The state independence of the Republic of Tajikistan is the most important historical and national date of the country. The President of the Republic of Tajikistan H.E. Emomali Rahmon noted the importance of this historic date: “It was independence that gave us a historical opportunity to own our homeland, build our national statehood, revive our national traditions and values, realize the age-old dreams of our people and ensure freedom for peoples.”
In the late 1980s, the so-called parade of sovereignties began in the USSR. The union republics and autonomies began to proclaim their independence from the central leadership of the state, and republican laws became a priority over union laws. On 24 August, 1990, the Supreme Soviet of the Tajik SSR adopted the Declaration ‘On the sovereignty of the Tajik SSR’ at the second session. It proclaimed that “the Tajik SSR independently solves all political, economic, social and cultural issues on its territory, except for those issues that Tajikistan voluntarily transfers to the competence of the USSR.” Article 5 stated that the Supreme Soviet of the republic had the right to “terminate the validity of USSR documents that contradict the legal rights of Tajikistan.” This declaration became the first official document on the way to the independence of Tajikistan.
On 9 September, 1991, at the session of the Shuroi Oli (Supreme Council) of the Republic of Tajikistan, a resolution was adopted ‘On the State Independence of the Republic of Tajikistan’ with the wording: ‘The Republic of Tajikistan is an independent, democratic, legal state’. This has become an important historical event for the people of Tajikistan.
Over the 30 years of independence, the Tajik people and the population of all Tajikistan have achieved great political, economic, social, cultural and spiritual achievements. Among the most important achievements during the period of independence are the establishment of national unity and reconciliation, ensuring peace and stability, saving the national state from the danger of destruction and the integrity of the primordial borders.
Without unity and integrity it is impossible to build a free state, to realize the historical dreams of the nation, future goals and campaigns. Independence and nation-state building are inextricably linked and cannot exist without each other. It is independence that provides the basis and the possibility of building a nation-state.
At the beginning of the formation of its independence, the republic was engulfed in a civil war and in these difficult conditions a balanced policy was formed, which was aimed to ensure the inviolability of the state and the cohesion of the nation, a firm political position of the country in the international arena.
Fortunately, at this predetermining stage, thanks to the efforts of the country’s leadership, Tajikistan has become a full-fledged member of the international community. As a result of lengthy negotiations, an end was put to the civil war — after five years of armed confrontation, the ‘General Agreement on the Establishment of Peace and National Accord in Tajikistan’ was signed — which is a unique national achievement during the period of independence. Today the experience of Tajiks in achieving peace is recognized by the world community.
In the subsequent period, the basic principles and political traditions of Tajikistan’s foreign policy continued to address the primary tasks for the development of the country, in particular with a view to consolidating peace and national harmony, and strengthening political, economic and social reforms. During this period, the country’s leadership announced an ‘open door’ policy and the need for a worthy presentation of the cultural heritage of Tajiks to the world.
In this connection, a multi-vector, balanced and pragmatic foreign policy was launched, which included the expansion and strengthening of friendly ties, and fruitful cooperation with various countries of the world. Thanks to this policy, Tajikistan strengthened its position in the international arena, contributed to the solution of world problems, began interaction with many countries and, taking into account national interests, ensured a balance of its own and common interests in foreign policy. The open door policy is the basis of Tajikistan’s foreign policy.
Most of the political initiatives put forward by the leadership of Tajikistan were accepted and supported by the world community. These initiatives include: the development of regional cooperation, a number of initiatives for the rational use of water resources, cooperation in the field of energy, the fight against terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking. The initiatives of the leadership of Tajikistan, in particular in the water area, also received wide international support, including from the United Nations.
On 21 December, 2016, the UN General Assembly adopted a relevant resolution — first proposed by the President of the Republic of Tajikistan in 2015 — declaring the years 2018 – 2028 as the International Decade for Action ‘Water for Sustainable Development’. The decade, which officially began on 22 March, 2018 and will end on 22 March, 2028, started off with a high-level international conference held in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan in July 2018. The conference on implementation of the International Decade for Action ‘Water for Sustainable Development, 2018-2028’ witnessed the participation of high-level representatives of the UN member states, international and regional organizations and other stakeholders.
