The paper scrutinizes the conceptual descriptions and evaluation of sustainable development of Uzbekistan with the status quo of economic analyses and its sectoral overview as whole. As the objectives, descriptions of the concept of sustainable development are analyzed and classified through current theoretical views. Furthermore, analysis the systematic view of the dimensions of sustainable development is provided while methods of systematic scientific literature analysis, general and logical analysis, comparison and generalization were used for the research. Investigation concludes with sustainability issues with analyzes and solution on the system levels where they develop and manifest themselves, one can consistently formulate respective aims of the sustainable development policy for separate dimensions (economic, ecological, social, and institutional) of sustainable development on each of these levels of economic development policy, thus obtaining the complex of the aims of sustainability policy.
Keywords: Sustainability; Economy of Uzbekistan; Infrastructure; Central asia, Economic competitiveness
The well-known political scientist Leonid Levitin once said: «The appearance of Islam Karimov at the helm of the country can be compared to some extent with Winston Churchill’s coming to the leadership of Britain in 1940, at a time that was disastrous for it. Churchill then said in his speech in the House of Commons of the English Parliament: “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and suffering. ... You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival. ... I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men » .
After the collapse of the USSR, the situation in Uzbekistan, as well as in the entire post-Soviet space, characterized by a sharp decline in the economy. It caused due to the disruption of economic, industrial and financial ties that had been developed over many years, as well as the legal vacuum of the current legislation and nihilism among a part of the population that were the result of a drastic departure from both the previously dominant communist ideology and the system of values connected with it. As a result, the country had been suffering from runaway inflation as well as from sharp fall in real incomes of the population and increasing number of unemployed ones. Foodstuffs and essential goods were catastrophically not enough.
Outbursts of interethnic and interethnic conflicts had started to plague our country. All this was aggravated by the growth of radicalization especially among young people, as well as by the ongoing military confrontation in Afghanistan and the commenced civil war in Tajikistan.
Such challenges were inherited by the First President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov. Moreover, it is thanks to his unique personal qualities of leader, iron will, unprecedented patriotism and consistently pursued thoroughly thought-out policy that he managed to prevent the country from sliding down into a state of chaos and preserve the peace in it and unity of its people.
Perhaps he was the first and the only one among the leaders of the CIS countries who argued: «Shock therapy is unacceptable for us, we cannot see in people only a means to an end, even a good end. I will not allow people to feel hungry and cold, so that the existing system of social support for the population would be destroyed, so that patients would be left without hospitals and children without schools».
History tells us that exactly at its sharp bends during a change of social formations, social problems and contradictions acquire the most acute character and serve as a potential factor of threats to national security, civil peace and stability. In these regards, Islam Karimov determined the strategy of political and economic development, state and public construction of Uzbekistan based on the historically formed national and cultural traditions of our people and a sober assessment of the country’s potential as well as major socio-political and economic trends. This was a deliberate and unequivocal choice - moving towards a modern democratic State with a market economy neither by great leaps nor by revolutionary destruction, but wisely and consistently.
The first and perhaps the most important postulate of the
President Islam Karimov’s strategy for the transition period was
a cautious and thoughtful implementation of reforms aimed at
minimizing the social losses of the population. He formulated it as
follows: «One of the leading principles on which Uzbekistan’s own
way of renewal and progress is based is the implementation of a
strong social policy... Provision of reliable social guarantees and
social protection measures is a cross-cutting priority at all stages
of market transformations and permeates other directions of the
whole vast process of society renewal» .
The second postulate of his strategy was to ensure sociopolitical
and socio-economic stability in the country, as a
necessary condition for the successful performing democratic and
economic reforms. Islam Karimov’s thesis «Do not destroy the old
house unless you have built a new one», means do not rashly and
suddenly abandon the old proven system before creating a new
more effective one. Again, in the matter of reform, gradualness and
steadiness are essential.
One of the first Islam Karimov’s practical steps of implementing
his strategy of reforming the country and laying the foundation
for national statehood was the development and adoption in the
historically shortest possible time of the country’s Basic Law
- the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Islam Karimov
chaired a commission on working out a new Constitution and took
an immediate part in the development and consolidation of the
basic principles of Nation-building and society development of the
country. The most important of them are the following:
a) State expresses the will of the people, serves interests of
b) People of the country are all citizens of Uzbekistan
regardless of their nationality;
Equality of all citizens before the law without distinction
of gender, race, nationality, language, religion, social origin,
convictions, personal and social status.
