President of the Republic of Tajikistan

Speech on the occasion of celebration of the state independence of the Republic of Tajikistan

07.09.2013 10:19, Dushanbe city

Dear compatriots!
Distinguished audience!

The passage of time undeniably proves that the existence of any state, society and the free development and pride of every member are inseparably linked with independence and freedom as a basic guarantee of eternity of nations. This immense achievement over the course of human history has allowed the nations of the world to be the masters of their own natural and historical rights.

It is a great pride of the entire Tajik people that we, after several centuries because of the priceless gift, particularly owing to national independence, given the historic traditions and customs of our ancestors, and using the experience of developed and civilized countries in the world, twenty two years ago started building our national statehood.

Therefore, independence is considered to be one of the most sacred national values, as this prominent achievement is the result of the aspiration and deeds of the glorious and proud sons of the Tajik people in the name of the centuries-old dream of our nation - to revive national state of the Tajiks.

The people in Tajikistan annually celebrate this joyful occasion of the state independence in a festive atmosphere as a sign of reverence to that landmark date, and glorify and value their own independent and sovereign homeland.

Today, when we all are gathered on the threshold of the twenty second anniversary of this outstanding celebration, to commemorate this occasion, I from the bottom of heart congratulate all the people of Tajikistan and all our dear nationals living abroad, and I wish this happy holiday bring continued prosperity and lasting happiness to every family of our beloved homeland.

To gain independence and sovereignty was truly life-changing development for Tajiks. As nation who owns a destiny of present and future of the state, is endowed with a great happiness.

The idea of ​​independence as one of the pillars of human freedom has at all times been an integral part of our thinking and the national identity.

As it comes clear from the fate of many peoples and generations of the planet, independence befalls not every nation.

Since independence and the establishment of a sovereign state, in addition to being associated with the historic opportunity of every people and nation, also requires from every member of society vigilance, feelings of patriotism, loyalty and honest work and continued efforts and commitment.

In the world full of contradictions and rivalries, when Tajikistan’s national independence has coincided exactly with that uneasy period, we managed to identify a particular way to protect national and historical peculiarities of the people, and today we're moving forward with confident steps on this path, towards the way of building a democratic, legal and secular state.

A special model of the national statehood of independent Tajikistan is recognized on the global scene and our country has found its deserved place in the human community, which is our outstanding achievement at the end of the XX and the beginning of the XXI centuries.

Tajikistan today is moving towards sustainable development and strengthening the foundations of the national independence and cementing the pillars of statehood.

At this juncture, all our efforts and commitment should be made to ensure that independence along with the “people”, “homeland” and “unity” turns into an indivisible concept of existence, consciousness, philosophy and the fundamental value of life of every citizen of the country.

It is crystal obvious, deeper awareness of the importance of independence and freedom is extremely important for the stability of the state and prosperous life of the people.

Since this great gift delivered by Almighty has created the conditions for each of us to draw our own destiny, and to work for a peaceful and bright future of ourselves and our children.

We must always remember that all the shortcomings and difficulties of life are nothing compared to the gift of independence and freedom. As nation that is independent and has freedom and sovereignty, is able to address the challenges and difficulties of life by its own.

As you remember, along with achieving independence our nation was drawn into the vortex of domestic confrontations and subsequently into an imposed civil war, and in the upshot there was a real threat to the existence of the Tajik people and the state.

Moreover, the danger of disruption of the Tajik people and the disappearance of Tajik state has become a very harsh and terrible reality of those days.

Our heavy losses those days were the death of tens of thousands of our fellow-citizens, resulting in thousands of mothers and women have lost their children, women lost husbands, tens of thousands of children have lost their parents.

As a result of the tragic, horrible events of those days, one million of our citizens have become refugees, economy had completely been damaged, hundreds of thousands of homes, thousands of schools, hospitals and other public facilities were ruined, and economic loss exceeded 10 billion USD.

The people of the country faced severity of sorrow and sadness, fear, deep desperation and hopelessness to a bright future.