During this conference, a wide range of issues related to water resources were considered. The results of the conference gave new impetus to the process of implementing the ‘water decade’, and formed the basis for the development of specific recommendations with a view to strengthening measures to achieve goals and objectives in the field of water resources. At the end of the conference, the final document, the Dushanbe Declaration, was adopted.
The main trends of our time and the processes associated with them require responsible awareness and creative promotion of global interests. The principled and consistent development and implementation of a well-grounded and verified international strategy, taking into account the highest priorities and interests of the republic, as well as their coordination and combination with global interests and needs, served to establish Tajikistan as an independent, active, proactive and authoritative member of the world community.
It is thanks to the successful and effective policy of President Rahmon that the world community looks at Tajikistan kindly and with confidence, firm will and courage, consistent aspirations of the Head of State on the path of security and prosperity of the country, reverence for the rich history of the ancient Tajik people, their creative and good undertakings and initiatives. And therefore, in a short period of time, Tajikistan has turned from a turbulent region into a center for holding regional and international events.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the unified economic system of this country also collapsed, simultaneously creating many economic and social problems in the young and independent Tajikistan. These difficulties covered all spheres of the country’s economy, in particular, energy, industry, transport, agriculture and other sectors. After the establishment of peace and stability in the country, the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan had to face the problem of ensuring sustainable economic development of the country.
Therefore, for the further development of the country, the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan identified several strategic goals for the sustainable development of the country’s economy, including ensuring energy independence, bringing the country out of the communication deadlock, ensuring food security and accelerating industrialization of the country. The head of state has repeatedly emphasized the impossibility of continuous development of the country’s economy without energy independence and full provision of all industries with electricity.
The priority is given to the production of hydropower, as Tajikistan has great potential in this direction. Rogun HPP is a hydroelectric power plant under construction on the Vakhsh River, part of the Vakhsh cascade and with an installed capacity of 3,600 MW, it is the largest HPP in Central Asia.
The average annual electricity generation at the Rogun HPP will be more than 17.0 billion kWh per year. In 2007, the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan applied to the World Bank for an international expertise of the project, taking into account modern safety requirements and standards. The process of negotiations and preparation of documents for this process took over three years.
The first hydroelectric unit of the Rogun HPP was put into operation on 16 November, 2018 with the participation of the President Rahmon and representatives of international financial institutions, the diplomatic corps, builders and representatives of all regions of the country. On the 28th anniversary of state independence, the second unit of the Rogun HPP was launched on 9 September, 2019, with President Rahmon launching the second unit by pressing a symbolic button.
Breaking the communication deadlock is a national task and an important factor in the development of the country along with all the strategic goals.
This goal covers the reconstruction and construction of roads and railways, bridges, tunnels, airports and other transport infrastructures in accordance with international standards, the implementation of which should gradually bring the republic out of the communication deadlock and turn it into a transit region. Some structures of Tajikistan are of a regional and international nature and provide the republic’s access to seaports and main transit roads of other countries.
Food security is another priority strategic goal of the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan. In this direction, in order to achieve goals that contribute to improving the living standards of the country’s population, significant measures are being taken. The development of agricultural production is an important factor on the path to ensuring food security in the country. Also, to achieve accelerated industrialization of the country, the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan has taken under strong control the implementation of the adopted sectoral programs and investment projects. The Government also intensified its activities to attract direct investment, create new manufacturing enterprises, commission dormant enterprises and create jobs.
Over the years of independence, significant results have been achieved, including in the development of socio-economic spheres, raising the standard of living of the population and creating favorable conditions for the sustainable development of all spheres of public life.
A new social system has been formed that meets the spirit of democracy and civil society, a market economy is developing, the results are positively reflected in the way of life of members of society. Along with this, the situation in the modern world obliges the people of Tajikistan to move towards further renewal of all spheres of life, and most importantly for the full-fledged education of new generations, which is called upon to preserve and enrich the age-old traditions and values of their people.
Summing up the results of the development of the republic over 30 years of independence, it can be stated that during this short historical period it was possible to strengthen the foundations of the new young independent state, to determine the main directions of the domestic and foreign policy of the state based on the national interests of the country and the peoples inhabiting it.