President of the Republic of Tajikistan

Statement at the Official Meeting on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of State Independence of the Republic of Tajikistan

08.09.2016 15:42, Dushanbe city

Distinguished Compatriots!
Honorable Participants!

Tomorrow there will be 25 years since we attained state independence – a life-changing and holy day. This is the most valuable achievement of the civilized Tajik nation, which established a reliable foundation for establishment of a new system of governance, development of political and economic, social and legal sectors, and revival of our national values.

In these pleasant historical minutes, I would like to extend my sincere congratulation to all noble people of Tajikistan and our compatriots abroad, as well as all of you, distinguished participants, on the occasion of our Grand National Holiday, which is the triumph of historical justice and the symbol of pride of the Tajik nation.

The Independence is the holiest and valuable product, the symbol of national happiness and genuineness, patriotism and a sign of the state reliability and sustainability.

Thanks to this grand landmark event, we have our state symbols – our Flag, National Emblem, National Anthem and Constitution, and the world community recognized our beloved Tajikistan as an Independent State. State Independence also promoted Tajik people’s national identity to a completely new level and established a reliable framework for strengthening and expansion of the unity of all residents of Tajikistan.

Our State Independence faced a painful and blasting shot, i.e. imposed civil war and no other young independent state within the former superpower ran into such a difficult and tragic situation at that time. Evil-minded forces and heathen people through their plans and instructions from their foreign bosses, who wanted to impose a strange culture and religion to our nation against the will of Tajik people, and even drafted a plan of establishment of an Islamic state hastily, wanted to imprison Tajikistan with the fratricidal war.

Unfortunately, all newly established parties and movements in our young independent country were the slaves of destructive ides and plans of the Islamic Revival Party at that time.

The imposed civil war continued for more than five years and lagged the development of our newly independent Tajikistan behind to decades, and caused a huge loss to our economy. The most horrifying shot of the war was that thousands of our citizens died, tens of thousands of our children became orphans, thousand of mothers lost their children and more than one million residents of Tajikistan left their permanent residence areas and obtained the title of refugee.

Due to the process of tragic events in those days, we were not able to get our own share like other inheritor state members of the former super power did, could not strengthen the capacity of our young state and event adopt our national symbols to introduce our country at the international arena.

Tajikistan, as an independent state, did not have its Flag, State Emblem, National Anthem and Constitution for one year. Everybody was engaged in war, disputes and sharing power.

At that tragic period, disorderliness and lawlessness reached the level, as a result of which the country’s Supreme Council, as the only functioning entity, could not arrange its session in the capital city of Dushanbe and had to hold it in ancient city of Khujand by the initiative of a group of the Council Members.

This Session, which is recorded as a life -changing 16th Session in the new history of our people, played a grand historical role in normalization of the country’s instable situation, and identified the further pathway and fortune of the Tajik nation. One of the important issues in the Session’s Agenda was to identify the system of governance and future development of our society and independent state. Some contradicting ideas emerged in the society at that difficult situation, which were supported by internal and external forces, who wanted to go back to the previous system.

I outlined the following in my statement after the completion of the historical Session: “We have outlined for several times and would like to reiterate that we are for the establishment of a democratic, law-based and secular state and this principle is in line with the overall human values”.

At this Session, we identified the life-changing and historic pathway of the Tajik nation, which is the establishment of an open society and a democratic, law-based, secular and unified state.

We later reflected the idea of democratic state in our Constitution and started the implementation of democratic values.

One of the primary tasks of the new Government elected at the Supreme Council’s 16th Session was to cease the fire of war, to ensure peace and stability in the country, to start implementation of the post-war revival program, to return refugees to the country and to provide them with residence, and we achieved this objective. The Session was of a significant historical importance to ensure peace and stability, and strengthen the constitutional regime in the country.

I have outlined in my statements for several times that we achieved the Tajik peace not that easily. Thousands of young Tajik people sacrificed their lives and the Tajik people have passed through harsh conditions and difficulties.

In this regard, I outlined for many times and today would like to strongly reiterate that only young and adult Tajik people are the heroes of the imposed civil war. Therefore, in this historical day, I would like to bow my head before my heroic Tajik nation.

Later, the United Nations acknowledged the experience of Tajik peace as a unique one to reach peace and stability, and this case is being applied in peace building in other hot areas of the world.

Distinguished Participants!

One of the important initiatives, which started as early as at the beginning of our independence, was the adoption of our Constitution and formulation of a new legislative system on its basis.

