President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev spoke at the awarding ceremony of the prestigious International Anti-Corruption Excellence Award, which is held in Tashkent on December 19, the press service of the president reported.

Shavkat Mirziyoyev highlighted that “fighting corruption is a sacred duty of every person of clear conscience, of every democratic society and state.”

“Recognition of merits and presenting this prestigious award to the individuals, who are most active and make a significant contribution to the fight against corruption in the world, serves the consistent implementation of the UN Convention against Corruption, adopted exactly 20 years ago,” he noted.

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Addressing the participants of the ceremony, the president of Uzbekistan shared that “the history of mankind showcases that even the strongest, most powerful states have found themselves on the brink of an abyss because of corruption.”

“Corruption is a threat that undermines the foundations of all humanity, all societies, strikes a blow to the economy, destroys the rule of law and sharply reduces people’s trust in the state policy, hinders the development of democratic institutions. It also seriously violates our plans to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” the head of state emphasized.

Shavkat Mirziyoyev mentioned that the current damage from corruption in the world amounts to approximately $3 trillion. “Yet, I believe this large figure does not fully reflect the true state of affairs and the real extent of damage. Worst of all, it is impossible to measure the scale of moral damage inflicted on society,” Shavkat Mirziyoyev said.

The president of Uzbekistan indicated the country’s commitment to resisting corruption through the implementation of systemic legal and institutional reforms. These measures include the adoption of an anti-corruption law, the establishment of the Anti-Corruption Agency, initiatives on reducing bureaucracy and simplifying public services, introducing compliance control rating, and full digitalization of public procurement.

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“In recent years, our country has risen 42 positions in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) by Transparency International, achieving the highest rank in the region. We have set a goal to increase our standing in this rating by 50 more positions by 2030,” President Mirziyoyev outlined. He added that this year the country has advanced to 30th place in the Open Data Inventory rating. Uzbekistan holds the 4th position globally in terms of the number of open data sources.

The president emphasized that the state has set ambitious plans and objectives in the field of combating corruption.

“We will develop and implement the National anti-corruption strategy until 2030. We will pay special attention to further ensuring transparency of activities and increasing accountability of state bodies, improving the system of open data, strengthening the legal framework and institutional mechanisms of the sphere,” the head of state commented.

In addition, Uzbekistan aims to support and actively participate in regional and global initiatives and new projects in the field of anti-corruption. The country plans to utilize the Regional platform of the convention against corruption launched last month in Tashkent.

At the same time, the president proposed to establish a Regional research center on corruption. The goal is to share experience and conduct scientific research involving non-profit NGOs.

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Uzbekistan also intends to further improve the potential of the Anti-Corruption Agency by strengthening close co-operation with foreign specialized institutions. Based on international experience, new mechanisms will be introduced, including the institution of “preliminary study” of corruption — anti-corruption investigation.

Furthermore, the country intends to cultivate a young generation instilled with the “honesty vaccine” from childhood. “We are keen on extensive implementation of the UN Global Resource for anti-corruption education and increase the anti-corruption activity of youth in Uzbekistan,” the head of state shared the vision.

“We particularly appreciate the role of mass media at the forefront of such a complex process as countering corruption,” Shavkat Mirziyoyev accentuated.

He also proposed holding a Global media forum to effectively leverage the capabilities of journalists and increase their influence in the fight against corruption.

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The president also commented on the unveiling of a monument that symbolizes the fight against corruption. “The installed monument dedicated to this theme demonstrates an open palm raised upwards to combat corruption, and we firmly shake hands with our heroes participating in today’s forum, who steadfastly and tirelessly pursue the path of justice. We are always by your side in the crucial work you are undertaking,” stated the president of Uzbekistan.

At the end of his speech, the head of state congratulated all the laureates of the prestigious award.