Tajikistan marks its 15th Anniversary of the General Agreement on the Establishment of Peace and National Reconciliation
Ladies and gentlemen!
Tomorrow we mark the 15th Anniversary of the General Agreement on the Establishment of Peace and National Reconciliation in Tajikistan which is a vital and crucial act for our people and the state.
We will commemorate the fifteen years of national revival, fifteen years of reconciliation, fifteen years of self-building, self-acknowledgment and self-consciousness, fifteen years of peace, stability and most important fifteen firm steps forward towards building up a free civil society that will be written with golden words in the history of our modern statehood.
Thanks to this determining document we could cease domestic violence and armed resistance as well as begin a new stage that is laying down a foundation for peace, ensuring national unity and thus stabilizing socio-economic sectors of the country and provide its overall development.
National unity as a factor of consolidation of the Tajik nation along with internationally recognized values has allowed provide a background for civil society and created favorable conditions for improving living standard and ensuring prosperity of the country and shaping the future of our independent state.
At this solemn occasion, with the feelings of pride and pleasure, I would like to sincerely congratulate all the glorious people of Tajikistan with this holy and crucial event.
I do believe that peace and unity as a major factor, background for national existence and holy national value will stand forever and the civilized Tajik nation will leave inheritance to future generations the peace-seeking and peace-building culture.
Our dear fellow-citizens well remember, that since very early days of Tajikistan’s independence individual groups in the country being under the influence of ideas of radicalism and foreign enemy forces involved our beloved country into a chain of domestic conflicts and further armed resistance that as a result it has been turned into the threat of elimination of the Tajik nation and newly independent Tajik state.
Civil war caused enormous damage and claimed tens of thousands of human lives. Decades are needed to overcome the consequences of those wounds and catastrophes and we will make every effort to bring peace and prosperity to every family”.
With this view in mind, since the very early days of my tenure of office as the head of state, I said that I would start with the establishment of peace and I would bring peace to long-suffering people of my country.
To bring the opposite groups around a table and achieving lasting peace, stability and national accord was not an easy job.
However, thanks to the support by the Tajik people we could succeed to achieve our everlasting dream that was peace and stability in our country and having a strong will we began taking efforts to ensure respect for human rights and freedoms as the country’s priority.
Today we can proudly say, that peace and stability and national reconciliation are the greatest and indeed historical achievements of the Tajik people which become a reality as a result of the unity of the people and efforts undertaken by devoted sons of our nation.
The most important is that due to this peace and stability and wisdom of our people we could eliminate the threat of breaking up our beloved Motherland – newly independent Tajikistan and disintegration of our ancient nation.
That is why, every noble son of the Tajik nation, including all of us – those who attend this festive occasion have to always keep safe this invaluable and sacred heritage, cherish the national unity as well as respect and take efforts to bring up young people in the line with the love to country so that they be able to preserve this heritage in the future.
During the very tough days of independence, the vital role of peace and stability has become clear especially in strengthening and improving pillars of statehood which provided necessary ground for protecting national independence, territorial integrity of the country and ensuring human rights and freedoms.
A number of legal documents has been adopted so far and under the General Agreement on the Establishment of Peace and National Accord, including the Act of Mutual Amnesty, the Resolution of the Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan “On Amnesty of Participants of Political and Military Confrontation in the Republic of Tajikistan”, the Resolution of the Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan “On General Amnesty”, as well as with the view to encourage active participation of the people in the political life of the country - the Law of the Republic of Tajikistan “On Political Parties” and again with the view to boosting the peace process and national reconciliation in the country and taking into account the principles of humanism - the Resolution of the Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan “On General Amnesty” were enacted.
Moreover, under the aforementioned historical acts certain amendments and changes were made to the Constitution of the country in 1999 which provided for development and adoption of the Constitutional Laws of the Republic of Tajikistan “On the Elections of the Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan” and “On Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan” that in their turns correspondingly set forth regulation of the preparation and holding elections of the legislative and the work of the supreme representative body of the country. Thus, for the first time in the political history of Tajikistan the permanent and professional bicameral parliament has been established in the country. All the above-mentioned legal documents strengthened the economic and social grounds for peace, stability and national unity.
The Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan as a backbone for strengthening national unity guarantees protection of rights and interests of all citizens regardless of gender, ethnicity, religion and political position and its provisions are reliable preconditions for mutual respect among all members of our society.
Illustration of the state development goals within the Constitution has given a serious impetus to preventing the people from disintegration.
Since the dream of every modern state and nation is relying on sustainable peace and stability to build a society which gives priority attention to respect for and observance of human rights and freedoms as well as guarantees their implementation.
Indeed, adoption of the Constitution of the newly independent Tajikistan allowed establishing a perfect legal and political system and grounds for sustainable development and socio-economic progress in the country.
