President of the Republic of Tajikistan

Address at the International Conference in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the General Agreement on Establishing Peace and National Accord

26.06.2007 13:00, Dushanbe city

Dear compatriots!
Distinguished audience!

10 years ago on June 27th, 1997 marked the great occasion in the modern history of the Tajik statehood which became the turning point and creative transformation in the fate of the people owing to wisdom, strong will and prudence of our ancient nation. With the signing of the General Agreement on Establishment of Peace and National Accord in Moscow that put an end to fratricidal war between the sons of one nation this noble historical day brought about the dream of long-suffered Tajik people come true.

Today, we have gathered here in this hall which is blessed a new with gleams of national unity to celebrate this milestone event and I am filled with great honor to sincerely congratulate all the people of independent Tajikistan, all of you – honorable guests and distinguished audience on this indeed historical, holy and joyous day.

This really cheerful and invigorating date has filled the hearts of our people and turned into the cherished and valuable moment.

The Peace agreement has brought genuine prosperity and stability, buttressed national unity and created long anticipated life for every faithful and decent people.

Owing to this peace and stability we were able to unite different political forces, consolidate the foundations of independence and embarked on building the newest statehood with good intention and strong will.

Thanks to this peace, stability and inherent wisdom of our nation we managed to ward off the danger of disappearance of our Fatherland – independent Tajikistan and prevent the disintegration of our ancient nation.

It was peace and national unity that laid solid foundations for overcoming severe socio-economic crisis of the country.

Today, it is the fact that the struggle for getting profitable posts on one hand and increasingly explicit struggle for transforming the secular state into the Islamic rule were one of the main causes of our internal confrontation.

The collapse of the Soviet Union explicitly and implicitly converted the political forces which were having claims for power into the instruments of game of external actors. At the same time all branches of the government were sweepingly becoming paralyzed provoking political crisis that caused a change of two Presidents and resignation of five Governments within one year.

Certain circles of foreign countries and some internal groups and forces were also interested in the continued civil war, liquidation of state and disintegration of Tajik nation. They fueled the civil war and hindered the Tajik people from freely expressing their will and undermined the prestige of independent nation.

Moreover, they drawn up a plan to disintegrate Tajikistan and raised this issue before the international organizations.

Since the first days of the XVI session we felt the support on the part of our people of the way we opted for that has paved the path for peace and national unity, protection of territorial integrity of the country. Therefore, in that turbulent situation we tried to lay the legal foundations of the new and independence state. In those alarming conditions we adopted the symbols of our independency - national flag and state emblem of Tajikistan. The new Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan and National anthem were endorsed by the 1994 national referendum.

The majority of people of the country unanimously backed this vital document. The changes and amendments to the Constitution testified to the fact that by backing the policy of the Tajikistan Government the people longed for democratic and secular state with the rule of law.

The most important is that the signing the General Agreement on Establishment of Peace and National Accord shaped favorable conditions and real guarantees for the return of approximately one million refugees and displaced persons back to Homeland, reconstruction of their homes and their reintegration into the peaceful life.

At the present time the citizens have a strong confidence in own and their Homeland future. Peace and national accord in all part of the country have provided the possibilities to initiate a number of great constructions.

Each of these started constructions aimed on achievement of energetic independence, to overcome a communication land-lock of the country and improvement of level and quality of our citizens.

At the same time we can proudly say that established peace and stability improved authority of independent Tajikistan in international arena and strengthened its influence and position in a world community: in addition to the fact that, today humanity is studying and using our peace experience, it warmly accept and stand other humane initiatives of Tajik State related to important problems of the region and world as well.

For instance, in consideration of the increasingly challenging global problem of fresh water shortages the Government of Tajikistan proposed to announce 2003 as a Year of fresh water. This initiative was supported by 142 countries and by the decision of the United Nations a number of important international events like Dushanbe Forum has been successfully conducted in the realm its implementation. Moreover, our proposal to announce 2005-2015 as a Decade of fresh water was backed by 141 countries and in implementing this Decade several international events, including world-wide “Water for Life” Action, were taken up following the UN General Assembly’s resolution.