In these incredibly difficult circumstances, the only way to save the people and the state from the threat of disintegration and destruction was an early end to the bloody war, the call of the people for mutual understanding, harmony, solidarity, and laying the foundations for the national unity of the Tajik people.

Since, without independent national state all historic hopes and expectations of the Tajik people, as well as objectives and programs of the present and future generations would have lost its meaning.

Fortunately, we relying on the wholehearted support, peace-loving commitment and tolerant nature of the glorious Tajik people, have accelerated this critical process, brought lasting peace and harmony in the country, returned refugees and internally displaced people to their homeland, back to their homes and began to restore the ravages and ruins of war.

That is why, the cessation of bloodshed, ensure of peace, stability and national unity is one of the first historical achievements and sacred value of early independence era, which was achieved only through the strong will and desire of the Tajik peace-loving and tolerant people.

This historic achievement is first and foremost the great merit of the Tajik people.

That period was indeed an unforgettable life lesson and a great school of national self-awareness which encourages all of us to never forget the bitter lessons of the internal conflict and imposed civil war.

Another achievement of this period was the revival and restoration of the foundations of national statehood and its major institutions.

We were able within short span of time with the support of the people to restore the constitutional order, rehabilitate the activity of the paralyzed structures and authorities, to establish the National Army from scratch and start building new branches of the government and other military and law enforcement agencies.

The adoption of the Constitution of our country has opened a new page in the history of our state and it served as the foundation of independent Tajikistan.

Further improvement of the Constitution by amending its content and substance has brought an opportunity to establish the country's bicameral parliament.

In addition, person, human rights and freedom have been proclaimed as the supreme value​​ and nationwide referendum and elections have been recognized as the highest form of expression of direct democracy.

It should be noted that, those years, Tajikistan among the former Soviet republics was the second country which by nation-wide referendum adopted its Constitution and then through free elections and the will of the people has set up a bicameral professional parliament.

The people of Tajikistan for the first time had the opportunity freely and with a high civic responsibility before the past, present and future generations to independently determine the strategic directions and the prospects of development of society for decades to come.

On the basis of the legal framework created over the years several stages of political and public administration reform have been carried out, and governing structure has been brought in line with the realities of society in order to ensure the effectiveness and increase transparency of state authority.

Dear friends!

As has been repeatedly pointed out, the first decade of our national statehood was mainly devoted to the solution of political problems, including the normalization of the situation in the country, return of refugees, providing them with housing, disarmament of illegal armed groups, the issues identified in the General Agreement on the Establishment of Peace and National Reconciliation, and only after 2000 the State and the Government began to seriously address the socio-economic challenges.

I’d like to remind that in 1996, during an ongoing internal conflict, for the first time the first Economic Reforms Program was adopted in the country that has facilitated the process of an implementation of drastic measures aiming at economic transition to market relations.

The normalization of the political situation and acceleration of economic reforms in all sectors of the national economy remarkably helped to cease a decline in Gross Domestic Product and for the first time since independence in 1997 GDP increase was recorded by 1,7 % compared to 1996.  

In the second half of 2000 very important development of independence has occurred, which was associated with the issuance of one of the symbols of an independent state – the national currency somoni.

This development has contributed to greater macroeconomic indicators in all sectors of the economy, pulled the country out of the economic crisis, helped to strengthen financial situation, normalize the public budget and improve socio-economic situation of the country.

Thus, over the past 13 years, the GDP growth rate averaged 7% – 8% per year and in 2013 its volume expected to reach 42,1 billion somoni that makes up 5263 somoni per capita, which is 19 times more than the indicator in 2000.

During this period, the Government of the country has managed to establish a solid ground for sustainable economic development, and has adopted and implemented socio-economic, scientific and cultural programs with the view to strengthening national statehood.

A reliable system of public finance which is the key pillar of the market economy and the necessary basis for the normalization and development of all social and economic sectors was set up during this period of time. The volume of public budget has grown by 48 times compared to 2000, and in 2013 it will likely be amounted to 12,1 billion somoni.

Along with economic progress and enhanced capacity of the public budget, we on regular basis are steadily increasing social sector financing as a priority field of the national economy.