The supreme legal act provided required legal framework for eliminating the threat posed for national independence, territorial integrity and finally the national unity as well as opened up the way towards peace and stability.
You all are aware from mass media that over the past recent years, thousands of people around the globe including civilians lost their lives and economic development of individual countries has been severely damaged as the consequences of domestic violence.
I in this connection would like to emphasize the following point: Tajikistan has suffered from dramatic civil war and well realizes how devastating it is. Tajikistan always stands for peace and stability across the world and peaceful settlement of any kinds of conflicts and confrontations.
With the view to ending the devastating imposed war and achieving peace and stability in our country, we back since the 16th session of the Supreme Council have launched a series of meetings and negotiations.
It means that the very first steps aimed at halting the bloodshed and bringing the opposite groups during those days of the aforesaid session have been taken.
Then, despite volatile and sensitive situation in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, I visited Kabul and on May 19, 1995 having realized all the devastating threat of political and armed confrontation as well as the great responsibility for the future of long-suffering people of our country, we adopted a joint declaration.
The meeting held in December 1996 in Hosdeh of the Toliqon province of Afghanistan has become a critical point which enabled us to initiate a new phase of negotiations and provided a real ground for signing the General Agreement on the Establishment of Peace and National Accord.
In general, prior to signing the agreement, within 8 rounds of negotiations, we had 21 official and dozens of informal meetings held with former opposition group that eventually took us almost four years.
I in this regard, would like to note that meetings and talks with the opposition were not easy ones, as individual groups and powers did not want our nation get reconciled and peace and stability be established in our country.
The National Reconciliation Commission has been established under the mutual desire of Tajik peace parties as a follow-up to signing the agreement in order to end the civil war, ensure step-by-step establishment of peace, build an atmosphere of mutual confidence, eliminate violence and armed conflicts, promote objectives of national peace and unity, disarmament of parties and practically implement the provisions of the signed agreement and provide favorable conditions for socio-economic development in the country.
The members of the National Reconciliation Commission and group of experts did an outstanding job during the process of ensuring Tajik peace and successfully performed their duties aimed at implementing the signed documents. I extend my deepest appreciation to all of them.
And ahead of this celebration day, I wish to mention the role of influential international organizations, including the United Nations as well as of guarantor states in achieving peace and stability and I am thankful to them.
The history proves that Tajiks always used to promote social unity and the philosophy of tolerance and used to have positive attitude to other nations, religions and cultures.
Back three thousand years ago, this point was written in Avesta - the holy book of our ancestors as follows: «We pay tribute to peace and health so that it can win wars and conflicts… Let be together and cooperate with all those who live across the countries and provide mutual assistance».
The first Human Rights Declaration adopted by the Qurush the Great which still has not lost its sense, is a clear illustration of the philosophy of tolerance of our ancestors and their recognition of unity among nations and religions.
For instance, Jaloliddin Balkhi – a bright example of our national culture and one of the founders of the philosophy of universal unity used to say that he was neither Christian nor Muslim, neither from the West nor from the East, but a cosmopolitan and that was a highest expression of humanism and the factor contributing to eradication of regional, ethnic, cultural and religious conflicts.
It was the result of a promotion of such a universal ideology that his funeral was attended by a great number of people representing various religious and ethnic groups of the Kuniya city reciting prayers for his soul from the Holy Qur’an, the Gospels, the Holy Bible and the Psalter as well.
That means the ideas of Mavlono Balkhi which prefer sharing minds to sharing language prove that the origin of the Tajik nation from the very old times was based on tolerance and the Tajiks always used to live in peace, harmony, cooperation and friendship with other ethnic groups and nations.
Given today’s globalization process which embraces all-over the world and as there is a need for active collaboration among regions, it becomes more obvious that natural desire to have unity is of ever-increasing importance ahead of large-scale challenges.
We can proudly say that our outstanding personalities who used to represent science, literature, culture and morals back hundreds years ago declared the common core of humanity and promoted humanism.
Their admonitions as the light from stars in the sky which throw light upon the darkness, shows the way for future generations and call on mankind for unity and consolidation.
The history of our statehood and state building proves that we can ensure respective development of society based on culture, history and national self-consciousness and that is worth to be proud of as this very self-consciousness being an invaluable and everlasting heritage of the noble Tajik people can be a backbone for all our national constructiveness and development.
We therefore all are to protect its strengthening factors and always contribute to their development.
Today, the nation’s unity has to be the major core and the sense of independence as it is impossible to imagine independence without national unity and national unity without independence.
We can say today that national unity in our newly independent state is recognized as a nation-wide idea along with freedom, independence, peace and stability and the awareness of the people of Tajikistan is considered as a balancing factor for all parties of our public policy.
