September 1, 2007
ADDRESS by President H.E. Mr. Islam Karimov at the festive ceremony dedicated to the 16th anniversary of Independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Assalamu-Alaykum, dear compatriots! Distinguished guests!

First of all, I am happy from the bottom of my heart to express my deep respect and congratulate you and in your person all people of Uzbekistan on the occasion of the truly greatest and dearest holiday for all of us ? the 16th anniversary of Independence of our Homeland.

Availing myself of this opportunity, allow me on behalf of our entire nation to greet and sincerely thank the representatives of foreign embassies, our dear guests from near and far countries, who are participating in our festivities at this beautiful and sublime venue, as well as all our friends and brothers, who are celebrating this holiday together with us.

Dear friends!

We do comprehend that sixteen years measured by the standards of history are quite a short period of time. However, if we measure this period, which in its fullest sense was the phase of renovation and growth for us, not by months and years, but by the effectiveness of the accomplished reforms, by the scale of our creative deeds, and by the achieved great goals, there is no doubt that each of these years will truly be equal to ten or hundred years.

One may speak much about the path we have traversed during this intense and complex period, its enormous results, trials and difficulties.

However, we should say one idea with full confidence that no one can deny what we have accomplished during these years to build a democratic state in our country, increase the well being of our nation, gain the worthy respect and recognition on the international arena, in a word, the achievements we have secured on the way to make our Homeland free and prosperous.

Today at these joyful moments, I would like to appreciate the incomparable services of those who made possible these achievements ? our diligent dekhkans and farmers, workers and clerks, entrepreneurs and business people, brave military servicemen, scientists and intelligentsia, people of culture and arts, selfless pedagogues and teachers, devoted doctors and I bow my head before all of them and our entire nation.

Dear compatriots!

There is no doubt that all considerable achievements we have secured during the years of Independence, belong to all of us and no one can deprive us of them.

At the same time the important and urgent tasks now standing before us demand to prudently utilize the potential accumulated during the last time and direct all our strength, capability and endeavors for the sake of future and achieving our sincere dreams and aspirations.

What we must pay attention to, primarily, when we speak about this?

First, critically assessing our achievements and results, not being dizzy with them, we must live setting forward the high goals, long-term and continuous noble objectives. And in the first instance we should focus our attention to the issues of raising the living standards and well being of our people.

It must remain our priority objective to provide the rapid and sustainable growth of our economy, conduct the strong social policy, to support the young families, to raise in the upcoming three years the size of salaries of workers and civil servants, pensions, allowances and stipends to 2-2,5 times.

Second, we must pay a special attention to further liberalization of our political and economic life, expanding the legal powers of political parties, public and civil institutions, and non-state organizations, ensuring the human rights and freedoms in practice, implementing the legal norms on improving the court and legal system adopted since the recent years.

Third, the current complicated and challenging time demands us to be constantly active and not to forget that there are various evils and vices which threaten the life of humanity, strengthen peace, accord and stability in our country, maintain vigilance and alertness, increase our strength and might which can worthily withstand any danger, and ensure the inviolability of our borders.

Fourth, I think it is our duty and obligation to create broader opportunities for our youth, who are our hope and buttress in implementing the noble objectives and plans, to bring up our children as individuals, who possess modern knowledge and experience, independent thinking, and who are spiritually matured, as well as to establish necessary conditions for them to take a solid and deserving place in our society.

Fifth, it should be the main objective of each of us to preserve like an apple of an eye the accord among the representatives of various nationalities and religious communities, the harmony among citizens in our Homeland, live in cooperation and solidarity with our close and far neighbors, ever strengthen the atmosphere of kindness, generosity and tolerance in our society.

We are all happy that today such everlasting virtues of our nation, our noble and good deeds accomplished to support the people in need are being practically reflected in the State program adopted on the ?Year of Social Protection?.

My distinguished compatriots, my dears!

Today, standing on this high rostrum, I find it necessary to specially note yet another idea in my heart.

At the moment, as we assess the way we have traversed and achievements secured during the sixteen years, I think you will all share my idea that we have a full right to live proudly keeping our heads high by saying ?I also made a worthy contribution to these successes?, taking pride from our great and hard work accomplished to glorify our Homeland, reach our high goals, and build a life second to none?s.

In this evening I once again congratulate you on the holiday of Independence of our Homeland. I wish you all a good health, happiness, as well as blessings to your households.

Let the Creator safeguard our Homeland, our nation and all of us from evil eyes and bad intentions!

Let our nation be safe, our skies be pure and our Independence be eternal!


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