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Parliament, political parties and movements

Parliament (Oliy Majlis) of the Republic of Uzbekistan consists of two Chambers:

The Senate (Upper Chamber) of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Mustaqillik maydoni, 6.
Tel: +998 (71) 238-26-96
e-mail: info@senat.uz 
www.senat.gov.uz

Senate is the Upper Chamber of territorial representation and consists of 100 members (senators). The Chairman of the Senate is Mr. Ilgizar Sobirov.

Members of the Senate are elected in equal quantity - six persons from each territorial entity (Republic of  Karakalpakstan, provinces and the City of Tashkent) by secret ballot at relevant Joint Sessions of deputies of Zhokarghy Kenes of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, representative bodies of state authority of provinces, districts, cities and towns among their deputies. Sixteen members of the Senate are appointed by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan from the most respectable citizens with large practical experience and special merits in the sphere of science, art, literature, industry and other spheres of state and public activity.

The term of Senate’s office - 5 years. To become a member of the Senate the person should be a citizen of the Republic of Uzbekistan, reached by the election day twenty-five years old and permanently residing in the territory of Uzbekistan for at least five years. The same person may not simultaneously be a member of the Senate and deputy of the Legislative Chamber.

Kengash of the Senate:

Kengash gathers between sessions in order to effectively organize the activities of the Senate, coordinate the work of committees, preparing proposals on the topical issues. Kengash is composed of the Chairman of Senate, his/her deputies and chairmen of the committees. Kengash  adopts decisions within its competence and by majority vote of all its members.
Kengash is headed by Chairman of the Senate.

Committees of the Senate:

  • Committee on Budget and Economic Reforms
  • Committee on Legislation and Judicial-Legal issues
  • Committee on Defense and Security
  • Committee on Foreign Policy Issues
  • Committee on Science, Education, Culture and Sport
  • Committee on Agriculture, Water and Ecology

Jurisdiction of the Committees of the Senate:

  • to give conclusion on the laws passed by the Legislative Chamber for approval;
  • to develop its own initiative and on behalf of the Senate drafts of laws on matters relating to its conduct;
  • to make proposals to Kengash of the Senate on the inclusion of laws to the agenda of the meeting or continuation of work on it or reject it with a reasonable justification;
  • to give conclusions and suggestions on the draft of the State Budget of Uzbekistan;
  • to request official documents and other expert opinions, statistical and other data from state authorities and other organizations;
  • to create a working group to review laws introduced by the Legislative Chamber, attract representatives from government bodies and non-governmental organizations, academics, professionals and scientists, heads of business entities;
  • to prepare proposals to amend or supplement of text of introduced laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as the decisions adopted by the Senate;
  • to hear reports of heads of State bodies and government on their implementation of the laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan, regulations and decisions of the Senate committees.

Commissions of the Senate: 

The Senate can create commissions for specific tasks. The Commission is created at the meeting of the Senate among a number of senators, which includes – chairman and members of the commission, and if necessary also deputy chairman of commission. The Senate makes a decision on establishing of a commission. Herewith, the Senate defines the goal and power of a commission.

Commission completes its activity after completion of tasks, or by the decision of the Senate. The form of its organization and activities is determined by the Rules of Procedure of the Senate. Nowadays, it has been formed one Commission - on the Regulations and Ethics.

The Commission on the Regulations and Ethics was formed by the Senate for the term of its office, and consist of 7 persons. The main tasks of the Commission are following:

  • to assist Senators on the observance of the Senate’s ethics;
  • to conduct outreach activities to promote political and legal culture of senators;
  • to carry out preliminary consideration and preparation of questions on the ethics of senators;
  • to monitor the observance of ethics by senators and prevention of its violations timely.

POLITICAL PARTIES

  • Uzbekistan Liberal Democratic Party – Movement of Entrepreneurs and Business People(O'zbekiston Liberal Demokratik Partiyasi) has 39 its representatives as deputies of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis - www.uzlidep.uz
  • National Revival Democratic Party (Milliy Tiklanish Demokratik Partiyasi) – has 29 members at the Legislative Chamber, after unification with Fidokorlar National Democratic party in June 2008 - www.uzmtdp.uz
  • Uzbekistan People's Democratic Party (O'zbekistan Xalq Demokratik Partiyasi) – has 27 members the Legislative Chamber - www.xdp.uz
  • Justice Social Democratic Party (Adolat Sotsial Demokratik Partiyasi) – has 10 members at the Legislative Chamber - www.adolat.uz

Ombudsman

The Institute of the Authorized Person for Human Rights (Ombudsman) under the Parliament was established at the first session of Oliy Majlis by initiative of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan on February, 1995.

Ombudsman is an official empowered by the country’s Parliament for protection of human rights and liberties of citizens in the case of their violation by different bodies and officials. Legal status of Ombudsman, scope and principles of his/her activity, order of designation and dismissal, authorities for consideration of citizens’ applications and complaints, rights and duties in the field of human rights and civil liberties are defined by the Law.

Ombudsman is the body of extrajudicial protection of human rights, which has been called upon to accept and consider citizens’ complaints, which exhausted other possibilities of legal protection of their rights and liberties. Ombudsman is obliged to promote restoration of violated human rights by introducing recommendations on conflict resolution between the state structure and a citizen.

The Authorized Person for Human Rights exercises parliamentary control for efficient observance of legislation in the field of human rights by:

  1. State structures;
  2. Self-governing organizations;
  3. Enterprises, institutions, organizations;
  4. Public associations;
  5. Officials.

The Authorized Person for Human Rights (Ombudsman) is Mrs. Sayora Rashidova.

The Legislative Chamber (Lower Chamber) of Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Address:
Tashkent, 700035,
Xalqlar do‘stligi str. 1,
Tel: +998 (71) 239-87-07
www.parliament.gov.uz

The Legislative Chamber consists of 120 Deputies elected by territorial constituencies on multiparty basis. The Speaker of the Chamber is Mrs. Dilorom Tashmukhamedova.

Kengash of the Legislative Chamber

In order to organize the work of the Chamber and to implement other powers that are stipulated by the Law, the Kengash of the Legislative Chamber was formed at its first session.

Structure of the Kengash:

The Kengash is composed of the Chairman of the Legislative Chamber, his/her Deputies, chairmen of committees, commissions (except interim ones), leaders of factions and blocs of the deputies.

Jurisdiction of the Kengash:

  1. introduces a motion on the agenda and procedures of the session of the Chamber;
  2. holds hearings of the reports of the committees and commissions on their work and information on implementation of the laws and other decisions of the Chamber;
  3. plans legislative activities;
  4. under proposal of the Chairman of the Chamber holds preliminary consideration of draft laws and other documents;
  5. analyses proposals and comments of the deputies given at the session of the Chamber and makes appropriate decision upon them;
  6. within the period between sessions, examines matters for giving consent to bring a deputy of the Chamber to an account in accordance with the law, as well as cases of his/her dismissal;
  7. appoints and dismisses the members of the Board of the Central Bank, Deputies Chairman of the State Committee on Environment of Uzbekistan;
  8. considers other issues related to the work of the Chamber and successful implementation of the powers of the deputies. On the issues related to its competence, the Kengash adopts decisions which are published in prescribed manner.

Committees of the Legislative Chamber:

  • Committee on Budget and Economic Reforms
  • Committee on Legislation and Judicial-Legal issues
  • Committee on Labor and Social Affairs
  • Committee on Defense and Security
  • Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Inter-Parliamentary Relations
  • Committee on Industry, Construction and Commerce
  • Committee on Agriculture, Water and Ecology
  • Committee on Science, Education, Culture and Sport
  • Committee on Democratic Institutions, Non-governmental Organizations and Local Authorities
  • Committee on Information and Communication Technology

Regions

Uzbekistan has 13 regions (provinces), bordering Kazakhstan in the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tadjikistan in the east, Turkmenistan in the west and Afghanistan in the south.

 

  1. Andijan

  2. Bukhara

  3. Djizzak

  4. Fergana

  5. Kashkadarya

  6. Khorezm

  7. Namangan

  8. Navoi

  9. Samarkand

  10. Surkhandarya

  11. Syrdarya

  12. Tashkent

  13. Republic of Karakalpakistan

The Province of Andijan is situated in the eastern part of the Fergana Valley. It covers an area of 4,200 square kilometers. The climate is typically continental with extreme variations between winter and summer temperatures. The population of the Province is 1,899,000, and the average density is 499 people per square kilometer.

The Province is divided into 14 administrative districts. The administrative center of which is the city of Andijan, with 303,000 inhabitants. Other major centers in the Province are Asaka, Khanabad, Khodjaabad, Shakhrikhan, and Karasu.

Multiple deposits of oil, ozokerite and lime represent the mineral resources of the Province.

The Bukhara province is situated in the southwestern part of Uzbekistan. The Kizil-Kum Desert takes up a large portion of its territory. The total area of the Province is 39,400 square km. The climate is characteristically continental and arid.

The Bukhara Province has a population of 1,384,700, about 68% of whom live in the rural areas, while the other 32% live in urban centers. The Province is divided into 11 administrative districts, and the province's administrative center is the city of Bukhara, which has a population of 263,400. Other towns in the Province are Alat, Karakol, Galasiya, Gazly, Gidjduvan, Kagan, Romitan, Shavirkan and Vabkent.

The Province of Djizzak lies in the central part of Uzbekistan. The total area of the Province is 20,500 square kilometers. The climate is typically continental, with dry, hot summers and mild winters.

Its population is 910,500 people with an average density of 108 people per square kilometer. The Province is divided into 11 administrative districts, with Djizzak as its administrative center. This town has 127,200 residents. Other main towns are Dustlik, Gagarin, Gallyaaral, Pakhtakor, and Mardjanbulak.

The Province's economy is based on agriculture, chiefly cotton and cereal. There are tens of thousands of hectares of virgin soil, which have been studied for agricultural purposes. This land has adequate irrigation infrastructure, which has been created in the past few years.

The Province of Fergana is situated in the southern part of the Fergana Valley. Its total area equals 6,800 square kilometers. The climate is typically continental, with mild winters and very hot summers.

The population is about 2,597,000, with approximately 70.7% of the total population living in rural areas. The Province is divided into 15 administrative districts.

The administrative center is Fergana city, which has a population of 214,000. Other towns are Beshkarik, Khamsa, Kokand, Kuva, Kuvasay, Margilan and Rishtan.

The Province of Kashkadarya is situated in the basin of the Kashkadarya River on the western slopes of the Pamir Alay Mountains.
The total area of the Province is 28,400 square kilometers. The climate is typically continental, arid and partly subtropical.

The province has a population 2,029,000, with more than 73% living in rural areas.

Kashkadarya is divided into 14 administrative districts, with Qarshi as its administrative Center. The town of Qarshi has a population of 177,000. Other important towns are Shakhrisabz, Kitab, Kasan, Mubarekh, Yakkabad, Gusar, and Kamashi.

The Province of Khorezm is situated in the northwestern part of Uzbekistan, on the lower reaches of the Amudarya River. Its total area is 6,300 square kilometers. The climate is continental, with moderately cold winters and dry hot summers.

The population of the Province is 1,200,000, with about 80% living in the outlying areas.

The Province is divided into 10 administrative districts, with Urgench as the administrative center. Urgench has a population of 135,000. Other major towns in the Province are Khiva, Shoyot, and Djuma.

The Province of Namangan is situated in the northeastern part of the Fergana Valley, on the right bank of the Syrdarya River, covering an area of 7,900 square kilometers. The climate is typically continental, with hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters.

The population of the Province is 1,862,000, with 62.3% living in rural areas and 37.7% in towns.

