Haydar Aliyev - Eternal architect of the modern Azerbaijani state
The greatness of the leaders in the history of mankind is measured on the one hand by the importance of their work during their lives, on the other hand, influence of their activity on the flow of the future and their reactions. Personalities based on a deep philosophy, able to constantly keep up with the times, wisely evaluate the developments, able to flexibly assess their political capacity can achieve to shape the processes becomingly in the society, ride out the population that they represent from the tough hurricanes and hard trials of the time and become a national savior. The founder and architect of the independent Azerbaijan state, a world-famous politician who is tied to his homeland and people with all of his being, a great statesman, nationwide leader Haydar Aliyev became eternal in our modern history, provided unprecedented services before the homeland and people in all periods of leadership of our republic, set a mission of salvation, an example of rich statehood heritage. Haydar Aliyev, the national leader that led Azerbaijan over time, even more than a period of 33 years worked tirelessly for the sake of this supreme goal thinking about the well-being of our people not only in this period, but all his life, as he sacrificed his life on this path, he gained constant love in hearts and immortality in memory. Haydar Aliyev, engraved as the greatest Azerbaijani in our modern history, gave our appreciating people the opportunity of proving themselves through putting the traditions of national statehood into a single system, passing through the most severe and difficult trials of the era and he could protect the right to live in an independent state and self-government.
It is a historical fact that, Azerbaijan is one of the few countries that has gained State independence twice in the last century. It is very proud to take a look at the recent history of Azerbaijan, the socio-political environment that took place in our country just 30 years ago, the events that we lived in chronological order in a short way, and to remember once again the enormous successes we witnessed today at the expense of the difficulties.
As is known, as a manifestation of the biased attitude of the leadership of the former USSR to Azerbaijan, an acute conflict situation has arisen in the in the Nagorno-Karabakh which is our ancient land, penetration of the Soviet army into Baku In January 1990 resulted in an unprecedented bloody tragedy, due to the political incompetence of those in power at the time, in its fullest sense, Azerbaijan was faced with the threat of destruction. Against the background of the mentioned events, Haydar Aliyev who was always ready to sacrifice his life to Azerbaijan, living under threats and pressures in Moscow at such a difficult moment decided to be with his people again, he returned Azerbaijan expressing his position on the January 20 tragedy in Moscow. History once again proved that, the main reason for this return was the great politician's confidence in his people and his commitment to Azerbaijan.
Unfortunately, the great leader, who returned to our country, was forced to leave Baku for Nakhchivan as a result of threats from the then government. The return of this great personality, which left a bright mark in the political history of Azerbaijan, to political power there again, acting as an ordinary MP and later as head of the Autonomous Republic leaded the path of independence, which started from Nakhchivan, to become the main goal in the political environment of Azerbaijan, take decisive steps towards the restoration of national statehood. Here it should be emphasized that, while working in Nakhchivan, the great leader achieved a number of important decisions for the fate of not only the Autonomous Republic, but also our country, as well as, The January 20 tragedy was given a legal and political assessment, our tricolor flag was adopted as the state flag, important measures were taken to build interstate relations.
The lack of power that served the interests of national statehood in the first years of independence, the transfer of power to a group of illiterate, incompetent, and sometimes treacherous persons, led to an uncontrollable situation in the country, the escalation of internal conflicts. At that time, intellectuals and ordinary people, who were not indifferent to the fate of the country, turned to Nakhchivan and met with Heydar Aliyev, asking him for help in rescuing the people from the disasters and difficulties they faced. People who could not stand the difficult situation, organized rallies in different regions of the country to abolish the so-called age census, demanded the return of the great statesman to the politics. Finally, in June 1992, the intellectuals of the Republic chose a new political struggle and decided to establish a new party under the leadership of our national leader. In October, these intellectuals appealed to the great leader Haydar Aliyev to establish the New Azerbaijan Party. Those who signed the appeal knew very well that great leader Heydar Aliyev was the only person able to get the newly independent country out of the difficult and unbearable situation. Haydar Aliyev, who was never indifferent to the wishes of the Azerbaijani people, did not tolerate the collapse of the republic he founded, heard the voice of the people during hard times of the homeland. Thus, a significant event took place, which opened a new page modern statehood history of independent Azerbaijan on November 21, 1992. The founding congress of the party was held in Nakhchivan with the participation of about 550 representatives, the great leader was unanimously elected chairman of the organization. Acceptance of this party, which chose its political ideal, its main strategic line, as its sacred goal of representing the national interests and statehood interests in the newly independent Azerbaijan as an unrivaled force capable of governing the country in the short term by a decisive majority in the society was conditioned by the phenomenal leadership and management qualities of the great leader Haydar Aliyev. During the known crisis of June 1993, people who were not indifferent to the fate of the country were well aware that Haydar Aliyev was the only person who was able to prevent the insidious plans that dragged Azerbaijan into disaster. Finally, the people of Azerbaijan proved their historical wisdom and brought their eldest son Haydar Aliyev to power on June 15, 1993.