However, as all citizens of Tajikistan remember, that reaching these days of peace, mutual understanding and national accord cost us huge humanitarian and material losses as well as great spiritual hardships.

In very short historical period of time Tajik mothers lost thousands their children, thousands children became orphans and women became widows, hundreds thousands houses, hospitals, schools, kindergartens, bridges and roads have been destroyed, damage to national economics costs tens billiard Somoni.

All of this of course provoked awful and tragic misfortunes. Because this proud and prudent nation with a thousands years long history, perennial historical and cultural heritage was plunged into the continuous rounds of fratricidal war, when the sons of one mother were killing each other.

There are reasons to recall at these happy festive moments those tragic days. The man can make his headway, develop his future life only by preserving historical memory, rational analysis of its past and without turning into the tool exploited by others in their clashing global interests. We shall be reflecting on the importance of this vital decade of peace, its role, stability and national accord looking into the causes and consequences of imposed internal conflict and armed confrontation. The case of national reconciliation is a rare occasion and its investigation and implementation lies at the core of our pride. However for us the most important goal is to provide the correct explanation to our today and future generations that having own country is a great pride and valuing its independence bears great responsibility.

Our citizens, particular the youth must be aware that radicalism, war and bloodshed, armed power takeover and disregarding the citizens’ will and disrespect to law cause horrible and tragic repercussions.

As long as the people’s will, aspirations of the majority is disregarded and with suppression laid at the core of the governance structure, this government is undoubtedly doomed to failure since the people is a source of power and its aspirations shape the substance and the origins of government.

Dear participants!

You may well recall that the initial occurrences of glasnost and political pluralism within our society had emerged long before the collapse of the Soviet great power. The predominant national and cultural philosophy held the ideological climate of the republic under austere control while placing strict limitations over traditions and national awareness and hindering the progress of historical social and cultural roots of nations. Therefore, introduction of perestroika and bringing forth pluralism gave birth to growing sentiments of freedom of choice and championing national pride and self-determination by the former republics.

In our country this strivings for freedom of will and liberty first emerged in ideological and cultural spheres. It is worth noting that the late 80s of the XX century saw the emergence of political forces that initiated the debates on nation-building issues and cultural problems, above all the issue of Tajik language. Continuous advocacy of these initiatives on the part of intellectuals, particularly by the academic and cultural circles laid the foundation for indoctrinating the Tajik language and its enactment by the law in July 1989. Each year is marked by celebration of the Language Day ever since.

At that period the level of political participation of various social strata grew steadily shaping national identity and political thinking. In political sphere the debate gained momentum over placing limitations on the influence of the ruling party with calls for a freedom of political pluralism as one of the primary agenda items of the day.

However, the case was unfortunate to reach the point when the themes of debate ultimately went far from being just an issue of nation-building translating into the struggle for political power by some groups and forces. In the meantime even representatives of different national and ethnic groups set themselves to establishing organizations and associations focusing on problems of a separate region or area. In another words, centering on the interests of a separate region or an area other than viewing the country-wide setting might have ultimately led to grave repercussions.

Shortly after, rallies and demonstrations and the division of political forces into movements being at loggerheads with one another took shape. The Supreme Council was believed to be the supreme standing legislative body. Upon the demands of rallying protesters the sessions were quickly held compelled to introducing amendments to the legislation. The political antagonisms gained increasing ground giving rise to an armed stand-off and confrontation. Political situation was so complicated and alarming that even the so-called government of national reconciliation failed to execute its governing obligations. Independent republic was plunged into the civil was with prevailing lawlessness, disorder and anarchy.

Some political forces seized this opportunity for an unconstitutional power takeover. Some radical forces also stepped up their activity. Some of the clergy representatives exceeded their authorities propagating confrontation rhetoric among the population and in mosques. The behavior, statements and deeds of rallying protesters attested to their following plans drafted outside.

The worst thing of all was the fact that part of law enforcement officers instead of tackling the crisis situation, protect the rule of law and buttress public order, opted for staying aloof, which was a clear-cut treason. On these grounds, Tajikistan appeared to be on the verge of disappearance as independent state at that time. In that way, in November 1992 the XVI session of the Supreme Council was convened in Khujand.

