Distinguished members of Majlisi milliand representatives of Majlisi namoyandagon!Dear compatriots!
This year, the address by the President of the Republic of Tajikistan to the supreme legislative body is being conveyed ahead of the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the state independence that is holy of holies and the greatest achievement the people of Tajikistan has reached over its modern history.
State independence and sovereignty that was reached at after hundreds years of sacrifices, hard work as well as every effort continuously made by our freedom-loving people, posed very critical historic and, at the same time, honorary task, namely building a modern state that could meet people’s interests and provide a foundation for modern Tajik statehood.
Despite all difficulties and obstacles, we have succeeded in providing foundation for our sovereign state and launched great constructive works, we have determined ensuring energy independence, bringing the country out of the communication deadlock and ensuring food security as strategic directions of the public policy. We are successively carrying out fundamental reforms to strengthen socio-economic stability under the conditions that stipulate priority of modern economic relations.
Since the very first days of the independence, the state and the Government have always been focused on ensuring sustainable economic development and thus improving people’s living standards in the country.
As our dear compatriots remember, early years of our independence were most difficult but determining for our state. Those years had been urging us to take every effort round the clock to ensure peace and stability, restore constitutional order, revive pillars of statehood that used to be harmed very much and achieve national accord and mutual understanding as well as set up and implement a system of socio-economic management in the country.
Shortly following the General Agreement on the Establishment of Peace and National Accord in Tajikistan in 1997, we have succeeded in halting drop in national economic indexes. The Government could further stabilize the situation and now we have continually growing national economy since 2000.
Over the past three years of global financial and harsh economic crisis that has covered most countries all-over the world, we managed to mitigate to some extent its negative consequences and maintain positive dynamic of the socio-economic development in the country.
Last year, GDP growth compared to 1997 made up 2.6 times with annual average growth at 7.1%. Industrial and agricultural output over this period have increased 2.5 and 2.8 times accordingly, while increase in retail and paid services for people made up 3.2 and 7.8 times respectively. The state budget exceeded 75 times and now we have achieved 36.3 and 38 times increase in GDP and cash income per capita correspondingly.
State budget in 1992-1995 was negligible with more than four-figured mark of inflation rate. Teachers’ and state employees’ salary was correspondingly at 3-5 and 15-17 Somoni and even that being not paid timely. State budget had been relatively regulated since 1995 and in 1997 and 2000 we had 110 million and 250 million budget income accordingly. This year the budget income amounts 8.3 billion Somoni that is 75 times more against indicator of 1997.
Poverty rate generally is being constantly declined from 72% in 2003 to 45% in 2010.
Over the independence period Tajikistan has launched a number of serious structural reforms in key and vital public spheres, including governance, finance, banking system, various real sectors of economy, education, public health and social protection and established a firm foundation for implementation of immense development plans through adoption and realization of a range of programs on socio-economic development and taking efficient measures.
I have to make special emphasize of the fact that national development is based on development of socio-economic areas and individual regions under adopted strategies and programs and efficient implementation of the aforesaid documents can ensure implementation of priority goals. The state policy on improving living standards is also being implemented as a key factor to sustainable development.
Therefore, to ensure sustainability of national economic development and support for social sectors, we first of all are supposed to provide macroeconomic stability based on strengthening production sector. At the same time, strengthening financial sector, increase in the role that is played by private sector and development of entrepreneurship being most priority areas that can secure economic development in the country and job creation as well as timely implementation of plans and programs aimed at energy independence and break of communication deadlock are among our priorities that we are focused on.
Tax and Budget policies are mainly aimed at efficient utilizing of public funds and achieving socio-economic development goals of the country. In this regard, the budget income has been continuously increased over the past ten years as well as supply for priority areas, particularly, social expenditure has been increased 33 times compared to 2000 and now is at the mark of 3.6 billion Somoni.
Since 1997 and up to now, nominal wage and average pension have been increased nearly 70 and 85 times accordingly. At the same time, according to measures being taken within wage reforms, salary is increased 27-30% on an annual basis that is a remarkable contribution to improving living standards and strengthening social security.
However, we are well aware of the fact that it is not satisfactory yet.
In this respect, tax reforms through simplification of the tax system and decrease in the number of due taxes are expected to be implemented seriously in order to further increase budget income through attraction of tax payers and implementation of complete taxation.
Therefore, the Government is obliged to develop a new edition of the Tax Code by second half of 2012 with a wide range of specialists, experts, business groups and other tax payers being engaged in its development.
The Tax Code has been changed and amended 13 times since 2005 when it was adopted.
At the same time, with the view to ensuring sustainable economic development, the Government is obliged to ensure 6-7% of the GDP growth annually with the inflation rate at 7-9%. Moreover, every effort should be taken to ensure that the state budget revenue will amount 22-23 % of the GDP by 2015.
In this regard, the state budget’s personnel costs should amount 8-9% of the GDP. It will provide opportunity to double wages for public employers in the mid run.
Credit and monetary policy is aimed at achieving sustainable economic development, ensuring sustainability of the national currency rate, improving banking system’s solvency and reliability, ensuring payment systems’ efficiency and security.
The number of banks and small lending agencies has increased to 138 from previous 17 with 2 million and 900 thousand customers being reached compared to previous 524 thousand that means we have 8% and 5.5% of increase accordingly in the figures for the previous decade. Balances on loans over the reported period amounted 3 billion and 270 million Somoni compared to 377 million for the previous period that it is increased 32 times.
Small crediting with three times increase over the past five years has become a new area in lending relations.
There would be no such achievements without increase and improvement in banking system’s funds and efficient utilization of domestic resources, particularly savings of households and organizations. Savings have been increased 32 times over the reported period and as of late 2010, savings amounted 3.3 billion Somoni including 1.5 billion that belong to households. As a result, domestic lending institutions have increased their resources thus providing more loans to customers: loans at the amount of 5.5 billion Somoni have been issued by the banking system in 2010 that about three times more in comparison with figures five years ago.
Considerably more customers are being attracted by banking system through rendering various services and we have almost five times increase over the past decade.
We have continued implementing banking system reforms and updating its legal framework over the mentioned period. The Law of the Republic of Tajikistan “On National Bank of Tajikistan” in its new edition as well as other sectoral laws and regulations are being considered by Majlisi Oli and other laws that belong to banking legislation are expected to be improved as well
However, there are still some certain gaps and difficulties in banking and lending systems and therefore, following measures are to be taken to remove these obstacles and manage with challenges which banks face with:
- Ensuring efficiency of credit and monetary policy aimed at containing inflation rate at the mark determined by the Government of Tajikistan;
- Ensuring sustainability of the national currency rate and further foreign exchange market development;
- Better attraction of credit resources, thus increasing loans issued for small and medium business development, particularly in manufacturing sector;
- Further ensuring credit institutions’ sustainability and their development through providing better conditions for attracting surplus funds of households; improving banking services’ quality, and simplification and transparency of banking procedures;
- Credit system simplification aimed at loans availability to more customers and increasing long-term loans for domestic manufacturers.
To support real sector of economy and contribute to small and medium business development, the National Bank as well as commercial banks have to increase loans in this field and take efforts to make credit resources available to more customers.
In this regard, corresponding legal framework should be reviewed and better conditions should be provided to increase the number of banks and other lending institutions in the country as well as to provide best quality services. At the same time, additional measures should be taken to increase small crediting in remote mountainous districts of the country.