With the return of nationwide leader Haydar Aliyev to the leadership of Azerbaijan, a turning point occurred in the socio-political, socio-economic, scientific and cultural life of the country, as well as in international relations. As a result of the urgent measures taken by the national leader, important steps were taken to form the National Army, establish a regular armed force capable of protecting the national interests of Azerbaijan, and defend our lands. The decisive measures taken by Haydar Aliyev to prevent the economic decline, civil war, Armenia's policy of aggression against Azerbaijan, restore the traditions of statehood and stability in the first years of independence soon began to be felt in the lives of every citizen.
In 1994, declaration of the ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan, signing of the “Contract of the century”, adoption of the Constitution in 1995, restoration of the ancient Silk Road connecting East and West and implementation of other important works were achieved. As a result of the thoughtful and wise policy of the great leader, the Azerbaijani economy developed in a short time. Land reform was carried out for the first time in the CIS with the aim of establishing new property relations on land, developing market economy and entrepreneurship Initiative, achieving economic independence of the country, including food supply and, as a result, improving the material well-being of the Azerbaijani people on the basis of principles of economic freedom and social justice. Necessary measures were taken by the state to form the principles of a market economy and the entrepreneurship class. Consistent government programs were adopted, the legislative framework were established for the development of entrepreneurship and the elimination of existing problems in this area.
Reforms in the economy, adaptation of legislation, tax and banking systems to rapidly changing economic conditions, implementation of a new economic policy meeting the principles of a market economy gave impetus to Azerbaijan's integration into the world economy, becoming an active subject of interstate relations. The economic reforms implemented in Azerbaijan at the initiative and under the leadership of the great leader soon yielded successful results, led to economic development, laid the foundation for the country's strong economic base, the special weight of industry in GDP increased by 12.6% points and reached 37.4% in 2002 compared to 1993. As a result of purposeful and consistent reforms in all sectors of the economy, high achievements in industry, construction, transport, agriculture and trade, the country's gross domestic product increased by 71.0% in 1996-2002 and reached 6.1 billion AZN.
The establishment of socio-political stability in the country created favorable conditions for domestic and foreign investors, and during 1993-2002, 8.2 billion AZN was invested in the development of production and non-production sectors of the country, dozens of important facilities were built and put into operation. The investment of foreign investors in the country's economy also had a positive impact on the development of international relations and the provision of the country's national interests. During this period, new houses with a total area of 6.7 million square meters, secondary schools for 31.1 thousand students, preschools for 2.2 thousand places, a hospital with 1.5 thousand beds and an outpatient clinic for 3.0 thousand people were built, polyclinic facilities were put into operation.
After Azerbaijan gained its independence, the crisis processes inherent in the transition economy took place in the transport sector, as well as in other areas. The crisis was prevented only in 1996, and the measures taken in this area contributed to the emergence of positive trends in the development of various modes of transport. The cargo transition in the transport sector increased 2.4 times between 1996 and 2002. I would like to note that, the restoration of the Europe-Caucasus-Asia transport corridor is one of the great leader's greatest contributions to the people of Azerbaijan and this corridor is one of the factors that seriously affect the development of the country's economy and the formation of land transport infrastructure by competing with regional transport corridors.
As a result of the decisions made on the integration of the country's economy into the world economic system, effective and sustainable measures were taken to liberalize foreign trade. As a result of the establishment of import-export operations in accordance with the requirements of a market economy, the international relations of our country expanded, strengthened and developed year by year. In 1993, trade relations were established with 60 foreign countries; in 2002 the geography of these relations expanded to 128, and trade turnover with foreign countries increased 2.8 times compared to 1993 and reached $ 3.8 billion. During these years, the number of enterprises with foreign investment in Azerbaijan has increased sharply. If in 1996 the number of enterprises with foreign investment in the country was 602, in 2002 this figure increased by 3.5 times and reached 2104 and the number of joint ventures with the participation of foreign companies or individuals increased by 94.1% and reached 957.
Along with the measures taken to ensure the comprehensive development of a market economy in the Republic of Azerbaijan, special attention was paid to the liberalization of prices and trade, and favorable conditions for free competition were created. As a result of these measures, consumer prices were reduced. While inflation in 1991-1994 was accompanied by a rapid increase from 330% to 1,887%, as a result of sound economic policies, a sharp reduction in the growth rate of inflation was achieved and kept at a single-digit level. Reforms in the country's economy during the transition to a market economy led to an annual increase in state budget revenues and a reduction in the high budget deficit in the early 1990s. In 2002, the state budget revenues from all sources increased by 85.1 times compared to 1993 and reached 910.2 million AZN, while expenditures increased by 72.2 times and amounted to 931.8 million AZN. The special weight of the budget deficit in GDP was reduced from 7.1% in 1993 to 0.4% in 2002. The share of social protection and social security expenditures in the state budget expenditures increased year by year. In 1993, 1.1 million AZN or 8.5% of total budget expenditures were spent for these purposes, while in 2002 these expenditures reached 190.3 million AZN, which was equal to 20.4% of budget expenditures.
