Speech by the Leader of the Nation, President of the Republic of Tajikistan, His Excellency Mr. Emomali Rahmon at the Solemn Meeting on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of State Independence
Ladies and Gentlemen,
September 9 is a historical and landmark date and a moment of happiness and high dignity for the ancient, creative and glorious Tajik people, who highly values culture.
The noble people of Tajikistan celebrate the 30th anniversary of their independent, free and beloved country with an overflowing sense of patriotism.
The state independence is the greatest and most sacred blessing, the highest embodiment of the national mentality, pride and patriotism, a symbol of the existence of the ancient nation and independence, the Tajik state nationality, the basis of happiness and a source of pride for the people of Tajikistan.
With a feeling of joy and pride, I sincerely congratulate all the glorious people of Tajikistan, every resident, adults and youngsters, our compatriots living abroad and all of you, honorable participants, on the occasion of this sacred and great historical holiday.
I would like to emphasize that it was not that easy for the glorious Tajik people to achieve this happy day, i.e., the celebration of the 30th anniversary of independence and freedom, and the greatest achievement of this period — peace and tranquility, political stability and national unity.
We all together have gone through deadly threats, incredibly difficult trials and challenges over the past 30 years in order to achieve these happy and victorious moments.
The historical path that the Tajik people went through, especially in the initial years of independence was full of horrors and tragedies, hardships and difficulties, obstacles and barriers.
When our independent country was still making its first steps, traitors to the Tajik nation and enemies of the Tajik state, with the support of their foreign supporters, dragged our country into a whirlpool of acute internal confrontation, and then into the fire of an imposed civil war.
The horrors of the imposed civil war will never be erased from the memory of the Tajik people and will forever be imprinted on the pages of our country’s new history.
All state agencies and institutions were completely paralyzed, and the system of public administration was almost destroyed, the Constitution and other laws were trampled and flouted, an atmosphere of anarchy and violence reigned in the country In those difficult and tragic days.
The greatest tragedy of those days was the threat of the disappearance of the young Tajik State and the disintegration of the Tajik nation.
In such tragic circumstances, the sons of the nation – having recognized the essence of the developments — with a view to extinguishing the flames of war, stopping bloodshed, restoring peace and tranquility, and ensuring public order and the rule of law at the earliest possible, set out to call a session of the only authorized state body in those days – the Supreme Council.
Since the capital of our independent State — Dushanbe was eventually stripped of its constitutional status as a result of unrest and lawlessness, the landmark 16th session of the Supreme Council was held in Khujand.
It was at that session that the first steps were taken and decisions were made to put an end to the bloodshed, establish mutual understanding and ensure peace, and lay the foundation for national reconciliation.
I publicly outlined my views on the state system of Tajikistan and declared that I am a supporter of a democratic, law-based, secular and social state for the first time at this session.
It is worth mentioning that Tajikistan, which had declared itself an independent state, had no state symbols — the flag, national emblem and the national anthem for more than a year.
The life-changing session of the Supreme Council adopted the first state symbol — the Tajik flag, and opened an avenue for drafting and adopting other state symbols and the Constitution. Since those circumstances and independence necessitated constitutional reforms in the country as early as possible, we adopted the Constitution of our independent state, which defined the goals, steps and aspirations of society as well as the state system.
As a result, on 6 November 1994, the people of Tajikistan adopted the first Constitution of the independent Tajikistan by referendum and elected the President of the country.
The people of the country supported and accepted the structure and content of statehood, enshrined in the Constitution, and the history soon proved we have chosen the right pathway.
With the development of society, it became necessary to introduce appropriate amendments and additions to the Constitution.
With that in mind, we introduced amendments and additions to the Constitution in 1999, 2003 and 2016 through a nationwide referendum.
In particular, based on the amendments made in 1999, we created a professional Parliament consisting of two chambers — Majlisi Milli (Upper House) and Majlisi Namoyandagon (Lower House) in the country.
In those days, the top priority tasks of the newly elected state leadership was the restoration of the activity of paralyzed state entities, the return of refugees, the immediate elimination of the threat of hunger, and the reconstruction of destroyed houses, burned-down facilities and buildings.
The closure of manufacturing enterprises, a sharp economic downturn, high unemployment, unprecedented inflation, shrinking government revenues and skyrocketing poverty were the realities of those days.
The industrial production fell three times, and the agricultural one two times as a result of the 1992-1997 civil war.
The government of the country, despite extremely scarce financial resources and economic opportunities, began to take all necessary measures to overcome the issues of those days.
In other words, while fighting and shooting continued in some regions of the country, along with efforts to return refugees, create living conditions and ensure employments, we directed all our efforts to address the issues of restoring the country’s paralyzed and stagnated national economy and Tajikistan entered a period of its development in 2000 only.
It has to be mentioned that at that time already we declared the transition to a market economy and the formation of new economic relations as our main task, and thereby created the basis for the socio-economic development of the country.
