In recent years, the world has been troubled by unexpected threats, conflicting relations, environmental consequences, geopolitical conflicts, and a crisis of mutual distrust. In such a complex period, issues of national statehood, and territorial and regional security are becoming more serious. In this sense, it is plain as day how necessary it is to establish the spirit of understanding, tolerance, solidarity, and trust in the mutual relations between states and political leaders.
In such a precarious situation, Uzbekistan today has become an international arena for dialogues that are inviting developing countries to its bosom and the head of our country is expressing himself as one of the active leaders who boldly raises the people’s acute problems not only in the region but also in the world as well as promotes advanced initiatives for their rational solutions.
Over recent years, many influential and promising structures, including meetings of heads of state of SCO, OTS, ECO, CIS, and summits of organizations within the framework of the UN, have been successfully held in our country, and it is recognized in the international arena as well.
Last week, Tashkent hosted the 16th summit of another prestigious organization - the Economic Cooperation Organization. The summit was held under the theme "Toward Economic Stability and Development in Cooperation" chaired by our President, a unique unanimity can be observed in the opinions expressed by the leaders of the member states of the organization and the proposals put forward. This means that the issues on the agenda are equally relevant for the participating countries.
In particular, the head of our state has emphasized that there are great opportunities and potential that have not yet been used to expand all-round cooperation between the member states. It was also emphasized that the trade index between member countries of this structure is 85 billion dollars, which is only 8% of their total foreign trade. It was mentioned that many years of efforts to conclude a preferential trade agreement did not provide the expected outcomes, and many restrictions and problems remain in the way of creating a barrier-free trade.
To give a new impetus to the cooperation within the ECO, the President proposed to develop the conceptual document "Strategic Goals of Economic Cooperation – 2035". In this important document, it was outlined that it was necessary to pay attention to the main areas such as promoting mutual trade, strengthening transport and communication links, activating industrial cooperation, ensuring energy security, combating climate change, and deepening cooperation in the field of tourism and cultural-humanitarian exchange.
The President also expressed his practical proposals regarding several important issues on the agenda of the summit and stated that Uzbekistan is ready to serve as a convenient and useful platform for their discussion.
In particular, it was noted the importance of developing a program of joint actions to increase the flow of mutual investments, protect them, and deepen industrial cooperation, as well as organize an interregional industrial exhibition and hold its first event in our country in 2024.
To strengthen effective cooperation in the fight against climate change and environmental protection at a time when climate-related risks are increasing, it was proposed to hold the first conference of the high-level platform on ecological issues in the framework of the upcoming Samarkand Climate Forum in 2024.
A proposal was put forward at the ECO Secretariat to establish a tourist advisory committee consisting of tourism administrations and leading experts of the member countries and to hold its first meeting in the city of Shahrisabz, which was declared the tourist capital of the organization.
Such initiatives are taken by a noble, great person who sees the world as a whole, who accepts the pain in any part of it as his own, and who considers the human value as the highest value. This is the fact that the constructive ideas and projects boldly put forward by our President from the platforms of various international organizations are approved by the world community and make a great contribution to ensuring stable development and peace in the world, especially in our territory.
In his speech at the 78th session of the UN General Assembly, the head of our state drew the attention of the leaders of the political sphere to the fact that fundamental changes are taking place in the system of international relations, a crisis of confidence is observed on a global scale, problems in the functioning of global security institutions and deviations from the norms of international law are increasing, and all these are the reasons for increasing tension on a large scale.
How should countries behave in such complex conditions?
The head of our state answered this question in his speech. First of all, it was noted that it is necessary to maintain the spirit of practical solidarity and cooperation, to put common interests above narrow interests, and to strengthen the idea of consolidating countries.
For instance, our President from the rostrum of the United Nations underlined with confidence, "With the support of the international community, Central Asia will continue to follow the path of unity. Turning Central Asia into a peaceful and prosperous territory will remain a priority objective of Uzbekistan’s foreign policy".
Certainly, today, at a time when the spirit of practical cooperation, solidarity, and engagement is becoming more important than ever, it is noteworthy that the countries of Central Asia are on the path of good neighborliness, strategic partnership, cooperation and development.
Nations whose souls and languages are close to each other have always been able to find a wise solution to any problem, whether it would be a private one or common one. We see this fact in the background of our country’s membership in the Organization of Turkic States with the President’s firm political will, and his great efforts to maintain and strengthen the inter-ethnic dialogue, which is increasingly lacking today. In addition, politicians and experts emphasize that the inclusion of Uzbekistan, one of the cradles of world civilization, in this international organization which previously operated as a Council, played an important role in its transformation into a full-fledged organization.
In addition, the initiatives of the head of our state aimed at further expanding multifaceted and mutually beneficial relations with all member states and strengthening strategic partnership relations serve to increase the international prestige and influence of this organization on a global scale, as well as to ensure the well-being of our Turkic peoples, who have been friends and brothers from ancient time.
