Toward a Bright Turkic Future

Today, we are witnessing a deepening global crisis of confidence. New problems are emerging in the provision of global security, and cases of disregarding the norms of international law are increasing.

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Flags of the member countries of Organization of Turkic States

The following article is based on a speech by the author in their capacity as the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

At the beginning of my address, I will quote the words of our great ancestor Bilga Khoqon, one of the founders of the ancient Turkic state: ‘Oh my Turkic people, return to your roots, know yourself, and thus you shall soar higher!’

These words of wisdom hold great significance in today’s dynamic world, especially as the Organization of Turkic States continues to improve its activities. The voices of our fraternal peoples, whose language, religion, and hearts are closely connected, are resonating louder and more powerfully throughout the world.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere congratulations to the people of Kazakhstan on their recently celebrated national holiday, the Republic Day.

I also extend my heartfelt congratulations to the President of Turkey, my brother, His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and the entire Turkish people on the 100th anniversary of the Republic Day.

We all recognize the significant place of the friendly people of Azerbaijan in the Turkic world. In recent years, under the leadership of my dear brother Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan has achieved tremendous success. Historical justice has been restored, and significant progress has been made in transforming the Karabakh region into a hub of creativity. In August, I visited the cities of Shusha and Fizuli and personally witnessed the large-scale transformations, modern infrastructure construction, and the restoration of destroyed cultural heritage. Once again, I sincerely congratulate the people of Azerbaijan on their great victory, the full restoration of the country’s territorial integrity.

In the new world order and evolving international institutions, the Organization of Turkic States occupies a uniquely important place. The territory of our Organization, home to 160 million people, offers vast economic opportunities. I am pleased to say that Uzbekistan has established a strategic partnership with all member-states of the Organization. The major documents signed last year at the Samarkand Summit, under the slogan ‘A New Era of Turkic Civilization: Towards Common Development and Prosperity,’ are being consistently implemented. During Uzbekistan’s Chairmanship, over a hundred different events were held, and important initiatives were put forward. New and more effective mechanisms for practical cooperation have been created based on the conceptual program ‘Turkic World Vision – 2040.’ Notable among them are the Organization of Trade Unions of the Turkic States, the Association of Notary Offices, the Academy of Space Research, the Geographical Council, and the Drought Prevention Institute.

We have established close relations with several high-profile global and regional structures, including the United Nations and its various subsidiary agencies, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Council for Cooperation and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia, and the Economic Cooperation Organization. Despite the growing global economic crisis, our systematic work has resulted in steady growth in mutual trade. I would like to thank all countries and the Secretariat of the Organization for their active support during Uzbekistan’s Chairmanship.

Today, we are witnessing a deepening global crisis of confidence. New problems are emerging in the provision of global security, and cases of disregarding the norms of international law are increasing. In particular, we are deeply concerned about the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian problem in the Middle East, which has become extremely dangerous. The armed conflict has caused enormous civilian casualties, especially among older people, women, and children, increasing the danger of conflict spillover. We call on the parties to immediately cease military actions and for humanitarian purposes come to a compromise. The only fair solution to this problem is to resolve the conflict based on ‘two states for two peoples.’ The Palestinian people have the right to an independent state, as provided for in United Nations resolutions. We need to announce our unanimous and determined position on this issue within our Organization to the entire world.

At our Summit, held under the slogan ‘Turkic Era,’ I would like to make the following proposals for the further development of our multilateral and long-term relations:

  1. Our main goal is to strengthen the principles of mutual respect, trust, and openness within the Organization to effectively overcome various obstacles together. In this regard, I believe it is necessary to develop a Charter of the Turkic World that expresses the unity of the Turkic peoples, their rich culture, and ancient values. I propose drafting this unique symbolic Charter with the participation of eminent scholars and experts in this field.
  2. The Turkic Investment Fund will be launched in the coming days. To strengthen industrial cooperation between our countries and implement large investment projects, we should also facilitate the establishment of the Turkic Development Bank in the next stage. We are ready to host this financial institution in Tashkent.
  3. We fully support the practical work started on the establishment of the Turkic States Trade Cooperation Research Centre. In the future, building on the capacities of the Centre, we need to jointly implement the following specific measures: a. Removal of trade barriers b. Widespread introduction of new mechanisms to increase export-import volumes c. Development of digital trading platforms
  4. The development and diversification of global logistics chains and transport corridors, the formation of a unified transit network, are of urgent importance. We support the measures to increase the capacity of the Middle Corridor to meet the growing demand for freight transportation. We also support the development of additional multi-network routes, including those corridors passing through our countries to China, South Asia, and Europe, and the digitalization of transport services. We propose to set up the Council of Railway authorities of our countries, and we are ready to host the Directorate of this structure in our country.
  5. We are interested in the development of comprehensive cooperation in the field of ecology. Since ancient times, our ancestors lived in harmony and coexistence with nature. Regrettably, today, we are witnessing an increase in a consumeristic approach to nature. The entire humanity is suffering from various problems caused by climate change. This situation requires urgent action from all of us. The establishment of the Turkic Ecology Forum at the ministerial level will represent a crucial step in this regard.
  6. The aspiration to elevate the Turkic civilization is directly associated with comprehensive support for technological advancements and progressive knowledge. I am confident that our creative, talented, and energetic youth will pave the way for a new Renaissance of the Turkic World. The scientific discoveries and spiritual legacy left by our great ancestors will provide a solid foundation for their future accomplishments. It is worth highlighting that member-states are carrying out extensive work to deeply study the exemplary activity and scientific and creative heritage left by our jadid ancestors who lived in the last century. To propel these efforts to a new stage, we invite your representatives to take an active part in the International Forum ‘Jadids: National Identity, Independence and Ideas of Statehood’ to be held in our country this December. Along with this, in order to empower the enterprising and talented youth living in the pursuit of innovation, we believe it would be expedient to establish the Turkic World Creative Youth Centre in Uzbekistan.

The establishment of peace and tranquillity in the multiethnic land of Afghanistan, which for millennia has been intertwined with the historical and cultural ties of the Turkic peoples, is the main condition for ensuring strategic stability and security in our region. However, in the current global context, marked by conflicts and wars in various parts of the world, this problem has increasingly slipped out of the attention of the international community. We urge not to reduce humanitarian aid to the Afghan people and call for the development of specific measures to address the acute social problems in this country. We need a peaceful and stable Afghanistan that is actively engaged in regional partnerships and economic cooperation with all of its neighbours. Our initiative to construct the Trans-Afghan railway precisely serves this noble purpose. Uzbekistan will continue to provide necessary assistance to the Afghan people. Through the logistics hub in Termez, we facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid, while our Training Center remains actively engaged in providing education to Afghan citizens.

I believe that the important documents and decisions adopted today, including the Summit Declaration and the Astana Act, will be the next bold step of our countries toward a bright Turkic future. There is no doubt that our brotherly nations, who throughout history have withstood numerous trials and found joint solutions, will secure great accomplishments in the future as well.

Source: Uzbekistan National News Agency (UzA)

Shavkat Mirziyoyev

Shavkat Mirziyoyev is an Uzbek politician who has been serving as the President of Uzbekistan and the Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Uzbekistan since December 2016.

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