Islam Abduganievich Karimov was born on January 30, 1938 in the city of Samarkand in a modest family of a civil servant, where daily hard work was a routine to make a living.
He lived his childhood in the harsh military and post-war years. Despite the fact that he and all of his relatives knew very well the true value of the earned piece of bread and suffered privations and hardships, they, like thousands of our compatriots, shared their home and bread with people evacuated to Uzbekistan during the World War II.
In 1945, he went to the Samarkand school No. 21 named after Alexander Pushkin and finished it with a gold medal (highest grades). During his school years, he used to read a lot, especially history books, and had a particular interest in exact sciences, he was fond of chess, modeling and table tennis.
In 1955, Islam Karimov was admitted to the Central Asian Polytechnic Institute. After graduation it in 1960 with a Diploma of mechanical engineer, he began his career at the TASHSELMASH (Tashkent Agricultural Machinery) factory, where in a short time he was promoted from an assistant foreman, to the positions of a foreman and an industrial engineer. The plant produced various types of machines for agriculture. It was important for Islam Karimov to experience everything first-hand, to be a part of production process, see the «dark» and «bright» sides of factory life.
Thanks to his assertiveness, knowledge and organizational skills, in 1961 he was appointed as an engineer to the Tashkent Aviation Plant, one of the largest enterprises of the military-industrial complex of the former Soviet Union. He worked there until 1966, eventually having become the leading design engineer.
Fate did not pamper him. He had to overcome many obstacles and barriers, but this only made him forge ahead and become stronger. He always went through life, relying first and foremost on his own strength and knowledge. This was the case in school years, at the institute, during his career on the factories, as well as in obtaining his degree in economics and defending his thesis.
He had to study, as they say, «on-the-job training».
In exactly this way he in 1967 was able to finish the evening department of the Tashkent Institute of National Economy, where in 1973 he defended his thesis on «The structure of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic’s industrial base and the main directions for its improvement».
In 1975 he graduated from the prestigious Institute of National Economy Management in Moscow with major in the modern management methods, organization of production and planning using economic and mathematical methods and computer technology.
In 1994, Islam Karimov received the academic degree of Doctor of Economic Sciences, the academic title of a full professor of Macroeconomics and he was elected as a full-fledged member of the Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan in «Economics».
In 1966, Islam Karimov was transferred to the State Planning Committee of Uzbekistan, where he started from the position of a chief specialist at the Science Department eventually became the First Deputy Chairman of the Committee, having earned reputation of a serious and unconventionally thinking gifted economist.
In 1983, he became Minister of Finance and in 1986 – Vice Chairman of the Council of Ministers – Chairman of the State Planning Committee of Uzbekistan.
Economist, scholar and practitioner Islam Karimov saw and realized clearly the whole depravity of the command-administrative system of management. He had passed through all stages in the State Planning Committee and in the Ministry of Finance, where Uzbekistan’s financial and economic development plans were actually drafted, and possessing analytical thinking he was aware of the accumulated problems better than anyone.
As the Chairman of the State Planning Committee of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic, in 1986 Islam Karimov had made extensive reviews of the situation in the Republic and he came to conclusion that the country was facing threat of economic collapse. Realizing the situation and intending to change it for the better, he drawn up and sent to the leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan the report «On the problems and prospects of development of Uzbekistan’s economy».
He expected that a serious conversation would take place and specific decisions would be made. However, his report caused such an irritation among the country’s leadership that his further stay in Tashkent became undesirable. Their intention to get rid out of the «inconvenient» Islam Karimov was so strong that they ignored the established procedure for appointing the First Secretary of the regional committee, i.e. he was appointed to his new post without undergoing an internship in the office of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and with no practical work experience in Communist Party structures. Thus, his approval to the post of First Secretary of the Regional Communist Party Committee of Kashkadarya region was developed on the session of the Politburo practically in absentia. In fact, it was a kind of an «exile» away from the capital.
Islam Karimov was transferred to a very problem-ridden region. Entire Uzbekistan was facing difficult social and economic situation, and in the Kashkadarya region it was further aggravated by the population’s complete distrust in the communist party elite because previous regional leadership had compromised itself. Evidently, this appointment was aimed to break Islam Karimov down, but it became a turning point in his destiny instead.
He had been working in Kashkadarya for about three years. At that time he primarily did his best to win hearts and minds of people, change public opinion vis-à-vis the authorities, and eventually improve the entire situation in the region. And that's exactly what he did. During the time he was in the office about 300 km of roads, markets, social and cultural facilities were built. People in the region still warmly recall the days when Islam Abduganievich Karimov worked there.
Whatever position Islam Karimov held, he first of all remained a citizen of his Homeland, who wished to make his people happy and prosperous with all his heart and soul. And people having witnessed their lives getting positive changes paid him back not only with their great confidence, but they became true associates of their leader.
His merits before the Homeland in those years were marked by such high state awards as the Order of the Red Banner of Labor (1981) and the Order of Friendship of Peoples (1988).
On June 23, 1989, Islam Karimov was elected as First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan and stood at the helm of Uzbekistan, which at the time was experiencing dramatic developments.
To fully understand the situation in Uzbekistan when Islam Karimov came into the office we have to refer to his own words: «Let's recall 1989, when the Soviet communist system still reigned. There were ominous events at the end of May – early June called «the Fergana tragedy», which shocked the entire former Soviet Union and were near to blow up the situation not only in Uzbekistan, but throughout Central Asia».
And at the very time when the situation in the country was extremely flammable, and land was literally «on fire» not only throughout the Fergana Valley, but also in some places of the Tashkent, Syrdarya and other regions, Uzbekistan found a leader who had the personal courage and statesman-like vision of the very essence of ongoing developments and felt himself responsible for his people and country.
It was clear for Islam Karimov that such state of affairs was due to the bankruptcy of administrative command system, ignoring the ethnic, economic and social issues of the republic as well as policies of diktat and humiliation the local people. People of Uzbekistan had not healed the wounds yet inflicted by the so-called «Cottongate» or «Uzbekgate» instituted by the agonizing Central Government.
The republic economy was in state of collapse primarily because it was geared towards raw materials. Dissatisfaction dire socio-economic situation had reached the terminal end of the people's patience all over the country but especially in the densely populated Fergana Valley.
We can unambiguously state today that Islam Karimov was the one who had stopped the inter-ethnic confrontation and had extinguished the incipient fire of the civil war. By this he had saved lives of hundreds of thousands, and maybe millions of people, had ensured peace and tranquility both in our country and in the entire multinational Central Asian region.
Literally the next day Islam Karimov was elected as the Head of Uzbekistan, on 24 June 1989, he stated emphatically at the session of the Government of Uzbekistan: «From now on, we cannot live in the old way, and time itself will not allow this». Then he insistently proceeded to implement step by step his own hard-fought and well-thought-out Uzbekistan development program.