To this end, we embarked on a comprehensive reform in all areas to restore, and improve the public administration system, introduce structural changes, diversify the property, create favorable conditions for entrepreneurship and investment, form a national budget, tax and monetary system, develop real sectors of the economy, and undertook a wide range of measures in the social sector.
In this process, we identified energy security, country’s connectivity, and food security as our national strategic goals, which were crucial for the future of Tajikistan.
It is the achievement of these goals and the implementation of the foreseen priorities that made it possible over the past 20 years to ensure the country’s average annual economic growth of 7.5%, to multiply the public budget revenues from TJS 252m in 2000 to TJS 27.6bn in 2021.
The GDP per capita in this period reached from TJS 289 to TJS 9,000 and increased by more than 30 times.
However, I would like to emphasize that these indicators are still unsatisfactory given the current requirements.
During the period of independence, we pursued an independent monetary policy, created our banking system, and introduced our national currency into circulation in 2000 in the country.
The implementation of measures and reforms in the banking sector resulted in creation of various types of financial institutions, which now provide banking services to the population and various sectors of the national economy.
Over the past ten years (2011-2020) alone, these financial institutions issued loans amounting more than TJS 100bn for the development of the national economy, including TJS 45.8bn for industrial entrepreneurship.
Securing macroeconomic stability led to increase in population’s income from TJS one billion in 2000 to TJS 65.4bn in 2020, and the decline of poverty rate from 83% in 1999 to 26.3% in 2019.Thus, over the past 20 years, the poverty rate has declined by more than three times.
During this period, the country’s population increased from 5.5 million to 9.7 million, i.e., more than 1.7 times, its living standards has improved significantly, and the average life expectancy reached 75.1 years.
In 1991, the average life expectancy in the country was 70 years.
The average population growth over these years made 2.1 percent.
During the independence period, we allocated 138,000 hectares of land for 1.4 million families for the construction of residential buildings.
Thus, more than 8,8m of our citizens got an opportunity to improve their residential conditions.
(Side note: the average family consists of 6.3 persons in our country).
Let me recall that in 70 years of the pre-independence period, the population was allocated 77,000 hectares of land only.
Over the past twenty years, i.e., since 2001, we mobilized more than TJS 150bn of foreign investments, including TJS 59bn of foreign direct investments to various socio-economic areas of the country.
During the mentioned period, we implemented more than 1,000 public investment projects especially in social spheres, including education and healthcare, as well as in energy, transport, water supply and other sectors by mobilizing foreign investments totaling more than TJS 91bn. Currently, 74 public investment projects with the total amount of TJS 40.5bn are under implementation.
According to international assessments, over the past ten years, Tajikistan has ranked four times among the top ten reformers in the world in terms of development of entrepreneurship and investment.
Thanks to the reforms and the measures undertaken by the Government of the country currently the share of the private sector in the GDP makes 70%, public employment — 68%, and the public budget tax revenues — 80%.
To decently mark our great holiday — the 30th anniversary of the State Independence of Tajikistan, our entrepreneurs have contributed to the creation of more than 25,000 industrial and social facilities, which contributes to the creation of tens of thousands of new jobs and enabled addressing many social issues of the population.
I would like to avail this opportunity to thank all entrepreneurs and other people of a generous soul for their creative and patriotic initiatives.
The government of the country will continue reforms to ensure the development of entrepreneurship and creation of favorable investment environment, and will fully support the creative initiatives of entrepreneurs, protect their rights and interests.
The Government of Tajikistan in its economic policy attaches a great attention to the development of the industrial sector as one of the lead factors of the national economy ensuring permanent employment and we recognize it as an important source of public budget revenues, solution to social issues, and therefore, we declared the accelerated industrialization as our fourth strategic goal.
During the period of independence, we created hundreds of small and large industrial enterprises through mobilization of domestic and foreign investments.
As a result, the industrial production has increased sevenfold compared to 1997, and the garment industry, metallurgy, food processing, mining and processing of minerals, chemical industry and production of building materials have achieved significant results.
During this period, we have overcome the country’s dependence on imported products, including coal, building materials, especially cement and many types of food products, and laid foundation for the export of domestic industrial products.
While in 1992 the production of cement made 446,000 tons, in 2020 it reached 4.2 million tons, which is almost 10 times more.
Coal production increased more than 9 times — from 214,000 tons in 1992 to 2 million tons in 2020.
It is worth mentioning that in the last five years alone, the country produced import-substituting products for 44 billion TJS in total.
We are taking all necessary measures to achieve our fourth strategic goal, which will help to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, reduce labor migration and increase the country’s export potential.
During the period of independence, the Government of the country has been taking all the necessary measures to protect the food security of the country through reforms in the agricultural sector and implementation of dozens of sector development programs, including administrative and legal restructuring of farms, development of fallow lands for agricultural activities, widespread introduction of re-sowing, expansion of orchards and vineyards, and promotion of farmers’ access to financial resources. Thus, we have achieved high rates of development of the agricultural sector.
