The following article was provided by the Embassy of Kyrgyzstan in Seoul to The Korea Post media for publication—publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean-language news publications since 1985.—Ed.
Mr. Sadyr Zhaparov to the people of the country
Dear compatriots living far from their homeland, from the snowy peaks of Ala-Too!
Today, by the will of fate, I stand in front you, having signed the basic law – the Constitution of the Kyrgyz Republic!
I appeal to each of you, to all the sons and daughters of our people, from young to old!
We have witnessed events that threaten the territorial integrity and security of Kyrgyzstan. All necessary measures were taken to preserve peace and stability. I would like to express my deepest condolences to the families of the victims and those injured in these events.
Please honor the memory of the victims with a minute of silence!
I have already given an order to start rebuilding the destroyed villages as soon as possible.
Citizens affected by these events will receive the full support of the State.
In the shortest possible time, work will be carried out to restore and normalize the life of our citizens in the affected settlements.
Together with you, I feel and understand all the hardships that you have to face today.
None of the previous presidents have experienced such a difficult economic situation and crisis situation as it is now.
Today, the economy of Kyrgyzstan is in a deplorable state with a deficit of 20 billion soms.
Due to the consequences of the pandemic, trade with all countries has been suspended to this day.
I will not criticize the past and look for the culprits. Our people are wise and they know perfectly well who is who.
All 30 years of independence, we have been constantly searching for ways to develop. But the time given to us by history for this is over, we can no longer afford to be wrong.
God willing, we will find a way out of this predicament.
To do this, you will need to work day and night.
Recently, I have held many meetings with ordinary people, experts and specialists in various fields. I wanted to know what the common people and experts are thinking about, their thoughts on the events taking place in our country.
Therefore, my appeal is a generalization of the popular opinion, hopes and aspirations of our citizens.
I understand very well that I, as the Head of State, have very little time. Gone are the days of empty promises. Nobody will believe that life in two or three years will improve fabulously.
The current situation since independence can be described as follows:
- degradation of the traditional, cultural and spiritual values of the people;
- fragmentation of society;
- stagnation of the public administration system;
- weakening of the economy;
- our country's dependence on external forces, especially on resources and centers of influence.
Last year, the GDP growth rate of our country decreased by almost 9 percent! This is the lowest figure in the last 20 years.
The budget deficit has tripled compared to previous years and amounted to 3 percent of GDP!
By the end of the year, the external debt amounted to 58 percent of GDP, reaching a critical level!
As a result of the unprofessionalism of officials and politicians who neglect national interests and investment projects, our strategic sectors – energy and mining - have suffered.
The result of the careless attitude to the use of land resources is that agriculture cannot rise above the level of small-scale production.
The difficult economic situation day by day aggravates the social situation of the people.
It is necessary to roll up your sleeves and take decisive action without delay.
In the near future, the Jogorku Kenesh will consider the draft constitutional law on elections. It is important that these upcoming elections are honest and fair.
The recent elections to local councils showed that despite the prohibition of administrative interference, there were still cases of violations of the law and vote-buying.
We will eliminate such phenomena.
We have the strength and will to do it.
I hope the CEC will make a fair decision on the past elections to local councils.
We must show that it is impossible to be elected by vote-buying. This should be a lesson for both citizens and politicians.
To ensure economic growth, it is necessary to implement several tasks.
The first task is to increase the inflow of investment into the country and increase the volume of exports.
One of the most important tasks of the Government and the National Bank is to provide the economy with capital.
The second task is to prevent the isolation of our country. There are two conditions for this: the first is of an economic nature, it is necessary to ensure the free movement of goods with the countries that are the main trading partners. The second condition is vaccination. If we do not vaccinate the population, this will become a problem that prevents the movement of citizens in the context of a pandemic.
The third task of the Government is to prevent food prices from rising. The Government must resolve the issue of providing the population with socially important goods and urgently regulate prices!
