The upcoming referendum in Uzbekistan has great strategic significance for its national politics, future government’s outlook, composition, utility, scope & importance through the renewed, revised, redrafted and re-included principles of administrative & financial transparency, political openness, inclusiveness, modernization and qualitative life in the country.
It would be a first giant step toward greater systematic and people, business and investment friendly socio-economic development, economic sustainability, political continuity and further persuasions of massive politicization & democratization and spirits of good governance in Uzbekistan.
Referendum in Uzbekistan:
The proposed referendum will be held on April 30, 2023 in the country which will revolutionize the basic concepts and modules of human capital development, provision and protection of basic human rights and necessities of daily life, respect of human and humanity, minorities, existence of genuine political opposition, meaningful and effective conflict resolution in region and beyond, achieving the dreams of greater regional connectivity and last but not least persuasions of people’s friendly structural reforms, institutionalization of public & economic diplomacy and pragmatic foreign policy after the successful holding and approval of amendments in the constitution.
Moreover, strategic road map of incumbent president Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s holistic and comprehensive regional integration, trans-regional trade, water diplomacy, immense socio-economic prosperity, free trade, incentivized custom duties, collective fight against looming threat of climate change, terrorism, human and drug trafficking, regional security, peace, stability and harmony would be further enhanced with all the regional countries.
Furthermore, Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s structural reforms in term of massive regional industrialization, tourism cooperation, hospitality industry, cultural activities and business coordination will be further flourished in the region and beyond.
Trans-regional railway project:
Hopefully, the outcome of referendum will further gear-up Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s initiated trans-regional railway project connecting Pakistan and Afghanistan in the days to come thus, long awaited dreams of greater regional connectivity between Central Asia and South Asia would be further brightened and consolidated in the days to come.
At international level, the results of referendum would be useful to pursue and join WTO and further opening-up of the macro-economy of Uzbekistan at the international level in term of seeking more and more inflows of FDIs, FPIs and banking & finance integration which would further diversify its national economy, productive channels, vibrancy of the civil society, technological connectivity and last but not least, constructive role in the regional peace especially in Afghanistan etc.
Undoubtedly, it would further strengthen Uzbekistan role in the further development of Turkic organization. It would also enhance its positive, productive and participatory role in the greater Eurasia region in the days to come.
It would further speed-up BRI projects in the country due to which Uzbekistan geographical comparative advantage i.e. Middle Corridor status would be further expanded thus it would be further connected with Middle East, South Asia, South Caucasus and East Europe in the days to come because successful referendum would instrumental to greater political maturity, continuity, stability and sustainability useful for economic policies, plans and projects to be achieved afterwards.
Read More about strategic significance of Uzbekistan’s referendum: https://youthdiplomacyforum.com/2023/03/26/uzbekistan-referendum-2023/
The approval of the draft new Constitution concerning human rights and freedoms, personal inviolability of citizens and their private life in criminal proceedings, conditions of detention will be highly appreciated by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and human rights NGOs which would be useful for the further dissemination of its soft image and peaceful persuasions. Moreover, torture, violence, ill-treatment, and the death penalty are to be prohibited which is commendable.
Prohibition of forced labor:
Moreover, the draft Constitution prohibits forced labor, any form of child labor. In 2021, Uzbekistan eliminated forced and child labor from the production cycle in cotton growing which would be value addition for its SME and cottage industry and textile & garment sectors in the days to come. Ultimately the success of referendum would further foster modernization of the agrarian economy in the country.
The results of referendum would further speed-up spirits of modernization, political openness, political stability and last but not least, political diversity in the country through existence of genuine opposition, institutionalization of checks & balances and separation of power and good governance. It would put an end to the chances of any color revolution in the country.
The Preamble of the draft new Constitution upholds that “Uzbekistan’s desire to strengthen and develop friendly relations with the world community, primarily with neighboring states, on the basis of cooperation, mutual support, peace and harmony which would hopefully further streamlined after the referendum.
To conclude, the referendum would further ensure security, stability, and sustainable socio-economic development of Central Asia. It would resolve sensitive border problems in the region and it would also further improve conditions for the free movement of citizens, active cultural and tourist exchanges between all the regional countries.
I hope that joint industrial cooperation projects will be further accelerated and launched. New value chains will be created. Regional banking & finance cooperation will be further enhanced and therefore, investment banks of Uzbekistan with Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan will be further consolidated for the regional promotion of industrial, agricultural sector, energy, infrastructure, automotive and other areas.
In this connection, water energy, which was previously a “bone of contention”, will be the subject of regional cooperation in the future. Thus, in January 2023, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan signed a roadmap for the implementation of the Kambarata HPP-1 construction project.
Uzbekistan has started trans-regional and economic zones with almost all countries of the region. Due to which its intra-regional trade has been doubled over the past five years, and the total GDP of the countries of the region has increased to over $358 billion.
Bilateral ties with regional countries:
Interestingly, Uzbekistan’s bilateral relations with the regional countries will be further of elevated to the level of strategic partnership (Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan) and alliance (Kazakhstan, Tajikistan). In this connection, regional cultural and humanitarian cooperation will be further strengthened in the days to come. Furthermore, the holistic concept of regional connectivity in term of “Central Asia Plus” will be further enhanced.
Modern human civilization and history of democracy upholds the strategic importance of political stability and economic sustainability and both are complimentary and mandatory.
Political diversity, social enlightenment, civil modernization, governance openness, transparency and inclusiveness would have direct correlation with economic stability and sustainability and Uzbekistan’s referendum would foster further socio-economic prosperity in the country.
Respect of humans, humanity, protection of minorities, provision of basic necessities of life, abolishing of life plenty, ban on torture and detention would be a supplemental social contract with the people of Uzbekistan and thus start a new chapter among the main stakeholders, i.e. state, society and system and thus form a new trinity of modern political philosophy which would reservedly apply as society, system and state.
This Article is written by Dr. Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan, who is Executive Director at the Center For South Asia and International Studies. He is a regional expert on Uzbekistan and Central Asia.