To the participants of the Asian women's forum

    Uzbekistan 13 May 2024 1837

    Dear participants of the Forum!

    Ladies and Gentlemen!

    First of all, I warmly congratulate you, dear guests from near and far, on the occasion of the opening of the Asian Women's Forum.

    It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the ancient and magnificent city of Samarkand and to extend to you my highest respect and best wishes.

    I express my deep gratitude to Mr. Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, who actively supported this initiative, Ms. Sima Sami Bahous, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women, who is a co-organizer of the conference and a direct participant, Ms. Tatiana Valovaya, Director-General of the UN Office at Geneva, and Mr. Martin Chungong, Secretary-General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union.

    I am pleased to note that today's Forum is attended by the heads of international organizations and parliaments of Asian countries, senators and deputies, members of governments and civil society institutions, many businesswomen and scientists.

    I believe that with your efforts, the first international conference held in our country will make a significant contribution to the increase of women's activity in the socio-political, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres, to the exchange of mutual experience and to the strengthening of friendly cooperation relations.

    Dear participants of the event!

    Today, all the countries and peoples of the Asian continent, a rapidly developing part of the world, have been united for centuries in a single vast area, and have maintained close cooperation in various fields.

    The Central Asian region, located at the crossroads of the Great Silk Road, has been a powerful force for the development of various cultures and civilizations for thousands of years, and has been a vast spiritual cradle of high universal values.

    It is no coincidence that the consistent strengthening of long-term, comprehensive and mutually beneficial relations with all countries of the Asian continent has been a priority for New Uzbekistan in recent years.

    Asian countries, home to more than half of the world's population, are making significant progress in fully achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, ensuring gender equality, protecting women's rights and drastically increasing their role and influence in state and community governance.

    In our country, women are an integral part of our society, and the issues of fully ensuring their rights and interests, protecting motherhood and childhood have been comprehensively expressed in such conceptual documents as the renewed Constitution, the "Development Strategy - 2030" and the "Strategy of Achieving Gender Equality in the Republic of Uzbekistan".

    Over the past seven years, the share of women in Uzbekistan's public administration has been on the rise, from 27% to 35%. 32% of the deputies in the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis and 25% of the members of the Senate are women. They now have representatives in every district.

    The number of businesswomen has doubled, and more than 205 thousand women have started their own businesses. Hundreds of thousands of women have received vocational and entrepreneurial training. About half a million of our sisters have been provided with jobs. Today, more than half of university students are girls.

    Our consistent efforts in this regard have been duly recognized by the international community. We are particularly pleased that the World Bank's Gender Equality Index ranks Uzbekistan among the world's five fastest developing countries and the Open Gender Data Index ranks Uzbekistan among the top 20 countries.

    Dear friends!

    We will continue the great work we have started in New Uzbekistan to expand women's economic opportunities, to fully realize their leadership and entrepreneurial potential, to provide them with modern education, vocational training and employment, and to systematically address the problems of vulnerable and needy women.

    Indeed, our honourable women, who are active participants in today's historic changes, are a constructive force in the implementation of our irreversible democratic reforms and rapid development, and a solid foundation of the just and peace-loving, multi-ethnic and prosperous country we are building.

    I hope you will fully support our proposal to make this Forum a traditional biennial forum.

    On the basis of the Samarkand Declaration adopted as the outcome of today's conference, the adoption of the United Nations General Assembly resolution "On the increase of socio-economic, political-legal and cultural-humanitarian activity of Asian women" will be a bright practical expression of our noble aspirations in this regard.

    Taking this opportunity, I would like to once again wish all of you sound health, happiness and much success in the work of the Forum.

    Shavkat Mirziyoev

    President of the Republic of Uzbekistan