Already in August 1989 along with other drastic measures, it was adopted an unprecedented decision to provide households of almost 2.5 million families with about 400,000 hectares of irrigated land. This, undoubtedly, had become an essential stage in the process of solving acute social problems, preserving peace and stability all over the country. It is not difficult to appreciate the whole scale of this first priority transformation if we would take into account the following historical fact that during the entire last 72 years of Soviet era, the rural population of Uzbekistan was allowed to have only about 300 thousand hectares of land for their households.
The adoption in October 1989 of the State Language Law was another bold political step by Islam Karimov. Previously even in Uzbekistan the Uzbek language used to be in subordinate roles for a very long time. But this Law had given it the status of the State Language. It was a landmark event in raising national self-consciousness of the Uzbek people and it was the first victory on the road to gaining Independence.
It should be noted that Uzbekistan at that time remained yet as a part of the Soviet Union, which still continued to exercise control of the entire gigantic country through its tough command and administrative system. And despite above mentioned decisions contradicted the policies of the Center; they had been nevertheless adopted and implemented.
According to imposed on Uzbekistan resolutions, almost 80-90 percent of the entire sown areas of the country were exclusively planted with one monoculture – the cotton. It had caused a scope of serious social and economic problems. And there was no one of the previous republic leader but Islam Karimov who had started listen to people needs and had taken responsibility to tackle with their pressing problems.
Islam Karimov had been always ready to show his great personal courage. Suffice to recall how he tried to persuade people by just power of words without regard for his own safety in the raging protest rallies in the Buka and Parkent districts of the Tashkent region, and he succeeded. Another example, at the end of 1991 Islam Karimov entered the building of the Namangan Regional Administration fully controlled by extremists. He was all alone with no security guards. There he has clearly defined his position in the Nation-building in a democratic and secular way which ruled out any manifestation of extremism including religious one.
The above-mentioned facts reflect the actual reality of that challenging time much convincingly than myriads of other words and no comments required.
In March 1990 the President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev and his entourage were surprised and frustrated when they had found out that Uzbekistan was first among all Soviet Republics to set up the position of its own President. On March 24, 1990 Islam Karimov was elected as the First President of Uzbekistan at the session of the Supreme Council of Uzbekistan.
On June 21, 1990, delegates of the second session of the Supreme Council of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic adopted the Declaration of Sovereignty on the initiative of Islam Karimov.
These were bold and decisive strides in the struggle for our independence and confirmed that the multi-million people of Uzbekistan no longer wished to live under the pressure of the communist ideology dictated from the Center.
It should be noted that, despite established legal framework, there was still a long way to the true Independence. Moreover, although the Soviet leadership was at the stage of terminal agony, it still had one of the world's strongest repressive machines at its disposal and could at any moment bring to a halt so called «Sovereignties Parade».
It's precisely at times like this that the real leader, sensing the support and trust of his people, shows his firmness, courage and determination taking responsibility for its fate and the country as a whole.
On 31 August 1991, at the extraordinary Sixth Session of the 12th convocation of the Supreme Council of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic, Islam Karimov proclaimed the State Independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan. On the same day, he signed the Act of the Foundations of State Independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Already in August 1990, Islam Karimov began the reorganization of the Uzbekistan Communist Party. Seeking to radically change its ideology and policy he had applied in practice the folk wisdom, which says: «Do not destroy the old house unless you have built a new one». The ruling Communist Party, which had enormous human and administrative resources, had been reformed into a People’s Democratic Party with a fundamentally new ideology and policy.
Due to fall of the credibility of communist ideology, alternative parties and movements such as «Birlik» and «Erk» emerged and proclaimed themselves as an opposition.
Despite the complexity of the domestic political situation in the country, Islam Karimov decided to take a bold step – he initiated the nationwide presidential elections on an alternative and multi-party basis demonstrating commitment to pluralism and democratic values.
The elections were held on December 29, 1991 on the basis of universal, equal and direct suffrage by secret ballot. Islam Abduganievich Karimov gained the absolute majority of votes (86% of voters cast their ballot for him) and he was elected as the President of Uzbekistan.
Simultaneously with the presidential elections a referendum of Uzbekistan's independence was held. Virtually everyone who came to polling stations had voted for the Independence and Sovereignty of Uzbekistan.
Such a convincing victory undoubtedly gave Islam Karimov even greater confidence in his commitments towards strengthening independence and implementing long-awaited political and economic reforms, and it had confirmed the legitimacy of his presidency.
In a historically short period, the Basic Law: the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan had been drafted and enacted. The main principles of Nation-building and public development had been clearly stipulated in the Constitution. Islam Karimov was deeply involved in drafting the Constitution. He had reviewed in detail the Constitutions of such countries as the USA, Germany, Japan, Canada, France, Portugal, Italy, Sweden, Turkey, Spain, India, Pakistan and Egypt in order to use their constitutional experience in drafting the Basic Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Leading the Commission responsible for drafting the new Constitution, Islam Karimov believed that the main message should be the vision of Uzbekistan as a sovereign democratic state with a great future and committed to humanity and guarantee of rights and freedoms of citizens regardless of their nationality, religion, social status and political preferences.
Within three months, the draft of the Constitution underwent a nationwide discussion and more than 6,000 proposals were submitted to the Commission where they had been reviewed.
The Supreme Council of Uzbekistan adopted this historic document on December 8, 1992.
The new Constitution inextricably binds the people and the State by rights and obligations. In this respect, the document has incorporated almost all provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: sanctity of life, freedom of the individual and human rights.
The new attitude to the Property as the basis for the modern Society-building became a vital principle. In the new Constitution Private Property had been declared equal to other forms of ownership and protected by the state and its institutions. It should be noted that previously the legal system of the former Soviet Union in every possible way did its utmost to avoid the concept of «Private Property» by substituting it with the term «Personal Property».
After many years of One-Party monopoly new legal bases were created which embodies the principle of separation of powers of: legislative, executive and judicial.
It was particularly noteworthy that during drafting the new Constitution the provisions of the fundamental documents of the UN and the principles of international law were strictly complied with.
Even the most discerning experts from European countries and the United States, as well as numerous experts from the UN and the Council for Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) after careful review of Basic Law adopted by the Supreme Council had recognized that it complies with generally accepted democratic norms. Therefore, Islam Karimov had every right to say that: «The Constitution is our great achievement».
Islam Karimov was consecutively re-elected as the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan through a direct, secret and universal ballot each time gaining an absolute majority of the votes cast. This was the case on January 9, 2000; December 23, 2007; March 29, 2015.
