I heartily congratulate you and all of our people on today's wonderful holiday of the Uzbek language. We all remember well that the adoption of the Law "About State Language" on 21st October of 1989 in our country despite a difficult social and political environment was an important step towards national independence.
As you know, taking into account the wishes of our public and people, last year we passed a law establishing this historic date as Uzbek Language Day. I am confident that this holiday, which is widely celebrated in the country for the first time today, will take a firm and worthy place in our lives.
The life-affirming power of our national language serves as an important support for us in building a new Uzbekistan and laying the foundation for a new Renaissance.
It should be noticed that care for the development and future of our native language, which our ancestors carefully preserved for many centuries, means care for the growth of national consciousness and spiritual perfection. After all, the authority of the state language and respect for it means respect for the people and the authority of society as well.
The fact that about 50 million people speak Uzbek today indicates that it is becoming one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.
At the same time, the necessary conditions are being created for the development of the culture, language and traditions of all the nations and nationalities whose representatives live in our country. To this purpose, about 140 national cultural centres are operating in various regions of the country. Along with Uzbek, the country's educational institutions and media also conduct their activities in Karakalpak, Russian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tajik and Turkmen languages. The number of specialized educational institutions with in-depth study of foreign languages is increasing, as well as those where education is provided in foreign languages.
Today, Uzbek language and literature are studied at 65 higher education institutions abroad, and an increasing number of foreign scientists are doing their research in this field.
Recently, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan celebrated Uzbek Language Day for the first time at the state level, which was met with great enthusiasm by the public in Uzbekistan and all our people.
Taking this opportunity, I would like to once again express my sincere gratitude to the leadership of brotherly Afghanistan for giving the Uzbek language the status of an official language, for the great attention and respect it has received. On behalf of our people, I cordially congratulate all representatives of our nation living in ancient Afghan land on this beautiful holiday.
We face great and responsible tasks in developing the Uzbek language in the country based on modern requirements, further strengthening its role and authority as the state language.
Following this purpose, we have prepared drafts of the Law "About the State Language" in a new version and, in accordance with this, the law on amendments and additions to several legislative acts have been submitted to the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis.
As you know, yesterday the Presidential Decree "About measures for further development of the Uzbek language and improve the language policy in the country" was signed.
So, the Decree defines strategic goals, priority directions and tasks, stages of further development of the Uzbek language and language policy, including radical improvement of the authority of the Uzbek language in our society and in the international arena, education of the younger generation in the spirit of patriotism, respect for national values and traditions, ensuring the full-scale introduction of the state language in the country, preservation and development of the languages of nations and nationalities whose representatives live in Uzbekistan, creation of conditions for the study of the Uzbek language.
In order to ensure the implementation of the decree, we need to strengthen the work begun on the maintenance in the state language of all office work in public administration, modern, innovative technologies, industry, banking and financial system, law, diplomacy, medicine, as well as in the activities of law enforcement agencies and military departments.
Particular attention should be paid to the fact that representatives of different nations and nationalities living in Uzbekistan as a united and friendly family also show great interest and desire to learn the Uzbek language.
Obviously, it is important to strengthen the motivation for learning the Uzbek language, create special textbooks, dictionaries and training manuals, video and audio materials, and widely introduce modern teaching methods, in order to achieve these good aspirations of our citizens.
As we know, the mutual influence of languages is increasing, including the scale and pace of borrowing foreign words in our globalized world. Unfortunately, we must admit that this process in our country is taking place spontaneously and is not based on a scientific approach, so we need to take effective measures to change this situation.
We should actively work to establish close cooperation with foreign universities and centres where Uzbek is taught as a separate subject, and create educational literature for them.
It is necessary to consistently continue implementing measures to translate and publish in Uzbek the masterpieces of world literature and the best examples of Uzbek literature - in foreign languages. Efforts should be intensified to develop creative schools in this area and to train highly qualified literary translators and other specialized specialists.
Printing such book series as "Monuments of Uzbek Folk Art", "Masterpieces of Karakalpak Literature", "My First Book" and "Masterpieces of World Literature" should be continued on a systematic basis in our country.
There are also a number of important and urgent tasks to be solved in order to ensure that the Uzbek language has a worthy place in the international information space, particularly on the Internet, and to create new computer programs in our native language.
The resolution signed on the eve of the current holiday "About the wide celebration of the 580th anniversary of the great poet and thinker Alisher Navoi" was a logical continuation of our practical actions to further development of the Uzbek language and literature, our national culture.
Abdullah Avloni, the outstanding educator, said: The mother language is a great force that exalts the spirit of the nation.
Love and devotion to the Motherland definitely begins with love and devotion to the native language.
I am sure that such an approach and attitude to the mother language will become a vital credo for each of our compatriots, and an example for all of us in this will be our respected intellectuals, active young people and members of the public.
Once again, from the whole my heart, I congratulate you on Uzbek Language Day.
I wish you all health, happiness, peace and prosperity to your families.
May the glory and authority of our native Uzbek language always grow!
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan