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INFORMATION DIGEST No. 118

June 16, 2017

POLITICS
On June 15, 2017, the President of Uzbekistan made his address at a conference dedicated to issues of ensuring social stability, preserving true essence and content of our sacred Islamic religion

On June 15, 2017, a conference dedicated to issues of ensuring social stability, preserving true essence and content of our sacred Islamic religion was held in Tashkent. The conference was attended by the heads of the Muslim Board of Uzbekistan, religious figures, activists of the “Nuroniy” and “Makhalla” funds, the Women’s Committee, social movement of youth “Kamolot”, representatives of khokimiyats, law enforcement bodies, scientists and cultural figures, heads and students of Islamic educational institutions, public representatives.

The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev made his address at the meeting.

The head of our country noted that today it is very important to raise activities in socio-spiritual direction, further strengthening healthy atmosphere in families, makhallas, in society to a new stage by strengthening interethnic and inter-confessional friendship and cohesion, increasing attention to education of youth, preserving the true essence and content of sacred Islamic religion along with all spheres of our life.

As it is known, one of the most important factors of ensuring social stability in any society is achievement of people’s trust, embodiment of their hopes and aspirations. In recent years, great work is being implemented in our country in this direction. Activities of People’s receptions and Virtual reception of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan is organized, which have become an important institution for ensuring the interests, alleviating concerns of people.

The President of our country emphasized that dialogue with people is not a temporary campaign, as some people think, but an invariable priority of the state policy, an issue that is at the center of constant attention.

Representatives of more than 130 nations and nationalities, various religious confessions are living and working in peace and harmony in Uzbekistan today. All conditions are created so that they could preserve and develop their national culture, traditions and customs. There are 138 national cultural centers in our country. Committee on interethnic relations and friendly ties with foreign countries under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan is established on the basis of the Republican international cultural center in order to raise their activity to a new stage, further development of cultural relations with foreign countries.

Since the first years of independence, priority attention was paid to ensuring freedom of conscience in our country. A lot has been done for preserving purity of our sacred religion, reviving national values, honoring memory and preserving heritage of our great ancestors, improving places of their repose, and this process is consistently continuing.

As it was emphasized at the conference, rich history and culture of our country, which is one of the cradles of Islamic science and culture, life and priceless spiritual heritage of our great thinkers, has not yet been fully explored.

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev emphasized that activities on creation of the Center of Islamic Culture of Uzbekistan in the city of Tashkent have been started in order to comprehensively study rich historical, scientific and spiritual heritage of our people, its broad popularization among the world public, the most important, profound disclosure of truly humanistic essence and content of the Islamic religion.

Extensive information about great Islamic scholars and thinkers, outstanding poets and writers, artists and calligraphers who have made an invaluable contribution to the development of world culture will be collected in this center.

The head of our state noted the need to strengthen dialogue with youth by raising the level of knowledge, education, life and effective examples, imparting healthy attitude to religion.

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev expressed his views on increasing the effectiveness of activities of the Muslim Board of Uzbekistan, creating facilities for its acting organizations and religious workers.

Speakers at the conference noted that the speech of the President of our country is permeated with a noble desire to resolve actual issues that directly affect the fate and future of our Motherland, the life of each of our compatriots, especially the younger generation. Activities in this direction are outlined in detail, called for active participation in implementation of these tasks, sparing no effort, knowledge and experience, uniting and showing dedication in this path.
(Source: UzA)

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION
Flags of India and Pakistan raised at building of SCO RATS Executive Committee

On 15 June, a solemn ceremony of raising of the national flags of new SCO members states – India and Pakistan – took place at the building of the Executive Committee of the Regional Antiterrorist Structure of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO RATS) in Tashkent.

Representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan, RATS SCO, Ambassadors of foreign countries, correspondents of Uzbek and foreign media attended the event, the press service of the Uzbek Foreign Ministry said.

At the ceremony, Deputy Foreign Minister of Uzbekistan Anvar Nasyrov congratulated all those present on the significant date – “The Day of the SCO”.

He recalled that on this day, 16 years ago, leaders of Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan signed the Declaration on the establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Shanghai (China).

Uzbek official said that India and Pakistan became full-fledged members of the SCO on 9 June in line with the memorandums, signed in Tashkent in 2016.

He underlined that accession of India and Pakistan, given their great potential on the world stage, to the SCO will create new fundamentally new opportunities for developing cooperation in the field of ensuring regional security and stability, expanding trade and economic relations, cooperation in the field of transport, investment, tourism, as well as other directions of mutual interest.

