- The Strategy of Actions on Further Development of the Republic of Uzbekistan
- Chairmanship of Uzbekistan in the Council of Foreign Ministers of the OIC
- Central Asia - the priority of foreign policy of Uzbekistan
- Problems of water resources in the Central Asia
- Events at Uzbekistan's overseas missions
A Credit of Trust
Uzbekistan is getting prepared to celebrate the 23rd anniversary of its independence. Much has been done in the country over the last year. There are hundreds of kilometers of reconstructed roads and railways, erected new houses, industrial and social facilities. These figures indicate the success of the national development strategy. Meanwhile, the country’s major political event is yet to come: the upcoming parliamentary elections, according to experts, are expected to entail a new boost of socio-political and economic development.
STEP BY STEP
The ability of the socio-political system to flexibly respond to the needs of the time, to modify, redistribute powers, and create effective social lifts for filling the three branches of government with young professionals is one of the main indicators of successful development in any country. This creates a unique balance between the experience and the youth, which guides the country to new achievements. Uzbekistan leads in this field. When evaluating the socio-political system of our country, many foreign experts do not always realize what a rearrangement challenged the former Soviet republics in the early 90s of the last century. Some of them have stepped on the way of accelerated development in favor of short-term rewards, the so-called shock therapy, ignoring many social programs and commitments, which have led to the inevitable impoverishment of the middle class as one of the main pillars of the nation.
Uzbekistan has chosen a different path – a step by step policy, avoiding abrupt jumps and perturbations, step by step implementing the strategic development program with the focus not on GDP and industrial production rates, but on the people and their immediate needs. As a result, the nation ranks among the CIS leaders in terms of growth rates. Over the years of independence the economy has grown 4.1 times, the real incomes of the population have multiplied 8.2 times. The GDP growth rates have been at least 8% over the past nine years. The success is based on a key pillar – a robust social policy, which ensures a stability of the middle class. The close attention to the fate of the younger generation, their education and employment, is another factor.
Young people are a dominant part of population of the young state. This is not just a huge advantage, but a responsibility, since boys and girls should be provided with a quality education and a decent job. Hundreds of educational institutions – schools, colleges and lyceums – are built every year and reconstructed throughout the country to be a platform for training an advanced generation. 28 new vocational colleges, 55 children’s music and art schools, 112 children’s sports facilities and four swimming pools were built last year alone; 131 colleges and lyceums, 381 schools, 45 higher education facilities were reconstructed and overhauled. All of them have been provided with domestically produced equipment and supplies.
The breakthrough National Program for Training Specialists and the National Program for School Education Development have made a huge contribution to our noble endeavors as they have raised the national education to the level of international standards. The second important task is to provide young people with a pass to successful life. The majority of 983.6 thousand jobs, to be provided in 2014, are intended for the younger generation. The whole country, each single district, city and region has developed special job programs interlinked with programs on area and industry development, modernization and technological extension of enterprises, production localization, deep processing of agricultural products, accelerated development of transport and communication construction, social and market infrastructure.
It is worth to note another key indicator – a transformation in the people’s mentality in a historically short period of time. Many citizens exercise their civil rights, thus improving the system of governance. Nongovernmental not-for-profit organizations unite people with active civic position, those who are ready to improve the society. Using modern technologies, young people are actively involved in this process.
Uzbeks have opened dozens groups in the leading social networks where they discuss problems and issues regarding the activities of householders associations, catering enterprises and the service sector, the behavior of drivers on the roads, goods by unfair manufacturers, and much more. The government welcomed this impulse through the e-government system, which was designed to be a unique and technological tool for the society to address emerging social problems.
The Single Portal of Online Government Services, which has became a kind of the state’s digital image in the Internet, has recently marked its first anniversary. When the initiative was about to be launched its developers hoped it will be in demand. At the same time, they realized the scale of the challenge they faced: to hold a large-scale information rally, to win the trust of citizens and, most importantly, to justify their hopes. A year later, one can say with confidence that the project has lived up to people’s expectations. Users submitted about twenty thousand applications to authorities through the portal. The resource merges more than 500 government and economic management bodies and local state authorities. It provides about 200 services of various kinds. This all is far not the limit. The list will be expanded this year.
The success of the Uzbek development model is largely based on its flexible socio-political system, which is advancing abreast of the time, maintaining the basic principles of ‘reforms are not for the sake of reforms, but in the name of people’ and ‘from a strong state to a strong civil society’. Over the recent years the country has made significant steps to strengthen the three branches of government, to give the public and its representatives more powers to control state authorities. These measures are taken in line with global trends in the development of a democratic society with balance, transparency and effectiveness of government agencies as key pillars.
April 2014 was a breakthrough in this regard. The President of Uzbekistan signed a landmark law amending and supplementing several articles of the Constitution, which, according to experts, should drastically change the domestic political landscape. The new document strengthens the role of parliament chambers in the state power system through the expansion of their rights and powers. The list of addenda to the Constitution includes the introduction of a parliamentary control, a government’s obligation to submit an annual report on the most important issues of social and economic life to parliament, as well as a regulation obliging a candidate for the post of prime minister to submit a program of action of the government in the short and long term while his candidacy is reviewed and approved by the parliament. The forthcoming parliamentary elections are particularly important in this context.
Political parties of Uzbekistan, each of which represents the interests and appeals to their constituents, are getting prepared for the election rally through saturating program platforms with new tasks. Representatives of all factions of the country’s political parties have already held a series of meetings in the regions with the voters to identify the current problems and challenges of the population. They will build the basis of the factions in the new convocation, unless the party gets a decent estimate of the voters and gets into parliament. Experts expect the most serious competition in the upcoming election in the history of independent Uzbekistan, as conditioned by several factors.
For example, in addition to increased powers of factions in promoting the interests of their electorate, the role of the lower-level parties - councils of people’s representatives - is growing as well: they are now entrusted to control over the activities of the executive power of local level through the responsibility of governors of districts, regions and cities to provide them with reports on social and economic development.
The meaning of triumph in the election has significantly increased. From now on, a candidate for the post of Prime Minister of Uzbekistan is nominated by the party with the largest number of seats in the elections, or more parties if there is equality. The upcoming parliamentary elections are expected to play another important role: they will update the lists of the parties with young and motivated people who are ready today to address the most serious challenges.
It is very important that the elections justified people’s aspirations in their hope for new transformations in society and acceleration of economic and social development of the country. That is why it is so important that new enthusiastic politicians with fresh thinking built up social movements, and parties studied the issues of voters’ concern. The election is not just a unique opportunity for a dynamic breakthrough in the development of the state, but also a huge credit of trust of the population to their representatives at various levels of the state system. And most importantly, it should be justified...