Recently, at the last meeting of the heads of state of the Organization of Turkic States held in Astana, Kazakhstan, our President was awarded the "Highest Order of the Turkic World". Certainly, at a time when mutual competition among countries is intensifying and the process of struggle to maintain its rightful place in the world community, we consider such recognition achieved at the international level as the highest assessment given to the leader of our country.
It is known that the trade, economic, and humanitarian relations of our country with the member states of the Commonwealth of Independent States are developing more and more. It should be noted that in the last few years, Uzbekistan’s participation in the activities of the Commonwealth has become more active. During this period, most of the initiatives put forward by the President of Uzbekistan in many important directions were supported by the member countries and implemented.
At the meeting of the Council of Heads of the Commonwealth of Independent States recently held in Bishkek, our President was awarded the highest award of the organization - the CIS Medal of Honor for his great contribution to strengthening friendship, good neighborliness, and multilateral cooperation. This is, definitely, another recognition of the importance of the role of Uzbekistan in this structure and the territory.
Hikmet Eren, Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Relations Fund "EkoEurasya", noted that he considers it timely and relevant that the leader of Uzbekistan has put forward initiatives aimed at further expanding mutually beneficial cooperation within the framework of the CIS. He remarked that "The proposal put forward by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev to organize a conference of leading think tanks and experts of the CIS countries to develop a new long-term agenda of multilateral cooperation will undoubtedly serve to consolidate efforts aimed at developing multilateral relations between the Commonwealth member countries".
One can cite many examples of such international recognitions. It is worth noting that the international community says that owing to the constructive foreign policy of the leader of Uzbekistan, a favorable political environment and trust have successfully been formed not only in Central Asia but also among the leaders of the world countries.
At this point, the open and friendly foreign policy of the head of our state creates a solid foundation for the development of the international relations of our national parliament. During his visits to foreign countries and from international platforms, the President repeatedly reiterates the need to effectively use the possibilities of parliaments to bring people closer to each other, to ensure peace and unity in the world.
In particular, on August 6, 2021, at the third consultative meeting of the leaders of the Central Asian countries in the national tourist zone “Avaza” in Turkmenistan, taking into account the increasing role of parliamentarians, the President proposed to hold the Regional Parliamentary Forum.
Shortly after this initiative, in February 2023, the first inter-parliamentary forum of Central Asian countries was held in Turkestan, Kazakhstan, and the Turkestan Declaration aimed at further strengthening inter-parliamentary relations to support comprehensive strategic partnership between the countries of the region was adopted. In 2024, Uzbekistan will host the forum.
In recent years, our inter-parliamentary relations have regularly continued in such directions as ensuring peace and stability in the world, strengthening humanitarian ideas, and expanding friendly relations between countries and peoples.
In particular, several international forums and conferences were held together with international structures such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of the CIS, and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Examples of this are such large international forums as "Global Inter-parliamentary Cooperation in Achieving the Goals of Sustainable Development" held in Bukhara and "The Role of Parliament in Ensuring Inter-ethnic Harmony and Inter-religious Tolerance" organized in Samarkand with the participation of the general public and religious leaders.
More than 10 events were held and 8 final documents were adopted within the year when Uzbekistan first chaired the dialogue of leading women of Central Asia organized on the initiative of the head of our state. We constantly exchange mutual experiences on issues such as regional women’s state management, preventive diplomacy, environmental protection, entrepreneurship, business, culture, education, science, art, and gender equality.
When it comes to our international relations, it is worth noting with pleasure that 25 inter-parliamentary groups and 2 commissions based on mutual respect and trust have been established.
Also, in 2022, the 14th summit of women leaders of the parliaments of the Inter-Parliamentary Union member states was successfully held for the first time in the territory of the CIS, in our country. All these are clear examples of the reforms being carried out in our country to develop parliamentarianism, ensure human rights, and democratize society, and their practical results are duly recognized by the world community.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s initiatives to revive inter-parliamentary relations within the Organization of Turkic States framework are also noteworthy. Today, to ensure the implementation of these initiatives, a "Road Map" has been developed and is being implemented step by step.
Since 2017, relations between Uzbekistan and Turkey have been stepped up. Since then, the parliamentary delegation of Uzbekistan has been actively participating in several events of the assembly.
In a word, our national parliament should comprehensively develop foreign relations in its activities, pay attention to the issues of gender equality in the parliament, the main principle of our newly adopted Constitution - to build a sovereign, democratic, legal, social, and secular state, as well as "Fop Human Value and dignity of persons", actively began to ensure the principles of democracy and justice based on the noble idea.
Yes, the initiatives and projects put forward by the leader of our nation as a defender of our interests in the international arena are enthusiastically accepted by progressive humanity, the fact that our country is increasingly strengthening its rightful place in the world community raises the stature of our nation and increases the sense of pride.
This, in turn, requires us, the citizens of Uzbekistan, to unite towards the great goal of ensuring the interests of the people of our country. This also calls to feel the responsibility for the fate of the tribe.
Undoubtedly, all these serve not only the internal development of our country but also the increase of its reputation on the world scale, becoming an attractive country that is open to everyone and where it is possible to establish mutually beneficial cooperation.
Chairman of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of
the Republic of Uzbekistan