By Dr. Erkinkhon Rahmatullozoda, Ambassador of Tajikistan to the Kingdom of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Head of Tajikistan Mission to the EU and NATO.
A few days ago, Tajikistan celebrated the 29th anniversary of its National Day in an environment of stability, striving for sustainable development, and in an encouraging atmosphere of developing regional and international cooperation. To those who are not familiar with the history of Tajikistan, it appears that the country is marking the next Independence Day on a normal path of its development, however, this pleasant environment has a high value, that is known just to the inhabitants of the country. In other words, the unbelievable recent history of Tajikistan carries heroic deeds that the people of this country accomplished in the 29 years of sovereignty.
The beginning of Tajikistan’s independence came at a very difficult time, which was associated with the latest processes in the Soviet Union. Tajikistan had the first element of democratic movements in Central Asia. In 1989 nationalistic, democratic, and Islamic parties started to challenge the dominant Soviet Communist rulers. Later, when the Soviet Empire collapsed, the competition for power caused the country to fall into a civil war. A peace agreement signed in 1997 ended the civil war. Unfortunately in the result of this war, Tajikistan’s economy was totally devastated and its state institutions were in a crisis situation. This complex situation accompanied the state-building process in the first decade of sovereignty.
The Government of Tajikistan had to solve a number of critical issues to radically change the situation to lift Tajikistan out of dire crisis. Thanks to the consistent efforts of our people, Tajikistan has completed a whole series of tasks linked with social-economics, security and stability, the affirmation of universally accepted citizens’ rights and freedoms, and with development of democratic institutions. Tajikistan during the years of independence has passed relatively short historical path, however, it has achieved significant results in all fields of the country’s life.
In pursuing development goals, Tajikistan has prioritized different social-economic reforms and the National Development Strategy up to 2030 outlined its fundamental tasks to achieve these objectives. In recent years, Tajikistan has completed various reforms in the areas of finance, banking, trade, and tax, which have been instrumental in boosting our country’s economy. As a consequence, Tajikistan is among the 10 countries for gross domestic product growth.
The energy sector was defined as the important sector of Tajikistan’s reliable economic development. The country makes steady steps in this direction, and in September of last year Tajikistan launched the second turbine of the Roghun hydroelectric power plant – a megaproject featuring the world’s highest dam. This megaproject will ensure the country’s energy independence and bring in export revenue. In this context, the completion of “CASA-1000” project, that connects Tajikistan`s energy transmission system with South Asia, – and South- East Asian countries, will lay a basis for the promotion of the energy market.
International relations were an important part of the state-building process. The country has adopted “Open Door Policy” and managed to establish friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation with all countries of the world. Thanks to a balanced foreign policy during this period, Tajikistan took a worthy place at the international level and established multilateral relations and cooperation with countries, international and regional organizations and influential financial institutions. Tajikistan’s relations with Europe, including the Netherlands have been put high on the foreign policy agenda and are developing steadily.
In the context of climate change, when the issue of protecting sources and resources of clean drinking water has become a global problem for the inhabitants of the planet, Tajikistan in this direction has been recognized as an initiator country and a leader on the world stage.
The world community has supported four initiatives of Tajikistan, including: 2003 – International Year of Clean Water, 2005-2015 – International Decade for Action “Water for Life”, 2013 – International Year of Cooperation in the Field of Water and International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development, 2018-2028”. These initiatives are of enormous importance for solving global problems in the field of water and adaptation to climate change.
Being at the centre of the Eurasian continent and the historical Silk Road, Tajikistan offers a wide variety of inspiring activities to tourists. The Pamir Mountains, which are called the roof of the world, are a range of the highest mountains in the world. The ancient cities and vastness of uninhabited lands, the unique culture and customs, spices, dried fruits, delicious cuisine make the country one of the fastest growing tourists destinations.
Today, Tajikistan’s main tasks are strengthening security, further positive and progressive development, continuation of the reform of the various sectors of the economy, raising the living standards and a gradual transition to the formation of the middle class in the country. Thus, the huge operational efforts that the Government and the people of Tajikistan have accomplished in the 29 years of sovereignty, turned Tajikistan from a war torn nation to a prosperous country.