The Province is divided into 11 administrative districts, with Namangan City as the administrative center. The city has a population of 341,000. Other important towns are Chartac, Kasansay, Khakolabad Pap, Uchkurgan, Turakurgan, and Chust.

The Province of Navoi is situated in the southwestern part of Uzbekistan, in the middle of the Kizil-Kum Desert. It covers an area of 110,800 square kilometers. The climate is typically continental and arid. The population is approximately 767,500, with about 59.4% living in rural areas and 40.6% living in towns.

The province is divided into 8 administrative districts. The town of Navoi is the administrative center; it has a population of 128,000. Other towns are Kisiltepa, Nurata, Uchkuduk, Zarafshan, and Yangirobad.

The Province of Samarkand is situated in the center of Uzbekistan, in the basin of the Zarafshan River. Its total area is 16,400 square kilometers. The climate is characteristically continental and arid.

The population is 2,322,000, of which three quarters live in rural areas. The Province is divided into 16 administrative districts, with an average population density of 149 people per square kilometer.

The administrative center of the Province is the city of Samarkand, with a population of 368,000. Other important towns are Bulungur, Djuma, Ishtikhon, Kattaqurgan, Urgut, and Aktash.

The province of Surkhandarya is situated in the southern part of Uzbekistan, bordering on Afghanistan. Its total area covers 20,800 square kilometers. The climate is typically continental with mild winters and hot summers.

The Province has a population of approximately 1,676,000 with the majority (79.8%) living in rural areas.

The Province is divided into 14 administrative districts, with Terms as its administrative center. Termez has a population of 95,000. Other towns in the Province are Baysin, Denau, Jarqurgan, Qumqurgon, Shargun, Sherabad, Shurchy, and Sariaciya.

The Province of Syrdarya is located in the center of Uzbekistan, on the left bank of the Syrdarya River. The Steppe takes up a significant part of its area. Its total area is 5,100 square kilometers, and the climate is typically continental and arid.

The population of the Province is 648,100. Syrdarya Province is divided into 9 administrative districts, with Gulistan as its administrative centre. Gulistan has a population of 54,000. Other towns are Baht, Khavast, Mirzakent, Pakhtaabad, Sardoba, Syrdarya, Shirin and Yangiyer.

The Province of Tashkent is situated in the northeastern part of Uzbekistan, between the western slopes of the Tian-Shan mountain range and the Syrdarya River. Its total area equals 15,300 square kilometers. The climate is typically continental, with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers.

The population of the province is 4,450,000 and the average density is 147 people per square kilometer. The province is divided into 15 administrative districts. The administrative center is the city of Tashkent, which has a population of more than 2 million. There are 16 towns in the Province; the largest towns are Angren, Almalik, Akhangaran, Bekabad, Chirchik, Gazalkent, Keles, Parkent, Toy-Tepa, Yangiabad and Yangiyul, where most productive activities are concentrated. There are also 13 towns and smaller villages.

The territory is rich in copper, brown coal, molybdenum, zinc, gold, silver, rare metals and more.

The Republic of Karakalpakistan is situated in the north-western part of Uzbekistan. It occupies the area from the western part of the Kizil-Kum Desert to the Amu-Darya river delta. The Republic's total area covers 165,600 square kilometers. The climate is typically continental, with very hot summers and cold winters without snow.

The population of Karakalpakistan is 1.4 million, mainly Uzbek (32.8%) and Karakalpak (32.1%). About 48% of the population lives in rural areas, while the other 52% live in towns. The Republic is divided into 15 administrative districts, 12 towns and 16 villages, and its administrative center is Nukus which has a population of 236,700. Other significant towns are Beruny, Buston, Khodjeily, Kungrad, Muynaq, Takhiatash, Turtkul, and Chimbad.

 

National Holidays

January 1 New Year

March 8 International Women Day

March 21 Navruz (traditional New Year)

May 9 Day of Memory and Respect

September 1 Independence Day

October 1 Teachers' Day

December 8 Constitution Day

Ruza Hayit (Eid-Al Fitr) is announced every year according to the lunar calendar

Qurban Hayit (Eid-Al Adha) is announced every year according to the lunar calendar

People

The population of the Republic of Uzbekistan is more than 26.4 million (by 4-th quarter 2006), 37 % of them living in urban areas and 63 % - rural residents.

Uzbeks are the main ethnicity, forming around 80% of population. Uzbekistan is a multicultural country with more than 100 nationalities living together for a long historic period.

Republic of Uzbekistan, as other countries of the Central Asia, characterizes with comparatively young population and high portion of them in the structure of labour force. Share of people below working age is 39% of total population, with working age people compromising 54% and 7% are above.

History

The history of Uzbekistan, rich in dramatic and epoch-making events, can be traced back to the dawn of mankind. There is archaeological evidence that the area of present-day Uzbekistan was populated by humans as early as the Palaeolithic Age (500,000-1,000,000 years ago).

During the Neolith (6000-4000 BC) three extensive archaeological cultures developed in Central Asia: Jeitun, Gissar and Keltiminar. Settled crop growing cultures progressed during the Neolithic (circa 4000 BC) and especially Bronze Age (3000-2000 BC), when bronze tools and weapons came into use.

In the second half of the 2nd millennium BC the first city-states appeared in the most advanced regions in Central Asia. Their structure resembled that of ancient Egyptian city-states which included a large settlement (administrative centre) surrounded by oases and several smaller settlements situated along a canal or river.

In the 7th-6th centuries BC the historic provinces of Bactria, Margiana, Khoresm and Sogdiana first emerged, as did the ancient cities of Maracanda, Kok-Tepa, Uzun-Kyr and Er-Kurgan, which had an area of hundreds of hectares and were surrounded by fortified walls.

In 539 BC (or 529 BC, according to other sources) Central Asia came under the control of the Achaemenid king Cyrus of Persia. The king himself was killed in a battle with the Sakas under Queen Tomiris. During the next two centuries the southern part of Central Asia was annexed by the Persian Empire and divided into satrapies which paid tribute in silver to the kings. Three of the satrapies – Bactria, Sogd and Khoresm – lied within the territory of present-day Uzbekistan.

The rule of the Achaemenids was ended by the advance of Alexander the Great who, having crushed the main body of Persian armies, invaded Central Asia in 329 BC in pursuit of Bess, satrap of Bactria and the last heir to the Achaemenid throne. Alexander spent three years (329-327 BC) subduing Central Asian peoples, faced by fierce resistance from the Sogdians led by Spitamen. Probably, the same period saw the rise of the first Uzbek political entity – the kingdom of Khoresm.

After the death of Alexander and subsequent turmoil, in 306 BC the southern portion of Central Asia became part of the Seleucid Empire. Later, in the mid-3rd century BC, the rebellious Bactrian satrap Diodotus established an independent kingdom which became known as Greco-Bactria. In the second half of the 2nd century BC, Greco-Bactria fell to the invading Sakas and Sarmatians, and then was overrun by the Yue-chi (Kushans) who were driven into the region by the Huns. Eventually, a loose confederation of virtually independent petty states was established in the area.

A like state, Kangyui, emerged in the 2nd century BC in Transoxiana which, according to Chinese sources, consisted of five domains, each coining its own money.

Later in the 2nd century BC Han China familiarised itself with "the Western Land" (i.e. Central Asia), and the Great Silk Road emerged as the first major transcontinental route connecting the West and the East.

Throughout the period of local antiquity (1st century BC – early 3rd century AD) Northern Bactria was a province of the powerful Kushan Empire, which was founded in the 1st century AD by the Yue-chi chieftain Kadphises. Sogd (present-day Kashkadarya and Samarkand oblasts of Uzbekistan) at that time was an independent kingdom under the Girkoda dynasty, who are also believed to be of Yue-chi origin. In Khoresm, the Afrigid kings rose to power; judging from their dynastic symbol – a horseman – their rule continued for 700-800 years. Bukhara, Davan (Fergana) and, possibly, Chach enjoyed virtual independence, although these Transoxianian kingdoms might have been nominal dependencies of Kangyui.

The 3rd and 4th centuries AD saw the fall of the great Parthian and Kushan empires, the rise of a host of petty kingdoms in Central Asia, intrusions by nomadic tribes, the destruction of the ancient social formation, and a decline in economy, arts and culture.

Radical changes to the antique social structure took place over the early Middle Ages (5th-8th centuries), when large landowners, dikhans, formed into an influential class. The political situation in this period was determined by the struggle for control of Transoxiana between the neighbouring powers: Sassanidian Iran and the Ephthalite kingdom (5th-6th centuries), Iran and the Turkic khanate (6th-7th centuries) and, finally, the Turkic khanate, Tang China and Arab caliphs which ended with the region’s inclusion in the Abbasid caliphate in the 8th century.

In the 7th-8th centuries Transoxiana was divided into a number of ethnically non-uniform city-states; the most prominent of them were Gurganj (present-day Kunya-Urgench), Bukhara, Samarkand, Chaganian (near present-day Denau) and Chach. Religious beliefs were as diverse. Zoroastrianism dominated the region; Manichaeism and Christianity also spread widely, and Buddhism was practiced in the south.

In the mid-7th century Arabs came to play an increasingly important role in Central Asian politics. They captured Merv in 651 (near present-day Bairam-Ali, Turkmenistan) and made it a stronghold from which to raid Transoxiana. Since then, this land was known as Maverannahr (Arabic for "that which is across the river"). Military expeditions by the Arabs, especially under Kuteiba ibn Muslim in 704-712, resulted in all of Transoxiana becoming part of the Abbasid caliphate. The conquerors brought Islam to the region, and in the 9th century it became the state religion for the peoples of Central Asia.

The 9th-13th centuries. This dramatic epoch, which corresponds to the climax of medieval culture in the West, can be divided into two periods: the 9th-10th centuries, when the Takhirid and then Samanid rulers hold power under the religious and to some extent political leadership of Abbasid caliphs; and the 11th-13th centuries, when the Persian dynasties were replaced by a succession of Turkic rulers (the Karakhanids, Seljukids, Gaznevids and Anushteginids), and the influence of the caliphs was confined to spiritual leadership. Restoration of the native Central Asian state systems occurred in the 9th-10th centuries, when the unity of the Arab caliphate was broken both in the West (in Morocco, North Africa and Andalusia) and East (in Khorasan and Maverannahr).

The beginning of this process can be attributed to the period of the Barmakids, whose ancestors were Buddhist high priests from Balkh. In the early 9th century the northeast provinces of the caliphate were united under the Takhirid dynasty (821-874) founded by Takhir ibn Hussein. In 821 he was made the governor of Khorasan, which at that time covered nearly all the northeast domains of the caliphate, including Maverannahr with Bukhara, Samarkand and Chach. Takhir ruled the area as an independent monarch and coined his own money. Eventually, in 822, he ordered not to mention caliph Mamun in khutba (Friday prayer), which indicated gaining full independence according to Muslim traditions.

The peak of the Takhirid’s power occurred under Abu-al Abbas Abdallakh ibn Takhir (830-844), who consolidated his domain as a true sovereignty. He strengthened the political and administrative power and enforced radical reforms in agriculture, water supply, crafts, mining, taxation and monetary system. The Takhirid period was also the time of the final victory of Islam in Maverannahr. The Takhirid rulers were succeeded in Maverannahr by the Samanids.

In 892 Ismail ibn Ahmad ascended the throne and embarked on an ambitious struggle to convert Maverannahr into a major power in the Muslim world. Under his rule, his state embraced the territory of present-day Uzbekistan, the northeast provinces of Iran, part of Afghanistan and South Kazakhstan; Bukhara was his capital.

The 11th-13th century. The last Samanid ruler, Abu Ibrahim Ismail the Muntasir (Arabic for "victorious"), was killed in 1005, and his state was divided between two khanates under the Turkic dynasties of the Karakhanids and Gaznevids.