Currently, there are four political parties in the country that have their own programs of action and the electorate participating in elections of all levels, including the election of the President of the country, of deputies of the Oliy Majlis (Parliament) and local Kengashes (Councils). They are the People’s Democratic Party of Uzbekistan «Adolat» (Justice), Social Democratic Party of Uzbekistan «Milliy Tiklanish» (National Revival), Democratic Party of Uzbekistan, the Movement of Entrepreneurs and Businesspeople – the Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan. In addition, the Environmental Movement of Uzbekistan actively works in the country.
Activities for deliberately and gradually dismantle the old centralized totalitarian state system and economic management were carried out to form the foundations of the new political and state structure of Independent Uzbekistan, to create an integral system of constitutional representative bodies of central and local authorities.
The Head of State has created an effective system of executive power that is capable to implement the adopted laws, to ensure the protection of civil rights and freedoms, to carry out political and economic reforms, but it is accountable in its activity to the Oliy Majlis (parliament) and the President. The institution of Hokims (Governors and Mayors) is in charge of the development of designated regions, districts or cities.
The system of law enforcement agencies and national security of Uzbekistan had been formed completely on the new basis and in a short time. The National Armed Forces had been also built and Islam Karimov as the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the Supreme Commander-in-Chief was in-charge of them.
In the meantime, the territorial subordination of the structural divisions of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and state security bodies had been basically established within one republic, the situation with the Armed Forces wasn't so easy.
Uzbekistan did not have its own Armed Forces. On its territory there were some military units of the huge Turkestan military district responsible for territories of several republics.
Taking into account the alarming developments had been going on around Uzbekistan, especially in Tajikistan and Afghanistan, all mentioned above issues required immediate solutions.
In general, an enormous amount of work had been carried out to create our own National Armed Forces without a significant loss of military capability of their military units. The Law enforcement and National security agencies had been reformed, along with that. Thus, it had been set up such a system that even today provides reliable protection of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Uzbekistan as well as it maintains constitutional and public order in the country.
Islam Karimov paid a great attention to the establishment and strengthening the judiciary, to its democratization and liberalization as well as to ensure independence, objectivity and impartiality of judges. During the judicial reforms, specialization among courts had been introduced, the procedures of cassations and appellations had been reformed, and equality of parties had been ensured at all stages of the trials.
One of the important features of Uzbekistan's democratic development was the creation of an effective system of national human rights institutions: Commissioner for Human Rights of the Oliy Majlis (Ombudsman), the National Center for Human Rights, and Institute for Monitoring Current Legislation at the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Avoiding duplication of efforts of each other and independently, they make their contribution to promote respect for the rule of law and protection of the rights of citizens in accordance with the law, and they conduct monitoring of current legislation.
Freedom of activity of self-government bodies of citizens, political parties, movements, trade unions, public associations and foundations, non-governmental non-commercial organizations (NGOs), independent media is guaranteed. Altogether they constitute the institutional structure of civil society in Uzbekistan. They not only grew in number, but also the efficiency of their work had been increased.
A unique public institution of self-governance that originated in the depths of centuries such as the Makhalla is of great importance in the life of the people of Uzbekistan. Traditions related to the Makhalla, such as good-neighborliness and mutual respect, tolerance, charity, care for vulnerable people had been revived and developed in the years of Independence.
Today, about 10,000 self-governing public institutions perform over 30 functions that previously were in hands of local government. Particularly they effectively tackle with many issues such as local social-economic development, promotion spiritual and moral values in society, fostering a harmoniously developed young generation, increasing employment of the people, protection the environment and neighborhood improvement.
No country is inconceivable without such attributes of statehood as a flag and an emblem. And it is necessary to note such little-known fact that Islam Karimov was the author of these most important attributes of independent Uzbekistan. He also owns authorship for the creation of such State awards as:
Order of «Mustakillik» («Independence»);
Order of «Amir Temur»;
Order of «Buyuk hizmatlari uchun» («Distinguished service»).
With the attainment of Uzbekistan independence, President Islam Karimov embarked on an active foreign policy.
The recognition of Uzbekistan as a sovereign and an independent state, as well as a full-fledged subject of international law was the most important task of that period. It was necessary to conduct concrete actions and fulfill fundamental changes which were subject to be watched by the entire world.
On March 2, 1992, Uzbekistan was acceded to the United Nations, as a full-fledged subject of international law. This was a landmark event in the history of the country and it opened new opportunities for active development of international economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation. 133 countries established diplomatic relations with Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan became a member of more than 100 international organizations, actively participating in the work of prominent international institutions, such as the United Nations, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Commonwealth of Independent States, etc., making a significant contribution to the addressing of many problems of regional and global development.
And here it was essential to solve a fundamental problem that was to create practically from scratch the apparatus of foreign policy and foreign economic activities. The most challenging issue was the lack of qualified personnel. It was decided to train them in Uzbekistan, relying on the talented youth of our people.
In addition, the attendance of Islam Karimov in the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe held in Helsinki in July 1992 served as the recognition of the international standing of Uzbekistan. He chaired that meeting and discussed the CSCE final document «The Challenges of Change». 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.
He was among the first who from the high UN rostrum raised the issue that the «plague» of the 21st century – a terrorism and closely associated with it an illegal drug trafficking could be eliminated only by joint efforts. He proposed concrete measures to establish in Central Asia a «security belt». These initiatives were implemented with the creation of the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre for Combating the Illicit Trafficking of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and their Precursors (CARICC) and the opening of the headquarters of the Regional Antiterrorist Structure (RATS) of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Uzbekistan.
Islam Karimov initiated and consistently made efforts to establish a nuclear-weapon-free zone in Central Asia, the final formation of which was enshrined in the Protocol on Security Assurances to the Treaty on the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone, signed by the five nuclear powers – China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
It should be noted that Uzbekistan is one of the founder states of the SCO and has twice chaired this Organization.
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.
The Concept of Foreign Policy Activity of the Republic of Uzbekistan was also developed under the leadership of President Islam Karimov. It is based on peace and non-interference in the internal affairs of other states, and the peaceful, non-violent settlement of disputes and conflicts. In 2012, this document was approved by the National Parliament.
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 Uzbekistan.
He always stressed that «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».
For the outstanding contribution into building the sovereign and independent Uzbekistan, creation a democratic state ruled by law, ensuring civil peace and national harmony, as well as for persistence and courage had been shown by him, Islam Karimov was awarded the title of «O’zbekiston Qahramoni» (Hero of Uzbekistan, 1994), and was awarded the Orders «Mustaqillik» (Independence, 1996) and «Amir Temur» (1997).
The activities of Islam Abduganievich Karimov were highly appreciated also internationally and awarded as following:
- Insignia of the Honorary Award of the President of Ukraine (Ukraine), 1992.
- Grand Order of Mugunghwa (Republic of Korea), 1995.
