New Uzbekistan, this is how statesmen, political scientists, journalists representing the most authoritative international mass media have recently begun to call our republic. This is due to the new, both external and internal political course taken by our country under the leadership of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
Every year the republic is integrated deeper into the world political processes. The voice of the republic is heard from the highest tribunes. And the initiatives put forward by our President find a response in the hearts of millions of people. The prestige and authority of our country are increased, its relations with the states of near and far abroad are raised to an ever-higher level.
Much attention is paid to the development of interethnic relations. The Constitution and laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan determine that all citizens, regardless of nationality, language and religion, have the same rights and freedoms. Organizations of 16 religious confessions operate freely in our country. The channels of the National Television and Radio Company of Uzbekistan go on air in 12 languages, and newspapers and magazines are published in more than 10 languages.
Education in public schools is conducted in 7 languages. According to a special instruction of the country’s government, during 2021-2022, additional provision of literature translated into 6 languages is envisaged for all public schools in which education is conducted in these languages.
Representatives of more than 130 nations and ethnic groups live in Uzbekistan today. With the full support of the state, there are 150 national cultural centers, whose activities are based on the preservation and promotion of the native language, culture, customs and traditions of their people, as well as strengthening of friendship and harmony on the territory of our country among all its inhabitants, regardless of their nationality and religion.
Implemented on the initiative of Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the Strategy of Action on the Five Priority Areas of Development of the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2017-2021 clearly defined the tasks of ensuring interethnic harmony and religious tolerance, giving new meaning to work in this direction.
The attention paid to these issues by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan is eloquently evidenced by his speech at a meeting with representatives of national cultural centers on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Republican International Cultural Center, held on January 24, 2017. At this meeting, important initiatives were put forward to further improve work in the field of interethnic relations’ strengthening and raising it to a new level. During this event, the head of the republic proclaimed his decision on the establishment of the Committee on interethnic relations and friendly cooperation with foreign countries under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the transfer of one of the most beautiful buildings of the capital, and it was named the “Palace of Friendship,” that fully corresponds to its purpose. It houses not only the executive office of the Committee, but also representations of all national cultural centers located in Tashkent.
Today, the Committee on interethnic relations and friendly cooperation with foreign countries coordinates activities of all national cultural centers of the republic, provides them with practical and methodological assistance.
The President paid special attention to this issue and declared July 30 in our country as the Day of Friendship of Peoples in his Address to the Oliy Majlis on December 29, 2020. Also, a badge “Friendship of Peoples” was instituted, the celebration of the “Week of Friendship” in July was initiated, and within its framework it is planned to hold various scientific, cultural and sports events.
In addition, in accordance with the Presidential Decree of 2018 there were established “Friendship Houses” with all necessary conditions for national cultural centers in the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regional centers and in the city of Tashkent.
Representatives of different nationalities consider Uzbekistan their sacred Motherland and connect the life and future of their children with it. They make a worthy contribution to its development, work in all sectors of the economy, science, culture and sports, participate in government, lawmaking, political and public life.
14 citizens of our country – representatives of different nationalities, were awarded the high title of “Hero of Uzbekistan”. Hundreds of our compatriots have been awarded various honorary titles, State orders and medals.
Historically, people of different nationalities, cultures and religions lived in friendship and harmony on our ancient land for centuries. Our great poets and writers glorified friendship and brotherhood, peace and harmony among nations in their works. And today the lines of the great thinker and poet Alisher Navoi have not lost their relevance and their high significance: “People of the world know that enmity is not a matter,
Be friend to each other, the friendship is a latter.”
The multinational people of Uzbekistan courageously overcame trials and hardships of different periods of history, and showed the highest human qualities subsistent to them. Thus, about 1 million 951 thousand of our citizens of different nationalities and ethnic groups took part in the battles of World War II. More than 538,000 of them died in the battles. More than 158,000 people were reported missing. Over 200 thousand soldiers and officers from Uzbekistan were awarded state awards, including 301 citizens of Uzbekistan, who received the title of “Hero of the Soviet Union”, 70 war participants became holders of the Orders of Glory of the I, II, III degrees.
During the war, the whole of Uzbekistan became a powerful supply base. Everything that was required for the front: weapons, foodstuffs, uniforms, medicines were supplied from here to battlefields.
Thanks to the selfless labor of the multinational people, military products were manufactured at about 300 enterprises in Uzbekistan. During this time, 151 plants from different cities were transferred to our country and in the shortest possible time were put into operation. Thousands of war veterans were treated in military hospitals established in our country.
More than one and a half million people, including about 250 thousand children, were evacuated to Uzbekistan from the regions affected by the war. The people of Uzbekistan showed true love and compassion for them. They provided shelter and shared food and clothing with those people, who had lost their homes, loved ones, relatives. Though, being sometimes themselves in a difficult situation, they provided all possible assistance to the evacuees, taking care of them and their children. “You are not an orphan!” – they said to children who had lost their parents in the war, and took them into their families.
So, a blacksmith from Tashkent Shaakhmed Shamakhmudov and his wife Bahri Akramova adopted 14 children of different nationalities. Today, their civil feat is known both in our country and in many foreign countries. Uzbek writer Rahmat Fayzi wrote the novel “Hazrati inson”, dedicated to the courage and fortitude of this family. The talented director Shukhrat Abbasov shot the feature film “You are not an orphan”. In the very center of Tashkent, on the Friendship of Peoples Square, a monument to the Shamakhmudov family has been erected.
Our state and society as a whole attach great importance to educating the youth in the spirit of internationalism and tolerance. Numerous state and public organizations are dealing with these issues. An example of such attention is the huge memorial complex “Victory Park”, created in 2020 in Tashkent for the 75th anniversary of the Great Victory over fascism, which includes the “Museum of Glory”, numerous monuments and installations dedicated to the courage of the victorious warriors. This complex has become a sacred place not only for representatives of different nationalities of our country, but also for many foreign guests visiting Uzbekistan.
Leading international experts and observers emphasize that the experience and achievements of our country in strengthening friendship, mutual respect and brotherly love between representatives of all nations and nationalities can be used as an example for other states.
Uzbekistan is recognized all over the world as a country of ancient traditions, friendship and hospitality, values based on centuries-old knowledge and experience, strong interethnic relations. This is a country that is building its great future and looking with confidence to tomorrow.
Vice-chairman of the Committee
on interethnic relations and friendly cooperation
with foreign countries under the
Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan