Jakarta. Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev recently addressed the meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Organization of Turkic States.
In his remarks, Mirziyoyev called for the strengthening of the trade and economic pillar of the organization's cooperation. He also highlighted the need to strengthen transport connectivity. Below is Shavkat Miziyoyev's full speech, as reported by the Uzbekistan President official website:
Distinguished heads of states and governments!
I am very pleased to see you in the great city of Samarkand, one of the centers of world civilization, located at the crossroads of the Great Silk Road.
I would like to express my special gratitude to all of you for participating at the Summit of the newly named Organization of Turkic States.
Welcome to the land of Uzbekistan, dear friends!
Dear summit participants!
First of all, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you for supporting the initiative to declare the city of Samarkand, which is a symbol of friendship and peace, a center of science and education for the people of the world, as the «Capital of Turkic Civilization».
It is well-known that the ancient Turkic land has been connecting the East and the West for thousands of years, bringing the world civilizations closer to each other and enriching various cultures.
We are rightfully proud that the bright pages of the great past of the Turkic world were created together by our great ancestors.
It is the most important task for all of us to preserve such an invaluable heritage, study it deeply and pass it on to future generations.
Another importance of our today’s summit is that for the first time in our multi-thousand-year history our Turkic family is gathering in such a full format, as a part of our renewed organization.
Undoubtedly, under the motto «A new era of Turkic civilization: towards common progress and prosperity» we are entering a completely new stage of joint growth.
The session’s agenda includes the most urgent issues of our multifaceted relations. I am confident that today we shall discuss in detail the current state and the perspective directions of our multilateral cooperation and shall make the important decisions.
I would also like to underscore that the issues, the conceptual documents and programs, included in the agenda, our most important initiatives are consonant with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Distinguished heads of delegations!
Today, all of us are all going through the difficult trials related to acute geopolitical contradictions, the global economic crisis and the negative consequences of climate change.
Therefore, in the current dangerous situation, it is essential for our countries to identify the common approaches and coordinate efforts to address the most pressing problems.
We are able to overcome any difficulties through friendship, cooperation and mutual support.
I would like to emphasize that during Türkiye’s chairmanship at our Organization last year, much work was accomplished on various directions and our mutual cooperation has become more active.
During Uzbekistan’s chairmanship, we also intend:
to effectively implement the «Turkic world vision - 2040» concept and the «Five-year strategy of the organization of Turkic states» that is being adopted today, to further strengthen the authority of our Organization, which includes a vast region with more than 170 million people, and most importantly, to bring to a higher level the cooperation between our brotherly peoples and countries with a common history, language and culture.
While getting prepared to the Summit, we have thoroughly analyzed the activities of our Organization.
It should be recognized that significant work has been accomplished to develop the multilateral relations between our countries.
Meanwhile, it is also very true that our great potential and vast opportunities are not being fully exploited.
I. First of all, it is necessary to strengthen the trade and economic pillar of our cooperation.
The mutual trade between our countries constitutes only 4% of total foreign trade. And the rest of it corresponds to the share of third countries. Certainly, none of us are satisfied with this situation.
In addition, some import customs tariffs between our countries remain high.
In order to fundamentally change the situation in this strategic direction, to ensure free movement of trade, investment and services, we put forward the initiative on establishment of a «space of new economic opportunities» within our Organization.
To implement this plan, I propose to hold an annual International Turkic Economic Forum involving the member and observer states of our Organization as well as leading world business representatives.
Holding the joint G2B events, business meetings and «round tables», presentations of innovative projects and exhibitions in the framework of the Forum shall yield the great practical results.
As an outcome of these events it will be important to adopt the annual «Road Maps» focused on the implementation of joint programs and projects.
Our work shall be focused primarily on boosting the mutual trade and joint entry into third-country markets, creating continuous value chains, high-tech clusters and venture companies.
We also fully support the establishment of a joint investment fund.
II. Another urgent issue of strategic importance on the agenda is the strengthening the transport connectivity.
For instance, we are speaking a lot about the transcaspian international corridor, but we have to accomplish a lot to achieve tangible results.
For example: Uzbekistan transports only 10% of its foreign trade goods through this transport corridor.
In order to fully utilize our transport and transit potential, we need to find answers to the following questions:
- What should we do in this direction?
- What additional measures should be taken? And when and by whom should they be taken?
In this regard, based on the Program adopted today, we suggest that our transport ministers develop a clear plan and effective mechanisms for joint cooperation by the end of the year.
We should focus on:
- increasing the competitiveness of transit corridors in our region;
- introducing the most favorable tariffs for business;
- creating a modern transport infrastructure.
In this regard, we call on the states of our Organization to join the system of electronic transport permits exchange recently introduced between Türkiye and Uzbekistan.
III. The First Turkic Agricultural Forum held this year in Tashkent has clearly shown that we have a great potential in ensuring food security.
We have the potential to supply agricultural and food products not only our countries but also the foreign markets.
Along with, we should strengthen our practical steps in this direction and deepen our cooperation based on specific projects.
In particular, I propose the following:
First, it is a high time to adopt a multilateral agreement within our Organization to create an effective system of food supply based on the needs of global and domestic markets and production capacities of our countries.
Second, it is important to establish a comprehensive partnership between the Organization of Turkic States and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to accelerate innovation, modern knowledge and advanced technology in the industry.
Third, based on the positive experience to hold the Turkic Agricultural Forum on the regular basis and organize an international SMART agricultural exhibition at its second conference.
Dear summit participants!
IV. As it was proposed by Uzbekistan, the year 2022 was declared «Year of Support for Youth Initiatives» within the Organization of Turkic States.
As a part of this, the city of Bukhara received the status of the youth capital of the Turkic world.
We intend to consistently continue the good work we have started to encourage the young generation, to realize their talents and abilities.
I propose to hold next year the International congress of science and innovation of youth of the turkic world in our country.
Within its framework we plan to organize the extensiv meetings of ministers of innovation and education, rectors of universities and young leaders, talented youth, elders of our Organization.
In order to render a systematic tone to our work and ensure effectiveness, it would be appropriate to introduce the position of the Deputy Secretary-General of the Organization for the Youth Affairs.
V. Another priority direction is ensuring robust security in our region.
The conflicts in various parts of the world are also affecting the security of the Turkic world.
In such a complex situation, our law enforcement agencies and security services should be in constant contact and strengthen cooperation in the areas of combating terrorism, extremism, radicalization of youth, human and drug trafficking, ensuring public and cyber security.
Along with this, we express our readiness to organize the next Meeting of the Secretaries of the Security Council of the states of our Organization in Uzbekistan.
VI. I would like to draw your attention to another urgent issue.
Today, the complex situation in neighbouring Afghanistan is, certainly, a source of great concern to all of us.
We should never forget about turning the situation in this country to a positive direction.
We encourage the regular dialogues among our Foreign Ministers to develop a common approach to the Afghan issue.
VII. I am pleased to announce today that Uzbekistan has become a full member of the international organization of turkic culture.
We fully endorse the proposal to hold the festival of culture of the turkic people next year as part of the Organization’s celebrations of its 30th anniversary.
We have recently published a 100-volume book series «Masterpieces of turkic literature» in the Uzbek language, consisting of a collection of literature from the member and observer-states of our Organization.
If we publish this priceless spiritual treasure in the languages of all member and observer-states, it shall create a solid foundation for the strengthening the ties of our brotherly countries, especially our younger generations.
As a part of our meeting all of us are extremely glad that for the first time the international prize of Alisher Navoi, the great poet, thinker and statesman who has made an incomparable contribution to strengthening of unity of the Turkic world, will be awarded.
We believe you will support our proposal to present this award annually.
Distinguished heads of delegations!
Our most urgent tasks are raising the activity of the Organization of Turkic States to a new quality level, increasing its authority, fully tapping the potential of our cooperation, and ensuring the implementation of our decisions and agreements.
Many structures and various mechanisms have been established in the framework of our Organization, many ministerial level meetings and other events are being held.
However, we must openly admit that we still have a lot of work to do in terms of their systematic coordination and effectiveness.
I think that we need to join our common efforts so that our Organization shall work on the basis of a completely new, effective system in the future.
To this end, we propose the following institutional reforms in the organization:
- first of all, I propose to create separate committees at the ministerial level on our priority areas: the politics and security, trade and investment, transport, agriculture, energy, information technology, tourism, innovation and education, medicine, youth and other areas.
The active involvement of experts and scientists, public and private sector representatives in their activities shall undoubtedly have a great effect.
Moreover, time demands a dramatic increase in the role and influence of the Secretariat of our Organization.
It should effectively organize work in all directions, become an influential power of our fruitful multilateral cooperation.
Based on the above, I believe that we shall approve the new structure of the Secretariat at our next Summit.
Another issue is related to the strengthening of the strict monitoring system of implementation of all decisions and documents adopted by the Heads of States.
I believe we should involve that the council of elders of our Organization into this process and use their rich experience and skills.
Our Turkic world has an enviable great history, great ancestors and incomparable wealth.
And I believe that the Turkic world has a great future.
No doubt, we shall create this future together with our hardworking, magnanimous and noble people.
Our Summit in the ancient city of Samarkand shall usher in a new stage of growth in the modern history of civilization of the Turkic world.
Today, the Samarkand Declaration, which expresses such a noble idea, shall be adopted.
I would like to thank you for your support of our proposal to declare 2023 as the Year of the Rise of Turkic Civilization within our Organization.
Taking this opportunity, on behalf of all my colleagues I would like to wish to the President of Kazakhstan esteemed Kassym-Jomart Kemelevich Tokayev and the friendly people of Kazakhstan successful holding of the important political event – the forthcoming presidential elections.
We believe that wise people of Kazakhstan will vote for the peace and progress of their country, continuity of the important reforms that are being carried out.
In conclusion, I would like to pay a special tribute to Mr. Baghdad Amreyev, who is completing his service as Secretary-General of our Organization.
I wish You success and good luck in your future endeavours.
I also warmly congratulate the newly appointed Secretary-General Mr. Kuvanichbek Omuraliev, who is an experienced diplomat.
I wish You great success in your responsible work.
Thank you for your attention!