The Karakhanid khanate was founded in the 10th century by Satuk, a Turkic convert. His son Musa made Islam the state religion in 960.

The khanate in turn split into two parts: the eastern, with capital at Balasagun (in present-day Kyrgyzstan) and the western, with capital at Taraz, South Kazakhstan, and later at Kashgar. The ethnic composition of the khanate was dominated by the Turkic tribes of Karluks, Chigili and Yagma. In the late 10th century the Karakhanids began to attack Maverannahr, and in the beginning of the 10th century they defeated the Samanids and annexed their territory almost entirely. The only provinces which escaped subjugation were Khoresm, governed by Mamun from the house of the Iraqids, and Termez under the Gaznevid sultan Mahmud.

The latter dynasty was founded by Sebuk, a former priest, and attained its peak of power under sultan Mahmud (998-1030). Mahmud’s state, with capital at Gazna, included vast territories from the Caspian Sea to North India and part of present-day Uzbekistan. After Mahmud’s death his possessions gradually shrank, with Khorasan and Maverannahr coming under the control of the Seljukids and Karakhanids.

In the 1240s khan Ibrahim the Tamgach put an end to dependence on the eastern Karakhanid khanate and established an independent state in Maverannahr, making Samarkand his capital. During his reign the territory of his khanate was extended to include all of Maverannahr, Chach, Ilak and Fergana.

The Karakhanids’ state consisted of a number of dependencies whose rulers were essentially independent monarchs and even coined their own money; this was the principal weakness of the dynasty.

The khanate was exposed to permanent pressure from external foes, the Seljukids and later, in the 12th century, the Kara-Kitai. The Seljukids built a vast empire which extended from Byzantium in the west to Tokharistan in the east, and flourished under Ali-Arslan (1063-1078) and Malik- Shah (1078-1093). Its capital was at Merv.

In the late 1330s a new formidable power, Kara-Kitai, emerged on the eastern border of the khanate; by this name Muslim writers meant a nomadic Manchu people originating from the Tarim basin (East Turkistan).

In 1141 the Kara-Kitai destroyed the allied armies of the Seljukids and Karakhanids in a battle in the Katvan steppe. The population of Maverannahr was imposed a heavy tribute – a dinar from each household – to be delivered to the military capital of the Kara-Kitai at Balasagun. However, the Karakhanids retained administrative control of the state, although it shrank in size dramatically. In Bukhara, the power was usurped by the sadrs (Arabic for "column"), a religious dynasty who claimed descent from caliph Omar.

Later in the 12th century the Karluks, traditional enemies of the Karakhanids, began to settle in Maverannahr. At the same time the southern part of Uzbekistan was invaded by the Gurids, an Afghan dynasty from the mountainous region of Gur. The Karakhanid state was no longer a whole: in Samarkand, Chach, Fergana, Chaganian and Termez the descendants of the Karakhanids established their own royal houses.

In the 12th century the Anushteginids, a dynasty of Turkic shahs from Khoresm, rose to power. Sultan Tekesh (1172-1200) took Khorasan and West Iran from the Seljukids. His son Muhammad (1200-1220) repulsed the Kara-Kitai and Gurid armies, and quelled a popular uprising in Khorasan and a revolt staged by Malik Sanjar in Bukhara. In 1210 Muhammad executed Usman, the last Karakhanid ruler of Samarkand, and in two years unseated the rulers of other former Karakhanid provinces. Having disposed of internal rivalry, Muhammad conquered Iran and Afghanistan. His military success eventually led to the rise of the powerful state of Khoresm shahs with capital at Gurganj (Kunya-Urgench).

The 13th-15th centuries. The rule of Khoresm shahs came to an end in 1220, when Mongol armies under Genghis Khan swept through the country.

Genghis Khan’s invasion of Uzbekistan began in early 1220. The Mongols sacked Bukhara in February, Samarkand in March and Termez in autumn; Gurganj fell in April next year. All these cities were razed by the invaders, and some of them, including Samarkand and Termez, were later rebuilt in new locations.

After the death of Genghis Khan in 1227 his vast empire split into several parts governed by his sons and grandsons.

The northwest part of Uzbekistan joined the Golden Horde, possession of Genghis

Khan’s firstborn Juchi, and the remaining part of the country passed to his brother Jagatai (1227-1241). Khan Kepek (1318-1326), a Jagataid, moved his capital to Maverannehr. He built a palace near Nesef (Karshi in Mongol), which became the core of a large new city of Karshi (administrative centre of the present-day Kashkadarya oblast). During the reign of Tarmashirin (1326-1334) who was converted to Islam, friction developed between two fractions of Mongol nobles; one of them advocated adopting Islam and settled lifestyles, and the other strongly adhered to nomadic traditions and pagan beliefs. This strife culminated in the country’s division into Maverannahr proper and Mogulistan (the area of present-day Semirechye). As a result of collisions between the two movements and feudal faction, in the late 1350s Jagatai’s domain dissipated into more than a dozen petty states.

In the mid-14th century Amir Temur, founder of one of the greatest empires in the East, first rose to prominence in Maverannahr. He was born in 1336 in Kesh, which later was renamed Shakhrisyabz.

In April 1370 a kurultai (congress) in Balkh elected Amir Temur the supreme ruler of Maverannahr.

However, Amir Temur declined the title of khan on account of not being a Genghisid, taking instead the somewhat inferior title of emir. He enthroned a nominal khan,

Suyurgatmysh (1370-1388), and later his son Sultan Mahmud (1388-1402), as dummy rulers. In 1380 Amir Temur finally settled internal faction and led military expeditions to Jet (Semirechye), Khoresm and the Syrdarya valley, with the ultimate goal of consolidating the former Jagataid possessions into a new state with capital at Samarkand.

The conquest of Iran and Iraq took Amir Temur more than a decade. His major advances were made during the campaigns of 1386-1389 and 1392-1397, although the first attacks on Khorasan were mounted by him in 1381. Next his armies overran Transcaucasia, and during the seven-year expedition (1399-1404) Amir Temur defeated the Ottoman Turks and took Egypt and Syria from the Mamelukes. In 1398 North India was subdued. The main foe of Amir Temur, khan Tokhtamysh of the Golden Horde, was utterly routed twice, in 1391 and 1395. By 1403 Amir Temur’s empire grew to an enormous size, embracing Central Asia and all of the Near and Middle East from the Mediterranean to North India. He distributed these vast possessions among his sons and grandsons (Timurids) as hereditary domains. Amir Temur died on 9 February 1405 in Otrar, en route to China. After his death his empire began to decline, remaining nearly as big only under Shahrukh (1409-1447). At that time Maverannahr was governed by the brilliant statesman Ulugbek (killed in 1449).

The Timurid empire eventually found itself defenceless in the face of external threats. The most formidable enemy for the rulers of Khorasan and Maverannahr was khan Shaibani.

Extending his control over Bukhara and Samarkand by the early 16th century, Shaibani captured Khoresm in 1505 and Gerat in 1507; thus he put an end to the reign of the Timurids in the region.

The only ruler who put up able resistance to the invaders was Babur, descendant of Amir Temur in the fifth generation. However, after his defeat in 1512 Babur retreated to Hisar, and from there made a number of raids to Kabulistan and India. Finally, in 1525, he began a decisive campaign in India which resulted in the creation of the Mughal Empire.

After the collapse of the Timurid empire all of Maverannahr was divided between kindred Uzbek dynasties. Its major portion was included in a state consolidated by khan Shaibani, which flourished under khan Ubaidulla (1534-1540) and especially under Abdulla II (1583-1598).

The death of Abdulla occasioned violent internal strife for power, which led to the rise of the Janid rulers (named after Jani Muhammad, founder of the dynasty).

Khoresm, the lower Syrdarya valley and parts of modern Turkmenistan were controlled by another kindred dynasty founded by sultan Ilbars in 1511. When Khiva was made the capital of this domain in 1596, the state itself became known as the khanate of Khiva. In the end of the 17th century – beginning of the 18th century the region suffered a severe economic and political crisis, aggravated by continuous raids by the nomadic Kalmyks, and especially by the 1740 Persian invasion by shah Nadir. The frequently shifting khans became essentially nominal rulers backed by the leaders of various Uzbek tribes. In the mid-18th century isolationist trends in the region promoted the formation of new states.

In 1747 Muhammad Rakhim, emir of the tribe of Mangits, rose to power in Bukhara, thus establishing the dynasty of the Mangits. The khanate of Bukhara became an emirate which existed until 1920. It attained its peak of power during the reign of the emirs Shahmurad (1785-1800) and Narsulla (1826-1866), who controlled most of Maverannahr, northern Afghanistan including Balkh and part of Turkmenistan.

In the beginning of the 18th century Fergana became a separate domain under Shahrukh-biy from the Uzbek tribe of Mings. One of the later rulers of this state, Alambek, assumed the title of khan in 1805, and the state became known as the khanate of Kokand (after its capital). From 1808 the khanate included Fergana, Tashkent and an area lying along the Syrdarya. In 1864 Russian troops captured Tashkent and then Fergana, and the khanate of Kokand was annexed by the Russian empire.

In Khoresm, power was taken by Muhammad Amin (1763-1790), emir of the Kunrdads. His son Eltuzar assumed the title of khan in 1804, and the dynasty ruled the khanate of Khiva until 1920.

In the second half of the 19th century all of Uzbekistan was divided between the khanates of Kokand and Khiva and the emirate of Bukhara.

Following an offensive by the Russians in the 1860s the khanate of Kokand was dissolved and designated the Turkistan Province under a Russian governor-general, and Bukhara and Khiva received the status of protectorate, becoming vassal states with a curtailed territory.

The Russian colonisation had multiple implications for the peoples of Central Asia, both positive and negative. On the one hand, Tsarist Russia assisted modernisation of industrial and agricultural production in its new provinces, and promoted modern economic relations, urban development and familiarisation with the achievements of European culture. But on the whole this beneficial influence could not make up for disastrous changes to native civilisation and lifestyles.

Having lost their independence, the Uzbeks were deprived of the right to choose political path for development, and to express their will. Unrecoverable damage was done to the millennium-old Central Asian civilisation and culture. The Tsarist government put the military command of Turkistan in charge of all administrative affairs. The pyramid of power in the region ascended to the governor-general who was head of the military and civil administrations. The principal economic goal of the colonial policy was to turn the region into a raw material base to supply the Russian industry.

Cotton production was of strategic importance to the empire, and the colonial administration made every effort to promote this crop. As a result, from 1889 to 1911 cotton sown areas in Turkistan increased by seven times. Turkistan played a major role in releasing Russia from dependence on cotton import, and by 1915 the proportion of Uzbek cotton on the Russian market was boosted to almost 70%.

In parallel with that, areas under cereals and fodder crops shrank dramatically, resulting in the dangerously high food dependence of the region.

The local industrial structure was dominated by facilities for pre-transport treatment of cotton wool. Whereas in 1873 there was a single cotton plant, in 1916 there were 350 such enterprises. At the same time production of coal, oil, ozokerite and non-ferrous metals began to develop in the area. Colonial goals totally determined the initiatives to build railways, which were laid with a view to strengthening defence, continuing territorial expansion and deploying troops in revolting areas.

The migration policy pursued by the government was an important political and economic tool to expand Russian presence in the area and build a reliable social structure to support the Tsarist regime. The majority of newcomers to the region were peasants from Russian countryside.

The Tsarist administration of Turkistan paid close attention to fundamental reform of local education system. Russian-Uzbek schools were opened in large numbers to provide educated local workforce.