In order to prevent the threat of hunger and further supply the food market with domestic products, in 1995-1997, 75,000 hectares of land, popularly known as «presidential lands», were transferred to the population.
During the period of independence of the country, we created more than 112,000ha of new orchards and vineyards, and their area reached more than 200,000ha, which is 2.2 times more than it was in 1991.
As a result of these measures, the volume of agricultural production increased 5.4 times in 2020 compared to 1997 and reached TJS 33.6bn.
Over the years of independence, we have widely introduced a very useful experience of secondary sowing, and every year we have organized secondary sowing of agricultural crops on an area of 200,000ha.
At present, in addition to secondary sowing, agricultural crops are sown on more than 900,000ha of irrigated land annually in the country.
If each of these 200,000ha employed one person at least, it means 200,000 people were employed, and in the case of by two persons – 400,000 people.
Another advantage of secondary sowing is that we thereby compensate for the loss of 138,000 ha of land allocated for housing.
During 30 years of independence, the production of grain has increased 5.3 times, potatoes — 10 times, vegetables and fruits — 7 times, and the supply of consumer market with environment friendly domestic products has significantly improved.
I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere gratitude to all the country’s farmers diligently working to improve the land management and rational use of water and land with a view to increasing food production, enriching the consumer market and provide the population with food, i.e., working conscientiously to protect the food security of the country.
The implementation by our state of one of its strategic goals – country’s connectivity — is a major achievement of the period of independence.
To this end, the Government of the country has done a lot of work; it implemented dozens of investment projects, within the framework of which more than 2,200km of international roads, 220km of railways, 237 bridges and 5 tunnels have been built in the country. Currently, the implementation of public investment projects for the construction of roads is ongoing.
Also, in preparation for the 30th anniversary of State Independence, over the past three years, entrepreneurs and people of a generous soul contributed to construction and renovation of more than 4.500 kilometers of local, intra-city and inter-district roads, and we will further continue activities in this area
The Government of the country intends to build 1,500 kilometers of highways of international importance in the coming years to expand the geography of transportation of goods and products, improve the quality of transport services, ensure full connectivity and turn Tajikistan into a transit country.
Currently, more than 60 public investment projects are under implementation in the transport sector for a total amount of more than TJS 20.5bn.
The projects we implemented in the field of roads and transport created an opportunity for Tajikistan to improve its ranking by 20 steps in the world rating of road quality over the past two years, and ranked Tajikistan as the 50th among 141 states according to the World Economic Forum.
During the period of independence, Tajikistan, which was divided into three regions in the past, turned into a unified territory thanks to the construction of roads, tunnels and bridges, i.e., all of its regions are now landline-connected between each other at all seasons.
During the period of independence, we implemented 34 public investment projects for a total of TJS 57.2bn to develop the country’s energy sector. Currently, 17 other public investment projects amounting TJS 16.4bn are under implementation in this area.
We have constructed and launched large hydropower facilities, including the Sangtuda-1 and Sangtuda-2 hydropower plants, two units of the Rogun hydropower plant, the Dushanbe thermal power plant, hundreds of small hydropower plants, a 500 kV South-North transmission line, and others high-voltage transmission lines and powerful electrical substations. The implementation of the CASA-1000 regional transmission line project and the construction of Rogun hydropower plant are ongoing steadily.
The renovation of the Norak, Sarband and Kairokkum hydropower plants for a total amount of about TJS 12bn (more than one billion dollars) are also ongoing, which will enable to multiply their capacity and life.
Since independence, the country’s energy potential has gradually increased from 4044 megawatts in 1991 to 6131 megawatts in 2020.
Our actions in this area made it possible to create a unified national energy grid, and lift the electricity rationing for the population in the autumn-winter period, which is also one of the significant achievements of the independence period.
Let me recall that after the full commissioning of the Rogun HPP, the energy capacity of Tajikistan will increase by more than 9,781 megawatts, or 60%, and we will achieve complete energy security.
Today Tajikistan ranks second in the World Economic Forum for access to electricity, the sixth largest generator of «green energy» on the planet, it will improve its position by two more points and rank the fourth after the full commissioning of the Rogun HPP.
Tajikistan is also one of the leaders in improving the environmental situation in the region and the world in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, because we generate 96% of electricity in our country with the use of renewable energy sources.
Despite all the achievements of independence, I would like to emphasize that we are still at the early stage of sustainable socio-economic development of the country and the process of improving our beloved Motherland, and we must work harder and make more efforts to implement our good intentions and plans.
Therefore, the sustainable development of the country through greater diversity and competitiveness of the national economy, expanded process of digitalization of the economy, accelerated industrialization, and the use of innovative technologies and the human factor will remain our priority in the coming future.
Based on this, we strive to further improve the living standards of the country’s population and turn Tajikistan into one of the middle-income countries.