The Constitution of Tajikistan is one of the first constitutions adopted by the will of our people through national referendum in the former Soviet Union, and is among the most significant achievements during our independence. This life-changing document ensured a legal framework for establishment of the modern national governance, principles of constitutional regime, guarantee for sovereignty and protection of national interests. It should be noted that our Constitution states the respect of human rights and freedoms as a major norm for operation of government authorities and based on the division of governance clearly regulates the procedure of establishment, competencies and cooperation between the legislator, executive and judicial branches of power.

On the basis of our Constitution, we established a professional parliament, comprised of two chambers, which also became one of the important branches of public administration. Majlisi Milli (Upper Chamber) and Majlisi Namoyandagon (Lower Chamber) of our Parliament developed and adopted hundreds of laws and legal and regulatory documents during its activities, which played a valuable role in development of our new society, and will serve as the tool for strengthening our law-based state in the future also.

Also, given the humanity principles, we adopted 15 Amnesty Laws during 25 years, the provisions of which were applied towards more than 115 000 prisoners, persons accused and those under investigation.

After attaining independence we had to restore the activities of all paralyzed governmental authorities and agencies at all level and to establish an effective system of governance. We established governmental agencies, judicial as well as public order systems and started the public administration reform, which is still ongoing.

During the independence we established and enhanced effective system of executive authorities, and created a legal framework for their operation. In this period, we established a modern judicial system and recognized it as an independent branch of governance, adopted and implemented three programs on judicial and legal reform, which promoted strengthening judicial power, improvement of the sector’s legislation and guarantee for implementation of the constitutional norms on equality of everybody before the law. 

From the beginning of our independence, despite many challenges and difficulties, we started the establishment of an entity, which was important for protection of our newly established state, i.e. Armed Forces. We established the National Army, which is one of the pillars of an independent state, from zero without any primary basis and lack of the very simple physical infrastructure in a very difficult and sensitive period, when the existence of the State of Tajiks was at the stake. In this process, still at the initial years of our country’s independence, we established Border Troops, National Guard, Internal Troops of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Academy of the Ministry of Internal affairs, Military Institute, College of the State Committee for National Security and Border Staff College.

Tajikistan’s Armed Forces, particularly, military servicemen and staff of the law enforcement agencies served devotedly in a very difficult period for our country to restore the constitutional regime, combat against terrorist and extremist groups and armed gangs. They fought against treacherous outfalls and attempts to military coup by the traitors of the Tajik nation and State as well as for protection of our borders. In this process, thousands of dedicated young Tajiks – brave and courageous officers and soldiers from law-enforcement and military agencies lost their lives, whose honor and deed will not be forgotten by people of the country ever. I would like to avail myself of this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude on behalf of the State and Government of Tajikistan to servicemen of the Armed Forces and staff of the law-enforcement agencies for their great contribution in protection of the constitutional regime, values of independence, peace and sustainability, national unity, prevention of crime and ensuring legal order and also thank the parents and family members of officers and soldiers, who lost their lives in this process.

The regional and global situation is growingly complicating, which urges the staff of law-enforcement agencies and military units to be always intelligent and quick-minded, to improve their professionalism and continuously enhance their activities, and also to carry out their very responsible tasks in a dedicated manner. The national and state security became of utmost importance given the contemporary world’s threats and challenges, like international terrorism, extremism and transnational organized crime. In this regard, staff of the law-enforcement agencies and military servicemen need to feel double responsibility in protection of the National and State interests. I would like to emphasize that terrorism and extremism, as the century’s cholera, do not have any homeland and religion, and they are used only for achievement of lucrative political objectives. Therefore, once again I would like to outline that we can save the contemporary world only through the joint counter-action to the threats and challenges of the new century with no double standard policy.

Esteemed Compatriots!

The civil war and political crisis in our country caused a huge economic loss and beyond that, led to paralyzation of our economy and unprecedented decline of indicators in all areas. For example, the production of industrial and agricultural products declined by three and two times accordingly, the public budget was miserable and the Public Reserve did not have anything in 1992-1997. In that circumstance, our immediate and primary task was to undertake an immediate action to overcome the threat of hunger, to restore operation of paralyzed enterprises, to rehabilitate destroyed and burnt facilities and residences of people.

The Government undertook all necessary measures to overcome the severe economic crisis and ensure operation of production facilities and we entered our development process only in 2000, ensured sustainable economic growth and improved people’s living standards by establishing a market-based economic system via accelerating constructive welfare efforts, particularly construction and reconstruction of transport, energy and social infrastructure as well as implementation of a comprehensive reform in various sectors.