There also existed the so-called "new methodology schools" founded by the Jadids in the beginning of the 20th century, which combined the achievements of eastern and European teaching and offered both religious and secular training. The Uzbek culture continued to develop despite suppression by the Tsarist regime. This period witnessed the flourishing of such talents as Mukimi, Zavki, Furkat, Behbudi, Hodja Muin, and other writers. Traditional Uzbek and classical music, crafts and applied art also progressed.

The spiritual life in Central Asia was enriched with the introduction of previously unknown cultural phenomena such as public libraries, museums, newspapers, telegraph, photography, cinema, printing, etc., and the beginning of professional Uzbek theatre and circus.

Important advances were made in local science. A number of prominent Russian scientists worked in Turkistan, among them V.V. Bartold, V.L. Vyatkin, I.M. Mushketov, V.A. Obruchev, V.F. Oshanin, P.P. Semenov-Tyanshansky, A.P. Fedchenko, and others.

However, the methods and forms of colonial rule and the policy of imperial unification caused increasing popular discontent. It broke out in mass disturbances and revolts – the 1875 uprising led by Dervish-khan in Andijan and Margilan, the 1892 "Choleraic Revolt" in Tashkent, the 1898 uprising of Dukchi-ishan in the Fergana valley, and the most violent insurrection in 1916, which was provoked by the tsar’s decree on forced recruiting of Uzbeks for rear service on the fronts of World War I.

A new epoch in Uzbek history began after the February Revolution in Russia, which triggered rapid politicisation of Turkistan society. The National Democrats consolidated around Shuroi Islamiya, a strong party created in March 1917 by the leaders of the Jadid movement – Ubaidulla Assadullakhojayev, Munavvar Kori, Makhmudhoja Behbudi and Tashpulatbek Norbutabekov. They also assisted the rise of other political associations.

The position of native population was voiced at the 1st All-Turkistan Muslims’ Congress (April 1917). The delegates recognised the Provisional Government and unanimously voted for the establishment of a federal democratic republic in Russia, with self-government for all the dependencies including Turkistan.

In October 1917 the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia

The National Progressivists did not accept Bolshevism and continued the struggle for independence. In November 1917 the 4th Regional Muslims’ Congress declared the establishment of Turkiston Mukhtoriyati, a national political entity which embodied the principles of a state development programme drafted by the National Democrats.

As before, in no way did the delegates advocate separation from Russia. The government of Turkiston Mukhtoriyati which was elected at the Congress included both Uzbek leaders and representatives of European ethnic groups.

However, this movement was not in line with the Bolshevik policies, and in February 1918 Turkiston Mukhtoriyati was attacked and crushed. The following years were marked by the mass anti-Soviet basmachi (guerrilla) war. In the Fergana valley alone, about 500,000 men died fighting Soviet armies in 1918-1924.

In 1920 the Soviets overthrew the khans in Bukhara and Khiva, and these two states became Peoples’ Soviet Republics under the control of Soviet Russia.

The formation of the USSR in December 1922 was accompanied by unification of the socialist state system. As a result of ethnic demarcation in Central Asia, five new republics were created in 1924, including the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic.

Contrary to all the propaganda on the voluntary choice made by the Uzbek people, the nation never received sovereign rights and in fact was forced into the humble position of another Soviet dependency.

The Soviet era was characterised by both positive and negative developments in Uzbek economy and society.

The ill-designed Soviet reform policy led to a disastrous campaign for forced collectivisation, which was meant to crown the 1917 plan to nationalise industry and agriculture totally. During the campaign over 60,000 Uzbek peasants were subjected to repressions.

Collectivisation decimated the rural economy; production of livestock, cereals and other items countrywide dropped so drastically that famine struck several vast areas, including Uzbekistan.

Agriculture gradually revived over the next decades, when the input supply and technical capacity of government-run farms were strengthened. Nevertheless, the kolkhoz (collective farm) system of land use and command management remained insuperable impediments to better performance.

The situation was as difficult in industry. In the course of "socialist industrialisation" proclaimed in 1925, palpable progress was made in the effort to convert Uzbekistan from a purely agrarian society into an agrarian-industrial one. Towards 1940, 1,445 industrial enterprises were launched in the country. However, much like the Tsarist government, the Soviets encouraged the development of industries that were able to provide the central regions of the USSR with raw materials. As a result, Uzbekistan essentially remained a supply base with little value-added capacity.

The Soviet impact on cultural life in Uzbekistan was ambiguous. The major achievements of the Soviet period included raising the educational level of the population, creating an extensive network of colleges and universities, and making impressive advances in science, the arts and literature. But this overall progress was darkened by political purges by the totalitarian regime, which took a heavy toll on the intellectual potential of Uzbek society.

The Soviet-German war of 1941-1945 was a dramatic ordeal for the Uzbek people and the whole of the Soviet Union, which became the central land front in World War II. During these years, a total of 1,433,230 people from Uzbekistan went away to fight (over 40% of the country’s workforce).

Political persecution of educated people and clergy in Uzbekistan continued into the 1940-1950s. On the whole, from 1937 to 1953 nearly 100,000 people were victimised for political reasons, and 13,000 of them were shot.

In the mid-1950s the new leadership of the Soviet Union publicly condemned the mass repressions and rehabilitated many innocent victims. However, these moves were not followed up with systematic changes to the regime.

In the final decades of Soviet rule important achievements in certain fields were counterbalanced by an overall tendency towards stagnation in social development and the economy. Thus, the rise of agricultural production and government measures to take full advantage of Soviet technological breakthroughs resulted in better income levels and living conditions for the population in Uzbekistan as compared with the pre-Soviet past.

However, at the beginning of the 1980s the pace of economic development throughout the USSR dropped to a level which indicated the final crisis of the socialist economic system.

Uzbekistan’s specialisation as a raw materials supplier became absolute in the 1960-1980s.

The treatment of Uzbekistan by the centre as a supply base for the Union and its lop-sided economic development occasioned severe stagnation in all sectors. In the late 1980s Uzbekistan ranked twelfth in the USSR in terms of GDP, its per capita income being half the Union average. Serious problems were encountered in public health and housing.

Hope of overcoming the systemic crisis appeared with Perestroika, an ill-fated attempt at restructuring the Soviet state which was proclaimed by Mikhail Gorbachev in April 1985. Fearful of separatist tendencies, the Union government engineered the notorious "Cotton Case", allegedly aimed at fighting corruption among high Uzbek officials. More than 25,000 managers and officials were arrested in Uzbekistan during this full-scale campaign, and persecution began of "nationalism", that is, any display of Uzbek traditions and culture. An unwritten government policy was launched to restrict the use of the Uzbek language.

A new policy consistent with national interests began to form when Islam Karimov took the lead in the national government.

Karimov was elected President of Uzbekistan at the 1st Session of the Supreme Council of the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic in March 1990.

Presidential decrees, acts, resolutions of the Supreme Council and the government, and finally, the Declaration of Independence were all designed to secure political and economic independence and the national revival of Uzbekistan. In 1989 Uzbek was made the official language of the new state, and a package of measures was drafted to address the most urgent economic problems, such as the monoculture of cotton, and to assist revival of Uzbek culture.

On 31 August, the 6th Extraordinary Session of the Supreme Council declared the political independence of the country, which was officially named the Republic of Uzbekistan. 1 September was proclaimed Independence Day.

Overwhelming popular support for independence and the government line was expressed during presidential elections and a referendum on political sovereignty (29 December 1991). Islam Karimov won 86% of the vote and became the first President of the new Uzbek state; 98.2% of the population voted for independence.

From September 1991 to July 1993 the Republic of Uzbekistan was officially recognised by 160 states. On 2 March 1992 the country joined the United Nations.

Since independence, an era of free development began in the history of the Uzbek people.

The conditions under which the young nation started out were difficult. The problems inherited from the Tsarist and Soviet periods, particularly the country’s unbalanced industrial structure, with its orientation towards raw materials production, manifested itself sharply during the first years of "stand-alone" development. The disruption of former economic ties brought about a setback to production in all sectors, high unemployment levels and worsening living standards.

Reality called for radical reforms in both the social structure and the economy, and President Karimov came up with the concept of the "Uzbek model" for national revival and reform.

The foundation for transition from the socialist formation to market economy was laid by the Constitution which was adopted on 8 December 1992.

Sizable efforts began to dismantle the former command system of economic management.

The new Uzbek political system relies on state institutions, which are modelled on recognised international patterns. The legislature consists of the national Parliament, Oliy Majlis, and local representative bodies, Kengashes. The mainstay of the executive is the restored traditional institution of khakims.

Uzbekistan selected presidential rule, which combines the powers of a president as Head of State and those of the executive.

The role of the state itself changed radically, and it now acts as the main engine and motivating body for reform activities.

Close attention is being paid to the formulation of a national development strategy for the 21st century, which is intended to promote liberalisation in the economy and social life.

The cultural revival of the nation envisages a return to the roots of the nation's spirituality, enriched with the achievements of world culture. A crucial task is to develop a new national ideology centred around the concept of independence.

The government has devoted a great deal of effort to assisting the restoration of Islam and other confessions in Uzbekistan. However, it is appreciated that, away from the mainstream, there are a variety of informal movements in the modern Muslim world which might exploit Islamic teaching for political purposes. Therefore, certain provisions were made to prevent the spread of destructive religious movements.

Bearing in mind that Uzbekistan has a complex ethnic composition, the government is seeking to ensure equal development opportunities for all ethnic groups residing in the country. In this connection, ethnic cultural centres, presently numbering 180, are expected to make a significant contribution to the country’s spiritual revival.

Efforts are under way to modernise the national system of education and research. Modern education will embody and promote the values of humanism, democracy, consistent and scientific secular teaching, national and international cultures, and the equality of all regardless of ethnicity or religion.

After independence Uzbekistan selected a new path for economic development, which envisages de-ideologising the economy, a role for the state as the main engine of reform during the period of transition, socially orientated economic policies, and step-by-step market reforms.

Uzbekistan became an independent player in foreign trade and joined the Economic Co-operation Organisation, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Black Sea Economic Co-operation, International Monetary Fund, International Labour Organisation, etc.

Since independence, a total of 3,500 joint ventures have been opened in Uzbekistan. These economic successes have been accompanied by an upsurge in the social sector. An important achievement of the government social policies of recent years is that they have secured a guaranteed, albeit modest, living standard for the population.

The country has adopted a unique system of social insurance based on local self-government bodies, makhallya, which have been put in charge of identifying the needy and providing targeted financial support to them. Although a number of serious problems persist in public health, significant improvements have taken place in this sector since independence. Life expectancy has increased from 71 years in 1986 to 73 years at present.

Thus, despite the hard starting conditions, Uzbekistan has risen into the leading positions in the CIS and has become an active member of the international community. Its political, social and economic image has changed completely during the years of independence. Unlike some other post-Soviet republics, Uzbekistan enjoys social and political stability and positive dynamics in socio-economic development.

The measurable progress made by the nation does not mean, however, that all the existing problems have been duly addressed, and a lot remains to be done to improve the living standards of the people. But, importantly, we can now say that the most crucial phase of transition has been left behind. The achievements of the past years give us cause to hope for better; we have a clear vision of the future goals, and our plans are definite and feasible.

Economy

As a result of realization by the government and bodies of state power at the local levels of policy measures on implementing the most important priorities of social-economic development of the country defined by President, accomplishment of purposeful policy programs of development, technical and technological renewal of strategic sectors of economy , the sustainable dynamics of growth of main indicators of social and economic development of Uzbekistan has been ensured in the past several years.

Maintaining macroeconomic stability, sustainable and balanced rates of economic growth. On the outcomes of previous years the GDP growth accounted from 7 to 9.4%. The growth in industrial production made up 12.4%, including 18.4% growth in consumer goods production, 8.4% - in construction works, 4.1% - in agriculture, 15% - in retail trade, 19.3% - in paid services to population. The state budget has been executed with 1.9% surplus. Real money income per capita grew by 22.4%.