Carrying out the policy of the Government of Tajikistan on implementation of programs on economic reforms and improvement of state governance as well as on mutually beneficial cooperation with the international community has boosted investing funds in the national economy and attraction of foreign assistance.
63 joint projects at a total cost of more than 10 billion Somoni are being implemented now to achieve strategic goals of the country. An amount of 2.5 billion Somoni has been attracted in 2010 under 27 new investment projects concluded with international financial institutions.
More than 150 projects at total cost of 12 billion Somoni and 200 projects based on direct investments have been implemented over the past 10 years. In general, 30 billion Somoni has been allocated over the reported period from various sources including state budget for ensuring development and constructive works in cities and districts of the country.
Procedures on attraction, utilization, coordination and monitoring of foreign assistance as well as tender procedures under state investment projects have been implemented in 2010 to regulate utilization, attraction, coordination and monitoring of foreign assistance, removal of existing obstacles, prevention of misuse of funds and ensure of tenders’ transparency.
In this regard, heads of ministries and agencies are to establish cooperation with international donor organizations within accepted procedures as well as to coordinate their further activity with the State Committee on Investments and State Property Management as a state agency authorized for attraction, mobilization, coordination, monitoring and utilization efficiency assessment of all kinds of foreign assistance.
Despite the fact that we have made significant progress in implementation of state investment projects, there is still a potential that has not been used yet. Disbursement of funds and carrying out measures planned within projects implementation are not always ensured in time.
Therefore, the State Committee on Investments and State Property Management, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Centers for Implementation of State Investment Projects are obliged to improve project management and ensure efficient and timely utilization of funds.
Now I would like to draw your attention to a topical issue. Consumer market development in the country that is tied up with socio-economic situation is influenced by production factors and trade turnover through respective economic sectors.
Major part of the domestic consumer market is made by imported goods and it is natural that rise in price of imported goods negatively impacts on domestic market.
The Government of the country is taking necessary steps and continuously implements efforts to ensure moderate inflation rate.
We need to continue our efforts on developing real economy and regulating consumer market through economic means to stabilize commodity prices.
Moreover, to ensure healthy competition and stabilization of consumer market in the country, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade along with corresponding ministries and agencies is obliged to develop the draft law “On Fundamentals of Trade Activity and Personal Service Rendering for the People” and submit the draft law to the Government of the country.
Real sectors of economy, namely manufacturing is being developed constantly.
Industrial production has been developed at average rate of 9% annually in 1997-2010 and more than 90 thousand jobs have been created or reestablished over the past ten years.
To ensure further industrial growth and increase in manufacturing competitive industrial, technical products and commodities, the Ministry of Energy and Industry is obliged to take efficient measures on introducing structural changes to industry and adoption of new priority programs.
There is a need for new industrial capacities to be set up and competitive products that meet domestic standards and international market conditions be widely manufactured.
It is also notable, that improvement of production competitiveness can be ensured by introducing technological innovation and providing manufacturing with cutting-edge technologies and equipments.
Structural reconstruction of the industry should be aimed at close ties between science and production, utilization of power-saving technologies, establishing export-oriented and import-substituting production and use of rich resources of local raw materials should introduced to achieve the goal.
Further economic development in Tajikistan mainly depends on efficient utilization of rich natural resources of the country and boosting industrial reforms. It requires serious legislation and regulation policy reforms, since existing laws of the country do not meet modern requirements and need to be updated taking into account modern achievements and protection of the state’s interests in utilization of subsoil areas.
The reform should provide a firm foundation for a new management system in this field that specifies authority and responsibility of stakeholders and provides transparent and sustainable relations between the state and subsoil users as well as accessibility to natural resources.
At the same time, we need better attraction of investments provided by foreign and domestic companies, import of modern facilities and technologies, step-by-step enhancement of domestic production, particularly, in processing agricultural products, precious stones and metals, as well as development in nonferrous metallurgy, chemistry and production of construction materials.
Therefore, to ensure industrial development based on utilization of domestic mineral resources, Department of Geology is obliged to develop a new state program on exploration of minerals and submit it to the Government.
At the same time, the State Committee on Investments and State Property Management, the Ministry of Energy and Industry and the Department of Geology are obliged to draft a program on improving the attractiveness of investments in utilization of subsoil areas as well as reasonable proposals on reform of legislation in utilization of subsoil areas and submit to the Government.
Implementation of the aforesaid visions would increase the share of domestic production in GDP and contribute to creation of new jobs and sources of income as well as strengthen export capacity of the country.
The policy of our country carried out in economy should be focused on providing comprehensive support to private enterprises and entrepreneurship.
Elimination of artificial obstacles and ensuring transparency and accessibility of legal framework is of vital importance. Consequently, we at the outset should focus on simplification of administrative procedures for business entities. I mean we have to change both legislation and bureaucracy mentality.
We have to realize, that enhancement of small and medium business, particularly production leads to constant tax flows into budget and job creation as well.
More than 800 thousand jobs have been created and restored by business entities over the past ten years.
We made significant progress in reforming and developing entrepreneurship over the past few years. Our reforms were highly appreciated by the world community and it is the second year that Tajikistan stands among top ten reformer countries that considerably succeeded in imposing reforms.
However, the Government’s economic policy will continue strategically focusing on further improving business and investment environment including through removing artificial administrative barriers and fighting corruption.
In this regard and with the view to ensuring further promotion of entrepreneurship in production sector taking into account an application of up-to-date equipments and technologies as well as constantly increasing domestic production it is proposed to announce a moratorium during the first three years for all newly established manufacturing companies.
At the same time, to ensure better support for entrepreneurship, all respective ministries and agencies are obliged to develop a draft law “On Public-Private Partnership” and submit it to the Government of the country.
Distinguished members of Majlisi milli
and representatives of Majlisi namoyandagon!
A complex of economic and structural reforms in energy sector is expected to be implemented to ensure energy independence and make Tajikistan safe and economy-power exporting country. Namely, under the Energy Development Concept of the Republic of Tajikistan industrial, fuel and energy complexes are expected to be set up.
A total amount of 3.8 billion Somoni has been allocated for energy sector, including joint investment projects over the past three years that were aimed at ensure of practical implementation of the aforementioned Concept and as of this year, an amount of 1.8 billion Somoni is planned to be allocated for these goals. Development, review and construction works on domestic and international power transmission lines are currently under way under 13 investment projects being implemented in the country.
241 small hydropower stations have been constructed and put in commission over the independence period in order to provide electricity for remote mountainous areas of the country. Under the Long-term Program of Small Hydroelectric Development for 2009-2020 it is expected that 190 small hydropower stations will have been constructed and put in commission in the country by 2020.
Along with putting Sangtuda-2 hydropower plant in commission that is planned by the end of the year, there are a number of other works, namely, continuation of completion works on Rogun hydropower plant, reconstruction of existing hydropower plants including Norak, Kayrokum and a number of others in the Varzob and Vakhsh rivers basin are scheduled to be conducted and we expect to be fully able to meet our domestic power demand.
An amount of 6 billion Somoni is expected to be allocated to achieve the goals.
Measures that we take on construction of water and power facilities first of all are aimed at overcoming our most urgent challenge, including providing constant power supply for people and companies of the country. They also provide foundation for efficient utilization of water resources for ensuring sustainable development that takes into account managing with social problems and job creation.