The ideas of peace, unity and the philosophy of tolerance of the Tajik nation have turned into the sacred values and they are highly appreciated in the development our society’s morals, culture and the life.
Given the world full of challenges, active global competitiveness to be the owner of your today and future life, to protect true independence and national statehood and thus to ensure security in the country and society and support national interests requires all of us to do even greater jobs.
The outcome of what we all have already done so far, is clear to the people of Tajikistan and the people itself will make the true evaluation of the work.
However, I believe that compared to how fast is the development in the new century and the progress made in the developed countries, our achievements still are not satisfactory.
The desire of peace and national unity requires us to tackle with critical social challenges, including develop all sectors of economy, boost up large-scale infrastructural development, create new jobs, assist orphans and needy people, strengthen rule of law, and improve living standards.
To implement these vital goals, constructive plans and good desires, we all are to do our best and take every effort, be responsible and dedicated, honest and patriot, and perform our tasks realizing our civil duties.
One of our most important goals is to introduce widely cutting-edge scientific and technological achievements to bring up new smart, cultural and educated generations so that make them able to take their fate, national and the country’s future into their own hand.
It is natural that to bring up an appropriate generation especially educated one there is a need for favorable conditions.
At the same time, to support social atmosphere and further improve the efficiency of information campaign and keep the minds of young people safe from the damaging affect by dangerous alien ideas, in addition to strengthening material background of education there is also a need for boosting the work of cultural centers across the country.
With the view to upbringing the new generation in the line with ideas of self-identity, patriotism and humanism, it is of critical importance for this generation to deeply realize the vital role of sustainability of national unity in building a democratic and fair society, as well as in strengthening the pillars of the independence of our beloved Motherland and “Tajik national unity” should be enrolled in university and school curriculum to get the students be aware of the importance of the issue.
That is because a person who forgets his history may make mistakes and cause difficulties.
Development of society requires the work of various governmental bodies as well as non-governmental institutions be boosted up with the view to ensuring further development of the state, educating people and upgrading the political culture in the society.
Particularly, the role of the civil institutions is of utmost importance in social confidence building which is a factor of strengthening the national unity and in this regard, continuous fruitful collaboration should be secured with these institutions.
Today, due to enhancement of constructive cooperation between public sector and civil society we have a favorable political atmosphere for consideration and seeking solutions of the critical and topical issues of the social life and in future it will be the only way we can go through to bring our country in the line with developed nations.
At the same time, the institutions on the civil society including political parties, NGO’s and mass media while realizing the responsibility to the country and people are to take regular efforts aimed at strengthening the pillars of the national unity and political stability.
As much as mutual confidence will governmental agencies and civil society have to each other, more sustainable will be the society and partnerships.
Therefore, more efforts should be taken to upgrade the political culture, strengthen unity and mutual understanding, and improve socio-economic conditions and promote development in the country.
That is because the reality and the experience gained by the world community proves that there will be no unity and mutual understanding in a society where the citizens do not have the high level of political culture.
Major goals set by the Government of Tajikistan on the idea of national unity and ensuring its further promotion at present is a good background for personal, social and national development.
Since addressing critical socio-economic challenges in the country mostly depends on unity and mutual understanding. These are the very factors which given contemporary conditions are of critical importance for ensuring sustainable socio-economic development and standing against modern threats and challenges.
The constructive thought of unity will be fruitful if the sense and core of patriotism, value of state independence, self-consciousness and national identity as well as supreme values of civil society are deeply integrated into the mindsets of all citizens of the country.
Unity being a determining factor for a long life of a national statehood can be further enhanced if only integration and shared position of all the people of the country is ensured in addressing modern threats and challenges and positive relations do exist among different social groups.
The society or a state which does not have an idea of national unity is always under the threat of getting drawn into the whirlpool of political, cultural, economic and social crises.
Appearance of such phenomenon as national unity is mainly associated with the development of national statehood, since it increases within the national state a feeling of political commonality of those people living in a common administrative unit.
Therefore, unity gets and implements its national nature only within the development of a national state.
It means that the role of a state in strengthening national unity increases as it is interested in ensuring economic development, social stability and cultural progress.
I once again would like to stress that it was thanks to the General Agreement on the Establishment of Peace and National Accord that our country overcame an acute crisis, ensured development and provided favorable conditions for peaceful life of the people.
Given today conditions and as our country has decided to go through developed democracy and people seek free thoughts and rights and support various belief and political trends, the pillars of our culture and thoughts are unity, national self-recognition and self-identity, country’s prosperity and further comprehensive strengthening of our statehood.
Therefore, every noble person, everyone who take pride in his or her Motherland and independent Tajikistan, all the people of the country, political parties and movements are to put the national interests of our independent state higher than the all other interests, as state and society will always need paying respect and tribute to nation-wide values.