- Knights Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (Italy), 1997.
- Order of Altyn Kyran (Kazakhstan), 1997.
- Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise, 1st degree (Ukraine), 1998.
- Grand Cross of the Order of Vytautas the Great (Lithuania), 2002.
- Order of Civil Merit of the highest distinction (Spain), 2003.
- Order of Merit of the 1st degree (Poland), 2003.
- Order Golden Fleece (Georgia), 2003.
- Order of Stara Planina (Bulgaria), 2003.
- Order of the Savior (Greece), 2003.
- Golden Order and the honorary title of «Turkmenistanyn Hormatly il yasulusy» (Turkmenistan), 2007.
- Order the Three Stars (Latvia), 2008.
- Presidential Order of Excellence (Georgia), 2013.
- Order of the Cross of Recognition, 1st degree (Latvia), 2013.
- Order of «Magtymguly Adyndaky Halkara Bayragy» and International Award «Makhtumkuli» (Turkmenistan), 2014.
Since early days of Independence, Islam Karimov had developed the foundations of the national-state, socio-economic and spiritual and moral renewal of the Nation, now it is well known as the «Uzbek model», based on following five principles:
-priority of the economy over politics, de-ideologization of both domestic and external economic relations;
-Government should act as the main reformer and innovator in the democratic changes during the transition period;
-primacy rule of law in all spheres of civic life;
-strong social policy especially taking into account the challenging demographic situation;
-the process of transition to a market economy should be conducted in an evolutionary and gradual way, avoiding «revolutionary leaps».
Comprehensive reforms carried out by Islam Karimov brought, first of all, 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 investments, including foreign ones. All of this contributed to building the essential capacities, increasing the country's competitiveness, laying a solid foundation for further sustainable development of the Nation.
Small and private business secures an important place in the national economy. The development of private property and private entrepreneurship was defined as the Nation’s one of the most important directions of economic policy. The private sector has been granted privileges and preferences, as well as ensured access to raw materials.
Brand new high-tech sectors such as petrochemical and automobile industry have 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 have been given new impetus.
Such unique industrial facilities as Ustyurt and Shurtan gas-chemical complexes, Bukhara Oil Refinery, Kungrad Soda Plant, Dekhkanabad Potash Fertilizer Plant, automobile plants in Andijan, Samarkand, Tashkent and Khorezm regions had been built.
Modern road-transport and engineering-communication infrastructure had been created in the country, which includes the construction of the railway lines Angren-Pap with a unique tunnel through the Kamchik mountain pass, as well as Tashguzar-Baysun-Kumkurgan line. First high-speed train in Central Asia was launched on routes Tashkent-Samarkand-Bukhara-Karshi. International airports had been modernized. The international logistic centre on the basis of Navoi Airport, as well as the Uzbek National Highway was established.
It is impossible to imagine a modern state without a developed infrastructure. Increasing national capabilities in the field of information and communication technologies and their wide application in all areas of the national economy were done in rapid rates. The Program for development and modernization of engineering-communication and road transport infrastructure has been drawn up and is being implemented.
During the years of Independence, the image of the country and its cities and villages has radically changed. In fact, today the entire Uzbekistan looks like a huge construction site. 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.
At the initiative of Islam Karimov, the State Program for the construction of individual standard design housing in rural areas with allocation of preferential long-term mortgage loans was adopted in order to create modern, close to urban housing conditions for rural residents.
The key factors of significant success in agriculture have been, primarily, the establishment of the farmers’ movement and the creation of all necessary conditions for its development and its turning into a decisive force in the countryside, backbone of society as well as consolidating among farmers the sense of the true ownership of land and increasing their motivation in the results of their labor.
Currently, almost entire National agricultural products are produced by farmers’ enterprises. Uzbekistan provides basic food supplies not only for its population, but also exports wheat and about 200 types of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables.
Such sustainable achievements in the economy make it possible to implement an effective social policy, especially in the areas of education, health care and targeted support for various segments of the population.
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 centres had been established. Multidisciplinary, medical, prenatal and screening centres 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.
In accordance with the Decree of the First President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, in March 1993, the order of «Soghlom Avlod Uchun» (For a Healthy Generation) state award was created to decorate those who made a special contribution to the protection of motherhood and childhood, improvement of health, spiritual moral and physical education of the younger generation, promotion of the feeling of patriotism and love for the Motherland, as well as for active participation in the development of charitable activities for the benefit of children.
In April 1993, the «Soghlom Avlod Uchun» International Charity Fund was established and became the first non-governmental foundation in the history of independent Uzbekistan.
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 country, and it was acknowledged by the international community.
Over the years of Independence, maternal and infant mortality in the country decreased 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 have been 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, which was defined by President Islam Karimov as «Reforms are not for the sake of reforms, but for the people», has manifested itself in practice.
By completely abandoning the old dogmas and stereotypes, the large-scale National Program for personnel training was developed and implemented in practice at the initiative of Islam Karimov. In fact it was a drastic reform of education system based on the most up-to-date international standards and became the main priority of government 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, Inha University of South Korea are successfully operating in the country.
Islam Karimov himself directed of works on the creation and implementation of fundamentally new system of upbringing and education the younger generation, which has radically changed the way of thinking and outlook of the nation’s youth.
Millions of children, young men and women are receiving a high level education and training on the basis of new educational standards and curricula, as well as universal and national values, allowing them to find their rightful place in life, demonstrating the effectiveness of Uzbekistan’s educational system, as well as its competitiveness in the international arena.
This is confirmed by the survey of the World Intellectual Property Organization under which Uzbekistan ranks the fifth in the world in terms of the level of development of the education system, including the share of funds allocated for educational purposes.
For his great contribution to the development of the economy, science and education Islam Karimov was elected as honorary doctor and academician of a number of the foreign universities, including:
- Honorary Professor of the Turkestan State University named after Akhmet Yassawi (Kazakhstan), March 1992.
- Honorary Professor of University of Ez-Zitouna (Tunisia), 1992.
- Doctor of economic sciences of the Sogan University (Republic of Korea), 1992.
- Honorary Professor of Al-Azhar University (Egypt), 1992.
- Honorary Doctor of Law of Jawaharlal Nehru University (India), 1994.
- Honorary Doctor of Sciences of Baku State University (Azerbaijan), 1996.
- Honorary Member of the Presidium of the International Academy of Sciences, Education, Industry and Arts (USA), 1997.
- Honorary Doctor of Sciences of the Russian Academy of Economics named after Plekhanov (Russia), 1998.
- Full member, Academician of the Academy of Sciences of Aviation and Aeronautics (Russia), 1998.
- Honorary member, Academician of the International Academy of Higher School (Russia), 1999.
- Honorary Professor of Economics, Fontys University (The Netherlands), 2000.