The main factors of economic growth have been as follows: dynamic export activity which led to a 40.9% growth of foreign trade, including 62.9% of exports, positive balance of payments totaled USD 4.5 billion, investment policy which ensured the continuation of structural changes in real sector of economy and the growth in assimilated investments by 22.4%; support of small businesses and entrepreneurship which developed thanks to reduction of tax and administrative burden on business.

Continuation of structural changes, modernization and renewal of leading sectors of economy.Implementation of Investment Program during 9 months this year became an important factor of accomplishing structural changes, modernization and renewal of leading sectors of economy. 

As a part of measures on developing production infrastructure that ensure creation of favorable conditions for developing the new productions, Uzbekistan took the steps aimed at road construction and reconstruction, development of power supply lines and electrification of railroads, water and gas supply systems.

The growth of exports in the foreign economic activity was ensured mainly by way of chemical production (163.6%), machines and equipments (113.1%), services (126.1%) and other goods and services.

 

Culture, Religion

Culture. Uzbekistan has one of the brightest and original cultures of the Orient. It is inimitable national music, dances and painting, unique national kitchen and clothes. The Uzbek national music is characterized as variety of subjects and genres. The songs and tool plays according to their functions and forms of usage can be divided into two groups: performed in the certain time and under the certain circumstances and performed at any time. The songs connected with customs and traditions, labor processes, various ceremonies, dramatized entertainment representations and games belong to the first group.

The Uzbek people is well-known for its songs. "Qoshiq" - household song with a small diapason melody, covering one or two rows of the poetic text. The dancing character of a melody of this genre provides their performance in support of comic dances. "Lapar" is a dialogue-song. In some areas the term - lapar is applied to wedding songs "Ulan" (which is performed as a dialogue of man and women). Genre "yalla" includes two kinds of songs: a melody of a narrow range, and solo simultaneously with dance. National and professional poems of the poets of East are used as the texts for the songs. The special place in the Uzbek musical heritage occupy "dastans" (epic legends with lyric-heroic content). Also "Maqoms"- are the basic classical fund of professional music of oral tradition.

The dances of Uzbeks distinguish softness, smoothness and expressiveness of movements, easy sliding step, original movements on a place and on a circle.

The development of national painting began many centuries ago. At 16-17 centuries art of the manuscript and binding in Bukhara and some other urban centers has achieved significant success. The decorating of manuscript included refined calligraphy, performance by water paints and thin ornaments on fields. In Samarkand and especially in Bukhara the Central Asian school of a miniature has achieved a great success and were developed many different style directions. One of them, for example is connected with traditions of Behzod, which characterized with its gentle style of writing the letter and architectural elements.

National clothes. The Uzbek national clothes of the end of XIX century partially remain up these days. The men in that time carried a direct cover shirts, bottom and top dressing gowns. The dressing gowns were very light and made from cotton wool. There were cuts on each side of dressing gown for convenience at walking. The trousers were made wide, of direct breed lent from top to bottom. Female clothes were: dressing gowns, dress, "parandja" - also of wide breed.

Crafts. Culture, handicrafts and tourism are rapidly becoming inseparable partners. Local crafts are important elements of culture, and people travel to see and experience other cultures, traditions and ways of living. Crafts products form an important element of the purchases made by tourists, providing an important economic input to the local economy.

Applied art of Uzbeks has a wealth of variety when it comes to style, materials and ornamentation. Silk, ceramics and cotton weaving, stone and wood carving, metal engraving, leather stamping, calligraphy and miniature painting are some genres passed down from ancient times. Back in the past, each region had its own cultural and ethnic traditions the unique features of which were established by local guilds that have strengthened these characteristics through their art.
Uzbek craftsmen nowadays still practice ancient jewellery making techniques for cutting gemstones, grain filigree, granular work, engraving and enamelling, also they are trying to take into account fashion demands and styles.

Embroidery is one of the most popular trends of applied arts in Uzbekistan. Every city of Uzbekistan has its own unique features such as ornamentation, composition, colour range and stitching. The finest kind of embroidery, gold embroidery is still practised in Bukhara.

The art of carpet weaving is also a very ancient form of art throughout Asia, and nowadays it can be found in some of the cities of Uzbekistan today. The art of wood carving is used and adapted in modern interior design. Carved and painted tables, stools, caskets, pencil boxes and bookstands are popular pieces of furniture among local people and tourists. The art of Miniature painting and calligraphy has been revived again in its traditional form as well as some modern variants. For example miniatures stamped on leather, painted on paper miniatures, small lacquered boxes, framed pictures, pencil boxes and many other ideas skilfully painted by masters can be found in Uzbekistan.

Cuisine. Uzbek cuisine is one of the most colourful of Oriental cuisines. You will get astounded to find some of Uzbek recipes to be centuries-old. They even have different traditional rituals and ways of cooking. There are about 1,000 different dishes including national drinks, cakes and confectionary products.

Uzbek "Pilaf" is a very solemn food. It can be considered as an everyday dish as well as a dish for solemn and great events like weddings, parties and holidays. Rice is the most important ingredient of pilaf and special spices, raisins, or peas will be added to give it extra flavour. However, locals believe that the best pilaf is always prepared by a man! Salads are also served along with pilaf.
Bread is holy for Uzbek people. This traditional belief started with a legend. As it goes, each new Governor would mint his own coins but the payment for local people who minted new coins were not the coins that were minted but…bread!

Traditionally Uzbek breads are baked inside the stoves made of clay called "Tandyr". These fragrant breads are known to be crispy and tasty. Even the greatest scientist of medicine, Avicenna used Uzbek bread to cure people of diseases.

A special importance is placed on soups. Uzbek soup is rich in vegetables and seasonings and contains lots of carrots, turnips, onions and greens. Two popular soups are Mastava and Shurpa.

ION Nowadays, there are more than 2,2 thousand religious organizations representing 16 denominations that have the legal registration in Uzbekistan.

Naturally, the overwhelming majority - 2042 or 92% of total - are Muslim organizations, as approximately 88% of population in Uzbekistan consider themselves as followers of Islam.

Besides, 164 Christian organizations, 8 Jewish communities, 6 Bahai communities, 1 Krishna society and 1 Buddhist temple are also represented in the country.

In mutual relation with religious organizations, the state, being secular, adheres to the following principles:

-Respectful attitude to religious feelings of the believers;

-Recognition of religious views as a private affair of the citizens or their associations;

- Providing warranty for the equal rights and inadmissibility of prosecution of the citizens for, both professing religious views, and not professing them;

- Necessity of search for dialogue with various religious associations for utilization of their opportunities in the sphere of spiritual revival, strengthening of universal moral values;

- Recognition of inadmissibility of usage of religion in destructive purposes.

According to the requirements of the Vienna Declaration, guarantees of the Constitution of the Republic Uzbekistan, with a view of ensuring of the interethnic consent and interconfessional solidarity, one of the main priorities for reforming of our society was maintenance and protection of the rights and freedom of citizens, their legal equality irrespective of race, sex, nationality, language, social origin, belief, religion, personal or social status, as fixed in our Constitution.

Believers of Uzbekistan freely celebrate all religious holidays. That is why, year-by-year and in a wide scale, Muslims celebrate Idul Adha and Idul Fitri, Christians - Easter and Christmas, Jews – Pesach, Purim and Hanukkah. By the decrees of President of Uzbekistan, Idul Adha and Idul Fitri are announced as the national holidays.

Apart from this, every year with all-round help of the leadership of the Republic of Uzbekistan, believers make pilgrimage to sacred places – Muslims to the Kingdome of Saudi Arabia for carrying out ceremonies of Hajj and Umrah, Christians - to Russia, Greece and Israel, Jews - to Israel.

In total, during independence years, more than 50 thousand citizens of Uzbekistan have had the opportunity to carry out Hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia and more than 150 citizens were supported to visit sacred places for Christians and Jews in Russia, Greece and Israel.

Pilgrims have been provided with comprehensive help - organization of special flights, rendering of medical services, free exchange of foreign currency, reduced price of air tickets, fast and unobstructed registration of visa documents.

During the years of independence, Sacred Koran, 16 books of the Old Testament, as well as the whole New Testament were translated into the Uzbek language and published in the republic are.

Hundreds of mosques, churches and meeting-houses, including orthodox temples in Tashkent, Samarkand and Navoi, a Catholic church in Tashkent, the Armenian apostolic church in Samarkand were constructed and restored.

According the Governmental Decree of 22 August 2003,  15 objects - religious complexes, places of pilgrimage and mausoleums will be managed by the Administration of Muslims of Uzbekistan.

At the end of 2004, Administration of Muslims of Uzbekistan together with the Republican Blinds Society had presented the Sacred Koran printed on Brail script. Uzbekistan became the third state in the world which has carried out this good deed. Nowadays, around 24 thousand citizens, deprived of possibility to see the world with their eyes, reside in our country. From now on, special boarding schools, public libraries of the republic, as well as all interested persons will be provided with copies of the Koran on Brail script. It was noted during the event that the edition of the Sacred Koran for blinds, organization of gesture-translation for deaf-mutes at two Friday mosques of Tashkent, and the decision to introduce this experience in other regions of the republic, will be invaluable gift for our fellow disabled citizens.

The system of religious training consists of the Tashkent Islamic Institute, 10 madrasas, Orthodox and Protestant seminaries. In 2006-2007 academic year, 124 students are being trained in the Tashkent Islamic Institute, 900 – in madrasas, 49 - in Orthodox seminary, and 33 - in Protestant seminary.

The Tashkent Islamic University was established in September 1999 on the initiative of the President of Uzbekistan. The first bachelors of the University graduated in 2003 and the MAs in 2005. The Academic Lyceum and Gymnasium-School are functioning within the University.

Adoption of the new edition of the Law of the 1 May 1998 became the next step in the construction of highly democratic society. It defines in detail the role and status of the religious organizations and unions, and their complete mutual understanding and relations with state bodies. 

Registration of religious organizations is carried out in accordance with the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers on “Regulation for state registration of the religious organizations in the Republic of Uzbekistan” dated 20 June 1998. During 2006 – 8 religious organization have been registered, including 7 mosques  and 1 Christian church.   

Uzbekistan is a secular state, and the Government does not differentiate between religious organisations due their size or popularity in the country. All religious organisations – whether they are larger organisation like Administration of Muslims of Uzbekistan and the Tashkent and Middle East Diocese of Russian Orthodox Church, or the small single religious organisations – have similar rights and obligations. 

The Council of Congregations was established under the Committee for Religious Affairs to promote close cooperation with the religious organizations, provide assistance and support for the different religious communities in their activities and in mutual development of proposals and measures for ensuring inter-religious and interethnic peace and harmony of society.

The Council of Congregations is made of the leaders of Muslim’s Administration, the Tashkent and Middle East Diocese of Russian Orthodox Church, the Union of Evangelical-Christians Churches, the Centre of Churches of Christians of full Evangeline, the Evangelic-Lutheran Church, and the Tashkent Jewish religious society.   

The state maintains the inter-religious peace and harmony in Uzbekistan. Rich intellectual heritage of the nations in Uzbekistan, ancient cultures and religions become a subject of interest for the international society.

The state promotes increase of foreign visits to Uzbekistan, so the guest of our country could personally be convinced of its prosperity, as well as see that the government not in words, but in practice carries out its obligations.

For example, in 1995 in Tashkent, there was the Christian-Muslim Conference "To live together under the one sky". Representatives of the World Council of Churches and some other foreign churches took part in this forum.