In this process, we put our national currency into circulation, established a modern banking and financial system, and acceded to the majority of reputable international financial institutions and economic cooperation organizations. Thanks to implementation of National Strategies and Programs over the last 15 years, the average economic growth of the country reached 7.8% and the public budget revenue increased from 300 million to 18 billion TJS. Alongside with this, the population’s income and savings increased by 25 and over 85 times accordingly.

The poverty rate declined by about three times from 83% at the end of 2000 down to 31% in 2015.

During the independence, the country’s population increased from 5.5 million to 8.7 million, i.e. by 1.6 times, people’s living standards improved significantly and the average life expectancy reached 73.5 years.

During the independence, we allocated 129 000 ha of land for construction of residential dwellings for 1.3 million families, i.e. for over 7000 000 persons, though during 70 years of Soviet period, only 80 000 ha of land was allocated for this purpose. In this period, the people’s living standards improved gradually and their secondary expenditures also growingly increased.

While prior to the independence, the total number of vehicles in Tajikistan made 463000, including 50 000 cars, during the 25 years of independence we imported more than 600 000 cars only.

While in 1991, there were 214 000 subscribers of telecommunications services, the majority of whom were enterprises and offices, this indicator reached 11.2 million in 2015 and increased by 52 times. There are more than 3 000 000 internet users currently.

It was the State Independence, which made it possible for us to choose an economic system acknowledged by the civilized world community and ensure sustainable development of all sectors for the sake of gradual improvement of our people’s living standards.

One of the priorities in our social policy is gradual increase of minimum and average salary of the staff from various sectors by taking into account our real financial possibilities. Minimum and average wage rate increased by 29 and almost 28 times accordingly over the last ten years only. Nominal salary scale and average pension size increased by almost 70 and 85 times accordingly from 1997 to present. In addition to this, according to the Salary Reform in the country, we have been increasing the salary and pension in average by 15-20% periodically, which has been promoting the improvement of public living standards and strengthening of social security.

The salary and pension size was measurable and even it was not paid in a timely manner at the initial years of independence (1992-1995). Teachers and doctors used to receive by 3-5 TJS and civil servants by 15-17 TJS. The average salary size in the country reached 880 TJS now. At the beginning of independence everybody was worried about their lives, and nobody would demand salary, gas, electricity or any other item.

Distinguished Compatriots!

We ensured a favorable environment for business and investment by implementing necessary reforms, which made it possible to ensure favorable investment climate and business environment, and to expand public private dialogue and partnership at the national and regional levels.

The Government attaches a specific importance to the development of business, particularly, small and medium production business as a priority area ensuring future development of the national economy. During 25 years of independence, we constructed hundreds of small and large production enterprises and created new jobs, and restored the existing ones with the encouragement of local and foreign investments. While in 1991 we had 358 operative industries in total, now their number reached 2100.  We plan to construct 14 large enterprises and thereby create 5.500 permanent jobs during this year only and some of these enterprises already started operating.

It is worthwhile noting that currently, the Tajik industry has a developed framework, and is equipped with the latest technologies. It produces more than 140 types of products in extraction and processing of minerals, coal extraction, light and chemical industry, car industry, metal processing, including precious metals, construction materials and food industry. During the independence period, we constructed tens of new enterprises in the cotton processing sector only, and increased our cotton fiber processing capacity from 28 000 tons in 1991 to more than 100 000 tons.

The State ensured the necessary framework for the development of the country’s industry based on introduction of innovative technologies. Achievement of this objective should be one of our important strategic national objectives in the coming years.

The growth of our population as a production force, 50% of which is active labor force, also availability of huge hydropower potential, natural resources and agricultural products as raw material for development of the industry of ferrous and non-ferrous metal, fuel, chemistry, construction material, as well as light and food industries can serve as an objective framework for achievement of this goal.

The more processing of local raw materials, particularly agricultural products and minerals, and thereby transforming the country from an agrarian and industrial economy to an industrial and agrarian one, are among the areas for further development of our national economy.

During the independence, we made efforts to establish industries closer to the areas with available raw materials and labor force, i.e. in the rural areas of the country, and to promote rural development in the country by establishing production and social infrastructure, transportation linkages and training of specialists on the ground.

We also prioritized construction of energy and transport facilities, including large, medium and small hydropower plans, substations, modern roads and tunnels, social infrastructure, including schools and pre-school facilities, modern hospitals and medical centers and even universities and institutes mostly in remote areas of the country.