Therefore, based on the appeal made by the Government of Tajikistan, the World Bank is undertaking a feasibility study and socio-economic impact of the completion of Rogun hydropower plant with global influential and independent companies involved.
It is notable that under existing global conditions and global warming, population upsurge in the world, steady increase in fuel prices on the global markets, taking into account scanty and decreasing resources we have to be concentrated on utilization of domestic opportunities and resources.
Decline in imported gas and increase in the fuel prices on the global markets urge us to make natural gas and coal as priority sectors of our economy.
A number of priority measures are being taken by the Government to ensure domestic natural gas supply for industrial companies and the people of the country.
We cooperate with 15 local and foreign companies to ensure exploration works on 87 oil and natural gas deposits.
For instance, in cooperation with Russian Gazprom, works have been launched on Sariqamish and Sargazon promising oil and gas deposits with unique and modern facilities and technologies being used. Specialists expect that natural gas from these deposits can ensure supply for existing domestic industrial companies in coming decades.
However, in regard to utilization of energy sources we are to be focused on implementation of economic and administrative measures that lead to promotion of efficient use of energy sources and working out the mechanisms of implementation of power saving technologies.
Increase in fuel prices and downsize in their available amounts, has become a reality as we cannot stand apart of the global market. It means that, anyway we have to use modern technologies to reduce power consumption and make our country less dependent on imported fuel.
In this regard, there is a need for boosting introduction of modern technologies in manufacturing sector and structural improving in energy sector to update their economic and technological activity.
We are still going on improving legislation and power saving and we see a need for further contribution made by every citizen of the country to power saving.
At the same time, it is notable that to ensure constant and efficient operation of energy facilities and full utilization of available and potential that has not been used yet, special measures should be taken as follows:
- Necessary measures taken by the Government aimed at further strengthening of development in this area and implementing priority projects for 2010-2015 as well as timely implementation of the measures provided under respective programs;
- The Ministry of Energy and Industry has to identify the procedure for energy assessment and issuing energy certificate of the object as well as certification of imported industrial products taking into account power consumption.
Generally, I would like to stress that given the post-crisis situation in the global economy, maintaining sustainable development and competitive economy has become of vital importance.
Therefore, we have to take following measures:
First, structural reconstruction in industry aimed at identifying development priorities and boosting export-oriented and diversified manufacturing companies of the national economy;
Second, step-by-step decrease in import of raw materials and targeted development of companies that produce high quality goods;
Third, establishment of nation-wide support and promotion system for export activity and setting up modern export crediting and insurance network;
Therefore, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade in cooperation with relevant ministries and agencies is obliged to ensure practical utilization of simplified and regular relations among foreign economic actors and the state while registering export, import and transit operations.
As it has been already mentioned, due to the gaps in domestic production, the local market of the country is mainly supplied by import.
Therefore, impactful measures should be taken to provide domestic consumer market with domestic products that could be produced in the country based on available industrial conditions and raw materials.
In this regard, respective ministries and agencies are obliged to ensure timely and full implementation of the State Program on Export Capacity Development in the Republic of Tajikistan for up to 2015.
The Government’s policy on ensuring sustainable economic development is mainly aimed at increasing export capacity through final processing of raw materials that are produced in the country, manufacturing of competitive products, creating jobs, implementing social objectives of the state and improving living standards of the people.
Therefore, it is important to secure timely implementation of the state programs on light industry development for 2006-2015, complete domestic cotton processing for up to 2015, and development of agricultural processing for 2007-215.
Agriculture is an economic sector of utmost importance in the country as it is a major source in ensuring food for people, raw materials for industry and jobs for employees. At the outset, agricultural development contributes to improvement of economic condition in rural places.
A range of important and serious reforms has been implemented in agriculture over the past years that are mainly aimed at increasing export of agricultural products and ensuring food security in the country.
As a result of the taken measures and hard job made by the noble people of the country, gross agricultural output has been ensured over the past years and the increase in figures has made up 2.8 times in 2010 compared to 1997. Grain crops, potato, vegetables and fruits production has increased 2.3; 6; 3.3; and 2 times accordingly.
A number of specialized programs are being adopted and implemented to ensure agricultural development and we are undertaking additional measures aimed at managing with financing challenges in cotton production, developing fruits and vegetable processing and promoting agricultural producers and export of agricultural products.
Amount of funds allocated for agriculture over the past five year including within joint investment projects and bank financing has made up to 5.2 billion Somoni and an amount of 1.3 billion is allocated for agriculture this year.
The Government is implementing 14 investment projects aimed at supporting agriculture, its infrastructural renovation, irrigation and new land development, providing financial support to collective farms and ensuring sustainable development in cotton production.
Moreover, amount of 430 million Somoni has been issued as lax (preferential) credits over the past three years to support agricultural farms.
To ensure achieving food security that is a strategic national goal, it is necessary to boost implementing programs of agricultural reforms and ensure increasing agricultural output. At the same time, it is required to introduce two-times harvest cropping of land resources, particularly in irrigated lands and the Government of Tajikistan is obliged to work out and adopt a state program on long-term development and irrigation of new and unused lands within the attraction of investments.
At the same time, corresponding ministries and agencies are obliged to take additional measures to implement specialized programs, including on cotton production development, gardening, cattle-breeding, poultry-keeping and etc.
Bringing the country out of the communication deadlock and making it a transit country equipped with all required transport facilities that meet international standards is a strategic goal of the economic policy of the Government in the short-run.
Over past years, we have continued useful works on construction of roads and bridges of national and international importance and of automobile tunnels.
An amount of 3.9 billion Somoni has been allocated to transport and communication over the five past years including within joint investment projects and it is expected that 1.4 billion Somoni will be allocated to the sector this year.
We are implementing 11 state investment projects on automobile roads reconstruction, improvement of automobile transport services and transport development at large that all are aimed at providing better access to market, enhancing regional trade, decreasing transportation costs and improvement of living standards. Three new projects at total cost of 4.5 billion Somoni will be launched in 2011 including on construction of Kulob-Kal’ai Khum and Shogun-Zigar automobile roads, as well as reconstruction of Dushanbe-Tursunzoda automobile road. Construction of two tunnels, including Chormagzak and Shahriston with total length of 10 km is under way.
At the current stage, the Ministry of Transport is obliged to take efficient measures aimed at ensuring further development in the sector, working out and implementing projects on construction of new railways, improving railway transport and services, strengthening transport links of the country and boosting construction of Dushanbe-Kurgonteppa railway as well as timely managing of other existing issues.
At the same time, the State Service for Communication is obliged to take measures on improving telephone communications in remote mountainous districts and providing access to Internet.
Grand constructive and creative works have been launched and hundreds of small and large socio-economic facilities have been put in commission in the country over the independence period.
It is pleasant, that municipal management and building which is a significant heritage of our ancestry, is now being revived.
The Government in its turn also takes constant efforts to boost construction of houses, administrative, living, educational and cultural and public health buildings.
House construction over the independence period has made up 8.4 million km2 for 141 thousand families. At the same time, 120 thousand hectares were allocated for construction of houses to 900 thousand families, including 21 thousand hectares provided for 150 thousand mainly for young families over the past two years and we still allocate new land spots for these purposes.
In this regard, respective ministries and agencies, local authorities, design and construction companies and citizens are expected to comply with rules and standards of municipal building and construction and use national architectural traditions as well as ensure the quality of construction materials and the buildings as well.
