corruption, align with our noble aspirations and will undoubtedly yield tremendous positive results.
Like the hands raised to stop corruption, reflected in this monument, we firmly shake with clear heart and conscience the hands of our determined and tireless heroes on the path of justice participating in today’s conference. We always stand by you in your noble endeavors.
I take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the winners of the prestigious award.
I would like to once again express my deep gratitude to our foreign guests participating in our Conference.
I wish strength and dynamism, new accomplishments, happiness and success to all of you in your noble endeavors.
Thank you for your attention.