The event was organized by the Development Strategy Center and the National Association of Electronic Mass Media of Uzbekistan (NAEMM) in collaboration with the Representative Office of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Central Asia. It brought together over 200 people - members of the Senate and the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis, heads and members of accredited diplomatic corps and international organizations, representatives of journalistic, expert and business communities, government and public organizations. It was attended by 65 journalists of nongovernmental television and radio stations, 15 online editions, four governmental media agencies, and about 15 printed editions.
The presentation kicked off with a demonstration of a documentary film on the Action Strategy in five priority areas. It highlighted all the important milestones prior to the program document. The first footage carried the viewers to early December, when, during the election of the President of Uzbekistan, the nation made a conscious choice that determined the future of the country for the years to come. The movie impressively showed the work of the Press Club: Elections.uz-2016, which brought together representatives of foreign and national media industry as the first multimedia platform in Uzbekistan.
The declaration of 2017 as a Year of Dialogue with the People and Human Interests by the President Shavkat Mirziyoyev was the next important step. It was followed by the discussion of draft Strategy, initiated by the leader of Uzbekistan, at NAEMM Media Week, which was a kind of a follow-up of the press club on election coverage. Finally, the documentary showed the process of approval of the Action Strategy for Five Priority Areas of the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2017-2021.
What a relevant and impressive video chronicle of landmark events!
As noted at the opening of the media event, the Development Strategy Center was initiated by several public and governmental organizations for the effective implementation of the Action Strategy, as well as the national program the Year of Dialogue with the People and Human Interests. The establishment of the Center was approved by the Head of the State.
The Center’s Executive Director Akmal Burkhonov introduced the guests in its goals and objectives. They come to consolidation of synergies on effective organization of expert and public debates, a comprehensive study and implementation of measures envisaged by the Action Strategy, as well as the active involvement of representatives of civil society institutions, experts and scholars to democratization and modernization processes in Uzbekistan.
The Center will deal with information and analytical support of the Action Strategy, study of foreign experience, assessments of international organizations and experts on the measures taken within the framework of the document, as well as organization of their broad expert and public discussion.
The Center will also come up with reasoned proposals for the effective implementation of the Action Strategy, including the preparation of draft laws, regulations and other acts stipulated by the national program, building cooperation with international organizations, research, information-analytical and educational institutions.
Its functions will include assistance in drafting annual programs for the Action Strategy, implementation of a system-based public monitoring of the progress of its implementation and its broad coverage, public opinion and proposals study, and development of proposals on them.
The Center is funded by technical assistance funds of ministries and agencies for studies and analyzes, grants of international and domestic organizations that are allocated to NGOs, and other sources.
The staff of the Coordinating Council has been approved to assist the Center. It will ensure the effective interaction with state bodies and fullly support the fulfillment of the objectives.
Akmal Burhonov emphasized that despite the small staff of the Center – a dozen of people, each of its founders will be directly involved in the fulfillment of common tasks.
The presentation of the new media platform - NAEMM MEDIA HALL - on the basis of the Zarafshan Concert Hall, took place as part of the event. NAEMM Board Chairman Firdavs Abdukhalikov noted that it was created for the media coverage of the progress under the Year of Dialogue with the People and Human Interests. It will be a venue of open dialogues between the government and society through briefings, press conferences, talk shows. It is also planned to use it as a shooter of TV festivals, meetings, conferences, competitions, social TV rallies, children's talk shows and other media content in various formats, jointly with the partners. Firdavs Abdukhalikov pointed out to the importance to not just report on the Action Strategy and its implementation, but bring it to everyone's heart, conscience, to motivate people to become a part of its implementation.
Given the positive experience of media platforms on the construction of an open dialogue between the state and society, the Development Strategy Center and NAEMM signed an agreement on the coverage and organization of regular public discussions on the implementation of the Action Strategy, approved legislative and regulatory acts, as well as public and political events in the country.
Then the floor was given to leaders and representatives of interdepartmental commissions on the implementation of the Action Strategy, who briefed om each of the five areas.
The discussion of the unique document in the history of independent republic was built on the mechanisms that ensure the genuine will of the people, and was held at an unprecedented activity of the general public, representatives of ministries and departments, international organizations and foreign experts.