One of the important conditions of anti-crisis policy is that decisions must be made quickly and promptly. I demand that the Cabinet of Ministers work around the clock in an emergency mode!
I also demand that the local authorities work in an anti-crisis regime.
Dear fellow citizens,
If we were a weak people with low potential, we would have already been lost in the millstones of history, unable to preserve our name, like many peoples who have disappeared without a trace. But we must not forget that we have preserved our heritage and the name "Kyrgyz"in the vast Eurasian space for dozens of centuries.
We live in the heart of the earth, at the crossroads of civilizations and the interweaving of different cultures.
Therefore, we need to find our way through the Kyrgyz identity, in other words, we need to find our own model of economic development.
For a broad, open, comprehensive discussion on such an important and significant goal for us, on the eve of the thirtieth anniversary of independence, I call for a Global Kurultai of the Kyrgyz people.
Every nation builds its life on the basis of its own values. Our people have always had two values-freedom and justice.
We have repeatedly witnessed and we observe every day that our people will not tolerate injustice and will not accept a life that would restrict their rights.
It is necessary to introduce the concept of "natural management", "management in accordance with the natural characteristics of the Kyrgyz ethnic group". Its main principle is to coordinate any decisions taking into account the position and interests of our citizens.
That is why the Kurultai Institution was enshrined in the Constitution.
At the same time, in accordance with the Constitution signed today, in order to build an effective personnel policy, as well as provide a social package for civil servants, I instruct you to develop the "Kelechek" program and submit it in the near future.
As soon as possible, it is necessary to review and radically reform the work of the State apparatus, to build a new model of the executive power system that will professionally serve the public interests.
Allow me to express my opinion on the future plans for the economic development of our Republic.
It is planned to carry out economic reforms, including the development of fiscal, judicial, human rights, transport and logistics, as well as foreign trade policy. Digitalization should be a comprehensive element of the reforms.
First, we will create the most favorable conditions for doing business. First of all, it will be protection against unauthorized inspections, interference, raiding and attacks.
We will eliminate bureaucratic barriers, reduce the time required to obtain licensing documents, and ensure free capital turnover.
We will implement a reform of the fiscal system aimed at improving governance, simplifying and digitalizing procedures, reducing the tax burden and bringing business out of the shadows.
We will take the public-private partnership dialogue to a new level!
Therefore, I instruct the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic to submit a new Tax Code, as well as a new law on reducing the rates of social payments, to the consideration of the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic by October 1, 2021.
Secondly, business must believe in the impartiality, fairness and objectivity of the judicial system. As part of the planned judicial reform, the protection of private property rights will be strengthened and the institution of arbitration courts will be developed.
Third, it is necessary to ensure a qualitative change in the structure of foreign trade and increase the country's export potential. Conducting foreign trade operations for business will be convenient, fast and simple.
It is also important to ensure the transport and logistics integration of the country and solve problems with the transportation of domestic products.
The transit potential of the country is not sufficiently developed due to the lack of an integrated railway system of international railway communication through the territory of the country. Therefore, within the framework of the "Belt and Road" project, it is planned to build the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway. We will accelerate the implementation of this project.
We are considering the allocation of a land plot for the creation of a modernly equipped multimodal cargo air hub.
In addition, it is necessary to think about the development of a new Labor Code, which provides for a significant reduction in the regulation of labor relations. This will improve the investment climate and balance the rights and interests of employees and employers.
Fourth, it is necessary to attract direct investment in the economy and develop international cooperation. The budget is limited, so it is important to attract direct investment and external assistance for the implementation of new projects and the restoration of infrastructure facilities. This should correspond to the strategic goals and objectives of the State.
Fifth, it is necessary to work on improving the efficiency of the use of State assets. The economic reality has confirmed that the private manager works more efficiently than the public one.