There were marked two significant dates in 1996:

-             In November, the 125th anniversary of the Tashkent and Central Asian Diocese of Russian Orthodox Church. In honour of celebration of this date, for the first time in the history of Church, the Moscow and All-Russia Patriarch Alexi II arrived to Central Asia;

-             in December, the Evangelic-Lutheran community of Uzbekistan celebrated 100-years anniversary of the only Lutheran Kirha in Central Asia.

In 2001 Tashkent and Central Asian Diocese celebrated its 130th anniversary.

In 2002 the Tashkent Catholic Church celebrated the 100th anniversary of the revival of Catholicism in the Central Asia.

Samarkand held events on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Apostolic Church in October 2003.

There is preparations are going on occasion of the 135th anniversary of the Tashkent and Central Asian Diocese of Russian Orthodox church in current year.

It is great to note, that the representatives of various faiths are participating in these events.

Looking back at the historic path that has been passed by our people, it is necessary to note, that from day one of Independence a huge work is done in the country. The essence of the state itself has undergone essential transformations and radical changes. Adoption in December 1992of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, which is the base for formation of legislative and legal foundation of the sovereign state, became the important political event in the life of our country.

Article 18 of the Constitution fixed that all citizens of Uzbekistan have the same rights and freedoms, and are legally equal without distinction by gender, race, nationality, language, religion, origin, belief, personal and a social status.

The Constitution guarantees the rights of citizens for freedom of conscience. Everyone has the right to profess any religion or not profess any. Forced propagation of religious views is inadmissible (Article 31).

Therefore, we are proud that today representatives of over 120 ethnicities live and work in the territory of Republic.

Uzbekistan has established official diplomatic relations with more than 130 countries of the world. Process of democratization of our society is recognized abroad.

Uzbekistan, being the full member of the international community, bears the full responsibility on support of different faiths. But it is especially necessary to notice, that it does not give the reason for using the religion in political or other purposes.

Science & Education

Today Uzbekistan is a large scientific center in Central Asia, which has developed exploratory material base, extensive scientific foundation, qualified scientific personnel, whose works have found a confession all over the world.

Research complex of the republic comprises of 362 institutions of academic, university and economic profile, including:

  • 101 scientific - research institutes,

  • 55 scientific research subdivisions of the educational institutions,

  • 65 project-design organizations,

  • 32 research-and-production associations and experimental enterprises,

  • 30 information-computing centers.

Kernel of scientific potential is an Academy of sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan - leading scientific and experimental center in the region, which has a history of more than half a century. In its structure are created and successfully conducting studies such unique scientific centers, as:

  • Institute of nucleus physics,

  • Research-and-production association "Physics-Sun",

  • Research-and-production association "Botanika",

  • Complex of high mountain astronomical observatories on the mountain Maydanak

  • and others.

Near 46 thousand people are occupied in scientific sphere, including 2,8 thousand doctors and approximately 16,1 thousand candidates of sciences. For the first time created high attestation commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan, which is meant to prepare young scientific personnel. Preparation of scientific personnel of high qualifications is carried out in 20 areas of science.

At present, scientists of the republic conduct fundamental and applied studies on many directions of modern science.

Scientific schools of world class are working in the republic and successfully conducting studies on following directions: studies in the field of mathematics, theory of chances, mathematical modeling of natural and public processes, informatics and computer technology.

Republic formed its own astronomical school, established in the times of Biruni, Ulugbek and Giyasitdin Jamshed. As far back as in the ancient times works of Uzbek scientists on astronomy, studied a motion celestial luminary have got worldwide admission. They were the first who designed the most exact map of the stars. Supporting astronomical network to study climatologic edges is created in the republic. Uzbek scientists with the scientists and specialists of USA, Italy and Japan, working at Kitab international width stations named after Ulugbek, built in 1930s, actively participate in nternational researches on studying motion of the poles of the Earth.

The studies connected with studying the regularities of geological processes, causing formation of mineral and raw material resources available for industrial use, as well as in the field of tectonics, geophysics, seismology and other scopes of sciences about Earth are carried out by local scientists.

The works of the geologists of the republic in the field of complex geological-geophysical and geochemical study of a terrestrial cortex, ore formation in metal genetics and oil formation promoted a creation in Uzbekistan powerful mineral - raw material base. Scientists - geologists directly participated in the opening, studying and mastering many most largest deposits of useful fossils on the territory of the republic and the whole Central Asian region.

Studies in the field of molecular geneticists, genetic engineering and biotechnologies, show necessary base of ensuring a research progress in agriculture, microbiological industry, surround ambience protection.
Scientific schools in the field of organic and inorganic chemistry, chemistries of vegetable materials, biology and geneticists, on creating biotechnologies are formed and developed in the republic. They designed a theoretical base and technology for production of new types of high efficient ecological clean fertilizers, small-toxic defoliates, new medicine, facilitators for growing plants and their protection amenities.

Researches connected with studying a complex of physical-chemical characteristics of materials.

Fundamental studies on the physics of kernel and elementary particles, radiation physics and materials have got specifically broad development in the republic. Formed new scientific direction - relativist nucleus physics. It serves a theoretical base for studies in the field of nucleus energy and applied nucleus physics.

Actively conducted works on producing nontraditional types of energy - complex and efficient transformation and mastering sun energy, which has a big significance in solving problems of electrical independence of the country.
Studies on world and domestic history, cultural and spiritual heritage, historical and modern development of Uzbek language, literature and Uzbekistan folklore are also taking place.

In the development of savvy potential of republic, expansion international scientific-cultural relationships scientists of common sciences, and first of all historians, archeologists, ethnographers, linguists have added significant contribution. Works connected with studying ethno genesis and reconstructing objective history of Uzbek folk, studying its traditions, ways of life and cultures are in exclusive interest.

Uzbekistan ratified and is thereby attached to the Rio Declaration, to UNO Frame Convention on change of climate, to UNO Convention on the biological variety, to UNO Convention on the fight against deserting, to the Vienna Convention on the protection ozone stratum, to Basel Convention on checking for transborder transportation of dangerous waste and their litter, to the Convention on forbidding military or any other hostile draft on means of influences to the natural ambience. Besides, Uzbekistan signed 12 international agreements on the cooperation in the field of surround ambience protection.

Uzbekistan participates with the Council of the Land in work on projection Charter of the Land. At the beginning of 1999 National project of Charter is sent in the Secretary of Council of the Land.

On the initiatives of the Government of Uzbekistan Concept on solving problems of Aral Sea and Program on concrete actions for perfecting ecological situation in the pool of Aral Sea is designed, which were accepted by the Heads of Central Asian states in 1994. These Decisions laid in the basis of work of the International conference on the firm development of Aral Sea pool, organized by UNO in Nukus (September 1995.). On conferences is accepted Nukus Declaration, which, having confirmed devotion to the accepted international conventions on observance of cardinal principles Rio, has defined a strategy and main measures on the firm development at the level of Central Asian states.

National plan of actions on the surround ambience protection, National strategy and plan of actions on the conservation of biovariety in the Republic of Uzbekistan, National program on stopping use of ozone destroying materials, Program of measures in regarding changes of climate, on fight against deserting landscapes, National plan of actions on the hygiene of surround ambience, Transborder project on the conservation of biovariety of West Tien-Shan on the territory of Kazakhstan, Kyrgizstan and Uzbekistan were designed. Works on creation and development of National parks and reservations is taking place.
Realization of priority directions for the development of science and technology will be accomplished through financing from the state budget for research programs.

For the research policy Government will support most important priorities within the framework of:

- inter industry activities on creation, mastering and spreading technologies and know-how, leading to principal changes in the technological base and reducing severe influences to the surrounding ambience;

- works on large, inter industry research projects, requiring immense concentrations of resources, hard to realize for the individual customers;

- scientific-technical support for the actions, realizing social purposes of society (through the development of public healthcare and education, culture, ambience protection of corresponding infrastructure);

- studies connected with forming a democratic state with the strong social warranties, undertaking the economic reforms, entering of Uzbekistan to the world economic community and solve problems on becoming full-fledged market economy;

- works connected with the conservation and development of the genetic base of vegetables and bestial world; using museum, carrying out research work, as well as using national foundations of scientific-technical information for these purposes.

Nature & Climate

Uzbekistan's natural world is very diverse. It is composed of desert areas and snowy mountains, rivers and completely dry lands.

The most part of its territory lies in the Turon plain, where there are no sudden steep-drops and hills. The Turon plate and mainland, which later became the Tian Shan and Pamir - Alai Mountains, were formed in the Paleolithic period. Later, the sea covered the plate for a long time. The mountain chains are thought to have fully developed during the Alps orogenesis.

The mountain ranges blocked the humidity from the Indian Ocean. It caused considerable climatic change: the weather became dry and huge desert areas appeared. As rivers and winds kept changing their directions, the upper layer of soil was continuously displaced from one place to another. It led to the formation of the Kyzyl Kum and Kara Kum deserts.
Mountains and foothills make up about one-fifth of the territory of Uzbekistan. The highest point is 4,643 meters. Mountains cover the east of the country. Uzbekistan embraces western parts of the Tian Shan and Pamir-Alai mountain ranges, respectively. The mountain ranges are very different: there is a sharp contrast of heights, foothills, canyons, and watersheds. There are also small mountains such as Aktau, Karakchitau, and the western pan of the Zarafshon mountain range with their smooth shape. Rather big depressions stretch between the mountains: Kashkadarya, Surkhandarya, Zarafshon, and Samarkand. The largest depression is the Ferghana Valley - 370 km long and 190 km wide. It is surrounded by mountain ranges on three sides except on the western face. On the border with Afghanistan, there is the huge Amu Darya depression.

Numerous deposits of oil and gas have been discovered on the plains such as Gazli, Shakhpakhti, and others, of naturally formed salt in Borsakelmas, and materials used in construction elsewhere.

Deposits of coal (Angren, Shargun, and Boysun), precious, non-ferrous and rare metals, fluorite, and construction materials go back to the early stage of orogenesis.

A distinctive feature of Uzbekistan's natural conditions is that the country is located in a seismologic zone. In the last two centuries the country has experienced numerous of disastrous earthquakes, including in Ferghana (1823), in Andijan (1889 and 1902), and Tashkent (1866, 1868, and 1966). Seismologic movement is more active in mountain areas than in plains. Special construction models are used in buildings in active seismological zones.

Climate. Uzbekistan does not have direct access to the sea or ocean. This makes the country's climate very hot, dry, and sharply continental. Temperate climatic conditions prevail in the north, while subtropical - in the far south.

The most part of the year is quite dry and hot. The daylight in summer is 15 hours and in winter it is no less than 9 hours. The annual average sunlight is 2,500-3,000 hours in the north, and 2,800-3,130 hours - in the south. For comparison, the same amount of sunlight share is typical for California, US. The winters are rather cold and summers are quite hot in Uzbekistan. The coldest month is January. The temperature goes down to 25 and 30 degrees Celsius below zero in the south, and it could much colder in the northwest of the country - 35 and 38 degrees Celsius below zero. However, there are enough warm days throughout the country in wintertime. Heavy and long-lying snowfall is not usual for the country. The average snowfall is 5-15 cm, and in foothills - it ranges from 10 to 12 cm.

In southern provinces of the country, the spring usually in February, but it reaches the Aral Sea region only in April In spring, the weather is very variable; the warm days may be followed by chilly and cold days.

In the south, the summer starts somewhere in May, and it usually lasts from four to five months. The hottest month is July when the temperature reaches 42-47 degrees Celsius. In mountainous areas the summer temperature is about 22-30 degrees Celsius. In summer the ground surface temperature could go up to 60 degrees Celsius, and in desert areas - up to 70 degrees Celsius.