During the state independence years, we proclaimed the development of social spheres as one of our priorities, and mobilized all resources and opportunities to further improve the level of education and literacy of the population, protect the health of citizens, and gradually improve the living standards of our people.
We introduced new state educational standards at all levels of education in line with the recent requirements.
Over the years of independence, we increased the education funding hundreds of times, and constructed and commissioned more than 3,000 new educational buildings offering 1,27m seats. At present, secondary educational institutions of the country cover 2,109m students. Today, 75 gymnasiums and 75 lyceums, 9 presidential schools, 6 lyceums for gifted children and 63 private educational institutions operate in the country.
At the same time, 78 secondary vocational educational institutions for 87,000 students operate in the country, which train specialists in hundreds of specialties, depending on the needs of the labor market.
While in 1991 we had only 13 higher educational institutions with 70,000 students, today the number of higher educational institutions has reached 41, and the number of students – 245,000.
During the period of independence, we have always paid great attention to the study of foreign languages, primarily Russian and English at all levels of education. I am delighted to note about the unprecedented success we made in this direction.
Today, more than 40,000 boys and girls from Tajikistan with foreign language skills study in developed countries, and more than 100,000 people with the knowledge of foreign languages study in the country.
Having attached paramount importance to the development of domestic science, especially the natural, hard sciences and mathematics, and to the development of the Academy of Sciences as the leading driver of domestic science, we not only preserved, but also gave this institution a high national status during the period of independence. In addition to this, we created our Supreme Examination Commission to train highly qualified scientists.
Having recognized the development of technical thinking and the expansion of the scientific worldview as one of the most pressing issues of the day, we declared the period of 2020-2040 as the “Period of 20 years of learning and development of natural and hard sciences in the Republic of Tajikistan” and started implementing activities in this direction.
Also, in order to ensure greater development of technical thinking, expanding the scientific worldview, invention, innovation and discovery of young talents, this year we launched the annual national competition «Science is a beacon of enlightenment».
We have established a special government award to support top teachers of natural, hard and math sciences, and a cash award to reward teachers who win the competition.
We are confident that the implementation of these measures, the development of science, the formation of modern scientific and technical thinking, the expansion of the scientific worldview, and invention and innovation will give a serious impetus to adolescents and youth, and this process will comprehensively contribute to the further development of Tajikistan and its transformation into an advanced industrial and agrarian country.
It is impossible to imagine the future without advanced communication and digital technologies.
As we all observe, medieval system, prejudices and backward thinking will impede building a state in the new millennium, i.e., in the age of the rapid development of science and technology. On the contrary, only professional and highly qualified personnel with the latest knowledge, striving for innovation and invention, can ensure the development of the state.
In the situation when developed countries make discoveries and inventions almost every day, produce technologies in line with the needs of the day, we must also strive to keep up with others and free our country from dependence on others.
In this regard, I would like to use one example. It is the second year as humanity is suffering from the coronavirus pandemic. When a person falls ill, s/he exclusively approaches a specialist, i.e., a doctor, because superstition cannot prevent, cure and eradicate this and any other disease.
We all together witnessed the fact that the developed countries, in other words, those state, where the science has achieved significant success, where knowledge, invention, innovation, technology and advanced technologies are cultivated, produced the vaccine, i.e., the means of prevention of this disease, and other drugs and equipment for its treatment, and saved their peoples from the threat and consequences of the mentioned disease.
I have said on several occasions and now I would like to reiterate that illiteracy and the poor education are the basis for superstition, extremism and ignorance, and ignorance brings only misfortune to a person. The bitter experience of the civil war in our country has clearly proved this truth that we will never forget.
We still face the problem of a shortage of qualified personnel, because first of all, the best personnel — scientists, doctors, engineers, teachers, craftsmen and architects, inventors, innovators, businessmen and entrepreneurs move to other countries from every country where war, instability, ignorance and superstition reign. Therefore, I support the development of science and education as the most important and priority dimension of public policy throughout the entire period of independence.
The more science, education, and technology develop, the more the state develops and the people’s standard of living rises.
If we want Tajikistan to take its deserved position among the developed countries, we must pay more attention to the development of science, education and technology, especially the natural, hard and math sciences.
We must raise educated, professional, highly qualified professionals devoted to their Motherland, their state and nation; entrust them with the management of public affairs, for the future of the Motherland and tomorrow is in the hands of today’s adolescents and youth.
During the period of state independence, we declared the public health protection as an important direction of our public social policy, and undertook all the necessary measures to develop the healthcare sector. I would like to emphasize once again that the state needs a healthy nation.
Financing of the healthcare sector is increasing every year, and in the last 20 years alone it has amounted to more than TJS 16bn.
During this period, in order to create favorable conditions for medical care of the country’s population, we built more than 2,550 new healthcare facilities and equipped them with modern medical equipment.