Our task is to restructure state-owned enterprises and transfer them to private ownership in the future. While at strategic facilities, it is necessary to privatize the working functions and the services provided. The State Property Fund, after performing these works, must be liquidated. State property that is not subject to privatization must be transferred to ministries, departments and local self-government bodies. One year is enough to implement these plans.
The above-mentioned reforms will allow the development of priority sectors of the economy. These are energy, subsurface use, and agriculture.
The energy sector needs large-scale technological modernization, which requires significant investment. We need to ensure an uninterrupted supply of electricity and heat and ensure the country's energy security.
The growing demand for energy resources requires the commissioning of new capacities and the use of other, environmentally friendly types of energy.
The development of agriculture is in urgent need of land reform and modernization of land management. It is necessary to complete the formation of the land market in order to strengthen the institutions of land management in the regions, to involve them in economic turnover.
The inventory of the land fund of the republic will be carried out and the land cadastre will be updated. We are going to liberalize agricultural land. The strategic goal of the reform of the agricultural sector is to ensure food security.
Another strategic sector of the economy is the mining industry.
The development of the industry will be based on the rational development of deposits in compliance with national legislation and international environmental standards.
In the future, the State's share in the development of mineral deposits should be taken into account.
The investment policy in this sector will be aimed at protecting the country's interests, and a National Mining Company will be created to attract international capital, which will attract State assets in the field of subsurface use.
However, the economy should not develop only at the expense of subsurface use and traditional strategic sectors.
Now it is very important to invest in advanced technologies and innovative production, which is based on science.
First of all, it is necessary to ensure the development of the" knowledge economy – creative economy " - one of the most promising areas.
Creative ideas are important in a highly competitive and rapidly changing global economy. In fact, you can now work online for any global company without leaving the country, benefiting both yourself and the country.
For example, over 5 years, the income of residents of the successfully developing High-tech Park in Kyrgyzstan has been increased tenfold. Their services are used by customers in more than 30 countries around the world.
The State should provide more support to such initiatives and promote their development. This will open up the creative potential of young people and generate innovative products that are in demand all over the world.
At the same time, the economy is dependent on natural resources. In recent years, nature has once again reminded us that water is not an inexhaustible resource.
The trend of climate change is associated with the melting of glaciers and the reduction of their area.
To optimize water consumption, it is necessary to implement water-saving technologies, restore infrastructure and build water collectors.
In this regard, we must use the capabilities of the Global Environmental and Climate Funds. Within the framework of the National Program "Development Resources", it is necessary to carry out serious work on the water issue.
We have always said that the State's attention should be focused on the individual. At the same time, a person cannot live without society and outside of society. The priority of a person is to feel that he is free, protected, and has opportunities for development.
The family is the foundation of society. Country changes should start with the family. We need to strengthen our traditional family relationships and preserve our values. In the context of globalization, one of the most important tasks is to preserve one's identity.
In this regard, as another important step, we have included in the Constitution the institution of the Secretary of State, who will deal with these issues. We must create a Kyrgyz philosophical and historical school, a platform for historical and cultural heritage.
Today, representatives of about 100 ethnic groups live in Kyrgyzstan and contribute to its development. Our main motto: United people – a developed country!
More than 30 faiths are represented in our country. The State must be in partnership with religion in order to ensure the peaceful and prosperous development of our society in the future. For the future, it is important to develop a culture of tolerance, so that every citizen respects the religion and faith of other people. Ensuring the unity and harmony of the people is one of the most important areas of State policy.
First of all, I want to emphasize the special role of women. Modern systems of education and child care allow women to be independent. However, no one can replace the most important function of women-the transfer of the worldview, language, values and norms of Kyrgyz society to a new generation. We need to modernize and strengthen the role of women in society as a value-forming institution. Projects to support women are needed.
It is necessary to restore the cult of "Umai Ene" and lay the foundation for a strong generation. Therefore, I instruct you to urgently implement national programs and projects in the field of care, support and protection of mothers and children.
