Today, our people are enthusiastically celebrating the nineteenth anniversary of the country’s independence, a great holiday in our beautiful and blessed land.
It gives me an enormous pleasure to sincerely congratulate all of you - and in your person, our entire nation - from the bottom of my heart on this truly greatest and dearest holiday for all of us.
On the eve of this landmark date, we inadvertently recall what difficult and thorny path our nation has had to pass to secure a genuine political and economic independence, to be in charge of its destiny on its own, and use the natural, economic and intellectual capacities of the country the way it deems right.
Whatever intricate problems and hardships, whatever serious challenges and threats we have had to endure, we did not turn from our chosen path, and have decisively and steadily set out to accomplish our goals and objectives.
And today, revisiting the things we’ve had to overcome and achieve during the years of our independent development, we have every reason to claim how appropriate and acceptable the decision was that we made and the goal that we set nineteen years ago to build a democratic state and open civil society in the country, reform the economy radically and profoundly, implement a robust social policy aimed at protecting the people’s interests.
The vast changes in each particular household, a truly large-scale transformation taking place in our cities, villages and the country as a whole, do serve as a solid confirmation of the aforesaid.
Our economy and social sphere are seeing their stable and sustainable development with living standards of the population being on the rise.
Uzbekistan, among few states in the world despite negative impact of the ongoing financial and economic crisis, preserves sustainable growth rates.
For over the last two years the growth of the country’s economy made up 9 and 8.1 percent, respectively, and this year this indicator is expected to be in the range of 8.5 percent which cannot but arouse feelings of acknowledgement and respect.
In order to clearly imagine what our country has achieved for over the years of independence, I deem it necessary to bring up the following facts.
In comparison with the year 1990 the gross domestic product of our country grew almost for 3.5 times, and in proportion per capita – for 2.5 times, the size of average salary at the end of this year will account for about 500 US dollars and will increase almost for 14 times.
Yet there is another notable fact, i.e. for over the last twenty years the average life expectancy in our country increased from 67 to 73 years of age. This is a concrete testimony to steadily developing economy, protection of health, growth of well-being of population, as well as a strong social policy aimed at taking a comprehensive care about human.
All of us unambiguously realize the fact that all of this cannot be achieved for over one year or two.
This is the result of persistent and hard work of our people during the years of independence.
And, each and every person, who lives in our land, may rightly be proud of these achievements.
Our supreme goal is to join the ranks of developed democratic states of the world. In order to make this happen we need to resolve the two key tasks, which are equal in their worth and mutually complementary on their essence and significance.
First, to ensure the worthy level of development of the country and well-being of population through deepening reforms and structural changes in the economy, accelerating the growth rates of socio-economic and technological development.
Second, to continue modernization and liberalization of the country, democratic renewal of political, legal and economic system, and building a strong civil society.
I think, today there is no need to prove that formulation of such responsible goals, which is a logical and natural continuation of our policy being carried out since the early days of independence, requires persistent and tireless work, mobilization of power and energy of the entire nation.
Along with that, implementation of these tasks requires each of us, given ongoing changes in the world, to further raise consciousness and level of our political and legal culture, as well as complicity to everything what is taking place around us. Shortly speaking, one needs to be imbued with a feeling that this beautiful and unique land is my one and only Homeland, and its joys and concerns are my joys and concerns.
When I speak about it, I pin the biggest hopes on forthcoming young generation, on your aspiration by gaining contemporary knowledge and experience through your own persistent work, to rightly become a particular decisive force in the society, who will be capable to take on a responsibility for the nation’s future.
Announcement of 2010 in our country as the “Year of Comprehensively Advanced Generation” undoubtedly will become yet another resolute step on the way to implement these particular supreme goals.
I am convinced that our people, who have experienced and endured much, deeply realize that to implement the strategic tasks which stand before us and noble intentions it needs as the apple of an eye to cherish peace and tranquility that reign in our homes, further strengthen the interethnic and inter-religious accord, tolerance in the society, and what is most important, to retain vigilance and stand ready to suppress and neutralize all attempts to provoke seats of tension and confrontation in the region and in our nearest surrounding.
Certainly, achievement of the set goals is inconceivable without further deepening of relations and mutual understanding with our close and far neighbors, as well as comprehensive consolidation of cooperation with the world community. We have always considered such a task to be the most important for us and we shall continue to consistently adhere to his policy.
Taking this opportunity, allow me to welcome the ambassadors of foreign states, representatives of international organizations and our dear guests, who are participating in today’s festive ceremony and sharing our joy, and on behalf of our nation express our deep respect and sincere kind wishes to all our foreign friends and partners.
On this occasion, illuminated with light and bliss, allow me to renew my congratulations to all of you on the holiday of Independence and bow low to the people of Uzbekistan – the architect and creator of all our successes and achievements.
I wish all of you a sound health, happiness, well-being and abundance to your households.
May peace always reign in our country!
May sky over our Homeland be clear!
May our Independence be eternal!