Also, in preparation for the celebration of the 30th anniversary of state independence, we built and commissioned about 2,000 healthcare facilities in cities and regions of the country.
During the years of independence, 33,000 young people graduated from higher medical institutions, and more than 158,000 people graduated from medical colleges.
As a result of the measures taken to develop the healthcare sector and protect the health of the population in 2020 infant mortality decreased 3 times, and maternal mortality — 4 times compared to 1991.
Of this number, natural population growth has been stable at 2.1%, and this year it has reached 2.4%.
The emergence and spread of the Covid-19 infectious disease has become a serious challenge for the country’s healthcare system, which our doctors have passed and are still at the front edge of the fight against this dangerous infectious disease.
In this regard, let me recall that the training of highly qualified healthcare providers, including infectious disease specialists, virologists and laboratory personnel, is one of the most important and urgent tasks.
When the Covid-19 emerged, everyone even the superpowers were at risk.
Humanity was not ready for such a situation, and there was no medicine for it. As a result, millions of people died.
However, as I said earlier, thanks to science and knowledge, modern equipment and technologies, it was possible to prevent and cure this disease as well.
Social protection of the population is one of the most important areas of our public social policy, and we can consider the introduction of a new system for assigning and paying targeted social assistance to low-income families and citizens as one of our achievements in this area during the period of independence.
In this regard, we are introducing a system of allowances to low-income families with children attending general education institutions; more than 753,000 students from low-income families receive allowances.
In addition to this, we introduced a targeted and objective method of aid in 2011, and currently 248,000 families receive social allowances.
The government of the country pays constant and special attention to the social protection of the low-income segments of the population, especially the persons with disabilities and orphans.
There are more than 157,000 persons with disability in the country and in the last five years alone, we increased the size of disability allowances from 1.4 to 2 times, varying based on the category.
During this period, we increased the allowance for orphans and those left without guardianship by 1.9 times and currently we have about 85,000 of this category of people in the country.
During the independence, the number of social welfare institutions has increased 4.5 times, and in 2021, it reached 113 institutions, including 7 boarding houses for the elderly and persons with disabilities.
Funding per capita for residents of boarding houses for the elderly and persons with disabilities increased 757 times during this period and reached TJS 26,000 in 2021.
Along with the regulation of labor migration, which today has become a global process, and addressing other related issues, the Government of the country is taking all necessary measures to reduce the intensity of labor migration.
The implementation of various programs in the last eight years enabled to create more than a million permanent and seasonal jobs, and decrease the number of citizens engaged in labor migration from 1,1m in 2012 to 400,000 in 2019, namely by 64%.
We will further undertake measures in this direction, as creation of new jobs for residents is one of the most important tasks of the State and the Government of the country.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
During the period of state independence, the status of women in society has strengthened, their activities in the leadership of various branches of government, social and economic spheres, state enterprises and the private sector have expanded significantly. The state and government of the country have always appreciated and appreciate the contribution of women in all spheres of society, especially in the difficult years of the beginning of independence, post-war reconstruction and subsequent stages of the country’s development.
We are proud that today a Tajik woman is recognized as a politician, Member of Parliament, scientist, teacher, doctor, engineer and writer, and the ranks of women scientists, inventors, craftsperson, creators, business executives and entrepreneurs are growing ever. Moreover, today there is no sphere in the country, which does not engage Tajik women and girls.
Currently, women make 23.3% of the total number of civil servants, and more than 18% of them are in leadership positions.
Women make the majority of staff in the key social spheres, including more than 73% in the education, 26.5% in science, 68% in the health and social protection, and 51% in the culture.
We will further comprehensively support the initiatives of women and will take all necessary measures to improve the knowledge and status of women and girls in the society, to address their life challenges, including through teaching natural sciences and improving their knowledge, professional and crafts training and creating new jobs for them.
I would like to declare once again that life originates from a woman-mother, and our women are a powerful wing of our sovereign state.
I have attached particular importance to the living conditions and problems of youth from since the first days of my election as Head of State.
According to the analysis of international organizations, Tajikistan is among the countries in the world with a large number of young people, whose average age is 22.5 years.
It is worth mentioning that all initiatives of the State and the Government, including the increase in the number of higher, secondary and primary vocational education institutions, focus on the future of young people, whom the further development of the Motherland and society depends on.
While in 2009 the share of young people under 35 in the civil service was 35%, today this figure has reached 47%.
I am pleased to declare that over the years of independence, wonderful youth have grown up in Tajikistan, and today we are sincerely proud of their sense of patriotism and devotion to their Motherland, as well as their eagerness to master science, their knowledge, good behavior, efforts and aspirations of this generation.
Currently, our enlightened, patriotic and courageous youth make a valuable contribution to all spheres of life of society and the state, including the construction of large and life-changing facilities in the country, the improvement of the Motherland, ensuring peace and stability of the population and protection of the borders of Tajikistan.
