Address by the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, the Founder of Peace and National Unity, Leader of the Nation, H.E. Emomali Rahmon at the First Session of Majlisi Milli (National Assembly), sixth convocation
Distinguished Members of Majlisi Milli!
I would like to congratulate all of you on your election and appointment as members of the National Assembly, and wish you every success in carrying out your duties.
I would also like to congratulate Rustami Emomali on his election as the Chairman of the Majlisi Milli of Majlisi Oli (National Assembly of the Parliament) of the Republic of Tajikistan, Ahmadzoda Rajabboy and Yodgor Fayzov as Principal Deputy Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Senate and wish them successes as well.
The National Assembly as the country’s supreme representative and legislative body, using its constitutional powers, reviews and supports the laws adopted by Majlisi Namoyandagon (Lower Chamber) of the Parliament, and thereby substantively contributes to the development of the country’s legal system and strengthening of the rule of law.
The members of the newly elected National Assembly are mensch with a wealth of knowledge and expertise and the high level of political sense. I believe, that they will play an important role in developing the legislative system, improving the quality of laws, and strengthening the legal framework of the state and society by mobilizing their intellectual potential, knowledge and expertise.
In particular, I would like to emphasize that members of the Majlisi Milli, by using their legislator constitutional power, should do their utmost in drafting laws. They should develop and propose laws focusing on stronger independence, development of the country’s economic and social sectors and enhancement of market relations, as well as development of business, education and healthcare, efficient use of land and other natural resources, the rule of law, crime prevention, and improvement of the living standards of the population. To this end, the members of the Majlisi Milli should closely cooperate with other legislative initiators and law administration entities, research institutes, specialists and experts. This would make it possible to draft and adopt comprehensive laws, and bring greater benefits to society and the state.
Laws should also take into account strategies, programs and the future goals on development of the national state, its integration into the international community and strengthening the foundations for development of the civil society.
Distinguished Members of Majlisi Milli!
The proximate implementation of constitutional laws and regulations, protection of constitutional foundations, territorial integrity of Tajikistan, strengthening the foundations of state independence, protection of human rights and freedom, development of all spheres of life and improvement of living standards are the main focus of Tajikistan’s public policy as a democratic, law-based and secular state.
The implementation of this constructive policy enabled us to utilize the existing opportunities to develop and implement a number of government concept papers, strategies, programs, and thereby protect the country’s economy from the effect of the global financial crisis and other internal and external shocks. Through this policy implementation, we led the state and society towards sustainable development and made vivid political, economic, social and cultural achievements.
In my Address to the Parliament, I outlined my views on the achievements of the independence period and the future path of the country’s development and provided specific assignments to all branches of the state, including the Government, ministries and agencies, local executive authorities and heads of organizations and institutions in achieving this goal.
Concurrently, along with political, economic, social and cultural measures, further strengthening and enhancing the legal framework is important for the further enhancement of progress and achievement of the supreme national and state goals, hence, the law is the means of regulation of public relations in economic, social, political and cultural areas.
Therefore, the members of the Majlisi Milli, while making decision, drafting and approving laws shall thoroughly study their economic, social and cultural bases and effectiveness for the development of cities and districts, towns and villages, and the improvement of people’s living standards, and focus on their importance and quality of their implementation in this process.
I also would like to note that each of you is the head of one or another government agency, i.e. civil servant. Therefore, you must, first of all, perform your duties at a high level, and faithfully serve the state and the people of Tajikistan.
Nowadays, the world community has been experiencing a very complex, difficult and dangerous period. Global challenges, including climate change and its devastating consequences, ethnic and religious wars and conflicts, terrorist and extremist attacks in various parts of the world are increasingly threatening the security, and political-economic stability of countries. The continuation of such a situation can lead to unpleasant consequences for humanity, in particular for developing countries. I have outlined my views on the regional and global issues on many occasions, including during various high-level international fora and events and called on the world community to work together to tackle the threat faced by humanity.