With a view to ensuring food security and processing of raw materials, we implemented programs on development of various agricultural subsectors during the independence, which made it possible to increase production of the majority of agricultural products. Analysis of agricultural output during the independence period shows that agricultural production developed significantly and the agricultural output increased by almost three times. The Government ensured favorable environment for development of dehkan farms and expansion of agricultural entrepreneurship via reform and restructuring of the agricultural sector. In addition to this, with a view to improving the population’s living standards and supplying the country’s consumption market with agricultural products, 75 000 ha of land was distributed to the population based on Decrees of the President and this initiatives made it possible to meet the population’s demand in the majority of basic products.

Within the implementation of sectorial programs, we increased the area of vineyards and orchards to 360 000 hectares, which is more by 241 000 hectares or three times compared to 1991. This initiative made a valuable input in enhancing the country’s food security, development of export and supply of the processing industry with raw materials. However, I would like to outline that we still have a great potential in this area and we need to increase the area of vineyards and orchards by more than two times by effectively using the rain-fed lands in foothills.

During 25 years of independence, we started implementation of many national projects in energy, transport, construction and other areas, which substantively changed the country’s investment climate. In this period, we implemented more than  1 000 investment projects, which made it possible to attract 63 billion TJS ($ 8.1 billion USD) of foreign investment, including 27.5 billion TJS ($ 3.5 billion USD) of direct investments, which was mainly channeled to energy, transport, healthcare, education, agriculture, irrigation and other infrastructure. As a result, we achieved one of our strategic objectives on connectivity at the national level. With a view to ensuring regular movement of the residents from various parts of our country, we constructed and launched modern highways and tunnels, railways and bridges. Thus, only during the independence period, we connected three disconnected parts of Tajikistan and unified the country.

During the independence, we constructed and commissioned more than 2000 km of roads, 240 bridges and more than 30 km of road tunnels amounting over 11.4 billion TJS in total.

On the eve of our State Independence we commissioned Dushanbe-Khatlon railway and for the first time ensured connectivity between the capital city and districts and towns of Khatlon province through an internal passenger and freight train, which is among important events in this area.

While during 70 years of the Soviet period only 547 km of railway was constructed in Tajikistan, we constructed and launched 190 km of railroad during our independence, despite of many challenges we faced in this period. Of course, this is not the end. We intend to implement several other projects in the future.

Alongside with this, with a view to ensuring energy security, we managed to construct and launch small and large facilities for generation and distribution of power with the amount of more than 36 billion TJS during this period. During independence, we established the country’s unified energy grid and commissioned new generation facilities with the capacity of more than 1300 MW. In addition to this, with a view to ensuring full-fledged achievement of this strategic objective, we will channel over 30 billion TJS to this sector.

Tajikistan has huge untapped hydropower resources, i.e. source of green energy, and accordingly, source of green economy development and is the country No 6 in terms of the use of environment friendly and renewable energy at the world.

Everybody is aware that no country in the world can develop without the development of energy and the use of these resources. This is a must particularly for Tajikistan, where the economic sector and the population faces severe lack of energy in autumn and winter.

Due to the climate change and growing global warming in our planet, one of the main factors of which is the continuous increase in emission of carbon gas, the development of green energy has become a topical global issue. Given this situation, and also with a view to addressing the power related challenges of our economic sector and population, we intend to ensure Tajikistan’s energy security within the next two or three years.

Distinguished Friends!

According to the National Development Strategy (to 2030), the State will focus on the priorities and main ways of achievement of strategic objectives such as energy security and transfer to the effective use of power, country’s connectivity and transforming Tajikistan into a transit country, protection of food security and ensuring the public access to quality nutrition, as well as expansion of productive employment with a view to ensuring further development of the country.

Ensuring decent living standards for the population will remain as our highest and strategic objective in the future also. In this regard, we need to strengthen sustainable economic development based on attraction of investments and ensure speedy industrialization of the country by taking into account the development of science and innovation through capacity building. For this purpose, we will ensure accelerated development of industry and agriculture, service sector and tourism and ensure a favorable environment for creation of new jobs and strengthening of the country’s export capacity, which will decrease vulnerability of our national economy to external shock. We have also to expand the attraction and effective use of investments aimed at the development of the economy’s real sector and infrastructure.

We will implement our objective on energy security to fully meet the demand of economy and population in electricity, finalize construction and reconstruction of transport corridors and fully address the issue of country’s connectivity. In this process, it is necessary to undertake necessary measures to increase investment in human development and introduce the latest technologies as the basis for the country’s innovative development.

I believe that the initiatives and activities outlined in the strategic documents and program will promote future development of the country and ensure decent living standards for every citizen of our country.

Honorable Compatriots!

The independence laid a solid foundation for revival of Tajik language and national culture. We acknowledged the beautiful, charming and poetic Tajik language, which introduced us to the world community as an ancient nation and Arian dynasty, as our official language. With a view to improving the reputation of Tajik language, respecting its norms, as well as protecting this invaluable heritage of our ancestors, we adopted the Law on State Language of the Republic of Tajikistan. This law established a real foundation for development of our official language and strengthened an important branch of our governance.

I would like to emphasize that every Tajik should thank the God for our sovereignty and ownership of our country, and protect the Tajik language as a valuable gift and contribute to its further development. This language, which is our mother tongue, is holy for us like our mother milk.

During independence, alongside with improving the reputation of our state language, we also revived our national traditions and customs and created a favorable environment to ensure its better respect. In this regard, we revived our many good national traditions and customs, granted state status to some of them and transformed them into national holiday. Thanks to the independence, we also made firm steps, in review of our national history, literature and culture.

Alongside with this, we owned our intangible civilization heritage, celebrated our valuable cultural and historical national dates by holding high-level events, published hundreds of scientific and feature works and the works of the greatest classical and contemporary cultural and literature celebrities and made them available to millions of readers.

Thanks to the state independence, we revived one of our greatest ancestors’ holiday – Navruz, which has over 5 000 year history and made it a world holiday. During this period we revived all customs and traditions of this heritage and it became one of our most favorite national holidays. Thanks to state independence we strengthened the pillars of our culture and revived our best cultural values. Having declared our language and culture as the symbol of our existence, we paid a special attention to the development of the customs of our national culture and revival of folk crafts during 25 years.

During this period we constructed dozens of new and modern theaters, cultural centers and palaces in many cities and districts, regional centers and the capital city and renovated and reconstructed the majority of cultural palaces, music and drama theatres and made it available to serve our people and we will continue this process.

Granting official status to “Shashmakom” and “Falak” as well as annually arranging high level events on the basis of this rich national heritage indicates high respect shown by the State and the Government to our national heritage.

We have undertaken all these steps because only high level of culture and education, protection of national traditions and compliance with good and constructive national values and positively impact on the human moral education and leads him to understanding of mankind social philosophy. I believe that our people will continue preserving national traditions and customs as an important pillar of the national saint values and will make further efforts for their development and expansion. We, alongside with enhancement of our national culture, learn and respect the language and cultural achievement of other advanced nations of the world, since we know very well that any nation and society can deserve relevant reputation  among civilized countries through this way.

Dear Compatriots!

Republic of Tajikistan is a young state of young people, where the average age is 24 and 70% of population is under 30. Taking this fact into account, we attach a priority attention to the implementation of state policy on youth as an active power of society from the early period of our independence.

During the independence we created conducive environment with a view to improving the role of youth in the society, ensuring favorable environment for their training, professional development, learning foreign languages and the latest information and communication technologies and created all the necessary conditions for implementation of their initiatives.

For this purpose, we adopted dozens of laws, decrees and state programs, including, the Law of the Republic of Tajikistan on the State Youth Policy. These documents opened horizons to unite the young people and ensure their proactive participation in the process of reforms, protection of our country’s borders, to strengthen the foundations of state building and constructive welfare activities. In this period, we also adopted and implemented the State Youth Policy Strategy, which would ensure proactive participation of youth in addressing topical socio-economic issues in the country.

At present, the youth under 35 make almost 50% of civil servants and 23% of managerial staff. During our independence with a view to promoting the sports and the healthy lifestyle among teenagers and young people, we constructed thousands of new and modern sport facilities such as stadiums and gyms, swimming pools and playgrounds in all towns and districts of the country. As a result our sportsmen, who were mainly born during the independence, made unprecedented achievements at regional and international competitions and promoted our independent Tajikistan in the world.

At the recent Olympic Games in Brazil Tajikistan was ranked as the 54th country among 206 countries of the world. Tajik sportsman Dilshod Nazarov won the gold medal in men’s hammer throw among the 12 famous hammer throwers and was included into the list of hundred best athletes of the Plane.

We attach a great importance to the role of youth in the protection of national independence and construction of a modern and developed state and will continue our efforts to improve their socio-economic situation and create all necessary conditions for their comprehensive development.

