Public Participation in Constitutional Reforms discussed in Tashkent
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) -- On 29 September 2022, an international conference on the theme "Public participation in constitutional reforms: national and international experience" was held in Tashkent.
The conference was organized by the National Center for Human Rights of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Institute of State and Law of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the National Association of Non-Governmental Non-Commercial Organizations of Uzbekistan, the Yuksalish National Movement, the Center for Development Strategies and the Center for Sustainable Development in accordance with the offline work plan of the Constitutional Commission and online formats.
The forum was attended by senators, deputies of the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, representatives of state bodies, civil society institutions, the academic community, foreign and international experts.
The purpose of the event was to sum up the preliminary results of the national and international discussion of the draft Constitutional Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan “On Amendments and Additions to the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan”, exchange of views on the participation of the general public in it, the implementation of the principles “The people are the only source and author of laws” and “All important decisions are made directly on the basis of dialogue with the people and taking into account public opinion.”
The Forum participants noted that the Constitutional Commission organized its activities on the basis of the principles of openness and transparency, widely involving in the process representatives of research institutes, think tanks, relevant state and non-state non-profit organizations, mahallas and other civil society institutions, as well as on the basis of deep and a comprehensive study of the experience of the constitutional development of our country and the states of the world.
During the event, it was emphasized that the real goal of the large-scale constitutional reforms carried out in New Uzbekistan is to realize the will and dreams of the people, ensure the rights and freedoms of citizens, and, ultimately, glorify human dignity, alleviate the burden, increase the well-being and well-being of people, embody to the principles of social justice.
It is especially emphasized that the main author and creator of the updated Constitution is the people of Uzbekistan, and the inspirer is the Head of State personally. According to the forum participants, this conclusion is based, in particular, on the following factors:
- the idea of implementing constitutional reforms, their necessity and importance for the further dynamic development of society and the state was first put forward and substantiated not by the President or other subjects of the right of legislative initiative, but by the population and voters;
- the work on the implementation of constitutional reforms is directly headed by deputies and senators of the Oliy Majlis, elected by the people. The composition of the Constitutional Commission, formed by the Parliament, also included representatives of the academic community, NGOs and other institutions of civil society;
- in the national discussion of the draft constitutional law, in total, more than 150,000 proposals were received through the call center, during the reception of citizens, through the Meningkonstitutsiyam.uz platform, as well as through traditional ways of contacting citizens and collectives. This is 25 times more than the national discussion in 1992. Of these proposals, 56 percent were put forward by men, 40 percent by women, and 4 percent anonymously. Proposals sent by compatriots abroad were also taken into account and, after a detailed discussion with the participation of the scientific community, were submitted to the Constitutional Commission.
The participants of the event noted that the analysis of opinions, initiatives and proposals expressed by citizens at numerous meetings organized on the ground also shows that our people are not indifferent to the changes in New Uzbekistan, but are becoming an active and interested participant in all, in particular, constitutional reforms. For, the updated Constitution is a solid foundation for realizing the people’s dream of building a social and fair New Uzbekistan, strengthening the foundation of the Third Renaissance.
The event emphasized that recently NGOs, the media and other civil society institutions, legal scholars, the academic community, and think tanks have been increasingly involved in this process. These institutions also provided close support to the activities of the Constitutional Commission, in particular:
- more than 400 global and regional conventions, declarations, resolutions adopted within the framework of the UN, OSCE, SCO, EU, Islamic Cooperation Organization, Organization of Turkic States and many other international organizations and international experience of constitutional development were studied, as well as systematically analyzed constitutions and constitutional reforms in more than 193 countries of the world;
- on the basis of in-depth analysis and study of international and foreign experience, more than 10 fundamental works were completed, including "Constitutions of the SCO Member States", "Constitutions of the World", "Constitutional Reforms: Experience of the Countries of the World" (5 volumes), on the basis of which conclusions, proposals and recommendations were developed on the draft Constitutional Law and constitutional reforms in general;
- in cooperation with state and non-governmental organizations, the academic community, international and foreign non-governmental organizations, more than 100 national and more than 40 international forums were held, including abroad (in particular, in the USA, Great Britain, Korea, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Japan, India) devoted to constitutional reform and various aspects, novelties of the draft Constitutional Law.
In particular, the event held by the UN at the organization’s headquarters in New York was attended by permanent representatives and experts of UN missions from more than 40 states of the Asian, European, African continents, North and South America, as well as senior officials of various UN structures.
At the same time, during the International Conference, it was noted that for the first time in the history of independent Uzbekistan, public, gender, anti-corruption, linguistic examinations, examinations on the rights of the child, on human rights and others were carried out, as well as official comments and proposals were provided on draft constitutional law to the Department of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The extremely useful and significant activities of journalists and bloggers were especially noted for widely familiarizing the population with the draft Constitutional Law, organizing a wide public discussion of each article in the media, the Internet and social networks, studying the opinions of citizens, ensuring strong ties between various segments of the population and the Constitutional Commission.
The reports made during the international conference provided detailed information on the implementation of proposals and recommendations of civil society institutions and the population on constitutional reforms in such areas as:
- glorification of the "honor and dignity of a person", changing the previously existing paradigm "state - society - person" into a new paradigm "person - society - state" and fixing it in constitutional legislation and constitutional practice;
- ensuring the interests of man in the process of economic reforms, as the most important condition for building a truly people’s and fair state;
- constitutional consolidation of the role and status of civil society institutions, implementation of the principle "Society is the initiator of reforms";
- determination of the foundations for the protection and preservation of national values and the distinctive features of the state and society, careful reporting of the historical, spiritual and cultural heritage of the people of Uzbekistan to future generations;
- Reflection in the Constitution of comprehensive support for young people - the creators of New Uzbekistan, their rights, interests and obligations;
- consolidation as a constitutional norm of the principle "New Uzbekistan - a social state", taking into account the fact that today Uzbekistan is confidently moving along the path of building a social state and a just society.
At the end of the event, the participants of the International Conference shall adopt the final document of the conference.