“We are convinced that our new partners will also contribute to the development and strengthening of the Regional Antiterrorist Structure,” he said. The equality of the member states will remain unchanged in the activities of the SCO, Nasyrov said.

Welcoming new members, Anvar Nasyrov said that Uzbekistan is ready to provide all possible assistance in further development and prosperity of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

REFORMS
Walnut Producers and Exporters Association of Uzbekistan is about to be established in the country

The new structure will incorporate the Nuciculture Crops Research Center, Walnut Logistics Center, MTP Sag Agro Company, and territorial organizations Yongoqagro in Jizzakh, Kashkadarya, Surkhandarya, Namangan and Tashkent regions.

Each of the structures will be accountable for its segment. The scientific and research center for nuciculture crops will deal with acclimatization and zoning of high-yield, early-ripening, drought-tolerant and virus-free varieties of walnut, and the Logistics Center will specialize in processing and storing walnut products, as well as ensure their preparation and customs clearance in case of export. In turn, MTP Sag Agro will provide mechanized services for agrotechnical measures to walnut producers.

The list of key missions of the Association includes the implementation of programs on the establishment of modern plantations of high-yielding walnut varieties adapted to local natural and climatic conditions, as well as widespread introduction of scientifically grounded methods of cultivation and modern resource-saving technologies.

In addition, it will be responsible for expansion of production of walnut in the regions, conduct of marketing research to expand sales markets, development of proposals to increase export volumes, organization of laboratory-based production of high-yielding seedlings with an eye to its maximum adaptation to local natural and climatic conditions.

The Association chairman and his deputies will be elected by the decision of the general meeting of the founders, and approved by the government of the republic.

The head of our state assigned the Deputy Prime Minister Zoyir Mirzaev with the development of a program of measures by the end of this August to further increase walnut production by 2020.

It is planned to develop the industry through a four-stage approach. Walnut seedlings will be imported at the first round in 2017-2019, and stock for inoculation will be delivered at the second stage (2018-2019). The laboratory-based production of high-yielding seedlings will begin in 2020 at the third stage, and the fourth phase in 2018-2020 envisages the production and sales of walnut in the domestic and foreign markets.

A total of 10,000 hectares will be allocated for nut plantations throughout Uzbekistan. A targeted fund of at least $50 million will also support the projects.

The entrepreneurs who are ready to work in this direction will be provided with certain customs privileges. They are released from customs fees for imported equipment for drip irrigation, specialized agricultural machinery, seedlings, seedling stock, graft, mother walnut material by January 1, 2020.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

O'zbekiston 24, A Breakthrough in National Media Space

The regular meeting of the International Press Club that took place on June 14 in Tashkent was devoted to the creation of the information and analytical TV and radio channel O'zbekiston 24.

As the speakers of the event - the first deputy chairman of the National TV and Radio Company Bobir Alikhonov, director of the new television and radio channel Ozod Hamidkhujayev and others stressed, the situation in the information space requires an operative response to the events inside the country and abroad. At the same time, the analysis of information broadcasting in the country showed insufficient use of the potential of information services of TV and radio channels, first of all, in the formation of an active citizenship among the population and a sense of involvement in the ongoing reforms. In order to create a holistic and systematic approach to the formation of high-quality media content, in early May the President of Uzbekistan decided to create a 24-hour information and analytical TV and radio channel O'zbekiston 24 in the structure of the National Television and Radio Company of Uzbekistan.

The main goal of its creation is bringing of objective and reliable information to the notice of the population, saturation of the media space of the republic with a high-quality information and analytical product. It will provide prompt coverage of significant events in the sphere of politics, economy, culture, science and sports, as well as other important news that takes place at home and abroad.

In accordance with the President's decree, the new television and radio channel will promote the establishment of an "open direct dialogue between responsible government officials and organizations with the public, the wide involvement of observers, representatives of the expert community and academia in discussing and addressing the pressing problems of citizens and topical issues on the spot". In this sphere, it will cooperate with the Center for Development Strategy, the International Press Club, and other institutions of civil society and the media. Within the framework of the partnership between these organizations, a memorandum of cooperation was signed and a joint work plan was approved.

In organizational terms, O'zbekiston 24 is created on the basis of Diyor TV channel and Toshkent radio channel, their frequencies and released staff units will be handed over to a new channel with a maximum staffing of more than 250 employees. To strengthen the analytical component, the information programs Axborot, Davr and Poytaxt are transferred to its structure, the correspondent posts will be also established abroad.

Answering the journalists' questions, the speakers said that the exact running date of the broadcasting of O'zbekiston 24 is still unknown, but the necessary work is very active.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)

Reference to the source is a must in reproducing materials.