At the same time, the youth need to thoroughly study the lessons of independence, be aware of the current world political trends, study the past and present of their nation, respect their Motherland, Nation, State Independence and Symbols, as well as their language and culture.

During the independence and within the development of law-based and secular state the issue of women’s status and role has become important and we paid a serious attention to the role of women in the social and political life of the country during the reforms. Due to the fact that women constitute 51 percent of the population, we ensured their participation in the activities of all branches of government.

During the independence we adopted more than 20 important state documents on women issues, which created more favorable conditions for girls and women’s activity and life.

Declaring Mother's Day is also one of the important initiatives of the Government showing the respect towards the role of girls and women, appreciation of mothers’ hard work and support of women as active members of society. It is the result of the support and care by the State and Government that currently women and girls make 4 300 or more than 22% of 19 000 civil servants.

More than 10 000 girls from remote districts and towns of the country graduated from higher education institutions of the country during the independence period and have been proactively contributing to the development of various sectors of our economy.

Support and care towards women and girls to address their issues will remain as an important aspect of our state social policy in the future as well. We do acknowledge the support and contribution of women in the peace building, unification of the nation and post war reconstruction process.

Our ladies, as an active and advanced force, play a really valuable role in raising a healthy generation, regulating customs and traditions and counteracting to extremism and fanaticism. We observe this during our visits to various town and districts of the country. Currently 70% percent of staff in the education sector an 60 percent of workers in healthcare are women. Ladies also significantly contribute in activities of armed forces, i.e. military units and law enforcement agencies of the country alongside with men.

Dear Participants!

Social life of the country has fully changed and addressing social issues has been one of the main pillars of our state policy during 25 years. In this period we adopted and implemented a number of programs, which played a significant role in social sector’s development. Implementation of above-mentioned programs seriously improved the development of social subsectors, in particular, education, science, healthcare, social protection, culture and employment.

Independence is indeed a qualitatively new stage of development and significant changes in the history of science and education of the Tajik nation. Accession into this period has set serious tasks before the country leadership, i.e. creation of favorable conditions for the development of science and education, introduction of the latest technologies, training of professionals meeting the new era standards, and restructuring of science and education management. Having these objectives in mind, the Government started targeted reforms of the education sector.

We started reforms at all levels of education, updated curricula and plans, developed and published teaching tools newly, started intensive construction and reconstruction of schools and as a result completely changed the education level and quality.

I would like to emphasize that education sector is not only a driver of society, but also a key indicator of human development. Quality education is one of the crucially important factors for sustainable economic development. If we want to have a progressive society and developed state, we have to avail all tools and opportunities to ensure development of science and education, because only a knowledgeable and educated nation can develop his country.

To deserve a proper reputation in the current world, everybody of us needs to work according to the requirements of the contemporary world and channel every possible resource and opportunity to raise a healthy, creative, patriotic and self-cautious generation.

Particularly for this purpose we increased the education sector funding by hundreds of times, during the independence. If in 2000 the education funding made only 41m TJS, we have foreseen three billion TJS for this vitally important sector in 2016.

During this period we constructed and reconstructed more than 2500 educational facilities by spending over two billion TJS.

Currently 161 educational facilities of new type, including 85 gymnasiums and 65 lyceums operate in the country. During this period we also constructed and launched nine presidential schools for talented children equipped with modern training facilities.

Increase in number of higher education institutions during the independence is one of the achievements of education sector in the country. While in 1992 we had only 13 higher education institutions with 70 000 students in total, in 2016 the number of higher education institutions reached 39 with 170 000 students.

Indeed, the education sector became an important social pillar with the State support during the independence and significantly contributed to raising and training of new generation and youth, in enhancing their self-consciousness and national awareness, development of sense of patriotism and awareness on historic mission of pride Tajik nation. I believe that the education workers will further continue their mission in human development.

Independence opened a qualitatively new path for the development of science and created favorable conditions for the reform of its various areas.

In this period we adopted the Concept of State Policy on Development of Science and Technology, introduced new funding mechanism of the sector, created new research facilities and also identified well-grounded important topics promoting our national economic development.

We understand very well that if the State does not pay necessary attention to the development of science, in particular, technical sciences and latest technologies, it will not make any achievement. Bearing this in mind, the Government has paid a particular attention to the intellectual power, particularly scientists since the early days of independence and has widely applied their opinions, proposals, knowledge and experience in addressing political, economic, social and cultural issues.