The Republic of Tajikistan being declared by its Constitution as a social state is responsible for providing decent environment and conditions for free development.
Therefore, managing with socio-economic challenges in the country is a priority of our domestic policy.
When we talk about ensuring social protection, development of public health, enhancement of information technologies network, promotion of health life style, youth education and training modern specialists, we have to keep in mind that these all measures require providing favorable conditions.
Therefore, we have announced educational development as a priority in our social policy.
It is call of the time, that quality of education should be improved constantly and should comply with education in foreign countries and meet requirements posed by global and domestic labor markets.
That is our next strategic goal and we have to take joint efforts to achieve it.
The Government places a particular emphasis on introducing computer technologies to educational institutions, as, the 21 century is a century of information and communication technologies. Introduction of cutting-edge technologies and computerization of educational institutions gives us opportunity to improve education and introduce modern educational techniques.
Therefore, the Government is obliged to fully implement the state program on computerization of comprehensive secondary schools of the country by the end of this year.
Study of national language should be on the top within all educational levels, however, we should ensure studying two additional languages, including Russian and English.
Adoption of the Law of the Republic of Tajikistan “On the national language of the Republic of Tajikistan” has been followed by fundamental change in approaching the official language and the law is now being successfully implemented.
The Ministry of Education, the Committee on language and reforms, the Academy of Sciences, the Academy of Education of Tajikistan are all obliged to attach special attention to studying native and foreign languages and fully ensure education with teaching materials.
Despite the fact, that last year, the Year of Education and Technical Culture was successfully declared is finished, we should not overlook the issue. On the contrary, we have to take practical measures with each passing year and hold events aimed at developing education and technical mentality of children and rising generation, studying sciences and mathematics, utilization of information and communication technologies.
Development of technical mentality of children and rising generation should be the important task for head of all educational institutions at all levels as well as local authorities, corresponding ministries and agencies.
Primary professional education, also being one of the important stages of education sector of the country, provides the national economy with qualified specialists and adequately contributes to the development of economic, social and cultural life of Tajikistan.
In this regard, the Ministry of Education is instructed to develop “The Program of reforming and improvement of the primary and secondary professional education establishments for 2012-2020” and submit it to the Government.
The relevant state bodies are obliged to pay attention to the training of youth and adults and organize short-term skills-improvement courses on the basis of primary and secondary education institutions and educational centers for adults according to the requirements of labor market and national economy.
In recent years, the state of higher professional education institutions has been improved and their material and technical basis is strengthening. Such progress caused that along with the national citizens, foreign citizens pay more attention to the educational institutions of the country. Today, nearly 3500 foreign students from 28 countries of the world study in the higher educational institutions of our country.
At the same time, heads of secondary and higher professional education institutions are obliged to enhance the material and technical basis of their institutions and take measures to adjust the test centers and scientific and research centers in accordance with international standards.
The state financing of this field, especially for the construction, renovation and reconstruction of educational buildings is increasing year by year.
The Government of the country in 2008 has adopted the State Program for construction, renovation and reconstruction of schools for 2008-2015 with the view of education of the young generation and ensuring favorable educational conditions, whose total budget is more than 600 million somoni and in the framework of program’s implementation more than 1000 schools will be gradually renovated and reconstructed.
Meanwhile, accession to the global education system, namely transfer to the compulsory 10-year education from 2012 and to the new system of comprehensive education in the following years, as well as increase of country’s population, requires construction of schools and additional classes.
Only last year, 200 schools for 40 000 seats have been constructed and put in commission in the territory of the country at the expense of all financing sources.
A lot of changes have occurred in the educational sphere with the view of constructing new educational institutions and reconstruction of existing educational institutions over the independence period and 1200 modern school buildings for 311 thousand seats have been constructed and put in commission immediately by the support of state in the country.
14 investment projects with an aggregate amount of 720 million somoni are under implementation since 1998.
As you know, draft Law “On parental responsibility in education and upbringing of children” has been elaborated and put on public discussion with the view to intensify relations of family with schools and enhancement of the responsibility of parents in training and educating children.
Along with an adoption of this Law, we need to work out a science-based program for society, aimed at education of the rising generation and seek ways of an implementation of the Law as well as clarify a philosophy of training and education in the Republic of Tajikistan.
Therefore, the Ministry of education and the Academy of education of the Republic of Tajikistan are obliged to develop and submit the program to the Government.
The program should embrace all aspects of a life of children and be a guide for the activity of any family, kindergartens, schools and other educational establishments in future. Since, today’s young generation will be parents in future they should learn modern methods and principles of child training through tutorials, recommendations and methodological manuals. In this respect, there is a necessity for the publication of textbooks for secondary schools and high educational institutions of the country on morality and behavior, taking into account national spirit and peculiarities.
The Academy of sciences and the Academy of education of Tajikistan has to carry out this work in coordination with the staff of education sector.
We evaluate Law “On parental responsibility in education and upbringing of children” as one of the most important acts regulating a behavior and morality in the modern Tajik society. As, political, social and moral process of modern human society evidence that today a level of progress and development of a spiritual life of the mankind is not determined by a huge number of population and abundant material reserves, but only exemplary behavior, good breeding, development of science and education and modern technology progress can identify spiritual welfare of nations.
An implementation of this law shall not only oblige parents, however it instructs the management of educational establishments, schools, teachers, society and state to attach a particular attention to the training and upbringing of children. It will also play a pivotal role in agitation and promotion of ethics of communication, observance of national and universal values as well as upbringing of schoolchildren and students in the spirit of patriotism, self-knowledge, courage and exemplary behavior.
Recent years, despite the improvement of material and technical bases of education institutions on the expense of the Government and other sources, a quality of study and education still remains negligible and does not meet modern requirements. In this connection, teachers and heads of educational institutions should place an utmost importance to the quality of training and education, use effective methods of teaching and meet the requirements of schoolchildren and students in studies.
The Government of Tajikistan gives a primary importance to the development of science since the early days of independence. Given the crucial substance of the subject, the leadership of the country pursues a reform of the Academy of sciences.
Rapid grow of science and modern technology requires adoption of laws and new legal-normative acts. Hence, the Government has developed and approved a range of important documents related to science which facilitated an intensification of activity of educational institutions in the country.
With the view to enabling the Academy of sciences to make a worthy contribution to the resolution of critical scientific, economic and technological issues, first of all the following tasks should be fulfilled:
1. Undertaking measures for the involvement of young and qualified specialists to academic institutions and postgraduate studies of the Academy of sciences and training of highly qualified scientific personnel.
2. Elaboration and submission of a draft Resolution of the Government “On Innovation Development Program of the Republic of Tajikistan for 2011 – 2020”.
3. Taking actions for the introduction of technologies to the manufacturing which are envisaged at the “Strategy of the Republic of Tajikistan in the field of science and technology in 2010 - 2015” and the “Program of an implementation of scientific-technical achievements in industrial manufacturing of the Republic of Tajikistan in 2010 - 2015”.
Culture as a great, an invaluable and impactful phenomenon of social life consistently plays a remarkable role in the history and spiritual development a modern society of Tajikistan.
Different aspects of the national culture have been renewed and developed over the independence. Owing to continuous care of the Government, hundreds of cultural entities – theatres, concert halls, museums, libraries, unique historical monuments are renovated and dozens of modern cultural facilities are erected.
