A Secure Uzbekistan
An Uzbek Ambassador Highlights His Country’s Achievements On Its 30th Anniversary
JAVLON VAKHABOV, UZBEK AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED STATES
Thirty years may seem like a brief moment in time, but as Uzbekistan commemorated the 30th anniversary of our independence, I am reminded of the many successes, accomplishments, victories, and even tragedies that our nation has experienced in these years and how far we have come as a young nation with centuries-old historical roots.
In three decades, Uzbekistan has gone from being a Soviet monocrop agricultural state to a self-sufficient sovereign country. In these 30 years we significantly liberalized our economy, and Uzbekistan recently joined the list of the top five fastest growing economies in the world. Foreign investors look toward Uzbekistan because of its booming industrial sector and its numerous information technology parks and free economic zones across its territory.
Ensuring good governance has become a priority. The entire state apparatus was revamped, including measures to improve human capacity building and significantly simplify bureaucratic procedures. Uzbek society now plays a crucial role in determining policies in every aspect.
We’ve made meaningful steps to ensure the rule of law and human rights, removing Uzbekistan from a variety of reports that labeled it a country of concern. Its recognition as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council and other international bodies is testament to the real progress.
With our good neighborliness and well-balanced, open and constructive foreign policy, we’ve resolved all our disagreements, even on very sensitive matters, and reached levels of friendship and trust in the region as never before and strengthened ties with partners across the world.
Uzbekistan continues to extend its far-reaching reforms to realize the dreams and aspirations of what has become a nation of 35 million.
On this 30th anniversary, our people can take pride in building a “New Uzbekistan” described by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev as a “state that is developing and building upon universally recognized principles of democracy, human rights and freedoms, strengthening friendship and cooperation with the international community — all with the ultimate goal of creating a free, decent and prosperous life for our people.”
As we celebrate our independence, we give thanks to the American people, to their representatives in Congress and to presidents from George H.W. Bush to Joe Biden for all the support they have given us along the way. We thank the United States for all it has done to make Uzbekistan stronger, safer and more resilient.
For over 30 years, the United States has stood by Uzbekistan’s side in countless ways, supporting its sovereignty and independence, encouraging the young nation and contributing to its success. Since 2016, this cooperation has grown substantially across all areas of our bilateral and regional cooperation. Our relationship has entered “a New Era of Strategic Partnership” reinvigorated by the state visit of President Mirziyoyev to the U.S. in May 2018.
Our strategic partnership continues to gather momentum. I would argue that never before have our relations enjoyed such depth and breadth.
President Biden summed it up best when he said in his congratulatory message to the leadership of Uzbekistan: “Our relationship has grown significantly in recent years, and we look forward to deepening our strategic partnership, as well as our cooperation to ensure a peaceful, connected and stable region.”
Indeed, our political engagement has significantly intensified and reached new heights. Elevation of annual political consultations, first launched in 2009 to the level of a Strategic Partnership Dialogue, with its inaugural session scheduled to take place in Tashkent in December 2021, creates new opportunities to advance even closer and stronger cooperation across all priority areas.
We are strategic partners in security, sharing common goals for a peaceful and stable Central Asia, committing resources and training expertise to support the fight against terrorism.
We are growing partners in business. Day by day, Uzbekistan is becoming a favorable investment target for U.S. companies willing to increase their presence in the region by exploring untapped opportunities.
And we are steadfast partners in development and education reinforced by the establishment of the full-fledged U.S. Agency for International Development mission in Uzbekistan, launching operations such as the International Research and Exchanges Board, Mercy Corps, Winrock and RTI International along with American Councils to support reforms and development in Uzbekistan.
On this special occasion, I would like to express my profound gratitude to the United States government for its tremendous help and contribution in this critical time of countering the COVID-19 pandemic. The 3 million units of Moderna vaccine recently donated by the United States strengthened the trust among the people and gave impetus to the overall process of vaccination across Uzbekistan. And we are particularly grateful to the U.S. for the additional 1.2 million dozes of Pfizer vaccine it provided.