The rainfall distribution is quite different. On the plains the annual rainfall is on average 100-200 mm and in mountains it reaches 900 mm. Most of the precipitation falls in spring and winter periods. From one to six percent out of the total annual precipitation falls during summer and from 10 to 20 percent -autumn.

The winter starts at the end of October on the Usturt plateau, late December - in the south. During this period the weather is very changeable with a combination of cold and warm days. The average humidity is about 70-80 percent in wintertime. In summer, this figure goes down to 35-50 percent. But in desert areas, the humidity is 20-30 percent.

Surface waters. The surface waters are unequally distributed in the country, due to climatic and geographic patterns. In contrast to entirely dry territories on the plains, the mountain areas usually have small rivers.

The country's rivers are fed by mountain snow. It is not a main source for mountain rivers though. During winter, underground waters usually fill the rivers.

Two big rivers flow across the country: the Amu Darya and the Syr Darya. The middle and lower reaches of the Amu Darya River (about 1,415 km) and the middle reaches of the Syr Darya River (2,212 km) run along the territory of Uzbekistan.

Small rivers in the country are: Naryn, Kara Darya, Sokh. Zarafshon, Kashka Darya, Surkhan Darya, and Sherabad.

There are 80 lakes on the territory of Uzbekistan. All of them are small in size. The biggest lake is the Aral Sea, whose southern part belongs to Uzbekistan. Over the last decades the lake has considerably shrunk with water receding hundreds of kilometres from its shores. Numerous projects have been launched to tackle this problem. For instance, the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea was established.

Almost all of the lakes are in the mountains (at an altitude of 2,000-3,000 meters). Their surface is usually no more than 1 sq. km. The lakes on the plains are usually not very deep. Arnasoy and Sudoche lakes are rather big. Their size depends on the amount of water that comes from Chordara reservoir. There are artificial lakes - reservoirs that help to keep the seasonal balance of the water level in rivers. Big reservoirs are: Kayrakkum, Kattakurgan, Tuyabogiz, Chordara, and Southern Surkhan.

In some areas the bigger river valleys have turned into swamplands. Sometimes it is difficult to discern these kinds of swamplands from lakes due to the fact that in summertime the water level falls in some lakes.

Swamplands are rarely found in mountainous areas. There may be some but only small in size.

The total length of the canals constructed for melioration and derivation purposes is more than 156,000 km. The main ones are: Amu-Bukhara, Big Namangan, Big Ferghana, North Ferghana, Eskiangor, and South Ferghana.

With a view to meet its own needs in water, Uzbekistan exploits ground water resources as well. There are spring waters in mountain areas and artesian wells on plains. There are numerous mineral springs rich in hydrogen sulphide, iodine, radon and other minerals on the territory of Uzbekistan. The hydrogen sulphide springs in Ferghana and Surkhandarya basins are almost the same as Masesta spring waters in the Crimea.

Flora. Due to its various relief features, Uzbekistan has quite diverse flora. More than 3,700 types of plants have been recorded on the territory of Uzbekistan. Twenty percent of them grow only in Uzbekistan. Most of them grow on the mountains and only a few - in the desert and steppe areas.

The desert plants are particularly interesting. They are mainly there to protect soil from being swept away by constant desert winds. Only a few of the 400 types of plants that grow on the Usturt Plateau are important for the landscape. Most of the plateau is covered with haloxylon or saxaul. The black saxaul is the only plant that can grow in saline areas. It grows fast but lives too short. Saxaul is also a source of food for some desert animals like sheep and camels.

Desert plants are well adjusted to grow in moving and poor soils and in conditions of long drought or overheating. These plants adjust to desert condition by simply being leafless or having tiny leaves (for instance, saxaul or Calligonum).

The river valleys are vast in plains. The flora of the valleys is very diverse.

In foothills covered with grass, trees are rarely seen. Besides some cereals, these areas have different types of onion, tulip, rhubarb, iris, and other plants. These plants do not live long under the heat of the sun. As they disappear, other types of plants, which do well in heat, like the wormwood, occupy their place.

In foothills and semi-desert areas most of the plants are ephemeral. There are about 15-20 different types of ephemeral plants per square meter. These kinds of plants are hardly noticed in the landscape. In the past, these foothills and semi-desert areas had pistachio plants but now they grow only in areas difficult to access.

There are forests in low foothills. However, green plantation has been preserved only in areas difficult to access or unfit for agricultural purposes. The main plants in these areas are fir trees, the timber of which is highly valued. The fir trees grow very slowly and live quite long. There are fir trees more than 1,000 years old in the country.

Besides fir trees, there are deciduous trees like maple, cherry plums, and hawthorns. In some mountainous areas there are different types of wild apple trees. There are pistachio trees on Bobotag (mountain) and nuts in the Pskem valley.

The western Tian Shan areas are rich in birch woods. Plum trees, willow and poplar trees grow in most parts of the country. In the lower mountain areas there are honeysuckle, dog roses, barberry, and wild grapes. Also, there are a wide variety of herbs such as the Muscat sage, rhubarb, sorrel, and others.

There are plenty of Pskem onions - the wild type of onion used for medical purposes - found in the valleys of Chirchik River. The middle-size mountain areas are also rich in different types of herbs. Only 30 percent of high mountain areas are covered with plants.

Fauna. As for the wildlife on the territory of Uzbekistan, it has formed in concordance with the flora. The fastest animals live in desert areas. Even the type of hedgehog that lives in desert areas has longer legs than those found in Europe. Also, desert birds are different in terms of running and flying speeds than those found in other habitats. Lizards are also among the fastest desert animals. Even the desert beetles have longer legs compare to those that live in a damp climate. Among the fast runners are ground beetles, phalanx, and, particularly, tarantula.

Among mammals, there are ground squirrel, jerboa, and others. Also, there are different types of wolves, hedgehogs, foxes, and other animals.
Many wood louses, phalanx, ants, and cicadas inhabit the loamy desert areas. Besides, other animals such as the Central Asian turtle, yellow ground squirrel, arrow snake, gazelle, and others are found in the area.
It is typical to run across the Central Asian cobra in the Karshi desert, other species of venomous snakes— in the Golodny Desert, as well as saygak and the four-striped runner - in the rocks. Among birds, there are reels, buntings, lentils, black vulture, and others. Also, there are mammals such as wild boars, wild goats, mountain sheep, badger, marten, fox, wolf, and others.

In general, the list of animals and birds that inhabit different areas of the country includes green toad, bear, panther, wolf, Siberian goat, mountain sheep, pheasant, cuckoo, magpie, jackal, black crow, southern nightingale, rat, Bukhara deer, and many others.
There are more than 70 types offish in the water reservoirs of the country. Besides, there are more than 300 types of invertebrates including 80 types of Crustaceans.

Map of Uzbekistan

The Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Cabinet of Ministers 

Address: 5 Mustaqillik Maydoni, House of Government, Tashkent 700078

Secretary of Prime-minister: +998 (71) 239-82-95,
General Department: +998 (71) 239-86-76,
Office: +998 (71) 239-82-60, +998 (71) 239-84-86
Office of reception, letters and requests: +998 (71) 239-81-14
Fax: +998 (71) 239-84-63

General information 

Cabinet of Ministers - The Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan is the executive power body of the Republic of Uzbekistan, ensuring guidance over effective functioning of the economy, social and cultural development, execution of the laws, and other decisions of Oliy Majlis, as well as decrees and resolutions issued by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The activity of the Cabinet of Ministers is based on the law of the Republic of Uzbekistan № 818-XII "On Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan" dated May 6.

The Cabinet of Ministers heads the system of bodies of state management and established bodies for economic management, and ensures their coordinated activity.

The Cabinet of Ministers is competent to consider all issues concerning state and economic administration in the Republic of Uzbekistan, included in its competence according to the legislation.

The Cabinet of Ministers has a right of legislative initiative.

The Cabinet of Ministers in its activity is guided by principles collective leadership, democracy and legality, accounting of interests of all nations and nationalities inhabiting the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The Cabinet of Ministers shall issue resolutions and ordinances in accordance with the current legislation. This shall be binding on all bodies of administration, enterprises, institutions, organizations, officials and citizens throughout the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The resolutions of the Cabinet of Ministers having normative character, are published in the Collection of the Orders of the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and it the event of necessity through mass media for a immediate and nationwide promulgation.

The Cabinet of Ministers is the founder of the newspaper "Pravda Vostoka", and also co-founder of the newspapers "Narodnoe Slovo" and "Khalq Suzi".

Organization of activity of the Cabinet of Ministers 

The procedure for the work of the Cabinet of Ministers is defined by the Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers.

The activity of the Cabinet of Ministers is scheduled according to quarterly or semi-annual plans.

The sessions of the Cabinet of Ministers are held not less than once per quarter. The sessions are headed by the Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers or on behalf of him by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The Presidium of the Cabinet of Ministers composed of the Prime Minister and his Deputies acts as a permanent acting body of the Cabinet of Ministers. Upon the decision of the Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers other members of the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan can be included into the Presidium of the Cabinet of Ministers.

In the event of necessity the Cabinet of the Ministers and its Presidium can call ad hoc sessions to consider urgent issues.

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan heads weekly meetings with participation of Deputies the Prime Minister, the Chief of the Information and Analytical Department, the Chief of the Office to consider issues on organization of execution of the President’s orders and current activity of the Government.

Structure of the Cabinet of Ministers

The Cabinet of Ministers consists of: 

* Prime-Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan
* Deputies Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan
* Ministers
* Chairmen of the State Committees of the Republic of Uzbekistan
* Heads of the state and economic management bodies

The Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Karakalpakstan is an ex officio member of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers provides a guidance of activity of the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Prime-Minister: 

* allocates duties between the Deputies of the Prime- Minister with the subsequent approval by the Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers;
* on behalf of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan represents the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan in the international relations and signs the intergovernmental treaties and agreements;
* makes decisions on state and economic management issues, which do not require a consideration at the sessions of the Cabinet of Ministers;
* on behalf of the Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers considers other issues as well.

The members of the Cabinet of Ministers: 

* responsible for the charged spheres of activity;
* participate in consideration of issues at sessions of the Cabinet of Ministers;
* can put forward proposals to the Cabinet of Ministers on consideration of issues within the competence of the Cabinet of Ministers, to initiative a drafting of the decisions of the Cabinet of Ministers;
* may not have any other paid posts at enterprises, companies and organizations, nor engage in commercial activity during their term of office.

The Cabinet of Ministers tenders its resignation to the newly-elected Oliy Majlis.

Main powers of the Cabinet of Ministers

Cabinet of Ministers within its competence:

* undertakes a guidance over economic, social and cultural developments; creates necessary conditions for free entrepreneurship on the basis of combination and equality of all types of ownership, demonopolization of economy, and realization of a legal mechanism of the market economy;
* promotes a creation and strengthening of the new forms of management - concerns, consortia, inter-sector amalgamations, various associations and other similar organizations; directs and coordinates their activity, proceeding from necessity of satisfaction of needs(requirements) of a national economy and population;
* promotes measures on strengthening of monetary and credit system of the Republic of Uzbekistan; develops and realizes measures on realization of consistent and uniform pricing policy, maintenance of established guarantees of minimum level of wage payment and level of social security;
* organizes a formation and execution of the republican budget, as well as of forecasts and strategic programs of economic and social development of the Republic of Uzbekistan;
* develops proposals on improvement of administration structure, formation, reorganization and abolition of the ministries, state committees, departments and other bodies state and economic administration of the Republic of Uzbekistan;
* carries out measures on development of science, engineering, rational use and protection of natural resources;
* takes measures to ensure social and legal security of citizens, their right to work and improves the system of social security;
* determines the main directions of development and improvement of public health services, public education, and promotes development of culture;
* promotes a realization of measures on ensuring state safety and defense capability, protection of state borders of the Republic of Uzbekistan, state interests, and the public order, as well as on maintenance and protection of the rights and freedom of citizens;
* coordinates the activity of bodies of state administration on joint implementation measures on nature protection and realization of the major ecological programs of republican and international scale; takes measures on elimination of consequences of large accidents, as well as acts of nature;
* provides a representation of the Republic of Uzbekistan in foreign states and in the international organizations; concludes intergovernmental treaties and agreements and undertakes measures on their execution;
* carries out a guidance in the field of foreign trade activities, scientific and technical, and cultural cooperation.