Today, out youth represent 90 percent of the personnel of the Armed Forces of Tajikistan and more than 50 percent of the worker of our most important facility — the Roghun Hydropower Plant.
It should be noted that nowadays it is hard to imagine the development of any sphere of life of the state and society without the active participation and worthy contribution of young people.
Creation of conditions for the development of sports, which is one of the priority directions of our public social policy, primarily target the adolescents, youth, and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle among them. There were less than a thousand sports facilities in the country before independence. Today their number has reached 10,220. In other words, the number of sports facilities has increased more than tenfold, which helps to strengthen the physical infrastructure for the development of sports, its popularization and the training of athletes at the national and international levels in adolescents and young people.
During the period of independence, thanks to the achievements of Tajik athletes in the international stage, the flag of our beloved Tajikistan was raised 5743 times, and the national anthem of Tajikistan was performed 1797 times.
After gaining a great blessing — independence and freedom, we began to revive the national and cultural values of our ancient people.
The Tajiks since ancient times, i.e., throughout their 6000-year history, have been an enlightened people, printers, urban planners, by other words, a nation building civilization.
That is why, over the past thirty years we have held dozens of important celebrations and events to raise the national feeling and self-awareness of the population, as well as use the great moral and spiritual heritage and eternal cultural values that we inherited from our ancestors to educate today’s generations.
To this end, we arranged the celebration of the 1100th anniversary of the Samanid Empire, 2700th anniversary of the Avesto Holy Book, Year of veneration of the Aryan Civilization, 1150th Anniversary of Rudaki, Year of veneration of Imam Azam, 1000th anniversary of Nosiri Khusrav, 800th anniversary of Mavlono Jaloliddin Balkhi, 700th anniversary of Mir Said Ali Hamadoni, 700th anniversary of Kamoli Khujandi, 2700th anniversary of Kulob Town, 2500th anniversary of the city of Istaravshan, 3000th anniversary of Hisor, 5500th anniversary of Sarazm, and dozens of other celebrations and events.
In this process, we have revived the musical heritage (Shashmaqom and Falak), the holidays of Navruz, Mehrgon, Tirgon and Sada.
Thanks to our more than six years of efforts and support demonstrated by other countries of the Navruz basin, this truly national holiday, with a history of more than 6,000 years, has become a global holiday, and today we are proud that the ancient holiday of our people, Navruz, has received international status.
As a result, UNESCO has inscribed «Shashmakom», «Sarazm», «National Park of Tajikistan», «Navruz» and «Chakan» into World Heritage List and the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List.
The construction and commissioning of new buildings of the National Library with 10 million books, the National Museum, Kokhi Navruz, Navruzgoh, the Khorog Theater and 40 cultural palaces in the city and regional centers of the country are our valuable cultural achievements during the period of independence.
Over the past thirty years, Tajik artists and artisans have traveled to dozens of countries around the world to present Tajik national arts and crafts.
I am proud and pleased to declare that over the thirty years of independence, we have accomplished significant work to ensure the development of the Tajik language as a clear symbol of the existence of the Tajik nation and the basis of Tajik spirituality and self-knowledge.
The adoption of the Law «On the State Language of the Republic of Tajikistan» and proclamation of the State Language Day have become another important step towards the veneration of the Tajik language and a greater expansion of its social functions.
One of the main factors in the stability and development of the Tajik literary language and national culture is the respect of our enlightened people for books and reading.
The multiple increase in the publication of new books, reprinting of the works of classic and contemporary Tajik writers and poets, including those from the series of «Stars of Literature», as well as the legacy of the world famous writers in the Tajik language, comprehensively contributes not only to the study of languages and development of public speaking in wider circles, but also to strengthening the sense of national identity, improving the moral world, further improvement of the level of education of citizens, especially adolescents and young people, reverence for history, language, and national culture.
One of the latest initiatives, which is currently being implemented in this direction, is the reprint of the great book of Academician Bobojon Gafurov entitled «Tajiks» and its donation to every family in the country by the instruction of the Head of State.
We are taking all necessary measures to strengthen the eternal heritage of our ancestors, ancient and rich national values and their use for the stability of our state and nation.
We are proud of our national identity, i.e., the fact that we are Tajik nation with more than 6,000 years of history, melodious and poetic Tajik language, ancient culture and civilization, the world famous heritage of our ancestors and our national values, and we will cherish, protect, honor, and leave it as a legacy to future generations in a renewed and perfect form.
As early as at the historic 16th session of the Supreme Council, we declared the building of an independent, democratic, legal, secular and integral state as our main line on the path to the future.
In this regard, it is necessary to note one important issue: building a state and its management as a long-term political process requires the implementation of consistent measures, taking into account the development of society.
Realizing this point, so many things have been done in our country for thirty years of independence.
During the period of independence, the structure and activities of central and local executive authorities have been constantly improved.