The Constitution enshrines State guarantees for the freedom
of economic activity, entrepreneurship and labor; equality and
legal protection and inviolability of all forms of property, including
private property; as well as the division of state power into
legislative, executive and judicial, the task of forming an integrated
system of judicial power had been accomplished successfully.
Important attention was paid to the development and
strengthening of the system of local self-government bodies - the
«Mahalla» Institution. Indigenous Armed Forces and a system
of National security agencies were built up ensuring reliable
protection of sovereignty, constitutional order, territorial integrity,
public order as well as counteraction to the growing threat of
international terrorism, extremism and drug aggression.
Legislative acts «On the Military Doctrine of the Republic of
Uzbekistan», «On the Concept of National Security of the Republic
of Uzbekistan» and a number of other acts were adopted based
on a deep analysis of the socio-political situation in the region
and the country’s security. That created a solid legal basis for
the integrated defense and security system functioning, which
contributes to the maintaining of peace, tranquility and stability
in the country. President Karimov also focused on issues related
to the formation of civil and public institutions, such as the
Parliamentary Ombudsman, the National Center for Human Rights
and a number of others.
Under the leadership of President Islam Karimov, the Concept
of Foreign Policy of the Republic of Uzbekistan was developed
based on peacefulness and non-interference in the internal affairs
of other states, and the peaceful, settle any disputes and conflicts
only by political and peaceful means. The National Parliament
approved this document in 2012.
Islam Karimov has repeatedly stated that Uzbekistan firmly
adheres to the position to settle any disputes and conflicts only by
political and peaceful means, without joining any military-political
blocs, not allowing the deployment neither foreign military
bases on the territory of its country nor our soldiers outside of
He always stressed, «Our people need peace and tranquility.
This is the desire of the people of Uzbekistan and the goal of
our Nation and its firm decision». After gaining Independence,
an active foreign policy Uzbekistan was carried out under the
leadership of the First President. Islam Karimov also repeatedly
performed his speeches at sessions of the UN General Assembly
and other international organizations, presenting his own,
sometimes extraordinary, but always honest, heartfelt approach
to resolving the most pressing international issues.
His proposals on combining efforts to the fight terrorism
and drug trafficking, as well as on the formation of in the Central
Asia a so called «Security Belt» were embodied by the opening
in Uzbekistan the headquarters of the Regional Antiterrorist
Structure (RATS) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization
(SCO)., as well as the creation in Central Asia nuclear weapons free
Uzbekistan was one of the founder states of the SCO and has
already chaired this Organization twice. Thus, in June 2016 in
Tashkent, during the Presidency of the Republic of Uzbekistan in
the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a meeting of the Council
of Heads of State of the SCO member States was hosted. Important
documents and decisions were adopted to improve the SCO
activities and to expand further their cooperation in various areas.
Speaking about Central Asia, Islam Karimov noted that the
geopolitical space that we call Central Asia, which the world has
forgotten about for almost a century, now declares itself in a new
capacity, and this causes extraordinary changes in the political
situation. At the same time, Central Asia, where the political and
economic interests of many countries are concentrated today,
is becoming an important and decisive element in shaping the
strategy of their foreign policy course.
Director of the Institute of Central Asia, Frederick Star, one
of the leading American experts on the problems of this region, thinks that «among the Central Asian states only Uzbekistan has
every reasons to claim the role of a regional stabilizing force» .
The creation of a legal framework for a market economy was
the most important basis for the independent development of the
country and one of the fundamental moments of economic reform
in Uzbekistan. President Islam Karimov believed that «only if there
is a strong legal basis we can build a new society with a civilized
market economy» .
Comprehensive reforms carried out by Islam Karimov
brought the consistent implementation and deepening of
structural transformations in the economy, sustainable and
smooth operations of all of its financial institutions and real
economy, promoted the wide introduction of market mechanisms,
diversification, continuous technical and technological renewal
and development of industrial production, as well as attracting
significant-scale investments, including foreign ones. All of these
contributed to building the essential capacities, increasing the
country’s competitiveness, laying a solid foundation for further
sustainable development of the Nation.
Brand new high-tech sectors such as petrochemical
and automobile industry had been created in the country.