For example, over the past 12 years, basic social sectors funding, particularly education, health and social security and pensions has increased from 35 to 55 times.

The implementation of strategic objectives and national priorities, the expansion of economic reforms and the adoption of measures to ensure economic stability in the country have noticeably contributed to the economic development and poverty reduction.

According to the outcomes of the recent studies, the poverty rate for the period 2000-2012 years decreased from 81% to 38,3%.

Late 2012 the government of the country has adopted the Tajikistan’s Living Standards Improvement Strategy, the main purpose of which, along with the poverty reduction, is to support and create opportunities for the formation of the middle class of the population, and on this basis to promote sustainable development of the national economy.

The strategy provides for the conservation of the existing positive trends in the development of economic sectors, attraction of foreign investment in the economy, promotion of sustainable rate of the national currency, maintaining a moderate level of inflation rate and the increase in the real income of the population.

According to the indicators of this Strategy in the case of the average annual GDP of 7,5 % the inflation rate is expected to decline by 7%, and the poverty reduce to 31%.

It should be noted that independent Tajikistan has made notable achievements in materializing three strategic objectives – energy security, pulling the country out of communication deadlock and food security.

Over the last years our dear compatriots are clearly observing positive development and improvement in the fields of industry, energy, agriculture, transport, road construction, communication, and information technology.

Other remarkable progress country has achieved over the years of independence is the restoration and creation of the fundamentals of science and education, including the reconstruction of infrastructure, implementation of the educational process of state-of-the-art technology, advanced models and methods, as well as personnel training.

We are implementing a raft of bold and effective measures in order to bookmark foundation for the bright future of national statehood and the better life of new generations.

At the time of independence the number of higher educational institutions has increased by 3 times, the total number of university students has grown by 4 times, the list of specialties, which staff are trained and prepared in the universities of the country has increased by almost 4 times.

Along with this, we are obliged to take into account the population growth and to accelerate the construction of new schools and to create the necessary conditions for study and education of the younger generation and young people.

Distinguished attendees!

Today Tajikistan as an independent state plays an essential part on the international arena.

Nowadays our government leads the way in foreign policy, and the recognition of several global initiatives and proposals by the international community is a prime example of the international acknowledgement of Tajikistan on the global scene.

In this context, last year Tajikistan was accepted as a new member of the World Trade Organization family, and now our country is a full-fledged part of major international political, economic and cultural institutions. Achieving this goal is not only an important economic success, but also a significant political and diplomatic achievement of Tajikistan on the international arena.

Today, after twenty-two years of the sovereignty of the Tajiks, we with the full responsibility can state that it is due to the independence we were able to raise up self-awareness and pride of the national state to the state policy agenda.

From now on, every citizen of independent Tajikistan is proud to call himself the son of ancient, civilized and sovereign Tajik people, be proud of his native land, statehood, symbols, and national values – Flag, Coat of Arms and National Anthem.

Our society today lives in a very difficult, complex and rapidly changing modern world, where there are negative developments and trends that may threaten the independence, the basics of statehood, national unity, and moreover, may pose a challenge to the existence of the nation.

With the extension of these processes and trends that due to analyze and forecast will likely be protracted, there is still a danger and a threat to the security of the region and the world.

Even today, with the use of force and other destructive means, including terrorism, extremism and transnational criminal groups, as well as by expanding the information wars we eyewitness growing efforts and attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign states.

Therefore, in the face of increasing threats and menaces of the modern world the issue of national and public security is of paramount and vital importance, and this situation requires from each employee and government officials, including officers of law enforcement authorities, military agencies, all public servants, and as well as from every honest and worthy representative of the nation even greater responsibility, vigilance and alertness.

It is indisputably true that the process of globalization, along with the promotion of unprecedented development of science and technology, technological breakthrough, acceleration of economic development and integration of countries, poses threat to the socio-economic and cultural life of the least developed states and developing nations.

This process can be compared to the large and rapid mudslide that can swallow on his way small springs and streams.