Dear Members of Parliament!
Availing this opportunity, I believe it is important to draw your attention and that of all of the residents of the country to an issue of utmost importance. The emergence of and rapidly spreading novel coronavirus further aggravated the already difficult situation in the world. This disease has been causing human and financial losses to small and large countries and even technologically advanced states, and caused a serious concern of the world community today. The situation is alarming to the extent that the President of the United States of America has declared major disaster in all 50 states, meaning across the country.
Since the emergence of this pandemic, the Government of the country has taken all possible preventive measures to prevent its spread in the country and infection of the population.
Using all our resources and capabilities, we give a primary attention to protection of our people’s health. For example, in the framework of the Action Plan for Development Activities on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of State Independence, we built and renovated 253 and 466 medical facilities respectively in 2018-2019 and the first quarter of this year. In addition, the construction of 163 medical facilities and the reconstruction of 125 facilities will be completed by the celebration of our Grand National Day. It is important to use these facilities effectively to prevent any disease, especially infectious ones, and better protect the health of the country’s population.
The members of the Majlisi Milli and other governmental and non-governmental institutions should further strengthen cooperation with the Government of the country at these very sensitive moments in order to improve the situation in the country, prevent spread of this disease, and take necessary measures within their competencies. In particular, the members of the Majlisi Milli, who cover regions, cities, districts, institutions and enterprises, should mobilize all available resources and capacities to this end.
We hope that the countries of the world will work together in the fight against this plague and will be able to stabilize the state of health and well-being of people at the global level. Novel coronavirus infection currently spread in more than 200 countries. We should not rejoice that we do not have any case of infection with this disease in our country. We need to sympathize others in their hard days. On the contrary, we must be prepared that our country also may be subject to such a test of destiny or difficult times may occur. Therefore, as an ancient and civilized nation, we should feel sympathy with the people of the world, especially our close neighbors, and provide them with support and assistance to the extent possible.
I would like to recall a very important point that both due to the severe political, economic and financial crisis, and from the perspective of security and safety of each state and their citizens, the international situation is becoming more difficult and dangerous since the beginning of the new millennium and especially since the beginning of 2020 than it was during the World War II. In such conditions, we need stronger unity than ever, work faithfully, honestly and sincerely, prove our loyalty, courage and dedication to our Motherland, state and people, do not forget the human love and care for each other. We need to help orphans and persons with disabilities, poor families and other vulnerable groups, and believe that these days will pass as we passed over even more difficult times in the past.
Also, our people have to understand that Tajikistan is an agrarian country and the availability of food products and food security of every family in these spring days depends on daily effort of all citizens of the country, especially farmers. Let us recall the World War II. Our fathers and grandfathers worked manually when there was no agricultural technology, kept their families and managed to send thousands of tons of products to battle fields. They did so due to the demand of the time. Today we experience the same situation.
We have to put every effort to supply ourselves with food products. I would like to reiterate that nowadays even the countries with advanced economy and technological progress, have faced great financial damage and faced enormous financial and economic crisis let alone about the human losses.
Our economy is obviously not as strong as that of those advanced countries since we do not have oil and gas reserves in the country. Therefore, we should not fall into panic but, in contrary, have to be patient, to work devotedly together to complete spring agricultural activities in time and with quality. I would like to underline that supply of every household and improvement of their living standards particularly depends on our continuous efforts. We must decisively improve our farming culture, completely change our attitude towards land, water and other natural resources, ensure full use of arable lands, and effectively use every parcel of land, including kitchen-garden, obtain three or even four times a year from irrigated lands. It means that we must expand the area for secondary and follow-up sowing and produce as many products as possible.
In the very difficult 90-s, when hunger posed a real threat to our people, based on the decrees of the President, 50 000 hectares initially in October 1995 and then 25 000 hectares of land in December 1997 were allocated to the population of our country. These lands known as ‘presidential lands’ through this initiative saved the people of Tajikistan from starvation.