National conservatoire was established which makes a valuable contribution to the music art development and highly qualified personnel training.
Construction of National Library and National Museum in the capital of the country as great centers of science and culture are among the important events and achievements of independence era which will serve today’s and future generations.
Alongside with this, it should be noted that a wide range of laws and state programs, legal and normative acts and regulations related to further development of culture – theatre, library, museum, mass media as well as preservation and use of historical relics have contributed to the strengthening of material-technical basis of cultural institutions, establishment of modern cultural infrastructure, implementation of constitutional citizen’s rights and freedom in using the achievements of a national and universal culture.
Moreover, there are a number of issues remain, which we still need to solve.
Today, over 40 historic and ethnographic museums function in the country, which have a huge number of unique items and findings.
However, executive bodies of state power in cities and districts do not allocate sufficient funds for the reconstruction, renovation, upgrading and strengthening of resource-and-technical base of these entities that in result, a big number of high-valued scientific, historical and cultural monuments remain in poor condition.
The Ministry of Culture and the Academy of sciences are instructed to elaborate and submit to the Government a Specific Program aimed at reconstruction and renovation of historic monuments.
Mass media in society is the powerful and effective information force which promotes new opinion. They play extremely big role in the process of democratization and development of society.
It should be stated, that a number of mass media agencies is significantly increased over the years of independence.
For instance, 139 newspapers and magazines had been functioning in the country in 1991, among which only 4 were private. There was an only national (state) information agency. To date, 404 newspapers and magazines are published in the country, including 250 private owned media. There are eight information agencies registered, 7 agencies among which are non-governmental. It can be evaluate as a positive phenomenon in the formation (generation) and development of civil society in the country. Along with public radio, non-governmental radio channels also contribute to the development of information space of the country. Currently, 44 radio-television channels works in the country, including 28 state radios and television and the rest are private.
A process of the generation of civil society coincides with the independence of our Homeland. Political parties and non-governmental organizations which are important elements and institutions of civil society have emerged mostly in the independence era. These institutions have obtained a special status in the establishment of civil society, democratization of society and expansion of a culture of tolerance in the country.
If in 1992 there were 141 such institutions, today their number accounts for 2364. Eight political parties are freely working, while five of them have seats in the Parliament. The Government of Tajikistan will further promote the development of civil society.
With the view of improvement of a morality in the society, the Government of the country supported the publication of 600 works of classics and contemporary writers, supply of public libraries with newly-published literatures has improved to a certain extent and a number of state book shops reached 100.
It is a matter of pride that in 2010 on the initiative of Tajikistan and a number of other countries, in accordance with the special UN Resolution grand holiday – Navruz has gained the international status.
Another historical and cultural event is that on the decision of UNESCO, unique historical and archeological five-thousand years old monument proto-urban site of “Sarazm” was included to the World Heritage List which protected by this Organization.
Research works are under way in order through transnational program of “the Great Silk Road” to include 8 more historical and cultural sites to the List, including “Ancient site of Panjakent”, “Bunjekat city”, “Hisor Fortress”, “Buddhism Monastery Ajinateppa”, “Hoja Mashhad Medreseh”, “Takhti Sangin” town, “Hulbuk” and “Yamchun Fortress”.
Culture and high mastership at all times and era was recognized as a key mean in representing country and nation to the world. It is pleasant, that today, our fellow citizens perform their mastership in the best world arenas. Under the support of the Government, over the years of independence, our cultural teams have traveled (toured) to more than 50 countries of the world. Only in 2010, Tajik art and culture masters have attended commemorations, competitions and festivals of 20 countries around the globe and represented a culture and supreme art mastery of the Tajik nation.
Health care sector is one of the priority fields in social policy of the state. A range of works and arrangements have been carried out in this sector by the support of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan. These works include, the Law of the Republic of Tajikistan “On family medicine” was adopted and moreover, the Government has approved a National Strategy of the health improvement of the population of Tajikistan for terms 2010 – 2020 and a Strategic Plan for the reconstruction of medical institutions of Tajikistan for 2011 - 2020.
With the view to improving a health condition of the people, the Government is annually increasing financing of the sector which is grown by 20 times for the last ten years.
Along with this, 31 investment projects worth of 1 billion 200 million somoni are being implemented in the country in the health care sector.
Personnel training and providing medical establishments with highly qualified personnel is one of the crucial issues.
A number of physicians in the country today equals 14 500. However, today, according to the general standard requirements we lack of 10 thousand doctors in districts.
Consequently, the Ministry of health is obliged to strictly oversee an implementation of a “Program on medical personnel training for 2010 - 2020” and ensure its comprehensive fulfillment timely.
Sanitation – epidemiological security is one of the major challenges of the health care sector, which covers the issues like improvement of safe drinking water supply of the people and medical institutions, renovation of water and sewage network system in cities and districts, quality control of foods, consumer commodities and imported construction materials.
In this connection, it is necessary for the Ministry of health, “Tajikstandard” Agency, Customs Service and other relevant authorities to thoroughly monitor abovementioned issues.
Last years, new methods of diagnostic and treatment have been introduced to medical establishments in the country using modern technology and it enabled to reduce a number of people needing treatment abroad by 70%.
Despite measures undertaken, situation in the sector, quality and accessibility of medical treatment still need to be improved.
With the purpose of further development of health sector, improvement of medical services, regulation of medical and sanitation services by the medical institutions of the country, betterment and accessibility of services to the people, particularly those poor segments of population, the Ministry of health in cooperation with other ministries and departments concerned has to take timely and impactful measures and ensure their implementation.
Ensure of a level and quality of social protection of the population is one of the major principles of sustainability and stability of society in any independent state.
To this end, most important legal acts on the regulation of labor relations, improvement of material condition of the people, increase of a size of minimum legal wage, growth of a rate of salary of budget-funded agencies and organization, pension and scholarships were adopted and came into force.
In this course, a salary of social sector employees, like education, health, culture, institutions of social security and science will be increased two times within next three years, including shall be raised by 30% from September 1, 2011.
At the same time, within the frames of reforms of salary and transition to single tariff schedule, a rate of salaries for statesmen, law enforcement authorities’ personnel and soldiers, as well as pension will be increased.
Late last year, a single tariff schedule was applied for the salary payment reforms of five ministries and agencies that brought positive results. Therefore, this practice will be introduced at all ministries and agencies of local executive bodies of state authorities from 1st of September which will ensure an increase of a salary of specialists by 100%, leading or chief specialists by 70%, chief of sections and heads of departments by 30 and 50% accordingly.
To that end, the Ministry of finance is instructed to ensure an implementation of these measures within the bounds of approved current budget and take stock of necessary amount of funds in the course of drafting public budget in years to come for the execution of this task.
It has to be highlighted that at the process of pursuance of a policy aimed at the social protection of the people, the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan places a particular emphasis on three major aspects of labor relations, i.e. promotion of providing capable population with adequate and deserved jobs, regulation of relations between employer and employee and increase of the salary rate.
With the view of providing labor-capable population with appropriate jobs, new jobs have been created through state programs aimed at promotion of social employment and currently situation in a labor market is gradually improving. Nearly 1 million new jobs were created during last 10 years. With the purpose of more visible support of the people in training and learning profession and skills which are in demand in labor market, the Government within short period of time has established a network of training centers for adults, that these institutions today train personnel on 48 professions and specialties in compliance with international standards. 70 thousand unemployed people have been trained in these centers and got jobs on the expense of state budget.
In order to intensify people’s employment, in co-operation with other relevant ministries, agencies and executive bodies of state authority, the Ministry of labor and social protection of population should persistently take actions for providing graduates of these training centers, especially vulnerable parts of society – orphans, children of poor families, disabled persons and etc. with permanent engagement.
It should be stressed that, under the programs on promotion of population employment, 27 million somoni of small preferential credits have been given to over 20 thousand unemployed people for the organization of individual business, which it is a part of important measures of the state policy in unemployment rate reduction.
Along with an implementation of these actions, the government strives for to ensure social guarantee to temporarily unemployed citizens. 242 thousand people have been paid state unemployment compensation from the state budget for the period of up to 6 months.
Orphans and homeless children are the most vulnerable and indigent groups of society. Currently, 84 boarding schools function in the country which is 43 more against the number of such schools existed at pre-independent period and enrolled 8300 pupils, including 2000 girls.
Financing of these establishments and institutions is increasing annually and favorable conditions are created at these boarding schools.
In this regard, it is proposed to ease a procedure of adopting child and create more favorable conditions and opportunities to those who wish to adopt orphans. I am convinced that there are many honest and decent persons in our country who wish to perform this noble deed and bring up orphans and homeless children as their own.
The Ministry of education, other ministries and agencies, organizations and committees, executive bodies of state authority and educational establishments are instructed to create all necessary and favorable conditions for support, tutorship and education and upbringing of orphans and homeless people, facilitate their further education at primary schools, secondary schools, high educational institutions and abroad, as well as provide them with jobs after graduation from all these links of education.
The problem of the improvement of women empowerment was in the spotlight of the Government since early days of the independence.
A Decree of the President of the country “On measures of improvement of a status of woman in society”, as well as the Resolution of the Government from 2010 “National Strategy of reinforcement of women’s role in the Republic of Tajikistan for 2011 – 2020” play important role in upgrading a status and a dignity of women in the establishment of democratic society.
Involvement of women of the country to government administration business and economic and social sectors management is very visible while women consist 25% or 6 thousand of public servants.
Nearly 110 thousand teachers work at the educational institutions and schools of the country 70% of which are consisted of women and make significant contribution to the overall progress of society.
Over 10 thousand young students have been enrolled to high and professional educational institutions of the country under the Presidential quota during 1997 – 2010, 7500 of whom are consisted of girls from remote mountainous districts.
In spite of the realization of a range of effective measures in the life of women, a lot issues and challenges still remains so far. Shortages of job, including insufficiency of enterprises which mostly need women’s engagement are observed at almost all districts of the country. Lack of necessary and adequate infrastructure hampers women in obtaining qualification, profession and job. Taking into account all these aspects, the Government consistently takes efficient measures for creating more new jobs.
From 2006 to present, more than 3 million and 300 thousand somoni of Presidential grants have been allocated to the support of women’s entrepreneurship.
The Government of the country is committed to further increase a volume of grant funding, thus grow a number of women and girls engaged in entrepreneurship business.
Youth plays a remarkable role in policy and development of social, economic and cultural sectors. Along with gaining state independence, public youth policy has been identified as priority directions of the Government which today is being pursued through adoption of mid-term sectoral programs.
Young generation should deeply recognize that they are entrusted a fate of the future of state and nation. Protection and leave in inheritance a prosperous and flourishing Homeland to coming generations has a supreme responsibility and urges every young people to always make aspirations to the cause of strengthening national unity, state independence, intensification of self acknowledgment, self-identity and patriotism.
Sport in the life of the people, in particular in the life of young generation is the important school of world view and promotion of supreme human values, like friendship, brotherhood, peace, freedom, respect for other nations and mutually beneficial cooperation among countries.
I recently expressed my point of view in regard to the prospect and development of the sector at my meeting with the sportsmen of the country.
I therefore, it is important, that the Committee on youth, sport and tourism, National Olympic Committee, ministries and agencies, organizations and associations, as well as sport federations take necessary measures for timely implementation of a Plan of actions specified at that meeting. I am confident, that adoption and realization of a Program of physical training and sport development for 2011 – 2015 will give a powerful impetus to overall development of sector.
It should be emphasized that in terms of challenging globalization processes, independent countries and nations have to protect a moral image of the nation, including own cultural and moral values.
In this context, Tajik nation, particularly, our young generation should also be conscious of roots of ancient civilization, language and national culture, customs of governance of its nation and depending on changes and challenges of beginning of the third millennium have to make every efforts for the reinforcement of a ground of new statehood and the basis of Tajik national thought and culture. This is a requirement of life and a duty of every self-acknowledged nation with high culture.
With the view of protecting from negative impact of comprehensive globalization process which inevitably changes a gap of time and era, moral boundaries and cultural provenance of national state governance, improvement of healthy national thought in the intellect of young generation, protection of national values from destructive threats and challenges of violence, strengthening national unity, reinforcement of security and stability in the country, raising the awareness of the people, especially among youth are permanent and effortful actions of the governing and cultural policy of our nation. Along with this, I’d remind that national pride should not blindfold us in reaching progress and achievements of the modern world, flight of thoughts of humanity and ever-increasing development of civilized nations around the globe.
On the contrary, as much we love our Homeland and nation, we as much should exert efforts to learn and adopt in practice scientific and cultural values of mankind, achievements in modern technology and newest discoveries.
At present, along with recognition of supreme universal values we need to introduce ourselves to the world community in a specific face and as civilized nation take steps forward towards democratic, secular and civil society system.
Human and human rights and freedom are the major essence of public policy in any developed countries and civilized society throughout the world. Recognition of human and its rights and freedom by the international community as supreme values is a vivid evidence of this reality. However, it is impossible to perform these supreme goals without contemporary laws which are in compliance with democratic society’s requirements and regulate systematic activity of state authorities.
The people of independent Tajikistan during the adoption of the first Constitution as a sovereign nation have declared freedom and human rights sacred and proclaimed formation of fair society as their own duty and identified main principles of civil society as well as a system of competent authorities in this direction.
Legal regulation of all relations which emerge in the process of building democratic, constitutional and secular state that means ensure of legal framework of activity of various state sectors and public life is a mission of legislative body of the country and this branch of state authority considers and adopts laws which are in compliance with universally recognized principles and those which meet the requirements of civil society.
Laws adopted, first of all focused on ensuring human rights and freedom, strengthening public ties and legal order, people’s healthcare, development of education, culture and economic prosperity of the country, including favorable business environment.
Judicial bodies as independent branch of state authority are the major elements of democratic society and of executor of judicial justice.
Activity of judges should be stainless as mirror and they have to recognize with high responsibility that state entrusted judicial authorities the execution of legal justice which is directly linked with protection and respect of the most sacred and top-priority value that is human rights and freedom and careless and irresponsibility are inadmissible in the performance of this mission.
With the view of implementing provisions of the annual address of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan to Majlisi Oli from April 24, 2010, we have drafted and approved a Program of judicial and legal reforms for 2011 – 2013.
It represents concrete measures in regard to further improvement of judicial authorities, strengthening independency and responsibility of judges, betterment of social status of judges, development of the legislation of the sector and other directions of the activity of judicial power.
Another most important issue which is set in the program is ensure of people’s access to qualified legal aid. In order to achieve this goal, it is necessary to review existing advocacy system and elaborate and adopt legal normative acts of the sector, first of all the Law of the Republic of Tajikistan “On advocacy” in a new edition.
The Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, Court of Arbitration, Council of Justice, the Ministry of Justice and other relevant state authorities have to take necessary measures for ensuring transparency and openness in the activity of judges, including advancement of responsibility of judges in adopting legal and justified resolutions, securing an execution of adopted judicial acts, prevention of abuse of the law in the activity of judges and barristers, as well as prevention of corruption practices which are the subjects of public deep concern, right placement of personnel, improvement of skills and professional development of judges, particularly young judges.
Observance of requirements of the Law “On the appeal of citizens” and consideration of their petitions and complaints by corresponding state authorities, including executive bodies of state authorities of regions, cities and districts needs to be seriously improved.
Strengthening legitimacy and legal order, reinforcement of fight against crime and ensure of supremacy of law are among priority directions of activity of the Tajik Government. Since, a progress of all sectors of the life of the country inseparably linked with stability of society and supremacy of law.
The Government of the country has executed tremendous work with the purpose of social support of military servicemen and law enforcement agencies staff and of creation of favorable living conditions for this group of the people and is committed to gradually build cantonments and houses, including allotment of plots of land and conduct of structural reforms.
Current security situation in the region and whole world urges the law enforcement bodies and security agencies of the country to intensify activity and establish work in compliance with the modern security and defense requirements.
With the aim of improvement of professional skills and knowledge of personnel, heads of law enforcement bodies and security and defense authorities are obliged to take necessary steps every day and in order to raise their activity to a much higher level have to introduce modern methods and ways of prevention and fight against crime.
Moreover, they need to attach a particular attention to combat readiness of the military units of Armed Forces and to equip training bases and centers where military staff is trained with up-to-date defense and information technology.
Today all legal and organizational framework is created in the country for fighting against illegal drug trafficking which is one of the major global challenges.
The statistic analyses show that despite reinforcement of activity of relevant authorities, situation in reveal and prevention of illegal narcotics still remains unsatisfactory.
Therefore, law enforcement authorities and other relevant agencies of the country have to seriously intensify their activity in the cause of prevention and fighting illegal drug trafficking and to mobilize all efforts in reveal of organized crime groups, as well as detection of and bringing guilty persons to trial.
I’d reiterate that activity of law enforcement bodies and security and defense authorities, courts and public prosecutor offices should first of all focus on ensuring national security, supremacy of law, fighting crime, counter terrorism, extremism, corruption, trafficking in human beings and strengthening lasting peace and stability in the country. Law enforcement, security and defense authorities staff, public prosecutor offices and courts personnel must be an exemplary model for others with their genuine conduct, kindliness, good actions and patriotism.
Unfortunately, upsetting cases of committing crimes by some personnel of these authorities, including corruption practices still remain which this factor stains a good image of state bodies and disgraces reputation and dignity of their staff.
In reference to this subject, I would like to highlight a point that the Government has undertaken all legal and organizational measures for prevention and detection of corruption practices. Reveal of corruption crimes in 2010 increased by 2,5 times. In this regard, it should be reminded that Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development has positively evaluated Tajikistan’s efforts in carrying out obligations arising out of the United Nations Convention against Corruption.
Given the importance of this issue, additional measures in reinforcing fight against corruption have been adopted last year via resolutions of the President of Tajikistan and the National Council on Fighting Corruption was established that based on abovementioned acts, heads of ministries and state authorities assume the responsibility of prevention and fighting corruption in various sectors.
Now, it is important to ensure timely implementation of these documents and other measures foreseen in this direction in order to enable the people of the country to feel the result of these arrangements. In addition to this, I’d point out that besides state authorities, every member of society should also contribute to fighting corruption.
With the view of timely and effective solution of aforementioned issues, heads of all law enforcement, security and defense authorities should take firm and impactful steps for defense capacity building of the country, reinforcement of fight against modern threats and challenges, prevention of terrorist and extremist acts, relentless struggle against all kinds of crime, including corruption practices, first of all among their own staff, right deployment of personnel, training of mentally and physically qualified personnel, heighten the sense of responsibility and political vigilance as well as professional preparedness of personnel.
Twenty years of the independence which is historically extremely short span of time, however is abundant of important and determining events of our nation, along with in-depth assessment and review of our past and present, it also needs thorough and right analysis of pursuance of foreign policy of the country.
Today we can confidently say that mission and essence of this policy was a comprehensive protection of national interests, ensure of freedom and the independency of the country, security and stability in society, guaranteeing a progress and prosperity of the country, as well as the reinforcement of Tajikistan’s specific position in the newest system of international relations.
At present, it should be mentioned that rapidly changing state of international relations system following the collapse of bipolar world and lack of new and durable system inflicted a serious damage on the sustainability and invariability of this system, that last unrests and uprisings and conflicting events in Middle East and Arab countries testify these arguments.
Tajikistan in this situation remains a strong advocate of constructive cooperation with all parties and pursues balanced, peaceful, reliable and comprehensive policy which is aimed at increase of a numbers of friends of the Tajik nation. The substance of a policy which we pursue and introduced it to the world community as “open doors” policy namely represents our willingness for impactful cooperation with all international organizations and countries.
In this respect, analysis and recognition of the major factors of modern international system which is being globalized is not an easy work and our daily life reality proves it. The international peculiarity of economy, unprecedented development of communication and other means of communication, aggravation of problems and universal challenges, an expansion of activity of transnational institutions have become the reasons for drastic changes in our life principles. This process, if on the one hand have become a cause for the intensification of relations of different parts of today’s world, on the other hand globalization of challenging and dangerous phenomena, like terrorism, extremism, radicalism, drug trafficking, transnational organized crime, as well as such anthropogenic challenges of the planet, as climate change and etc. made a situation more intricate and complicated.
Tajikistan does not stand aside of this process, but on the contrary, it is in the front line of combating some of challenges and in the centre of emergence of other phenomena. Naturally, such circumstance and the need for the settlement of these issues require our broad and effective multilateral cooperation with the world community, international organizations and promotion of bilateral cooperation with individual countries.
The people of the country and you all are well aware of efforts and aspirations which the Government is making towards the addressing water challenges both at regional and international levels. Our endeavors and extensive efforts are focused on the one hand at playing the leading role in the solution of problems which the humanity faces with. On the other hand, we kept the spotlight on some issues which exist in the region and every citizen of our country clearly feels their effect.
High Level International Conference which has been held under the support of the United Nations in June last year and devoted to the summary of the first half of the Decade “Water for Life” which is a yield of Tajikistan’s initiative was very useful and effective conference that brought a huge number of representatives from all over the world together and acquainted the peoples of planet and experts with challenges existing in this direction and introduced our constructive position to the whole world.
A lot of proposals have been voiced at this conference as the outcomes of efforts and on Tajikistan’s initiative the United Nations General Assembly has declared 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation. The main notion and a key word is “cooperation” which reflects our goal and intention. Tajikistan is always a strong advocate of cooperation and all of its proposals made on the regional or international arena are consisted of cooperation.
We have reminded this issue from the high rostrums several times and today state that there is no any issue in Central Asia which could not be solved by benign intentions and constructive cooperation among neighboring countries. This position, first of all, related to the addressing water and energy challenges in the region, which are always on the centre of discussions and we can designate a key for the solution of this problem by a word: cooperation!