In such circumstances, Tajikistan as an independent state is facing challenges, the solution of which depends on the protection of national identity and state of Tajiks in the future.

In the era of globalization, desire of peoples and nations, especially for self-awareness and protection of identity, mentality, national shrines, values, and social and spiritual peculiarities intensifies.

In this connection, worship of vital and creative values ​​and their rational exercise, along with the latest developments in the process of strengthening national identity and self-acknowledgement gains a particular importance.

The essence of national self-consciousness begins with the love for the Homeland, Mother, language, and history, historical and cultural values which contribute to the education of individuals with healthy and progressive outlook.

We therefore have set up an idea of promotion of traditions, customs and the supreme values ​​of the history and culture of our nation only in order to foster a sense of self-awareness in the hearts of our people and future generations.

Distinguished audience!
Ladies and gentlemen!

In my statement delivered on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the XVI Session of the Supreme Council and annual message to the Parliament this year, I specifically declared primary directions of the public policy of Tajikistan for this stage of development and for the near future.

Now I wish to further express my thoughts on some of the other objectives and programs aimed at promotion of development of the state in the years to come.

As we have previously proclaimed, the issue of protecting the greatest historical achievements of our people, including protection and strengthening of the state and the national statehood will remain as an important national and public agenda at the current stage.

One of the ways that strengthens the state and national statehood is the formation of the state consciousness in the hearts and minds of the people, the education of young people in a spirit of national pride for the state, patriotism and the promotion of science and education in the country, which should irreversibly installed in the heart of every citizen of Tajikistan, regardless of nation, religion, creed, political position and social status.

We in this connection must at the governmental level raise political culture, civic responsibility and political vigilance of the people. Since the vigilant people, those with high level of political and legal knowledge cannot be deceived or deluded.

It is known that self-knowledge and a high sense of patriotism of the people considered being one of the main pillars of security and political stability of the country.

If we do want to see a country in the future prosperous and peaceful and its people happy and self-sufficient, we have to comprehensively strengthen political, economic, social and cultural foundations of independent Tajikistan.

It is the patriotic task and civic duty of every honest and decent citizen of the Homeland.

Another way to strengthen the national state by mobilizing all the resources and capabilities is consistent strengthening of the economic might of the country in the context of the rapid population growth and unprecedented increase of the competition in the economic system of the contemporary world.

Achieving a new stage of progress and economic development requires education of many thousands of qualified national personnel in accordance with the international standards of the modern world. It is essential to materialize this important task duly at the proper level.

Yet another principle program at the current stage of sustainable development is to create conditions for a life of dignity of the people. Implementation of this goal in the years of independence was and will remain the main focus of our social policy.

In order to successfully promote new social policy and achieve goals set forth by the government it is necessary to prioritize human, human rights and the protection of people’s interests.

It is indeed a matter of pride and distinct appreciation that the glorious people of Tajikistan has gone through many difficult, terrible days, endured many hardships and restrictions, defended its homeland and state, and has brought stability and lasting peace to the country.

Today I am proud to reiterate that thanks to a firm will, unflinching desire, tolerance and the wisdom of our glorious nation we gradually embarked on the path towards sustainable development.

Our great and strategic goal – is to ensure energy independence, to pull the country out of communication isolation and protect the country's food security focused exclusively on providing a decent life for every citizen of Tajikistan.

We are determined to further continue to strive for the successful realization of social policy, primarily focused on the people, so that people in Tajikistan feel respect and continued care of the state, realize that their rights and freedoms are guaranteed and protected, and in general to create a life of dignity for every member of society.

I reiterate that our nation deserves every kind of care and support, has the moral right to a better and more peaceful and prosperous life than ever.

Dear compatriots!

This year marks important time and test for our country since presidential elections are due to take place this year.

The glorious people of Tajikistan deeply recognize that we have chosen the path towards democratic development and elections have been declared in the life of our society as the key pillar of democratic system.

So we should treat elections and their conduct as a normal democratic phenomenon. I always emphasize this point in my speeches and meetings, and as for me, I personally strongly support this idea.