Analyses have shown that in many areas, presidential lands and kitchen gardens for years remain unutilized. It is a result of negligence and lack of attention, whereas, those lands could provide families with potatoes and other varieties of crops.
In this regard, production of agricultural foods through establishment of new enterprises and speeding up development of light and food industry, creation of greenhouses, and freezers for planting and storing fruits and vegetables become more important, and they should be prioritized.
Today, early vegetables, including onions, have been raped in the southern part of our country, in Khatlon region.
We should help farmers in harvesting, in the supply of consumer market, mainly domestic market, with environment-friendly fresh and clean vegetables and their export. To this end, all of us — heads of various branches of Government, disregard of our positions -we should feel accountable personally.
Also, our dedicated and committed entrepreneurs, as usual, should take the lead in establishing enterprises and setting up industries to employ our compatriots, manufacture more products, most importantly, food produce, thus providing the domestic market with locally produced goods, as well as to expand the export.
In this process, we all must remember one critical issue that 2020–2021 will be very difficult economically and financially.
We celebrated the International Navruz holiday in all cities and districts.
Now it is necessary to effectively use every favorable spring day and expand the process of creative and constructive activities, spring sowing and other agricultural works.
Let’s not forget that if we stop working out of fear and panic, we will worsen our situation, and the loss we experience will be greater than the damage caused by COVID-19. In other words, the harm from fear and panic in all respects will be greater than the disease itself, which will lead to extreme poverty, higher prices and disaster. Instead of panicking, it would be reasonable to be more careful and take sanitation and hygiene issues seriously.
According to the last statistics, over the last two months of this year over 144 thousand people have died from Covid-19, whilst almost 70 thousand have been died from common cold, more than 140 thousand deaths from malaria, over 153 thousand of suicides, 193 thousand deaths in the aftermaths of accidents, 240 thousand deaths from HIV/AIDS, 358 thousand deaths from alcoholism, 716 thousand deaths because of smoking. Moreover, over 1 million 177 thousand deaths registered during a year from cancer, seasonal flu A, B, C kills up to 600 thousand and almost 6 million people die every year from pneumonia.
While in some countries, 600-800 people die every day, some of our compatriots do not follow the most straightforward rules of hygiene, that is, personal hygiene and neglect experts’ advice.
Our elderly people remember that many people died from cholera, smallpox, typhoid and other infectious diseases, and even large villages were abandoned over the past hundred years in the territory of current Tajikistan. The people of Tajikistan in their recent history have also gone through these difficult days – the imposed civil war, internal displacement of hundreds of thousands of people, famine, as well as the spread of various infectious diseases. As a result of the imposed civil war, more than one million of our citizens took refuge in foreign countries, that is, they became forced refugees and more than 150 000 people died. While, during almost seven years of the World War II, 300 000 people from Tajikistan joined the battle-field and 100 000 of them died.
In addition, I would like to remind you that we need to refrain from excessive parties and waste of resources, to put an end to waste of especially bread and other food products, and to move to efficiency, to provide our families with quality food as much as possible. We should not be indifferent in terms of ensuring good living standards for our population and not forget that excessiveness and extravagancy lead to poverty and misery in every family.
Unfortunately, some people in our society have forgotten the hard times, especially the poverty and hunger we had in the 1990s.
I would like to emphasize once again that sometimes our government officials, entrepreneurs, clergymen and our distinguished mothers and women allow excessiveness, showing-off and organize extravagant and useless ceremonies and parties.