It is necessary to support and develop the institutions of poetry, improvisation, manaschi, as well as national art and Kyrgyz cinema, through which the world learns about Kyrgyzstan.
It is necessary to reform the Public Broadcasting Corporation. To do this, we need to create a global media project that will promote Kyrgyzstan with the use of modern information technologies.
As part of the preservation of national values, a special place is given to the preservation of the Kyrgyz language.
The State language development program will become a mandatory element of State policy. The Kyrgyz language should be an instrument of integration and communication for all representatives of the Kyrgyz people.
The social sector is the main and priority sector of the State, which accounts for more than 50 percent of the total expenditures of the State budget.
At the same time, despite the increase in funding, unfortunately, no significant improvements have been observed over the past few years.
Therefore, it is necessary to change the approach and model of forming the social policy of the State.
We need to review the budget legislation. The pandemic has revealed our systemic problems in almost all areas, especially in the social sphere.
Around the world, the pandemic has become a catalyst for rapid change, especially in the health system.
Kyrgyzstan did not stay away from this process, but we realized how technically we are lagging behind other countries.
To prevent diseases, it is necessary to strengthen and modernize family medicine centers.
It is necessary to create conditions for the development of the market of modern diagnostic centers and laboratory services in all regions, regardless of the form of ownership.
I instruct you to introduce price regulation mechanisms for medicines.
I emphasize that it is extremely important to solve the issue of preserving the human potential of medical workers. We have taken a small step in this direction, starting with an increase in wages.
We must reform the education system. I instruct you to create an education system that meets the needs of the economy and the requirements of the new era.
School graduates must have up-to-date knowledge and skills in accordance with the requirements of the time. It is necessary to develop the market of preschool educational services using innovative methods and methodologies.
Along with traditional kindergartens, it is necessary to introduce child development centers.
It is necessary to look for its own national model, creating specialized "Kyrgyz lyceums", and completely revise the content and methods of training.
The reform requires a change in the system of State funding of education. It is necessary to switch to funding depending on the achievements of each child, to introduce a voucher system.
Another important issue of social policy is the provision of affordable housing for the country's citizens. A draft of a new State housing program has already been developed, the goal of which is to reduce real estate prices, increase its accessibility, and increase the volume of construction of affordable housing in all regions of the country.
According to the current analysis, 30 billion soms will be allocated from the State housing fund to finance the construction of 800 thousand square meters of housing in the next six years.
Dear Kyrgyzstanis! You are well aware that there are dozens of factors that create risks and threats to society. But I will focus only on the work of the State law enforcement system.
The activities of law enforcement agencies and the judicial system have now become the main source of risks that threaten human rights and human security.
The judiciary and law enforcement agencies violate the basic values of Kyrgyz society – justice and freedom.
I see two main reasons for what is happening. The first is the deep-rooted "presumption of guilt" that determines the position and attitude of investigators, prosecutors, and judges. Without investigating the incident to the end, they immediately see the person as a criminal and begin to prove his guilt.
Even before the verdict, the press services write that people are charged with the most serious crimes! The investigation must be impartial, and the court-fair!
The second reason for the population's distrust of the law enforcement and judicial systems is corruption, which allows buying any conclusion of an investigator, any court verdict.
For many years, people have been talking about reforming law enforcement agencies and the judicial system, but so far no effective work has been done to change this situation.
Without the rule of law, without guarantees of the security of our citizens, the socio-economic development of the country is impossible.
First, the reform of the law enforcement system should be aimed primarily at restoring the rule of law and restoring public confidence in State institutions.
Secondly, it is necessary to radically change and improve the personnel policy and training of law enforcement officers.
It is necessary to establish the personal criminal and material responsibility of police officers, investigators, prosecutors, and courts for unsubstantiated charges.
Despite the complexity, an inventory of all the laws has begun. This work will be effective, and I instruct the State authorities to perform it efficiently.