During the independence, we have taken all measures to ensure that our society is gradually adopting the culture of election and a reasonable choice.

I am convinced that the next presidential election will also be an indicator of high political and civic culture and a reasonable choice of the noble people of Tajikistan.

I address to those who intend to nominate their candidacy at this important event, to treat this campaign with high political culture and with strong patriotic responsibility.

Our choice should not turn into a playground of adventure, but on the contrary, the election should be an arena for the presentation of comprehensive programs, constructive ideas and worthy intellectual capabilities so that people could freely and voluntarily exercise their constitutional right.

I emphasize again that the presidential election should take place in the framework of law, be transparent and free, so that people of Tajikistan have the opportunity to assess and choose worthy candidate for this lofty position.

I am convinced that forthcoming election will be the best example of the exercise of constitutional rights of citizens and, the people will choose their leader freely, in their complete discretion and consent, and this important political event will also promote cohesion of the nation, strengthen the national unity of the people throughout the country, and facilitate the improvement of the image of the Tajik people and independent Tajikistan on the international arena.

Our people in an atmosphere of independence and democracy successfully held several election campaigns and I am confident that upcoming election campaign as a serious test of a young democracy and Tajikistan and a sign of development of our state and nation will also be transparent, fair and free.

Distinguished attendees!
Ladies and gentlemen!

Independence and sovereignty set before us – the citizens of Tajikistan is a lofty, and a responsible historical task, that provides for building of a civilized state which meets the aspirations and hopes and serves the interests of the people of the country, as well as lays the foundations of modern statehood.

We at this moment can confidently say that we proudly managed, owned and led this historic task.

Lasting peace, stability and eternal national unity enabled us to facilitate an implementation of dozens of public programs and road-maps for socio-economic and cultural development and strengthen deserved place to our beloved Tajikistan on the international scene.

We, thanks to unwavering support of our wise people have the necessary capability to successfully implement our further plans and programs whose aim is to strengthen an independent and sovereign state of Tajikistan, and create a decent life and the well-being of every Tajik family.

I am convinced that the XXI century as the epoch of the glorious Samanid, will be the century of independent Tajikistan and the era of outstanding progress of our ancient people.

Since, the right path which we all have chosen to the cause of building a democratic, secular and social state and those great goals that are set before us, guarantee continued political, socio-economic and spiritual development of our society in the long run.

There is no doubt, that for the good continuation of the path we have chosen, our proud and noble people will further strengthen peace and stability, national unity and achieve magnificent triumph we have ever had before.

We are well aware that there is still a raft of difficulties and challenges in the life of our people. However the Tajik people should be confident that we have identified constructive plans and efficient programs to find a key of solution to the existing problems.

We have sufficient resources and capacity to implement them and, most important, we have a strong will to achieve our noble objective.

We, in our beloved Homeland – land of abundance, by means of diligent, tireless and honest work and productive efforts and aspiration of our proud people, will create a decent and prosperous life for everyone in the country in the next few years.

We will prove the world that we are truly civilized, hard-working, creative and peace-loving nation. We will further continue introducing our beloved Tajikistan on the world stage as a genuine democratic, free and developed country.

I am convinced of this development, and our common dream will certainly come true in the very near future, because our people are proud, glorious, hard-working, brave, strong-willed and patriotic.

We have a nation that considers independence and freedom as a symbol of aspiration and heroic deeds of thousands of glorious, proud, devoted and brave sons who spare no efforts, desire and the will to protect the sustainability of this precious, invaluable gift.

I strongly believe in my proud and glorious nation, who loves its Homeland like his own life and I wholeheartedly love my people and am proud of such hard-working, courageous and strong-willed nation.

I once again, extend sincere congratulations to every citizen of our Homeland, to all our nationals living abroad and to all of you, distinguished audience on the occasion of this great holiday of independence and freedom.

I wish Tajikistan’s national independence live forever.

Let the flag of freedom wave in the sky of our ancestral homeland forever!  

Let gleam of freedom and independence bring light and abundance to every family of our beloved country - Tajikistan!

Happy Independence Day, dear compatriots!

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