- Member of the International Club of Honorary Doctors of Sciences, the Russian Academy of Economics named after Plekhanov (Russia), 2000.
- Honorary Professor of Moscow State University named after Lomonosov (Russia), 2001.
- Honorary Professor of the Waseda University (Japan), 2002.
- Honorary Doctor of the Soka University (Japan), 2002.
- Professor of Economics, University of Sorbonne-Paris IV (France), 2003.
- Foreign member of the Academy of Mining Sciences of Russia with a gold medal «Miner of Russia» (Russia), 2004.
- Honorary Doctor of Sciences, Kiev National University named after Taras Shevchenko (Ukraine), 2004.
At the initiative of the Head of State of a network of 300 children’s schools of music and art, as well as a three-tier system of mass engagement of the younger generation into sports were created. It was one of the key parts of the work aimed to build a healthy, intellectually and spiritually matured young generation.
This system includes such already traditional sports tournaments «Umid Nihollari» (Offspring of Hope) for schoolchildren, «Barkamol Avlod» (Comprehensively Advanced Generation) for the students of professional colleges and academic lyceums, as well as the University sport games for the students of higher education institutions. Hundreds of new, modern sports centres, gyms, stadiums and other sports facilities had been built, and the existing ones had been completely reconstructed across all over the country even at its most remote areas. The unique practices of sports popularization, aimed primarily at young people, help to promote philosophy of a healthy lifestyle among the entire population of the country.
At the initiative of Islam Abduganievich Karimov, the Fund for the Development of Children's Sport was established. And he by himself headed the board of its trustees. Thanks to the Fund, millions of children throughout Uzbekistan were given the opportunities to practice their favourite sports in modern gyms and stadiums. This became a completely new approach for our country in terms of promoting a healthy lifestyle, which is enshrined in the concept of «A healthy younger generation is the benchmark of the great future of the country». It had created the firm foundation for the remarkable achievements of Uzbek athletes, which are clearly visible in the many awards they have won during various international competitions over the years of independence. Olympic medals are especially prestigious for the country. In total, during the Olympic Games the country’s athletes won 13 gold, 9 silver and 19 bronze medals. At the Paralympics, the achievements of Uzbekistan’s representatives are marked with 8 gold, 7 silver and 17 bronze medals.
At present, there are over 80 sports federations in Uzbekistan. Their main tasks are the coordination and promotion of sport in the country.
Efforts of Islam Karimov to the promote sports and popularise a healthy lifestyle in Uzbekistan were internationally recognized and he received the following high sports awards:
- Golden Order of the International Olympic Committee, 1996.
- Golden Order and Medal of the Asian Olympic Council, 1996.
- Golden Order of the United World Wrestling (Fédération Internationale des Luttes Associées, FILA), 1999.
- Golden Order of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), 2001.
- Golden Order of the International Kurash Association (IKA) 2002.
- Gold Medal of the International Federation of Association Football (Fédération Internationale de Football Association, FIFA), 2012.
- Golden Order of the Asian Paralympics Committee, 2013.
- Golden Order of the Federation International Amateur Sambo (FIAS).
- Gold Medal of the International Olympic Committee, 2015.
- The Golden Necklace of the Asian Olympic Council, 2015.
- Asian Chess Annual Excellence Award of the Asian Chess Federation, 2015.
- The Golden Necklace of the Amateur International Boxing Association (AIBA), 2016.
Islam Karimov was a wise President. Many of his words and expressions are so aphoristic and profound in meaning that they became the basis of tranquility and the moral pillar of life for millions of our compatriots. For instance, in the expression «Uzbekistan is our common home» clearly and consistently implemented principle that 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 centres. Such cultural and ethnic diversity is considered as an integral part of the country’s life, which forms a unique, rich palette of society. Uzbekistan’s positive experience in strengthening interethnic relations is being studied in many countries.
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.
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 self-consciousness, recovery its historical memory, careful preservation of its enormous scientific and cultural potential, which now are nourishing the modern development of Uzbekistan.
Outstanding statesmen, scientists, scholars, philosophers, poets and enlighteners had grown on this land. Among them were Amir Temur, Mirzo Ulugbek, Zahiriddin Muhammad Babur, Imam al-Bukhari, Bahauddin Naqshband, Abu Ali ibn Sino, Abu Rayhan Beruni, Muhammad Khorezmi, Ahmad al-Ferghani, Imam at-Termizi, Imam al-Maturidi, Alisher Navoi, Mahmud az-Zamakhshari and many others who created the unique phenomenon now well-known as «Oriental Renaissance». The entire world community recognizes their invaluable contribution to the development of Islamic civilization and world science. Their names are etched in gold letters in the history of world civilization.
They lived and created in beautiful cities, which used to be the centres of science, education, spiritual culture in the past, but now they are included into the World Cultural Heritage List. At the initiative of UNESCO and with the support of the Head of State and the international community, the 2750th Anniversary of Samarkand, the 2700th Anniversary of Karshi, the 2500th Anniversaries of Bukhara, Khiva and Termez, the 2000th Anniversary of Margilan, as well as the jubilees of other cities of Uzbekistan were widely celebrated.
These efforts of Islam Karimov did not go unnoticed and were decorated with the following high awards:
- UNESCO’s Avicenna Gold Medal, 1998.
- UNESCO’s Samarkand 2750 years Gold and Silver Medals.
- UNESCO’s Borobodur Gold Medal.
- UNESCO’s Silk Road Silver Medal.
- UNESCO’s Aristotle Medal.
- UNESCO’s medals dedicated to the anniversaries and memorable dates of cities: Fes (Morocco), Istanbul (Turkey).
- Gold Medal of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), 1996.
- Order of the Russian Orthodox Church «Saint Blessed Prince Daniel of Moscow», I degree (Russia), 1998.
- Gold Medal of the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC), 1999.
- Gold Medal of the Senate of Spain, 2003.
- Prize of the World Public Forum «Dialogue of Civilizations» with the golden star «Apostle Andrew of the First-Call» and the Order of the Forum (Russia), 2003.
- Order of St. Nicholas the Miracle-Worker, the 1st degree of the International Award Fund (Ukraine), 2004.
- Memorial sign «Honorary Citizen of Seoul» (Republic of Korea), 2006.
- Order of «Shaykh-ul-Islam» from the Religious Council of the Muslims of the Caucasus (Azerbaijan), 2011.