In recent years, crimes against vulnerable groups, such as attacks on women, children and property, have caused a great public outcry. I believe that the responsibility for such crimes should be tightened. Therefore, I have instructed to prepare the relevant amendments to the law.
At the same time, we must continue to work to humanize the laws relating to minor crimes. It is necessary to ensure the correct classification of such crimes by the investigation and the court.
No less important is the position that Kyrgyzstan will take in international relations.
Kyrgyz people have always been known for their hospitality and friendliness. Our country is open for cooperation with all international organizations and foreign countries. We treat cooperation in accordance with our own interests and with respect for the interests of other countries.
We all know that the issue of establishing borders with neighboring countries has not been resolved for decades. We have set a goal to reach an agreement on border issues with neighboring countries this year. In addition, we want to offer our neighbors a number of interstate projects, transport corridors and air links, the development of economic and cultural ties at the border, including measures on complex issues such as water use.
We will continue our cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Union, which is a leading and concrete foreign policy project.
We intend to develop cooperation in a bilateral format, within the framework of meetings of the heads of States of Central Asia, as well as in the 5 + 1 format.
Along with the traditional foreign policy, we intend to launch a special program aimed at using external development resources.
We want to expand the opportunities for Kyrgyzstanis to receive education in the world's leading universities and to train foreign specialists in educational institutions in Kyrgyzstan.
The national program "Kyrgyz Aalamy" will be developed,and this project will have a special role. This project is aimed at preserving and strengthening the cultural integration of Kyrgyz People living in the country and abroad, as well as developing cultural and economic ties with historical sites. As noted above, we will revive the sustainable mechanisms of the Kyrgyz Forum and the Global Kurultai.
At the same time, we will take the necessary measures to strengthen the country's defense capability, prevent and combat extremism, terrorism and international crime.
We need major changes in the Armed Forces. This can be called the reform of the armed forces and it includes two main directions.
We need to organize the army according to the principle of special units, fully trained and technologically equipped to conduct combat operations in mountainous conditions.
On the other hand, we will move on to the creation of "people's vigilantes". This system provides a high level of mobilization readiness of the population living in the border areas, the ability to concentrate significant forces against military threats and attacks.
If we do not change the management system, the action plan that we have defined will not become a reality. The new Constitution lays the groundwork for such changes. Soon, the duplicate positions of the Presidential and Government offices will be eliminated.
We will also have a control unit in four areas of the executive branch:
(1) The Cabinet of Ministers shall organize the smooth and efficient functioning of all public services that provide conditions for the normal life of the people.
(2) The Security Council coordinates the structures responsible for security and crisis management.
(3) The country's development management system is established on the basis of the National Council for Sustainable Development and its secretariat. This structure works under the direct leadership of the President of the country, deals with strategic issues, major investment projects, groups for the preparation and implementation of reforms, and also oversees national programs.
(4) A separate unit will be formed for the development of national culture, science and education, re-identification of Kyrgyz society (national revival) and interaction with Kyrgyz diasporas abroad.
The Secretary of State will work in this direction. Its functions include issues of ideology, education, cooperation with civil society, interethnic and interreligious harmony.
The proposals and recommendations that I have formulated today are contained in the presidential strategy for the country's development for the medium term. The draft of this strategy is ready. I have instructed the Cabinet of Ministers to do this, and it will submit to the Jogorku Kenesh a program for implementing the strategy.
I intend to report annually to the People's Kurultai on the implementation of the President's action plan.
I am convinced that we will be able to ensure a decent life for our people, their security and rights.
Together with you, we strive not only to stabilize the political life of the country, but also to improve the economy and society.
The process of moving towards a brighter future has begun!
I have the strength and will to fulfill all the promises made to the people of Kyrgyzstan! And with your support, I will do it!
We will work together to achieve our goals, prosperity and well-being of our people and State.
May God support you, Kyrgyzstan!
So that Kyrgyzstan can quickly embark on the path of development and join the developed countries!