The national leader paid special attention to the development of the labor market, employment and unemployment, and the share of employment in the private sector of the economy increased from 43.9% in 1995 to 69.7% in 2002 due to the measures taken in this area. The Labor Code, employment and labor migration laws, the Concepts of Demographic Development and Pension Reform, the State Program on Poverty Reduction and Economic Development, adopted in Azerbaijan during this period, laid the foundation for new strategic directions in the field of labor and social protection.
After the national leader approved the "Education Reform Program of the Republic of Azerbaijan" in 1999, educational reforms began in the country. In accordance with this program, structural changes were made in higher education, educational institutions were given independence and broad powers, a number of higher education institutions were established on the principle of self-government, and a network of non-state educational institutions was developed along with state educational institutions. In 1993, 703 out of every 1,000 people aged 15 and over had higher and full secondary education, but in 2002 this figure reached 753.
In 1997 the Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan “On Protection of Public Health” was adopted, on which provision of free medical care to a number of segments of the population, including pensioners, low-income people, compensation for damage to citizens' health, reimbursement of expenses for the provision of medical care to citizens affected by illegal actions, protection of health of citizens engaged in certain types of professional activities are reflected.
One of the main priorities of the state policy was to strengthen the material and technical base of cultural institutions, to preserve the historical-cultural, literary-artistic and scientific-philosophical heritage, and relevant state programs were adopted in this direction. As a result of successful socio-economic reforms in the Republic of Azerbaijan, the country's demographic situation and average population growth improved, life expectancy increased and a positive migration balance, as well as positive trend of other indicators in the field of population was achieved.
The analysis gives reason to say with certainty that, Today's successes of Azerbaijan were determined and implemented by the founder of the modern Azerbaijani state, national leader Haydar Aliyev and It is connected with the reforms continued on a qualitatively new level by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Ilham Aliyev, for the last 16 years. It is due to these reforms that the development of a socially oriented economy based on market relations has been achieved in Azerbaijan, and the living standards of the country's population have been raised. Implementation of tasks envisaged in the state programs adopted and successfully implemented in connection with the socio-economic development of the regions, as well as decrees and orders covering other measures, improvement of the legislative base has led to sustainable development of the non-oil sector, Improving the quality of social infrastructure in the regions, further improving the business environment, increasing investment, establishing new enterprises and jobs, in result increasing employment and reduction of poverty. In 2003-2019, the country's economy 3.4 times, non-oil and gas sector 2.9 times, industrial production 2.7 times, agriculture 1.9 times, the volume of funds directed to fixed capital 2.9 times, state budget revenues 20.0 times, nominal incomes of the population increased by 9.9 times, lending to the economy increased by 22.8 times, the unemployment rate decreased from 9.2% to 4.8%, the poverty rate decreased from 44.7% to 4.8%. 2.4 million new jobs were established in 2004-2019. As a result of complex social reforms implemented in the country in 2019, the minimum amount of labor pension was 200.0 AZN, the minimum monthly wage was 250.0 AZN, and the average monthly nominal wage was 634.8 AZN, according to preliminary data. The multifaceted activity of the First Vice-President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, President of the Haydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva also has a special role in achieving all these successes. The First Lady of Azerbaijan became the author of the great projects through taking numerous measures to protect national and spiritual values, promote our culture, develop science, education, health and sports, raise children and youth as healthy, loyal to national and spiritual values, and increase Azerbaijan's international prestige.
As you know, mankind has faced a new, more dangerous Corona virus pandemic, which has kept all countries under various blows with its consequences without overcoming the economic and social crisis. It is true that, Azerbaijan as the strongest state of the region is at the forefront of the fight against the spread and treatment of this disease. Suffice it to say that the importance of the mission carried out by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Ilham Aliyev, and the First Lady, Mehriban Aliyeva, is confirmed today by the number of people infected with the virus and the high public mood. The sustainable development of the fields of real economy in Azerbaijan and steady increase in the number of modern innovative projects implemented have clearly shown their positive results in the current pandemic. Because, the people's confidence in the political course of Haydar Aliyev and the high authority and tireless work of President Ilham Aliyev stand in achieving these successes in the difficult period of mankind. This belief is based on the activities of Mr. Ilham Aliyev based on national interests. On the eve of the 97th anniversary of the great leader, it is worth noting once again that, the name of the eternal leader Haydar Aliyev is engraved in the national consciousness of the Azerbaijani people as the founder of modern Azerbaijan. Haydar Aliyev laid the foundation for the formation of a great ideology, philosophy of national statehood and national self-consciousness in Azerbaijan and this reaffirms that, the unity of people and power is unshakeable, eternal and based on a solid foundation.
Chairman of the State Statistical Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Member of the Political Council of the New Azerbaijan Party