Islam Karimov is the author of numerous works that were published in the following books:
- Uzbekistan: national Independence, economics, policy, ideology;
- Our goal: free and prosperous Motherland;
- Motherland is sacred for everyone;
- On the way of constructive endeavor;
- Thinking and working in a new manner is the requirement of the times;
- On the road to security and sustainable development;
- We build our future with our own hands;
- Our supreme goal is the Independence and Prosperity of the Homeland, the freedom and well-being of the Nation;
- Each and every one of us is responsible for the prosperity of the Homeland;
- We must struggle for security and peace;
- The path chosen by us is the path to democratic development and cooperation with progressive world;
- Peaceful life and security of the country depend on the unity and resolute will of our Nation;
- The Uzbek people will never depend on anyone;
- Human rights and freedoms are the highest value;
- Liberalization of society, deepening of reforms, raising the spirituality and living standards are the criterion and goal of our entire activities;
- On the path of modernization of the country and sustainable economic development;
- Securing progressive and sustainable development of the country is our most important task;
- On the path of overcoming the consequences of the global crisis, modernization of the Nation and achieving the level of developed countries;
- Further advancement of democratic reforms and building a civil society are the main criterions of development of the Nation;
- Our way is deepening democratic reforms and the consistent continuation of the country's modernization;
- On the path of decisive continuation of further prosperity and modernization of the country;
- Achievements and successes of Uzbekistan confirm righteous path of reforms chosen by us;
- Our most urgent task is to maintain the momentum and elevate the started reforms to a new level;
- Further deepening of reforms, structural transformations in the economy, creation of necessary conditions for ensuring the priority of private property, small business and entrepreneurship is decisive factor of development of our country at the current stage.
Islam Karimov’s works were translated into English, Arabic, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, German, Russian, Turkish, French, Hindi and other languages.
In one of his speeches, President Karimov said the words that came from the bottom of his heart and which reflected his life credo:
«We live in a wonderful country with its unique and inimitable nature, hard-working and generous people. Not everyone has been blessed with a destiny to be born and live in such country.
Being worthy of this great blessing, faithfully serving the Motherland and its people is indeed a great happiness for all of us.
I see the whole meaning of my life in one thing: selflessly and faithfully serving my great Nation for the sake of its happiness and prosperity».
The biography of a prominent political figure and statesman would be incomplete without revealing some features of his character and details of his life that were shared by the family members and friends of the First President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov. It is impossible to have a full picture of this extraordinary man and multifaceted personality without such memories.
Islam Karimov was a loving son, husband, father and grandfather. With great love and warmly he did speak about his parents, especially about his mother Sanobaroyi. He treated his six brothers with respect. He was always grateful to his only sister Mekhriniso.
Since school years, he used to read a lot and his classmates had looked up to his school essays. According to their memories he often remained at school after classes to help those who needed his assistance.
Islam Karimov was a devoted friend and, despite his extremely busy schedule, continued to communicate with school and university friends.
It is interesting to read a remembrance of one of his classmates, who currently lives in Kazan city of Russia. Describing their school years, she recalled a moment that very well characterizes Islsm Karimov’s personal qualities. Once during the summer fruit harvesting, one of the adults asked the children what they would like to be in the future.
Many named such professions as a pilot or a plant turner etc. But the answer of young Islam stunned all children and adults. «I want to be just like Amir Temur», said the future leader of the country.
Danko is the literary character from the third part of Maxim Gorky’s novel «The Old Woman Izergil». He was a young man who sacrificed himself and saved his people by burning his heart. Danko was one of the favorite literary characters of young Islam and remained as such until his last days. Danko’s motto «Shine onto others by burning yourself» for a long time found a place in the teenager’s heart and it was frequently reiterated in subsequent years, eventually became distinctive life creed of the President.
During childhood and teenager years, he was fond of sports and kept this passion throughout his life. Islam Karimov practiced wrestling, played table tennis and chess, liked cycling and basketball and even at the advanced age he surprised everyone by throwing a ball accurately into a hoop.
Throughout his life, chess remained his favorite game in rare moments of rest. It gave him the opportunity to switch attention and disconnect himself from state problems for a moment, enjoying the logic of the game and focusing on unusual chess combinations. This was particularly evident on way back home during long flights when Islam Karimov was returning from business trips. He could spend hours over a chessboard.
Islam Karimov enjoyed riding a bicycle very much and handed over this passion to his children and grandchildren.
Having a resolute will and firm character, at the age of 50, he learned how to play tennis. Playing in the evenings after the work and concentrating his attention on the game, Islam Karimov was able to get away for a short while from the daily routines.
Attaching great importance to the development of sport in the country, he did his best to keep himself in a good physical shape by daily trainings in gym. Thus he was able to show high efficiency by working up to 10 hours a day.
Although Islam Karimov had never taken days off, in the rare moments of rest he preferred to go to the Kainarsay Mountains of the Tashkent region than to any kind of other resorts. There he walked a lot and enjoyed the nature in a quiet, calm environment, noticing even the slightest seasonal changes and trying to captivate his companions with his attitude. In such an environment he enjoyed spending time with his children, grandchildren and close people. Islam Karimov didn't like hustle and noisy companies. Even while on vacation, he constantly returned to the solution of urgent problems.
He had three children and six grandchildren and he greatly enjoyed communicate with them.
His spouse, Tatyana Karimova, was a true friend, assistant, soul-mate, who shared all hardships of their life, and happily lived with Islam Karimov for 47 years.
Islam Abduganievich Karimov, the Founding Father of our Independent State, passed away on 2 September, 2016 at 20:55 in Tashkent after acute impairment of cerebral circulation resulting in a with a massive subarachnoid hemorrhage (cerebral stroke).
Sincere love and deep respect for the First President was profoundly manifested in the days of sorrow, when the entire nation saw him off to his final journey with eyes full of tears. About 60 years ago, a young talented boy just graduated from school with a gold medal went away to meet his fate and now returned to his native land as the President of Independent Uzbekistan. Islam Karimov’s demise has become the hardest and irreplaceable loss for all people of Uzbekistan.
Islam Karimov wished to be buried in the land of his native city of Samarkand. His last will was fulfilled on 3 September, 2016. The First President of Uzbekistan was buried in his homeland, in Samarkand near the ancient mosque of Khazrati Khizr.
While working on his speech dedicated to the 25th Anniversary of Uzbekistan's Independence, Islam Karimov wanted to finish it with the words that he was not destined to voice. These words sound like a testament for our people now:
«Барча эзгу ишларимизда Яратганнинг ўзи қўлласин, ўзи мададкор бўлсин!
Юртимиз тинч, осмонимиз мусаффо, халқимиз омон бўлсин!
Мустақиллигимиз абадий бўлсин!»
Which can be translated as:
«May the Almighty always support and help us in all our good deeds and endeavors!
May peace and tranquility always prevail in our country, let our sky be always clear!
Let our Independence be eternal! »
The heads of foreign state and government, authoritative international organizations, prominent public figures, representatives of business and academic circles expressed their condolences with passing away of the First President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov. The messages contain deep condolences to the leadership, the people of Uzbekistan, and family members of Islam Karimov.