Pharmaceutical, chemical industry, agricultural and railway
machinery, as well as the production of electrical engineering,
textiles and modern construction materials had been given new
Such unique industrial facilitie as Shurtan gas-chemical
complex, Bukhara Oil Refinery, Kungrad Soda Plant, Dekhkanabad
Potash Fertilizer Plant had been built, as well as automobile
plants had been constructed in Andijan, Samarkand, Tashkent and
It is impossible to imagine a modern state without a developed
infrastructure. The process of enhancing national capabilities
in the field of information and communication technologies
and their wide application in all areas of the national economy
was conducted in rapid rates. The Program for development
and modernization of engineering-communication and road
transport infrastructure had been drawn up and had been being
Among many other transformations the railway lines
Angren-Pap with a unique tunnel through the Kamchik mountain
pass, as well as Tashguzar-Baysun-Kumkur- gan line had been
constructed. First high-speed train in Central Asia was launched
on routes Tashkent-Samar- kand-Bukhara-Karshi. International
airports had been modernized. The international logistic center
based on Navoi Airport, as well as the Uzbek National Highway
was established. During the years of Independence, the image
of the country and its cities and villages had radically changed.
In fact, the entire Uzbekistan looks like a huge construction site
today. New industrial enterprises are being put into operation
every year, educational and public health institutions as well as
other social facilities are being constructed. Particular attention is
paid to housing construction, whose scale is impressive.
On the initiative of Islam Karimov, the State Program for
the construction of individual standard design housing in rural
areas with allocation of preferential longterm mortgage loans
was adopted in order to create modern, close to urban housing
conditions for rural residents.
Thanks to Islam Karimov’s consistently conducted well
thought-out policy, the country’s agricultural sector was
fundamentally reformed. The core of the agricultural sector
consists from farmer economies now. The grain independence of
the country was achieved, which, along with the stable supply of
flour and bread to the population of the republic, made it possible
to solve the tasks of sustainable provision of the population’s
needs in meat, milk and meat and milk products at the expense of
their own production.
In the first years of independence the new to the modern
Uzbekistan foundations of a market economy were laid. The
mechanism of market economic relations was launched with the
creation of market infrastructure institutes and the formation of a
Small and private businesses have an important place in
the national economy. Various privileges and preferences were
established for the private entrepreneurs, as well as their access
to sources of raw materials was assured. Today Uzbekistan is
demonstrating dynamic developments in all spheres. In 25 years
the country had become a sustainable Nation, who pays great
attention to ensuring the security of its citizens and increasing
their material welfare and social protection, as well as access to
various types of services.
The results of the reforms based on the Islam Karimov’s
«Uzbek model» have repeatedly received high recognition from
experts. Iveta Grigule, chairman of the delegation of the European
Parliament for cooperation with Central Asian countries stated
that knowing how Uzbekistan onset its development more than 25
years ago and with what legacy «the country was able to achieve
almost impossible in the years of its independence» .
The result of the large-scale reforms has been a multiple
increase of per capita income over the years of Independence
during population increased one and a half time. The appearance
of cities and villages has radically changed. A modern productive
and non-productive infrastructure had emerged, which had
become an embodiment of the principles of the «Uzbek model»
of development, the ongoing reform policy for the benefit of the
country, of each person. As a result, as Islam Karimov put it: «We
not only managed to achieve social and political stability in the
country, but also to get broad support, from the population, for the
course of the reforms in the country’s renewal» .
A clear vision of the perspective and confidence in the
immeasurable strength of people gave him the right to formulate
an inspiring and mobilizing target thesis: «Uzbekistan is a
state with a great future». This position of the leader, naturally,
influenced the psychological climate in the country, had a decisive
ascendancy on the formation of a new worldview of people, it also had actively promoted the successful implementation of largescale
reforms in all spheres of society.
A political climate encompassing a person’s life and activity,
psychology and spirituality was taking a shape in the country. That,
in turn, determined the spiritual appearance, political legitimacy,
social stability, and legal stability of the humane society that was
forming in Uzbekistan.
By completely abandoning the old dogmas and stereotypes,
the Islam Karimov’s large-scale National Program for was
developed and implemented personnel education and training.
In fact, there were drastic reforms of education system based on
the most up-to- date international standards. It eventually became
the main priority of State policy in Uzbekistan. The branches of
several leading European and Asian universities, such as the
Westminster University, the Singapore Institute of Management
Development, and the Polytechnic University of Turin, the
Russian University of Oil and Gas, Moscow State University, the
Russian Economic University, South Korean Inha University are
successfully operating in the country.