With the aim of comprehensive protection of state independence, territorial integrity of the country, as well as taking into account the threats and challenges of the modern world, their prevention and elimination, the structures and activities of law enforcement agencies and military authorities of the country have been changed.
We started from scratch to create our Armed Forces-one of the main pillars of the statehood.
It should be noted that our Armed Forces have made a significant historical contribution to the restoration of constitutional power and the end of the civil war.
At these solemn moments, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all the personnel of the Armed Forces, military authorities, law enforcement agencies and war veterans for selfless service, courage in the fight against destructive forces and enemies of the Tajik people.
On this path, hundreds of them sacrificed their lives, and the Government and people of Tajikistan will always remember and honor their good names and memory.
I declared with the confidence that the personnel of the Armed Forces and law enforcement agencies will continue conscientiously and courageously defending the independence and freedom of our Motherland, protect our borders and peaceful life of the people of Tajikistan from all threats and dangers, thereby honorably fulfilling their filial duty to the Motherland, state and people.
Ensuring legal order, the rule of law, combating crime, transnational organized crime, including terrorism and extremism are the primary task of law enforcement agencies.
I am sure that the personnel of these bodies will continue to fulfill their duties with high responsibility to the state and people of Tajikistan.
We have to cherish peace and serenity in our Motherland, political stability and national unity, and protect them like a precious treasure, strengthen the security of the state, the rule of law and ensure the peaceful life of our people.
Ensuring public safety and peaceful life of the country’s population is the primary task of the state.
In this regard, I want to re-iterate and emphasize what I have said many times: one of the main threats to the present and future of the Central Asian region, including our country, is radicalism, extremism and superstition.
Therefore, we must intensify joint and coordinated measures and efforts in this direction to ensure regional security and political stability in our countries.
Tajikistan opened its doors to the world after the initial stage of independence, when it was difficult to stabilize the situation and strengthen the foundations of statehood, and our country, having announced an “open door” policy, entered the arena of international relations.
Our country not only improved its image in the world and introduced to the world the unique values and rich heritage of the glorious Tajik people, but also took an active part in addressing regional and international issues, and promoting the global agenda.
As a state adhering to the «open door» policy, we establish friendly relations and mutually beneficial cooperation with all countries and we will keep developing them in the future.
Today Tajikistan enjoys diplomatic relations with 179 countries and, thanks to its effective efforts, is recognized in the international arena as an active and initiative making country.
We are the initiators of four major initiatives of global significance, including the International Year of Fresh Water — 2003, the International Decade for Action “Water for Life” 2005-2015, the International Year of Water Cooperation — 2013 and the International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development” 2018-2028.
Tajikistan is a member of dozens of regional and international organizations and international financial institutions and, together with other countries, makes a worthy contribution to solving the problems of the planet.
Our country, relying on its experience of peacekeeping through negotiations and consultations, is actively contributing to the resolution of interethnic conflicts.
In this context, Tajikistan attaches paramount importance to the development of comprehensive relations with its closest neighbors, i.e., the countries of the Central Asian region and its strategic partners.
We are at the forefront of the international community’s fight against terrorism, extremism, radicalism, organized crime and drug trafficking.
From the very first moment of gaining state independence, our country has actively been promoting constructive relations with the countries of the world and fostering its national interests in the international arena, actively participating in influential regional organizations and supporting multilateral cooperation.
Currently Tajikistan holds presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Collective Security Treaty Organization and the International Fund for saving the Aral Sea.
Nowadays Tajikistan is internationally recognized as a peace-loving and peacemaking country, committed to the democratic values and integration.
I outlined my views in detail on the situation in the neighboring and friendly country — the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on July 22 of this year.
Observations and analyses show that over the past month the situation in this country, unfortunately, has become even more complex and tragic, causing serious concern in the countries of the region and the world.
The people of this country, who have lived in a state of war and instability for more than forty years, have recently faced greater problems in security and social protection.
In this regard, I would like to reiterate once again that the people of Afghanistan with its thousand-year history, civilization and culture are not to blame for such a tragic situation.
The instability and tragedy that befell the people of this ancient country are the result of the intervention of foreign countries, i.e., the actions of interested parties in the region and the world, which still continue.
Therefore, on several occasions I have announced the position of Tajikistan in relation to Afghanistan. We support the early restoration of peace in this friendly country, with whom we share common language and culture, through the creation of an inclusive government that takes into account the interests of all national minorities, the opinion of all people, adheres to respect of the rights of citizens within the framework of the norms accepted by the world community with the key role of the UN in advancing this process.
I would also like to emphasize another important point that the world community, including the countries concerned, do not have the moral right to leave the Afghan people alone with the problems that have arisen.
Therefore, I would like to recall once again that it is not the fault of the people of this country for the difficult and catastrophic situation has arisen in this country.
I am surprised that all international human rights institutions remain silent and do not show any initiatives to support the rights of the Afghan people.