In this regard, I would like to underscore that the Prosecutor General’s Office, other law enforcement agencies, local executive authorities’ officials, administration of regions, cities and districts, urban and rural communities, officials and members of public commissions, activists and civil society representatives should take additional immediate measures to ensure the respect of the provisions of the Law of the Republic of Tajikistan on Regulation of Traditions and Ceremonies. Using the rostrum of the supreme legislator body, I propose the relevant institutions and agencies to undertake measures to strengthen administrative liability, i.e. to increase the fines for violation of the requirements of this law. They also should strictly monitor the implementation of other laws, decisions and orders of the Head of State, and ensure their adequate enforcement. Furthermore, we need to follow the instructions and recommendations of the experts, pay a special attention to the cleanliness of our residences, our houses, follow healthy lifestyle standards, hygiene and antiseptic measures, and thereby protect both ourselves and other people from this risk.
Once again, I emphasize that the safety of each person is in his own hands.
Depending on the situation, people over 65 are recommended not to leave their houses without any need for a certain period of time. They should stay with their families at home.
We’ve been through almost four months, and now we need to be patient and spend April and May in peace.
Life is struggle, and in this struggle, those who avail their intellect, especially during difficult times, will be victorious. People should work hard and provide food for their families and those in need. We need to be more efficient, patient and calm.
Currently, the National Task Force chaired by the Prime Minister, conducts a review of the current situation, takes necessary measures, including preventive ones on a daily basis, to ensure the safety of citizens, access to food, medicines, and other basic items.
Furthermore, representatives of the Government and Executive Office of the President travel to all cities and regions of the country and together with the heads of local authorities, raise the population’s awareness on preventive measures organized by the State.
The current situation in the region and the world urges us first of all to be vigilant and use and channel all available resources and potential to maintain peace, stability in the society, state security, and sustainable economic and social development of our country.
We should not be fearful of the temporary challenges, take care of each other, take initiatives, demonstrate leadership and stay united. We have to be kind and supportive of each other in all difficult situations.
We will continue expanding our mutually beneficial cooperation with the countries of the world, first of all, with our close neighbors, strategic partners, and reputable international and regional organizations to tackle the challenges.
In this regard, economic policy and its implementation should take into account the current situation in the region and the world, changes in international and interstate relations. Economic and social programs of the country should build on the country’s interest, and their coherent implementation should be ensured.
For the greater integration with the global economy, the use of advanced technologies, and ensuring national economic growth, we should continuously take measures to improve the quality of legislation and meet current world standards.
To further extend development activities in order to address economic and social issues, cooperation between Majlisi Milli and various stratas of the population, political parties, and civil society should be boosted.
Majlisi Milli has a tangible role in strengthening peace and stability, unity and solidarity, the rule of law and order, improvement of legal awareness of the people, development of different spheres of social life and improvement of the legal environment.
We hope that the new membership of Majlisi Milli will make extensive efforts in this regard using their knowledge and experience.
In this regard, members of Majlisi Milli, in particular heads of regions, cities and districts, taking into account the current situation and challenges, as well as other difficulties of the people, should propose legislative changes in order to address them and contribute in this direction in their daily activities.
Besides, members of Majlisi Milli must attach a great importance to compliance with the Constitution, laws and other legal acts, human and citizen rights and freedoms, as well as closely interact with the people and assist them in addressing their challenges.
In addition, we have to take all necessary measures to celebrate our nation’s greatest event– the 30th anniversary of state independence at the highest level.
To this end, the heads of regions, cities, and districts in collaboration with business communities and entrepreneurial citizens should take all necessary measures aimed at further developing and improving cities and remote areas of Tajikistan.
I truly believe that you, members of the Majlisi Milli, will mobilize your strength, knowledge, skills and energy for the implementation of the supreme national and state goals and make a valuable contribution to the strengthening of the foundations of our independent state, the progress and prosperity of our beloved homeland and ensuring decent standard of living of the glorious people of Tajikistan.
The new leadership of the Majlisi Milli — the Chairman and deputies of this supreme representative and legislative body, trusted by the people, have a great responsibility in this regard and are obliged to take the lead in creative work, especially in the prosperity and improvement of our capital — Dushanbe.
We expect you to be exemplary in the performance of your official duties.
I wish each of you every success in this endeavor.
Stay healthy and blessed.