I have noted many times and today would like to reiterate once again that the 21st century is the century of speedy development of science and technology, and learning and introduction of science and technology, innovations and the latest technologies in all aspects of life, formation of a solid constructive power of society is the main criteria for sustainable economic development and improvement of population’s living standards. In this regard I would like to emphasize that the development of hard sciences and further support of inventions and innovations is of utmost importance today.

As the experience of the last 100 years shows, only the countries, which developed the science and particularly the hard sciences, and widely introduced inventions and production of technologies, achieved high level of development.

Our scholars have also made some beneficial accomplishments. However, it is necessary to expand activities aimed at development of hard sciences and inventions.

The Government needs to pay a priority attention to the support of the activities of scholars and inventors and development of innovation sector, to establish new research units in case of necessity and particularly to constantly pay attention to training of young professionals and inventors.

Alongside with this, I would like to recall that understanding the current reality, i.e. the national interests, self-consciousness and self-awareness, protection of motherland, and dedicated contribution to development and flourishment of the country increases the demand in scholars by ten times and improves their reputation and importance.

 

According to our ancient traditions, we meet with the intelligentsia every year on the eve of Navruz holiday and always take into account their ideas on the moral development of our society, because the intelligentsia is the light of knowledge and golden reserve of our nation from whom the society’s literacy depends significantly. The intelligentsia and scholars must know very well that over the history, it was intelligentsia, who first and foremost dreamed about and made efforts for independence. Therefore, in the process of globalization, protection of the motherland’s independence, national identity and genuineness, protection of our ancient nation’s moral wealth is first and foremost their task and mission.

Distinguished Participants!

Since a healthy nation is the basis for a healthy society, we also had some significant changes in the healthcare sector as one of the priority areas in our social policy during the independence. The Government declared the public health as a national wealth. Thus, we repaired and reconstructed over thousand healthcare facilities, including hospitals and medical centers, diagnosis and prevention sectors, policlinics and recreation centers in various districts and towns of the country, equipped them with the latest medical equipment and established favorable working conditions during 25 years of independence.

With a view to overcoming one of the challenges of the sector that is the lack of professionals, particularly in remote areas of the country, we established Khatlon province Medical University this year and have been continuing efforts to expand capacity of the Tajik State Medical University of Avicenna.

In this period, the healthcare funding increased from 960 000 TJS in 1992 to 1.3 billion TJS in 2016, which makes 2.3% GDP and 7.8% of the public budget accordingly. The maternal mortality and child mortality rate decreased by 1.8 and 2.7 times accordingly and we eliminated dangerous transmissible diseases in this period. The analysis shows that the number of our citizens going oversees for diagnosis and treatment decreased by 80%, and in contrary, hundreds of highly qualified physicians from Tajikistan have been successfully working in the best medical facilities of various countries nowadays. Notwithstanding all activities implemented up to date, we need to expand the reforms and undertake all necessary activities in this process to ensure further development of the sector to enhance physical infrastructure of medical facilities and to further improve the quality of medical services.

During the independence period, the Government has continuously overseen the public regulation of labor relations, public employment, creation of new jobs and professional training of citizens since this issue directly impacts on social sustainability and public living standards. As a result of implementation of programs on public employment, the labor market has gradually improved. In this period, based on the Concept of Job Creation and Maintenance in the country, we created new jobs for about one million people, 30% of whom are women at present. Alongside with this, with a view to bringing the professionalism of citizens in line with the requirements of labor market, almost 100 000 young people and adults were covered with various occupational training and retraining courses. We will further continue our efforts in this area and will avail every possible opportunity for professional training and employment of active labor force, i.e. creation of job is among the main activities of the country’s Government and all government agencies and entities.

Honorable Friends!

From the early days of declaring its independence, Tajikistan, by establishing direct international relations, integrated into the world community platform. Accordingly, the sovereign Tajik State had ambitious objectives, achievement of which requires undertaking influential measures to run a proper balanced foreign policy.

During 25 years, we established and constantly expanded mutually beneficial relations with various countries of the world and reputable regional and international organizations. In this pathway, as an integral part of our governance, we gained a valuable experience in implementation of our foreign policy, tasks and objectives. We introduced the current theory and conceptual ideas of the foreign policy of the newly established Tajikistan at high level at the 18th Session of the Parliament as early as on December 28, 1993, which over the time made the core of our first Foreign Policy Concept adopted in 2002.