The condolences were extended by:
UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon
President of the United States of America, Barack Obama
President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin
Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov
Chairman of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping
Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, Li Keqiang
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, Wang Yi
President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev
Chairman of the Majlis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nurlan Nigmatulin
President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov
President of the Republic of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon
President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Almazbek Atambayev
President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Mohammad Ashraf Ghani
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev
President of the Republic of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, Vladimir Makei
President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko
President of the Republic of Korea, Park Geun-hye
Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea, Hwang Kyo-ahn
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea, Yun Byung-se
Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzō Abe
Spouse of the Prime Minister of Japan, Akie Abe
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance of Japan, Taro Aso
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Fumio Kishida
President of the Republic of India, Pranab Mukherjee
President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey, Binali Yıldırım
President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Mamnoon Hussain
Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hassan Rouhani
President of the Republic of Singapore, Tony Tan Keng Yam
President of the Federal Republic of Germany, Joachim Gauck
King of the Belgians, Philippe
President of the Republic of Latvia, Raimonds Vējonis
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia, Edgars Rinkēvičs
Member of Saeima of the Republic of Latvia, Andrey Klementiev
President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor
Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth of Independent States, Sergey Lebedev
Secretariat of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization
Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Nikolay Borduzha
United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Administrator, Helen Clark
Chairman and CEO of MAXAM (Spain), José Fernando Sánchez-Junco
Secretary General of the Association of Orientalists of Spain, Professor Jesus Hill
Chairman of the American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce, Carolyn Lamm
President of the American-Uzbekistan Chamber of Commerce, Steven Nadherny
President of the Turkestanian-American Association, Abdullah Kwaja
Rector of the Plekhanov Russian University of Economics, Victor Grishin
President of the International Association of Children’s Funds, Albert Lihanov
Professor of San Pablo University (Spain), Expert on Central Asia, Antonio Alonso
President of the European Council, Donald Tusk
President of the French Republic, François Hollande
President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella
President of the Council of State and the President of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cuba, Raúl Castro Ruz
Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
President of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, Abdul Hamid
Prime Minister of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina Wazed
Sultan of Brunei-Darussalam, Hassanal Bolkiah
Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister and Second Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Brunei-Darussalam, Pehin Dato Lim Jock Seng
President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Trần Đại Quang
President of the State of Israel, Reuven Rivlin
Prime Minister, Minister of Interior of the State of Qatar, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al-Thani
Member of Parliament, Secretary of State for Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs, Boris Johnson
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia, Datuk Reezal Merican bin Naina Merican
President of Malaysian Malay Businessmen and Industrialists Association, Dato Moehamad Izat Emir
Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Iyad bin Amin Madani
Chairman of the Management Committee (CEO) of Gazprom, Alexey Miller
Executive Director of the German-Uzbek Business Council, investor of JV «Deutsche Kabel AG Tashkent», Falk Porsche
Member of Congress of Deputies of Spain, José María Chiquillo Barber
Compatriots in Saudi Arabia
Prime Minister of the Republic of India, Narendra Modi
King of Malaysia, Abdul Halim Muadzam Shah Yang di-Pertuan Agong XIV
Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato Sri Mohd Najib
King of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej
President of the Republic of Finland, Sauli Niinistö
President of the Slovak Republic, Andrej Kiska
President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
President of the State of Palestine, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Mahmoud Abbas
Prime Minister of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Thongloun Sisoulith
United States Secretary of State, John Kerry
Speaker of the House of the People of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kuwait, Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah
Governor of Tokyo, Yoriko Koike
Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Jose Graziana da Silva
Vice President of «Transneft», Vladimir Rushailo
Chairman of the Mitsubishi Corporation, Ken Kobayashi
President of the «NEC Corporation», Nobuhiro Endo
Director-General of the French Development Agency (AFD), Remy Rioux
President of the World Congress of Bukharian Jews, Lev Leviev
President of the Bukharian Jewish Congress in the United States and Canada, Boris Kandov
President of “Soka Gakkai Interational”, Daisaku Ikeda
President of Nagoya University, Seiichi Matsuo
President of Waseda University, Kamata Kaoru
Secretary General of the General Confederation of Trade Unions, Vladimir Shcherbakov
King of Morocco, Mohammed VI Hassan
President of the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria, Abdelaziz Bouteflika
President of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman
President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, Witold Waszczykowski
President of the Republic of Maldives, Abdulla Yameen
President of Mongolia, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj
President of Georgia, Giorgi Margvelashvili
Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Kvirikashvili
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Mikheil Janelidze
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania, Lazer Comanescu
Executive Secretary of United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Shamshad Akhtar
President of the Asian Development Bank, Takehiko Nakao
Secretary General of the Energy Charter, Urban Rusnak
President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Suma Chakrabarti
Chairman of the Eastern Committee of German Economy, Wolfgang Buechele
President of “Hyatt International” in Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, Peter Fulton
Managing Director of Sales and Chief Executive Manager at LEMKEN GmbH & Co. KG., Anthony van der Ley
President of «White and Case», Jason Kerr
Board Member at «Indorama», Prakash Kejriwal
President and CEO at «Sumitomo Corporation», Kuniharu Nakamura
Director of the Regional Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO), Jujanna Jacob
Member of the European Parliament, Chairman of the Delegation on Central Asia, Iveta Grigule
President of the National Association of Broadcasters, Eduard Sagalaev
President of the University of Tsukuba, Kyosuke Nagata
Professor of Bremen University, Hagen Lichtenberg
Prime Minister of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Artur Rasizade
First Vice President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Abdul Rashid Dostum
President of the Republic of Chile, Michelle Bachelet
Prime Minister of Thailand, Prayut Chan-o-cha
Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova
King of Jordan, Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein
President of the Republic of South Africa, Jacob Zuma
President of the Swiss Confederation, Johann Schneider-Amman
King of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud
Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior of Saudi Arabia Muhammad bin Nayef Al Saud
President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Rosen Plevneliev
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, Don Pramudwinai
Chairman of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Valentina Matviyenko