Every society needs goal and a guidance to determine the way to achieve its sustainable progress.
Such a goal should be developed on the basis of national history, values and self-consciousness and meet reality and the needs of the modern society, bring together the major part of people and strata and lead the people towards progress and constructiveness.
Such an idea and uniting goal is undoubtedly considered as a key of our national unity.
Development of the idea of unity is a major task of every nation which has its statehood, as without sustainable and clear idea of national unity it is difficult or even impossible to identify the historical goals and ensure its realized movement towards worthy political and socio-economic achievements.
Certainly, it is not the first time that our nation is faced with such challenge. Smart and glorious sons of the Tajik nation have several times found appropriate and worthy ways to get the people out of ideological deadlock and used to promote among the people as well as for the next generations new ways to achieve development and progress.
It was national statehood and free, independent and democratic state that provided historical opportunity for the idea of national unity and determined the way the people will go through towards the future.
It allowed creating an everlasting idea for society which is based on social fair, original cultural and moral values of our ancestors, brings the people together, links up the today and future life of the country and is acceptable for the majority in the society.
Through this major and nation-wide idea we can bring various segment of society together and ensure sustainable and strong comprehensive development of the social life.
With this view in mind, safeguarding the favorable atmosphere of peace and stability, mutual understanding, respect for ideas and positions, public reconciliation, tolerance, constructive and sustainable will of political parties and NGO’s are critically important.
Therefore, we have to sincerely love our country, defend it and take every effort to secure its progress and prosperity.
Thus, we can strengthen the confidence of people with the ideas of national unity, independence and national statehood as well as implement great creative plans and facilitate people’s commitments.
Today, thanks to sustainable peace and stability we are building a new state and civil society and, in this regard, social and political relations, mental capacity are getting of a fundamentally new importance.
Given the modern conditions in our country such relations should meet the sense of new democratic values and ideas, way of life and the needs of a fair society which we have determined as our primary goals.
Since an important aspect of this trend is that every citizen and every person has to determine its attitude to the development of the society as his civil position and personal responsibility.
At the same time, I would like to underline that building a democratic and a law-based state requires all the people of the country starting from the President and to a ordinary citizen, to observe and respect law and as a must, ensure rule of law and in general to live up to legislation.
We should also keep in mind that self-recognition and self-identity is not just be pride of scientific, literary and cultural achievements of your nation, but also a strong cultural base which leads noble sons of a nation towards comparison, deduction, creativeness and constructiveness.
Self-identity is a guidance which lights the way up towards national self-consciousness and genuineness and simplifies intricate ways of state-building and statehood and getting to prosperity and modern society.
In this respect, and with the view to paying tribute to unique phenomenon of Tajik peace and national unity, I would like to propose to name one of the squares of Dushanbe which is a city of peace and national unity, or an avenue after the National Unity and install a monument or a symbol for eternal unity of the Tajik people.
I am confident, that the glorious people of Tajikistan and the dedicated sons of our nation who had undergone severe and harsh days of the civil war, with the recognition of a patriotic responsibility, constructive labor and outstanding initiatives will further support the Government policy and will make a valuable contribution to the achievement of good national goals.
Each responsive member of society, every proud citizen of Tajikistan, for whom the Homeland and the land of their ancestors are valuable, should make efforts to preserve peace and unity as the apple of the eye and to strive for progress and development of the country.
I do firmly believe in the creative power of the Tajik people, the stability of the independence, the inviolability of national unity and prosperous future of our beloved motherland.
I am convinced that we, thanks to peace, stability and national unity, have to further strengthen the foundations of the state and its independent statehood, we derive our independent Tajikistan for a decent standard in the world and promote its deserved place in the civilized world community.
If each of us will really make an effort to develop and strengthen the independence, unity, and our other national values ??and be united around a national state, which we got after centuries, then we as a consolidated nation with its own culture, will be able to find its merit place among the civilized nations of the world.
I wish all the people of our beloved country and all of you, distinguished gathering, a strong will, renewed power and every success in this difficult but glorious path.
Let the glorious and the creative people of Tajikistan protect national unity and take steps forward towards a prosperous and peaceful future with a tribute to the peace, stability and peaceful atmosphere of the country and the strength of the independence of the Motherland!
Let the cloudless sky, lasting peace, eternal national unity, supreme and noble aspirations of independence and creative goals give the inspiration for the peaceful life of the people of our country!
I once again sincerely congratulate all the noble and proud people of Tajikistan and honorable compatriots living abroad on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of National Unity Day, and I wish every family of the world, lasting peace, eternal unity, prosperity, happiness and the well-being.
Happy National Unity Day, dear compatriots!
I wish you good health and every success!
President of the Republic of Tajikistan
H.E. Emomali Rahmon