The process of practical implementation of the Open Doors policy, which started after confirming the above-mentioned Concept, proved that we have chosen the right strategy in the international arena. During this period, the core of our foreign policy was the protection of national and state interests, ensuring favorable environment for our activities oversees to further strengthen our independence and security, as well as ensure sustainable development, which are still considered to be among the important objectives of the State.

Currently, Tajikistan is an active member of more than 80 reputable organizations on multilateral, international and regional cooperation and integration and has diplomatic relations, mutually beneficial trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation with over 140 countries of the world. In this regard, it is worthwhile noting about our constant efforts to ensure and strengthen peace and stability at the national, regional and global levels.

It was particularly the outcome of this policy that several important initiatives of our country were supported by the world community and implemented, and Tajikistan was acknowledged as an active initiator at the international arena. Our global initiatives on water like declaring 2003 as the International Year of Fresh Water, International Decade for Action “Water for Life (2005-2015)” and declaring 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation were implemented at the global level and became of historical importance.

At present, another initiative of us to launch a new International Decade “Water for Sustainable Development” is favored by the global solidarity and its implementation framework is under discussion now.

The 21th century requirements urge us to strongly link Tajikistan’s foreign policy to the country’s security, economic and social needs and to make influential efforts to meet the above-mentioned needs.

Nowadays we witness that various regions of the world are subject to unprecedental wave of terrorism, extremism and conflicts and geopolitical competition between the superpowers has been growing.   

In such a sensitive situation, respecting balance between the globalization processes and the country’s national interests, which should complement each other and serve as a reliable guarantee for sustainable development of the system of international relations, becomes critically important.

Tajikistan, which experienced the horrifying civil war, is always against the war and instability and is for peaceful solution to all conflicts and contradictions.

Such a vision and position makes it possible to provide equal opportunities, adequate security system and relevant position of all countries and nations disregard their role and influence in geopolitical power distribution, and create effective tools of reaction to the contemporary threats and challenges.

In this regard, further protection of our achievements during the independence, proper and wider introduction of the real face of Tajikistan to the world community, strengthening its position in the international arena and expansion of regional cooperation will remain among the strategic objectives of our foreign policy. While, continuing the implementation of these objectives, we stand ready to continue and boost our friendly relations and mutually beneficial multidimensional cooperation with all countries of the world, including our traditional partners both in bilateral format and within multilateral institutions. Therefore, now we need to expand our balanced peace-loving and constructive foreign policy, based on open doors method by taking into account the international geopolitical reality.

Esteemed compatriots!

The grand constructive and welfare oriented initiatives implemented in our dear country during the independence period were indeed carried out thanks to the dedicated hard work of our patriot, noble, smart and reputable people.

For the sake of protection of this historical invaluable gift, which is the basis for existence and sustainability of nation and guarantee for its bright future, also for the sake of strengthening its achievements, including peace and stability, national unity and further improving the living standards of our noble people, everybody of us is obliged to use their knowledge and experience and continue making further efforts in this glorious pathway, and to further improve and flourish our motherland with our dedicated efforts and to strengthen our sovereign state.

Celebration of the 25th Anniversary is summarization of only a portion of the history of our ancient nation. The pride and ancient Tajik nation has a long pathway ahead and is capable of making greater achievements with its dedicated hard efforts.

It is my firm belief that the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of our State Independence will grant a new power to our educated and industrious people, enhance its achievements, peace and political stability in our country, further strengthen our national unity and promote better living standards for our noble people.

On our way to implementation of constructive initiatives for the sake of flourishment of our country and improvement of our people’s living standards, we always need to be united, cautious, love our country like we love our mothers and ourselves, make all possible efforts and avail every possible opportunity for the sake of its bright future.

Once again, I would like to extend my sincere congratulations on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the State Independence of the Republic of Tajikistan to all people of my country, to our compatriots abroad and to you, distinguished participants.

I wish every young person and adult of the independent Tajikistan strong health, family happiness and everlasting peace and stability, national unity and further flourishment to our dear country.

My Dear People! I fully believe in constructive power and sense of patriotism of every individual in my country.

My Great Nation! I am sincerely proud of you, I sincerely love you and I will dedicate myself fully to you till the end of my life!

My Great and Hero People! We will all together make our Tajikistan a paradise of this world in a peaceful and stability environment.

My Ancient, Educated and Tolerant Tajik Nation! You have passed through difficult days and a dark period. Now, go ahead with firm belief and steps towards the flourished and stable future and reach even higher peaks!

My Pride and Honorable People! I wish you good luck and flourishment in your future!

Happy Grand Independence Day, Distinguished Compatriots! 

 

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