In addition, indifference to the fate of Afghanistan will lead to an increase in violence, deterioration in the lives of its people, the outbreak of an imposed civil war on the scale of the 90s of the last century, a humanitarian catastrophe, the continuation of this country’s role as a breeding ground for international terrorism and a serious threat to security and stability in the region, and in other countries of the world.
The situation in Afghanistan directly affects the situation in the countries of Central Asia, because security in our region, primarily, depends on the situation in this neighboring country.
In this regard, I would like to note once again that over the past twenty years, from the tribunes of international organizations and other international forums, I have called on the world community to resolve the Afghan issue on several occasions, stressing that there is no military solution to this problem and it should be resolved through negotiations only.
However, the international community, including relevant stakeholders, has shown some indifference to this issue.
As a result, the problems in Afghanistan have affected the entire humanity today.
In this regard, taking this opportunity, I once again call on all international organizations, countries of the region and the world to take urgent and collective measures to address the issues of this country and create a government of national reconciliation, taking into account the interests of all nations and minorities living in Afghanistan, and provide humanitarian assistance.
Independence and freedom for us, citizens of Tajikistan, set an honorary historical objective, and mean the creation of a civilized state that meets the aspirations and interests of the people, as well as building foundations of modern statehood.
Independence is the key element for statehood of the glorious Tajik people, who respects the world cultural values, took over its destiny, joined the world community though its own path and consciously strives to ensure that our country is keeping up with rest of the world.
The achievements of glorious people of Tajikistan reflected in the 30-years history are only a small part of our faithful and dedicated work to build a state and contribute in prosperity of our Motherland.
I would like to remind the honorable people of Tajikistan that all achievements we have are ours.
We have to continue our dedicated work for the sake of Motherland, country and people; therefore, we need to unite like hold up fist.
We will never rely on others; we will solve our challenges and issues by ourselves using joint intellectual efforts of our people.
Today we have various issues that need to be addressed and we should work to resolve them and enhance the living standards of our people.
Nowadays people of Tajikistan have the moral claim to more dignified and better life.
I am confident that our patriotically minded industrious people are capable of making even greater considerable success, because we love our free Motherland more than life itself, and we will all conscientiously work together with the sense of gratitude and for the protection and ensuring tranquility, national unity and boosting prestige of our beloved Tajikistan in the international arena.
I call on the glorious people, and especially on the youth of my country, and I urge you never and under no circumstances to betray your homeland, nation and state.
On the contrary, be grateful, be loyal to your Motherland, state and nation and be proud that we are the owners of our Motherland and independent state, and humanity has recognized and respect us as an ancient nation that creates and honors culture and civilization.
In these solemn and truly historic moments, I would like to recall with great pride and satisfaction of a very important element, namely that all our achievements and successes over the past thirty years are the result of the selfless work of heroic and hardworking citizens of our country, let it be elder or youngster.
I am grateful that the glorious people of Tajikistan for many years, i.e., from the beginning of independence to present, have sincerely supported the policy pursued by the Head of State and patiently endured all the hardships and difficulties.
I am proud of such honorable, decent, tolerant, hardworking and patriotic compatriots, and I am endlessly grateful to them and I will faithfully serve Tajikistan and my people until my last breath.
The greatest wealth, the most precious pearl and the most valuable blessing for me is the people of my beloved Tajikistan, the water and land of my paradise-like Motherland, and the respect and veneration of my free and independent state in the world community!
My great and heroic people!
From earth to heaven, I am grateful to each and every of my compatriots, and I bow before the greatness and courage, will and perseverance, generosity, as well as the faithful and diligent work of each of you!
I bow my head to each of you who worked with me in those difficult years, and I wish everyone a long life and a happy old age.
We must continue to be united, defend the greatest blessing of our life — independence and freedom, in order to further strengthen the greatest achievement of independence — peace and tranquility, political stability and national unity.
We must always, and especially in difficult and threatening periods, be united and patient, not lose sense because of the arising problems, join hands, always remember that we are the owners of our national state and modernize our beloved Motherland.
We must be sure that the future of Tajikistan is bright, and the future life of the Tajik people will be much more comfortable.
May the State independence of the Republic of Tajikistan be forever strong, and the glorious people of Tajikistan forever proud and successful!
May independence and freedom always keep in the heart of each of the sons and daughters of the Tajik people the fire of love and reverence for the land of their ancestors and unity!
May the peace and tranquility, political stability, national unity, patriotic aspirations and good creative goals be the guides of every citizen of our country, both elderly and youngsters!
May the independence and freedom of the Tajik people and the Tajik state last forever!
May the great achievements of the period of independence — peace and tranquility of the Motherland, the political stability of society and the national unity of the glorious people of Tajikistan be eternal!
Let the state of Tajiks be eternally independent!
May the ancient Tajik nation, creating and honoring civilization and culture, be eternal!
Tajikistan! Go forward — towards even higher peaks of progress and development!
My congratulations on the 30th anniversary of the State Independence of our Motherland.