In this course, Tajikistan has offered numerous constructive proposals over recent years and remains committed to their contents and purport that supply of pure drinking water to the peoples in the region was one of examples.
In general, in reference to this issue and other sectors of regional cooperation, more integration of Central Asian countries, free movement of peoples, movement of goods, capital and services, intensification of relations in the spirit of historic and cultural affinities and good neighborliness of its nations have been and remain the major objective of the Republic of Tajikistan and strengthening constructive regional cooperation with close neighbor countries is among paramount dimensions of our foreign policy.
If we take look at broader space and region, we observe position of our country in relationship with the post-soviet nations, who are affiliated in the Commonwealth of Independent States, Eurasian Economic Community and the Collective Security Treaty Organization.
Relations of Tajikistan with the CIS member states last year have been cemented. This year, during our chairmanship at the CIS we will make efforts to widely apply and expand the opportunities for integration in the Organization. This particularly applies to our relationship with the Russian Federation which is our strategic partner. Putting in commission the biggest cooperation object in the post-soviet area – “Sangtuda-1” hydro-power plant, opening of the branches of the most famous Russian universities in Dushanbe, an inauguration on the reciprocal basis information and cultural centers and training of experts and specialist who are in demand of our national economy are the striking examples of fruitful cooperation. It is not for nothing that Russia is topped in our trade relations in terms of commodity turnover.
We have good neighborhood relations, mutual understanding and mutually beneficial relationship with the countries of region and neighboring states and are sincerely keen in the expansion of a scope of these relations and their further enhancement. Consequently, cementing relations both on multilateral and on bilateral frameworks with the friendly countries of Iran, Afghanistan. India, Pakistan, Turkey and others remains as one of the priorities of our foreign policy.
As we commence talking upon the situation in the region, we indispensably recall the greatest organization of the region – Shanghai Cooperation Organization, since, from the early days of its foundation, it has made a lot of works in resolving regional issues, establishment of economic cooperation among member states based on new principles and other areas of cooperation which gradually embraced all sectors of our everyday life. A great number of national projects are implemented in our country within the framework of this organization. We therefore, are committed to further intensify our work within this institution and strengthen relationship with its member states, first of all, with the People’s Republic of China, which certainly will enrich and widen a content of our bilateral ties.
We maintain active and fruitful collaboration with international financial institutions, donor countries and development partners in implementing principal socio-economic projects.
In addressing both domestic and regional challenges and on Afghanistan, we enjoy constructive cooperation with the members of antiterrorist coalition, including United States of America and European Union member states. Establishment of peace and stability in the neighboring and faith brother country meets national interests of Tajikistan and at present, our country makes a remarkable contribution in joint fighting against terrorism, extremism, illegal drug trafficking and transnational organized crime. Bilateral cooperation with the United States of America, as well as contribution to the realization of the EU Strategy for Central Asia will remain the most critical subjects of our foreign policy which in terms of its implementation, we shall develop and enhance our constructive relations with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.
Speaking on partner country of the Organization – neighboring Afghanistan, I would like to emphasize, that security and stability in this brotherly country is necessary for Central Asia, particularly for Tajikistan as much as the air we breathe and we as always will further make every efforts possible within both the frames of international organizations and of our bilateral ties to achieve this noble goal. Addressing modern threats and challenges and joint struggle against other negative phenomena, as well as helping and promoting Afghanistan’s efforts, training necessary personnel for Afghanistan in our country and other areas will always be in the spotlight of the agenda of our cooperation with this friendly country. Moreover, it should be mentioned that last years, our political, security, military and trade cooperation have been shifted to a much higher level and are being further enhanced on the basis of a solid ground and mutual trust between our nations.
In this respect, a leading role of the United Nations, beyond doubt is extremely important and our cooperation with this authoritative international organization will be boosted. In the meantime, we are convinced, that developments recently happened on the world arena have once again cleared the necessity of the UN reform and particularly Security Council, as far as these institutions have been emerged following the World War II, however state of political situation of those days drastically differ from current reality.
I would like to explain another point, though it does not need an interpretation. The matter is on last developments and events happened in some Arab countries which internal challenges and clashes of those countries became a centerpiece of discussions and negotiations throughout the world. Since much has been said and written about the possibility of a rise of such events in Central Asia, I would like to emphasize that: self-aware Tajik nation, who had once been a victim of such intrigues, deeply acknowledges the essence of peace, stability and value of welfare and harmony and as the people who survived the imposed civil war, excludes military solutions to problems and conflicts and is a strong advocate of the peaceful solution of all problems and difficulties, reconciliation, tolerance and adhere to safety and stability in its country.
Distinguished members of Majlisi milli and representatives of Majlisi namoyandagon!
This year is a sacred and historic period for the noble and glorious people of our country – the twentieth anniversary of the state independence of Tajikistan which we together solemnly celebrate this festive event.
Owing to this gift of God, that is state independence, we were able after thousand years to revive a national origin and mentality, history, language and national culture, benign traditions and national values, in general regenerate our national being with the view to perform responsible and honorable mission – building democratic, constitutional and secular state, like our newest sovereign and free state today is and ensure deserving and happy life for today and next generations.
Within this short period of history, we could reinforce the bases of newly-built and young state, outline needs and national expectations of our people within the frames of major objectives and key directions of internal and foreign policies of the state and today, on the threshold of this grand celebration we can proudly say, that we gradually overcame problems and hardships and eliminated shortages through constructive labor and unstinting support of the glorious people of the country and reached visible achievements.
Alongside with it, we taking into account all constructive and helpful opinions which facilitate a progress of socio-economic sectors of the country, have concentrated all existing opportunities and resources to the cause of only improvement of the living standard of the people and created favorable conditions and friendly environment for sustainable and steadfast development of all sectors in the country.
As you all are aware, we in the country have set a process of constructive and upgrading policy and make consistent efforts for the implementation of important and strategic goals of Tajikistan. Today, we can confidently say that we are close to the realization of these noble goals.
However, along with this, a situation of the modern world urges us within the bounds of adopted dimensions of domestic and foreign policy of our independent state to ensure timely and effective implementation of instructions, orders and aforementioned issues which are related to the constructive activity of the Majlisi Oli, the Government of the country and of executive bodies of state authorities.
In this sensitive and rapidly changing condition of the planet, a human duty of every self-aware and compassionate citizen and every glorious and honest Tajik person should be consisted of a promotion of national vigilance, political intelligence, high sense of patriotism and strengthening national unity.
Only in this case and via unceasing, devoted and honest labor we can overcome existing challenges and hardships of our society as united and strong power, to devotedly fulfill plans and our good visions for the welfare and prosperity of our Homeland and socio-economic development of independent nation and shift the living conditions of proud and glorious people of Tajikistan to a much and qualitatively higher level in near future.
This responsible, challenging, but at the same time noble and honorable way requires every ordinary citizen to a high-ranking public servant, that is, all the glorious, honorable and patriotic people of Tajikistan, first of all from us – those presented in this hall to continuously make extensive efforts for the strengthening and reinforcement of the state independency of Tajikistan, cementing the foundations of the newest Tajik state, protection of national and public interests and raising an authority of our beloved Homeland.
I wish all of you every success in achieving these noble goals and pray to God to abound in prosperity and welfare of every Tajik family, to perpetuate security, stability lasting peace and our national unity and keep our independent and sovereign Tajikistan in Goodness.