As I have numerously made this point the political situation and security in the capital were so critical that the very chance of holding the Parliament session was called into question.

Organizing and convening the session in Khujand was not an easy endeavor neither. Despite the decision of the presidium of the Supreme Council to convene it in Khujand, not all delegates were able to attend the session. First days of the XVI session brought no results. Only on the third day the work of the session took the normal mode and the agenda was agreed upon. The delegates were increasingly realizing their responsibility for normalizing the situation and urgent need for reestablishing government. This task required first and foremost bringing to terms belligerent parties. In that alarming period we were able to put forward our initiative to bring together the commanders of belligerent parties. This was our first aspiration towards reaching mutual understanding and accord. Everyone was aware in those days that the young Tajik statehood would seize its existence and the nation would be disunited had we failed to prevent the bloodshed.

After comprehensive investigation of the situation the new leadership of Supreme Council set forth specific program for tackling political and economic crisis. Principal directions and objectives of this plan envisaged putting an end to the bloodshed, return of refugees and displaced persons, reestablishment of totally destroyed bodies and structures of government, improvement of legislation and other legislative acts, creation of national army, protection of borders, development of enterprises and households, introduction of market economy mechanisms, initiate accession to international organizations and establishment of contacts and relations with foreign states.

In addition, the problem of supplying people with foodstuffs in those days demanded an urgent resolution. At that time the problem of food supply in the former Kulyab province, Vakhsh valley and districts of republican subordination was pressing. In Kulob region more than 10 thousand of people fell sick with heliotrope.

At the same time, we regarded our top priority the problem of bringing to terms the parties and various public associations, because by this we could fence off the dispersion of political extremism and lay the grounds for national accord.

Along with all measures that were taken for the sake of political stability, reviving the collapsed economy and improving living standards, immense efforts on bringing the representatives of Government and opposition to the table of negotiation were taken on our part.

Every prudent person realized fatal repercussions of continuing armed confrontation, that lead to the loss of lives, devastations and further disturbances. Apart from that, everyone clearly realized that the end of any war ultimately brings peace and accord, while knowing that war and confrontation never brings happiness. Legislation is a blue-print devised with consideration of public interests, principles of justice laid at the core of the progress of society, national accord and stability.

In this regard, particular attention should be paid to the law-making procedures. It is incumbent upon us to strive for crafting the perfect laws which would precisely regulate public relationships.

Parliament and its Lower House (Majlisi Namoyandagon) which is the standing and professional authority should pay the decisive role in this realm.

The adoption by the parliament of hundreds of acts forming the legal base, providing for stable development of society and regulating a range public relations turned to be insufficient.

Buttressing stable economic development and seeking our historical goals requires persistent enhancement of the legislation foundations of social, economic, monetary and credit and investment spheres, for these areas are rapidly evolving and demand appropriate development of the legal base.

The primary task of the legislation rests with removal of conflict between laws and their adaptation to the reality.

We have numerously spelled out the collisions between legislative acts; however they are still in place in the legal practice. In addition to aforementioned, the urgent need of bringing endorsed legislative acts in line with accepted international norms has emerged.

In fact, we have recognized the advantages of international legal acts over national laws, therefore we must pay special attention to this matter and to ensure the compliance whenever we consider the adoption of a law the comparison of national acts with international norms accepted by Tajikistan must be in place.

The implementation of our top goals is impossible without ensuring the rule of law and strict adherence to it, law and order, peace and stability in the society.
In this regard, law enforcement and military agencies of the country have carried out an important and remarkable job. We are convinced that these structures will continue to comprehensively consolidate and build up on reached success and spare no efforts in carrying out their holy duty.

Pursuing the continued consolidation of lawfulness and order, upholding stability requires relentless fight with contemporary threats namely terrorism, extremism, illicit drug trade and human trafficking, and other forms of criminal activity.

Annual increase in production volumes of drugs in Afghanistan amplifies the danger posed by this crime negatively affecting regional and international stability. It is incumbent upon law enforcement authorities to carry out concerted countering actions in cooperation with their foreign counterparts.