Islam Karimov steered the work on the creation and
implementation of fundamentally new system of upbringing and
education the younger generation directly himself. That, in turn
had radically changed the way of thinking and outlook the youth
of the Nation. Millions of children, young men and women are
receiving a high level education and training on new educational
standards and curricula based on universal and national values,
allowing them to find their worthy places in life, demonstrating
the effectiveness of Uzbekistan’s educational system, as well as its
competitiveness in the international arena.
Issues of protection of motherhood and childhood, promotion
of health, spiritual, moral and physical education of the younger
generation had great importance for Islam Karimov. Because
of this policy the State award - the Order of «Soghlom Avlod
Uchun» (For a Healthy Generation) was constituted as well as
the eponymous Charity Fund was established which became the
first non-governmental foundation in the history of independent
Uzbekistan. Moreover, the Government Program «Healthy Mother
- Healthy Child» had been also developed and adopted, whose key
purpose was aimed to improve the Maternal and Child Care in the
Eventually the international community acknowledged these
efforts. The high efficiency of systemic state policy in public
healthcare is proved by the fact that today an equal access to
highly qualified medical services is ensured to all residents of
Uzbekistan. A fundamentally new system of state-guaranteed free
emergency medical care and the network of specialized clinical
research medical centers had been established. Multidisciplinary,
medical, prenatal and screening centers are operating in all regions
of the country. The work of health care establishments is based
on advanced technologies of diseases prevention, diagnostics and
treatment that meet WHO standards.
Over the years of Independence, the rate of maternal and infant
mortality in the country dropped more than three-fold. General
health indicators of the population are increasing, including ones
among children and the youth, which is especially important. The
quality of life and the people’s health improved. The average life
expectancy of men increased from 66 to 73.5 years, and up to 76
years among women.
Thus, the main criterion of all reforms in the country
defined by the President Islam Karimov as «Reforms are not for
the sake of reforms, but for the people», had manifested itself
in practice. Representatives of all nationalities in Uzbekistan
without exception have absolutely equal rights guaranteed by
Law. Islam Karimov steadily pursued the goal of ensuring equality
for all citizens, regardless of their nationality, race, social origin,
education, profession and religious confessions.
Clearly and consistently implemented Islam Karimov’s
principle «Uzbekistan is our common home» contributes to the
preservation of peace and interethnic harmony.
Today, representatives of over 130 nations and nationalities
live in peace and friendship in Uzbekistan. They enjoy all
opportunities for the development of their national culture,
language, folk crafts, traditions and customs. In Uzbekistan lessons
within school and university Curriculums are taught in seven
languages - Uzbek, Karakalpak, Russian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tajik and
Turkmen. Newspapers, magazines, books are being published, and
television and radio programs are being broadcasted in several
languages. There are about 140 republic-wide and regional
national cultural centers. Such cultural and ethnic diversity is
considered as an integral part of the country’s life, which forms a
unique and rich palette of society.
Peace and harmony in the country, interethnic and civil accord,
unity and solidarity of the people of Uzbekistan are its invaluable
asset, the principal achievements of independence, and the most
important factor of stability in society. Uzbekistan’s positive
experience in strengthening interethnic relations is being studied
in many countries.
Islam Karimov had raised to the level of State policy respect
for the spiritual values of our people as well as preservation
and development of our sacred religion, traditions, customs and
invaluable historical heritage. The President had initiated the
process of spiritual revival of our Nation, strengthening its selfconsciousness,
recovery its historical memory, careful preservation
of its enormous scientific and cultural potential, which now are
nourishing the modern development of Uzbekistan.
Thanks to Islam Karimov’s efforts the names of outstanding
statesmen, scientists, scholars, philosophers, poets and
enlighteners who had lived and worked on this land were revived.
Their great legacy made up the unique phenomenon now well
known as «Oriental Renaissances Islam Karimov’s innovative power can be formulated as following: he decisively and wisely
guided the process of the country’s transition from one system to
another. He firmly implemented reforms in all spheres of society
being sure of the correctness of the chosen path.
Entire life of the First President of the Republic of Uzbekistan
proved that he was a great son of Uzbek people, who devoted
his entire life and fully dedicated himself to the service of the