President of the Republic of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov
Minister of Al-Diwan Al-Amiri Affairs of the State of Kuwait, Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahamed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France, Jean-Marc Ayrault
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary, Peter Szijjarto
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Sameh Shoukry
Speaker of the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic, Chynybay Tursunbekov
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic, Erlan Abdyldaev
Deputy Speaker of the Saeima of Latvia, Inese Lībiņa-Egner
Senior Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Kentaro Sonoura
President of the Japan International Cooperaton Agency, Shinichi Kitaoka
President and Representative Director of Isuzu Motors, Susumu Hosoi
President and General Manager of the “Mitsui & Co. Ltd”, Tatsuo Yasunaga
President of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Kim Yong Nam
Permanent Representative of the Republic of Armenia to the United Nations Office and to the other international organizations in Geneva, Charles Aznavour
President of the Islamic Development Bank, Ahmad Mohamed Ali Al-Madani
Director, Head of the Regional Office of the Islamic Development Bank in Almaty, Hisham Taleb Maruf
Member of the European Parliament from Germany, member of the delegation of the European Parliament for relations with the countries of Central Asia, Ismail Ertug
Member of the European Parliament from Malta, Marlene Mizzi
Director, Deputy Managing Director Russia, Eastern Partnership, Central Asia and OSCE at the European External Action Service, Luc Devigne
State Secretary of the Union State, Grigory Rapota
Senior Vice President Europe, CIS and Canada, Airbus Group, Marco Miklis
Vice President (CIS) Airbus Group, Silver Delone
Chief Rabbi of Russia, Berel Lazar
Director General at the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Mahmoud Solh
Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Hikmet Çetin
President of the Congress of Bukharian Jews of USA and Canada, Nerik Yushvaev-Cavalier
President of the company «BUDMEX», Pavel Ceslitski
Deputy Director of the Institute for Iran-Eurasia Studies, Davood Kiani
Chief Executive Officer, RHA MEDIA Sdn Bhd, Dato Rajendran
President of the company "Maitri Enterprise", Victor Wii
Professor of International Islamic University of Malaysia, Sheila Ainon Yussof
President of the Aichi Prefectural University, Masanori Aikyo
President of the Aichi University of the Arts, Koji Matsumura
Senior Corporate Adviser, former Chairman of Mitsubishi Corporation, Chairman of Uzbek-Japanese Committee on Economic Cooperation, Mikio Sasaki
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, JGC Corporation, Masayuki Sato
President of Fukuoka-Uzbekistan Friendship Association, Masaru Nakamura
MDIS President, Eric Kuan
MDIS Secretary-General, R.Theyvendran
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh to the Republic of Uzbekistan, Mosud Mannan
Rector of the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University named after B.N. Yeltsin, Vladimir Nifadiev
CLAAS Group, Helmut Claas, Jan-Hendrik Mohr
President and Chief Executive Officer, ALPHA, Thomas Krause
Apostle of the New Apostolic Church Berlin-Brandenburg, Wolfgang Nadolny
Chairman of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs, Sir David John
Chief Executive of the British Council, Sir Ciarán Devane
White & Case LLP partner, Carolyn Lamm
Chief Executive Officer, British American Tobacco plc, Nicandro Durante
President of the Joint Chamber of Commerce Switzerland-CIS/Georgia, Marcel Pawlicek
Managing Director of the Joint Chamber of Commerce Switzerland-CIS/Georgia, Dorit Sallis
Head of the Representative Office of Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) in Uzbekistan, Professor Suleiman Kiziltoprak
Chairman Al Shafar Group (Dubai, UAE), Ahmed Al Shafar
Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán
President of LUKOIL oil company, Vagit Alekperov
Chief Executive Officer, Miners of Russia non-profit partnership, Chairman of Russian energy company Soyuzneftegaz, Yuri Shafranik
Director-General of Miners of Russia non-profit partnership, member of the Supreme Mining Council, A.Verjansky
President of the Western-Ural Machine Building Concern, member of the Supreme Mining Council, A.Pozdeev
CEO, "Vector" International Institute for Strategic Studies, Andrey Hrienko
Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk
Mufti of Moscow, Central region of Russia and Chuvashia, member of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation, Albir Hazrat Kurganov
Director of the Regional Public Organization "Center for the Development of International Relations" “Yedinaya Rossiya”, A.Yandiev
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Benin to the Russian Federation, Pierre Collie
President of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, Serdar Çam
Chairman of Çalık Holding, Ahmet Çalık
Governor General of Canada, David Johnston
Secretary General of the Intergovernmental Commission of TRACECA, Mircea Ciopraga
Executive Director of the Regional Environmental Center for Central Asia, Iskandar Abdullayev
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Salahuddin Rabbani
President of Romania, Klaus Werner Iohannis
President of the Republic of Tunisia, Beji Caid Essebsi
Chief Executive of the National Unity Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Abdullah Abdullah
President of Inha University, Soonja Choe
Chief Executive Officer and President of Hyundai Engineering, Wee-Chul Kim
Chief Executive Officer and President of Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd., Jung Soo-Hyun
President of the World Taekwondo Federation, Chungwon Choue
Head of International Association of Islamic Business (IAIB), Marat Kabaev
Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis (Secretary of State Archbishop Pietro Parolin)
President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Pedro Agramunt
General Director of Initec Energia SA, Javier Gomez Garcia
Manager of the Initec Energia S.A. Representative Office in Tashkent, Oscar Lombera
Spouse of the President of the People's Republic of China, Peng Liyuan
President of the Republic of Serbia, Tomislav Nikolic
Prime Minister of Romania, Dacian Ciolos
Chaiman of the Parliament of Georgia, David Usupashvili
CEO and Chairman of Liebherr-International AG, Willi Liebherr
Chairman of Xinjiang Yinlong International Agricultural Cooperation Co., Ltd., Liang Wenying
Director, Indorama Corporation Pte, Prakash Kejriwal
Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde
President of the United Company RUSAL, Oleg Deripaska
President of Chełm town, Agata Fish (Poland)
President of Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaitė
President of the Republic of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Guelleh
President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma
King of the Netherlands, Willem-Alexander
President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Mulatu Teshome
The head of the Central Asian Metropolitan District, Metropolitan of Tashkent and Uzbekistan, Vincent
President of the Republic of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović
President and CEO of the Boeing Company, Raymond L. Conner
Chairman of Circle of Diplomats of Geneva, Robert Blum
President of Greece, Prokopios Pavlopoulos
President of the Republic of Mali, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita
President of Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré
President of the Republic of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan
President of the Republic of Moldova, Nicolae Timofti
Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova, Pavel Filip
Constitutional President of the Republic of Ecuador, Rafael Correa Delgado
Vice President, International Partnerships & Programs at AmeriCares Foundation, Inc., Rachel Granger
Special Representative of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on Reforms and Good Governance, Ahmad Zia Massoud
President of the Republic of Seychelles, James Alix Michel
The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General (SRSG) for Iraq, Mr. Jan Kubiš
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to the Republic of Uzbekistan, Vladimir Tyurdenev
Director of Artemis Hospital (India), Viresh Makhajan
Chief physician of Inha University Hospital, Kim Yang Mo
President of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency – Serdar Çam
President of the Republic of Indonesia, Joko Widodo
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, Cyril
President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades
Prime Minister of Egypt, Sherif Ismail Mohamed
Prime Minister of Australia, Malcolm Turnbull
President of Malta, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca
President of Cameroon, Paul Biya.