Corruption is another pressing issue of the day. In line with relentless struggle with this crime the State Agency on financial control and fight against corruption was set up. We are convinced that this agency shall spare no effort and exploit every opportunity to carry out its duty and mission.

It is imperative that in order to perform properly their duties the officers of law enforcement bodies and the military should be professionally trained, possess organizational skills, high patriotic and national spirit, and strictly adhere to the provisions of law and army regulations. Such qualities on the part of the law enforcement officers and the military shall allow them to carry out their duty of protecting sovereignty, buttress stability and security of the state. We are positive that these structures shall continue to work effectively in this direction.

Judicial branch is one of the factors of stability. Along with measures taken until now.

Along with measures taken until now the reform of judiciary system has been carried out setting forth the directions and specific deadlines for consolidation and development of this branch.

Therefore it was in the interest of nation to reach peace as soon as possible. Peace was needed as the breath of life for governing the state and consolidation of its foundations.

Realizing this reality and our responsibility before our people, the future of the country and the society we embarked on negotiations.

I should say that the path to peace was far from being smooth and straight. Certain forces and individuals stepped up in those days and based on their political ambitions claimed that by initiating negotiations with the opposition we would undermine the prestige of the government and its leadership. However having given up any kind of political ambitions and group interests and only for the benefit of the nation we launched our negotiations.

Political prudence and longing for compliance for the sake of stability were our guiding principles in the course of negotiations. It is well known that starting from 1992 we have introduced 11 amnesty acts applied to 60 thousands of accused, those on trial and convicts.

In those difficult days both sides valued every moment that brought us closer to reconciliation. The whole nation impatiently waited for the positive returns of the negotiations. In this regard, I must point out that we ourselves were interested in our peace, for all times the motto of our nation were friendship, brotherhood, sincerity and devotion. Great Mavlono said once as if it were for us:

We have come to unite,
Rather than disunite!

After holding 21 rounds of meetings and negotiations that lasted 4 years in Moscow, Kabul, Tehran, Almaty, Bishkek, Ashgabat and other venues, we conducted the final one in Moscow and signed the vital and life-asserting agreement.

The heads of many states and international organizations as well as many commentators and researches have repeatedly emphasized the significance of the Agreement for the Tajik nation and its unique character for the world practice. I said once in my address and I am stressing it again on this significant occasion that importance and value of the Peace Agreement is equal to the Declaration of Sovereignty of Tajikistan.

Therefore, peace and independence are equally valuable and cherished by our nation. Taking account all these, I appeal to all Tajik people, members of political parties and public unions to refrain from setting their personal, partisan and group interests over the interests of state and protect, cherish them instead and be proud of and loyal to their homeland.

By signing the Peace Agreement we managed to put an end to horrifying civil war. We were able to reaffirm that we represent a civilized nation and as the nation suffered from terrible moments we long for the resolution of all problems in hot spots of the world through negotiations.
Endorsing the peace accord we saved our nation and the state. History knows many examples when internal clashes among the members of one dynasty provoked the disintegration into smaller principalities, disappearance of nations and their falling into dependency from stronger powers. We were fortunate to avert these developments.

Dear participants,

Under the concept of realization of Peace Agreement we clarified that with the aim of strengthening of national consolidation and implementation of peaceful intentions, we have to join all peaceful powers, political parties, public unions and non-governmental organizations. In this regard, it had been necessary for us to form a nation-wide organization along with Public Soviet, which might cover as more people as possible. We completed this task in view of nation-wide Movement of national consolidation and rebirth of Tajikistan.

The main objective of the establishment of this Council is to create a firm basis for the reunification of all people of the country.
Today we can say with confidence that the Public Council and the National unity movement of Tajikistan have played a worthy role in the implementation of peace and the national unity.

But I have to emphasize that the national reconciliation, peace and stability in Tajikistan is a great contribution of peaceful and creative Tajik people. Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my deepest respect to people of Tajikistan.

In implementing peace process the contribution of the former Leader of the United Tajik Opposition Said Abdullo Nuri, his inner circles, as well as former UТО commanders is very high.

In this connection, today, I would like to express my gratitude to them.