“The strategy of the further development of Uzbekistan has marked an important stage in the life of our country,” underlined the Deputy Chairman of the Senate of Oliy Majlis Svetlana Artykova. “The document, which sets exact boundaries and important priorities of further enhancement of democratic reforms and accelerated development of the country, each mission is inseparably linked with the life of the people, who live on this land and confidently look into the future. I would like to note that the Action Strategy envisages the conceptual objectives of socio-political, socio-economic, cultural and humanitarian development of the country, put forward by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev during his meetings with the general public, the business community, government officials and communication with the people.”
She noted that the implementation of the Action Strategy in five stages, including the annual approval of certain state program in accordance with the declared title of the year, would enhance its practical effectiveness. For instance, the national program the Year of Dialogue with the People and Human Interests is focused on the improvement of the state and public construction.
First of all, it comes to strengthening the role of Parliament and political parties to dramatically raise the quality of lawmaking with the ultimate goal to create the best conditions for the people. The functions of the structures that work directly with the population and ensure people’s interests will be further streamlined.
It is important that the Parliament of Uzbekistan was building its work with an eye to the requirements of the time, the will of the people, modern standards and pro-action. As of 2017, the Strategy envisaged the appointment of Executive Secretary of political party factions in the Legislative Chamber of Oliy Majlis, thereby strengthening the capacity of each political party in defending its policy in the lower house of parliament. This should contribute to the effectiveness of a common position on the faction, and coordinate the performance of its members.
This year, both chambers of the Oliy Majlis will establish structural units that will enforce information, analytical and research work, thereby contributing to the better quality of legislative and monitoring performance, and development of laws upon in-depth analysis.
“The Strategy is advantageous for innovative approaches,” said Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Alisher Shaykhov, “as well as for prospects of economic development. It is very important that it envisages the involvement of everyone not only in its discussion, but in its implementation.
The document envisages the provision of reliable protection of private property, removal of all barriers, provision of freedom for the development of private entrepreneurship and small businesses, strict suppression of unlawful interference of state bodies in business.
For example, the Action Strategy provides for reducing the cost of connecting businesses to engineering and communication networks, and unification of corresponding legal and regulatory acts. That would create another convenience for our businesses and entrepreneurs.
The policy document requires an objective assessment of the work done, analysis of the progress made, and building the working process in line with the requirements of the time and in accordance with the priorities of the country's development and people’s welfare. Organization of a system-based, detailed and in-depth discussion of the Action Strategy with the involvement of the general public, business community, executives and experts of state bodies would make the process of achieving high goals effective.
«The achievement of these goals is the key mission of the Development Strategy Center, and CCI as its founder,” said Alisher Shaykhov.
The Action Strategy focuses on the rule of law, Deputy Minister of Justice Nodir Jurayev emphasized in his speech.
Many of its provisions have already been triggered. Raise of people’s awareness of new legislation, provision of its execution, raise of the legal culture of the population with the focus on the youth are regarded as relevant. The recent Presidential resolution on the radical improvement of the legislative act distribution system is seen as an essential guide to expansion of the scale of work in this direction.
The Resolution has triggered a new mechanism for dissemination of legal information, clearly defined the powers of the Ministry of Justice in the process, and objectives on the improvement of the national legislation framework.
The Strategy also aims at ensuring the genuine independence of the judiciary, increasing the authority of the court, and democratization of the judicial system.
As part of implementation of abovementioned objectives, the President has recently adopted a decree on radical streamlining of the structure and effectiveness of the judicial system in Uzbekistan, which has marked a transition of the related state policy to a drastically new level.
A Supreme Judicial Council of the Republic of Uzbekistan was established in accordance with the decree in order to radically change the system of candidate selection and appointment of judges, raising the status and powers of the body in charge for the formation of highly qualified judge corps.
Being a part of the judicial community it is charged to ensure compliance with the constitutional principle of independence of the judiciary. It is responsible for the formation of the judge corps on the basis of open and transparent competitive selection of candidates from among the most qualified experts, prevention of violation of integrity of judges and interference in their activities, dialogue with the public.
Implementation of these measures would enhance justice in the courts, protection of the rights of citizens that are protected by law, ensure social justice and the rule of law.
On a final note, the participants expressed their views and suggestions through a ‘free microphone’, and experts answered numerous questions of the media at a press conference.
(As part of social order of the Oliy Majlis Public Fund for the Support of NGOs and Other Civil Society Institutions).
(As part of social order of the Oliy Majlis Public Fund for the Support of NGOs and Other Civil Society Institutions).