Organization of activity of the Cabinet of Ministers 

The procedure for the work of the Cabinet of Ministers is defined by the Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers.

The activity of the Cabinet of Ministers is scheduled according to quarterly or semi-annual plans.

The sessions of the Cabinet of Ministers are held not less than once per quarter. The sessions are headed by the Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers or on behalf of him by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The Presidium of the Cabinet of Ministers composed of the Prime Minister and his Deputies acts as a permanent acting body of the Cabinet of Ministers. Upon the decision of the Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers other members of the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan can be included into the Presidium of the Cabinet of Ministers.

In the event of necessity the Cabinet of the Ministers and its Presidium can call ad hoc sessions to consider urgent issues.

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan heads weekly meetings with participation of Deputies the Prime Minister, the Chief of the Information and Analytical Department, the Chief of the Office to consider issues on organization of execution of the President’s orders and current activity of the Government.

Central Establishments under the Cabinet of Ministers

Center of Hydrometeorology under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Hidrometsenter

www.meteo.uz

Main Department on State Material Reserves under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Uzgosreserv

 

Higher Attestation Commission under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan

VAK

www.vak.uz

State Patent Office of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Patent Office

www.patent.uz

State Center of Testing under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan

State Center of Testing

www.test.uz

Committee on Religious Affairs

 

www.religions.uz

Governmental Communication Service of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan

GCS

 

National Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan on UNESCO

National Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan on UNESCO

www.unesco.org.uz

State Grain Inspection under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Uzgoshlebinspectsiya

www.sgiuz.re.uz

National information and analytical Center on Drugs Control under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan

National Center on Drugs Control

www.ncdc.uz

State Control and Supervision Inspection over Technical Status and Work Safety of large and strategically important water constructions under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Usgosvodhoznadzor

www.v-nadzor.re.uz

Uzbek State Inspection over Oil and Gas Consumption under the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Uzgosneftegazinspectsiya

www.ngi.uzpak.uz

Uzbek Center of sertification of cotton fiber  "Sifat" at the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Center "Sifat"

www.sifat.uz

Local state power 

In Uzbekistan, Councils of people's deputies led by mayors are considered to be representative bodies of power in provinces, districts, and towns (except towns with their district-based administration, as well as districts within towns). In accordance with the law of the Republic of Uzbekistan "On the local state power" of September 2, 1993, mayors of provinces, districts, towns are high-ranking officials who simultaneously lead both legislative and executive branches of power in the given area. The mayors of provinces and city of Tashkent report to President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and local Council of people's deputies.

The mayors of districts and towns report to an upper-level mayor and local Council of people's deputies. Mayors of provinces and city of Tashkent are appointed and dismissed by the President of Uzbekistan, and confirmed by Council of people's deputies of any given province, and city of Tashkent. Mayors of districts and towns are appointed and dismissed by mayors of provinces, and confirmed by local Council of people's deputies.

The work of the local state power bodies is regulated by the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan "On local state power", as well as other legislative acts of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The work of Councils of people's deputies of districts, towns and mayors in the Republic of Karakalpakstan is regulated by Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan "On local state power", and other legislative acts of the Republic of Karakalpakstan.

In line with aforementioned laws, the local Councils of people's deputies and a mayor consider issues common for provinces, districts and towns. That is to say, those pertaining to social-economic development, execution of laws in places, other resolutions by Oliy Majlis, acts adopted by President and Cabinet of Ministries, as well as resolutions of upper-level Councils of people's deputies and mayors. They also coordinate relations between the state administration of the Republic of Uzbekistan and self-governing institutions of citizens, and public participation in local governing.

The local governments - within their authorities secured by law -lead local state, economic, social and cultural affairs. They approve plans for economic and social development, local budget, lead enterprises, organizations, and institutions within their competence, ensure the rule of law, state and public order, protection of citizens' rights, contribute to strengthening of country's defense capability.

Also, Councils of people's deputies are in charge of local affairs. They ensure that resolutions of upper-level bodies are properly executed. Besides, they lead lower-level Councils. Councils of people's deputies, mayors of provinces, districts, and towns are authorized - within their competence - to conclude agreements with state administration of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, other provinces, districts, towns of the Republic of Uzbekistan on issues of mutual interest, launch joint ventures, firms, and other.

The Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan revokes resolutions by Councils of people's deputies of provinces, districts, and towns, found contrary to the Constitution and laws of Uzbekistan, decrees, resolutions, and orders of the President of Uzbekistan. The President and Cabinet of Ministries of the Republic of Uzbekistan withhold and revoke legislative acts by mayors, found contrary to Constitution and laws, decrees, resolutions and orders by the President of Uzbekistan, governmental acts, as well as state interests of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Local Councils of people's deputies, as the most widespread institutions, consist of elected public representatives. According to the Law of Uzbekistan "On elections to the Councils of people's deputies of provinces, districts, and towns" of May 5,1994, the Council of people's deputies of the province and city of Tashkent take no more than 60 seats, of the town and district - no more than 30 seats in respective state power institutions.

The term of office of the Councils of people's deputies and mayors is five years.
The Councils of people's deputies, mayors of provinces, districts, and towns assist to extend the self-government in the given territories, chair the work of the self-government bodies.
In accordance with the Constitution and Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan "On citizens' self-government institutions" of September 2, 1993, the self-government bodies in settlements, villages and makhallas in towns, settlements, villages are the gatherings of the people, who elect a chairman and its counselors for a two-year term.

The self-government institutions assist citizens to practice their right to participate in public and state administration, unite them with a purpose of tackling social and economic issues in their places of residency, and holding of cultural public events. Also, they assist bodies of state administration in execution of laws, decrees by President, resolutions by the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Councils of the people's deputies and mayors, respectively.

The self-government institutions are established based on the territorial principle. Mayors of districts and towns - upon proposal by citizens and further approval by local Councils of people's deputies -locate districts of their operation. Citizens of 18 years of age and above with their constant residency in the given area may join the district gatherings of the people.

The system of elections, operations, and level of authorities of the self-government institutions are secured by the Constitution and Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan "On citizens' self-government institutions", and other legislative acts. The same holds true in the Republic of Karakalpakstan with additional legislative acts of the republic securing the general work by the self-government institutions.

The chairman of a gathering, upon approval by local Council of people's deputies, or mayor, if necessary, convenes gatherings of the people. The gatherings may also be convened by the Council of people's deputies, mayor, or upon initiative by no less than one third of citizens of 18 years of age and above with their constant residency in the given territory.

Local Council of people's deputies, or a district and town mayor defines norms of representation in the gatherings of citizens. A meeting is usually hold if it is impossible to convene the gathering. Gatherings are authorized given there are more than half of the area residents present, and meetings - no less than two thirds of delegates. Decisions on all issues are taken through open voting and simple majority of votes. Residents of the area may file a complaint with courts of law on decisions by self-government institutions and its chairman.

The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Status of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan is determined in chapter X of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The President is the head of state and executive power, and acts as the guarantor of the observation of rights and freedoms of citizens, the Constitution and the laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The President takes necessary measures to defend the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The President represents the Republic of Uzbekistan inside the country and in foreign relations.

The President conducts negotiations and signs agreements for the Republic of Uzbekistan, guaranteeing the observation of the fulfillment of agreements.

The President sets up the apparatus of executive power and leads it, guaranteeing the coordination of higher organs of power and administration in the republic, ministries, state committees and other organs of state administration of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The President is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The President awards medals, decides questions of citizenship of the Republic of Uzbekistan and offers political refuge, as well as taking decisions on amnesty and responding to appeals of citizens.

The President, based on the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Uzbekistan, issues decrees, resolutions and orders which have effect on the territory of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Biography of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan
Islam Abduganievich Karimov

Islam Abduganievich Karimov was born on January 30 1938 in Samarkand into a family of civil servants. He is Uzbek by nationality and has a higher degree. He finished the Central Asian Polytechnic and the Tashkent Institute of national economy, receiving degrees as an engineer-mechanic and economist.

He began work in 1960 at Tashselmash. From 1961-66 he worked as an engineer, a leading engineer-constructor at the Chkalov Tashkent aviation production complex.

In 1966 he started work at the State planning office of the UzSSR where he worked as chief specialist and later as first deputy chairman of the State planning office.

In 1983 I. Karimov was appointed Minister of finance of the UzSSR, in 1986 – deputy chairman of the Council of Ministers of the UzSSR and chairman of the State planning office.

In 1986-89 he was first secretary of the Kashkadarya provincial party committee. From June 1989 – first secretary of the Central committee of the Communist Party of Uzbekistan.

On March 24, 1990, he was elected President of the Uzbek SSR.

On August 31, 1991, he declared the independence of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

On December 29, 1991 he was elected President of the Republic of Uzbekistan in multi-candidate elections.

On March 26, 1995, in accordance with a national referendum, his period in office was extended to 2000.

On January 9, 2000, in elections that included choice, Islam Abduganievich Karimov was reelected as head of state.

On December 23, 2007, in elections that included choice, Islam Abduganievich Karimov was reelected as head of state.

I. Karimov is married, with two daughters and four grandchildren. His wife T.A. Karimova is an economist and scientific worker.

For his outstanding contribution to education in Uzbekistan, creation of a state based on democratic laws, guarantee of civil peace and national accord, and for courage, I. Karimov was awarded the title Hero of Uzbekistan and the awards Mustakillik (Independence) and Amir Temur. He has received awards from foreign states and international organizations.

He is a full member of the Academy of sciences of Uzbekistan. For his contribution to economics, science, and education he was awarded honorary doctorates from 9 foreign institutions.

He is the initiator and leader of historic transformations in our country. He has directly contributed too:

- a program of independent development of the country, and the Constitution, meeting democratic demands and international criteria;

- a new program of state and social construction, reform of administration, both central and locally, the realization of principles harmonizing the interests of the state, society and the individual;

- a new respected model of economic development based on five principles: de-ideologization of the economy, supremacy of laws, step-by-step reform, state regulation during the transition period and strong social policy;

- reform of the armed forces, border forces;

I. Karimov has:

- a strong will, self-confidence and courage, defending the honor and dignity of the Uzbek people. When he headed the Central committee of the Communist Party, others tried to blacken his name, producing lawlessness and persecution;

- raised to the level of state policy respectful relations to the spiritual values of our nation, renewal and development of our sacred religion, traditions and customs, the priceless heritage of the people;

- raised the international respect for Uzbekistan;

- contributed to the formation in social awareness of the basis of national ideology and the value of traditions;

- made a great contribution to establishing, preserving and strengthening peace and national accord;

- been the author and initiator of ideas to create and execute the National program for preparing specialists;

- done much to raise the authority of the makhalla (community) in social-political life, increasing its rights and authority;

- been the initiator of construction of large enterprises, cultural buildings, communications networks, giving a strong impulse to economic development, transforming the face of many cities and villages, above all the capital Tashkent, and providing respectful places dedicated to the dignity of our great ancestors.

Under his leadership, the basis of national sovereignty and civil society has been created, as well as conditions for strengthening peace, priorities for stable development and prosperity of multi-ethnic Uzbekistan in the new century.