In the implementation of the peace Agreement a greater role belongs also to the National Reconciliation Commission, which was composed of the representatives of the both sides.

The National Reconciliation Commission as a mechanism for realization of the «General Agreement on establishment of peace and national accord» has performed a great and important work in more than 2,5 years. The Protocols of the General Agreement on legal, political and military issues, on returning refugees and forced migrants were implemented by the negotiations conducted by the National Reconciliation Commission. The members of the Commission, Sub-Committees, as well as Working Groups have made valuable contribution in the establishment of peace in the country.

The international organizations, especially, the representatives of the United Nations Secretary General and Heads of the UN representations Mr. Ismat Kitony, Mr. Romiro Piris Ballon, Mr. Ditrikh Merrem, Mr. Liviu Bota, Mr. Yan Kubish, Mr, Ivo Petrov, Mr. Vladimir Satirov, the OSCE representatives, the UNHCR, UNICEF, WHO representatives, members of the friendly countries, especially the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran made valuable contribution. On behalf of the people of Tajikistan I would like to pay my tribute to them.

Dear compatriots!

Speaking on the significance of achieving peace in Tajikistan it is worth noting that it was made possible due to consideration all internal and external factors. First of all, characteristics of nation, aspirations and will of the people, their demands and common values, norms of international law and geopolitical regional situation were all subject of our consideration. You may well recall the political developments in Central Asia and in the world in place at that period. International terrorist networks stepped up their activities having found safe-heavens with the Taliban movement. Today we are convinced that if we had failed to attain vital peace the terrorists, extremists and separatists regional forces would have been brought together to endanger regional and international security.

Based on these assumptions the case of peace in Tajikistan may be considered the unique and striking example for international community.

We should be proud of the fact that our nation historically and essentially is peace-loving, civilized and creative. Our aspiration for peace in all periods of our centuries-long history have been testifying to our wisdom and wit coupled with tolerance and endurance of our nation, as well as compelling evidence of our ancient culture and constructive traditions. Whenever our wise nation encountered acute problems and obstacles it was always able to perpetuate this constructive distinguishing feature.

It is these virtuous national merits that invariably guided our people towards mutual understanding, mutual forgiveness, peace and reconciliation and today we are making our headway to the nation-building, development of the country, preserving and consolidating the accomplishments of independency.
Thereupon, one of the primary tasks of every sensible citizen of Tajikistan is to preserve peace, stability and national accord achieved with a hard price. It is also our sacramental task to proclaim peace, stability and national accord, to explain to the young generation in what conditions, difficulties and victims it was achieved.

Only by doing this we can continue our efforts in creating democratic, lawful and secular society, put solid steps in further development of our country and keep image and dignity in the conditions of conflicts and controversies of the today’s world.

The Tajik nation in all its periods of history never imposed any claims of its own predominance over other nations. Vice versa, we always wanted to live in harmony and in cooperation with other nations.

This is one of the features and hereditary peculiarities of the ancient Tajik people which is of our proud. Friendship and unity of the world nations, dialog between the civilizations, fruitful cooperation and peaceful co-existence are topics of major considerations of our fathers.

Accord for us is not an ordinary word, but it is a message of our fortune, development towards prosperous future and more over is a guarantee for the unity and flourishing of our people.

Certainly the real national accord will only be achieved, if we by working harmoniously and frankly implement our initiated works, eliminate the difficulties exists in the communications of our citizens in all seasons, release the country from the communication deadlock, provide the energy independence and food security.

I am proud of an ascent and creative people of Tajikistan. I am sure, that by the support of this people we will be able to resolve our social problems, to fulfill our intentions and to provide better live for all citizens of our country. Eternal memory of our well-known ancestors, and those who scarified themselves for the stability and overall unity, as well as blessings of our elders serves as guidance for us.

By saying this I would like to once again congratulate all of you dear compatriots and participants of the solemn Meeting devoted to the tenth anniversary of the national accord.

I pray for the welfare and fortune of every Tajik family.

I wish our Motherland-sovereign Tajikistan eternal peace, stability and prosperity.

Be eternal the unity of ancient and peaceful Tajik nation!

Be always healthy and glorious!

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