Turkmenistan Celebrates the Caspian Sea Day

Today, the Avaza National Tourist Zone celebrates the Caspian Sea Day, held annually by the Caspian states.

The central event of the holiday was the scientific and practical conference “The Caspian Sea – the Sea of Friendship and Harmony”, held at the Hasyl Hotel. On behalf of President Serdar Berdimuhamedov, the forum was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection with the assistance of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan.

Issues related to the Caspian Sea are one of the priority aspects of Turkmenistan’s foreign policy, implemented under the leadership of President Serdar Berdimuhamedov. Being an active participant of the international dialogue in this topical area, our state stands for deepening and expanding positive cooperation with all interested partners, primarily in the United Nations format.

Speaking at the Sixth Caspian Summit held in Ashgabat in June of this year, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov stressed the importance of five-sided cooperation in ensuring lasting, long-term and indivisible security in the Caspian Sea. “Together we must make sure that the Caspian region remains a zone of stability and trust, not subject to risks for peace and development. Turkmenistan, being an active participant in the Caspian-wide dialogue, is ready to continue to facilitate this process, to interestedly discuss and find decisions concerted on all issues. We have no closed or inconvenient topics, we are ready to reach further agreements together with our partners, to interact on specific areas of the Caspian agenda,” the head of Turkmenistan stated, designating the Caspian Sea a sea of opportunities.

The most important aspects of the Caspian issues – politics, economy, trade, ecology, humanitarian relations, were put on the agenda of the conference “The Caspian Sea – the Sea of Friendship and Harmony”, which was attended by heads and specialists of relevant ministries and departments of our country, scientists, as well as representatives of embassies of the Caspian states accredited to Turkmenistan, authoritative international structures – the Office of the Permanent Coordinator of the United Nations, the United Nations Development Program, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the European Union.

During the forum, it was discussed a wide range of topical issues of cooperation between coastal countries in ensuring sustainable development, based on a combination of key factors that include solving a single set of economic, social and environmental problems. The reports presented comprehensively covered the multifaceted work carried out in this area in the region.

As noted, environmental protection and rational use of natural resources are one of the priorities of the state policy pursued by President Serdar Berdimuhamedov. Being an active participant in the international dialogue in this area, Turkmenistan is making every effort to ensure that this interaction has a consistent, comprehensive and constructive character, including in the context of achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. A clear confirmation of this is the creative initiatives of our country, voiced from the rostrum of the United Nations General Assembly and other major forums and targeted at solving environmental problems related to the Caspian issues, in particular, the idea of creating the Caspian Environmental Forum as a permanent body to consider environmental issues of the marine basin and develop appropriate proposals and recommendations. The head of Turkmenistan also put forward an initiative to establish the Council of Business Cooperation of the Caspian countries as an independent platform for close partnership cooperation without state interference.

This was referenced in the speeches of representatives of the United Nations structural units accredited to Turkmenistan. Thus, the UN Permanent Coordinator in Turkmenistan recalled that twenty years ago our country provided a platform for the First Caspian Summit in Ashgabat, which became the starting point for the development of cooperation between the Caspian states, and today takes an active position in the multilateral dialogue on the Caspian theme.

As noted, the UN supports Turkmenistan’s position on the observance of the ecological safety of the reservoir, the rational use of biological resources and minerals of the Caspian Sea, as well as the initiative of the Turkmen side to develop an agreement on conducting scientific research in the Caspian Sea in order to increase the effectiveness of joint activities in this direction.

It was emphasized that the UN is ready to participate and provide technical support in the implementation of Turkmenistan’s initiative to create a New Caspian Environmental Program as a set of environmental measures to ensure the rational use of the rich natural resources of the Caspian Sea.

The reports of representatives of international organizations stated the importance of the UN-recognized status of permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan, promoting the maintenance of peace, security and sustainable development both regionally and globally. In this context, it was noted the importance of the adoption of the new UN General Assembly Resolution “Zone of Peace, Trust and Cooperation in Central Asia”, initiated by our country and supported by the majority of UN Member States.

During the conference, the aspects of cooperation with the OSCE Center in Ashgabat, which supports Turkmenistan’s initiatives aimed at strengthening environmental and economic security and expanding regional partnership, which is the most important factor in ensuring global security, were highlighted in detail. Among the relevant large-scale initiatives and projects implemented by the OSCE at the regional level, the project “Promoting Green Ports and Connectivity in the Caspian Sea Region” was highlighted, targeted at solving a number of differentiated tasks, including the promotion of environmentally friendly “green” energy.

In the speeches of representatives of the embassies of the Caspian states, a high assessment was given to the 6th Caspian Summit held in Ashgabat. An exchange of views took place on the practical implementation of the decisions taken at it and the initiatives announced. As it was noted, today there are a number of drafts of five-sided sectoral documents affecting topical issues of interaction at sea, largely due to the efforts of the Turkmen side, significant progress has been made on their coordination.

In this regard, it was emphasized that today the Caspian states are working on documents on cooperation in ensuring the safety of navigation, in the field of search and rescue, in the field of combating illegal fishing of aquatic biological resources, on water use and marine scientific research. Joint humanitarian drafts that reveal historical and cultural origins, promote scientific and educational programs, tourism and sports events, as well as environmental clean-ups that instill concern for the environment in the younger generation can also become a kind of support for the preservation of the Caspian pearl, the conference participants said.

The attendees were unanimous in the opinion that the sustainable development of the Caspian Sea, the gradual restoration of natural ecosystems to a level that guarantees the stability of the environment, can be achieved only through the joint efforts of all the Caspian states, which throughout this time have shown coherence and willingness to jointly solve, coordinate, adopt legal documents aimed at covering all areas related to the Caspian Sea.

The speakers also stressed the importance of holding the current meeting on the eve of the Ministerial Transport Conference for Landlocked Developing Countries. As noted, the Caspian Basin is an important strategic region with huge economic, energy and transport potential.

The Caspian Sea is an important component of many international projects targeted at improving the well-being of the peoples of the region. The key priorities of the coastal states remain the desire to create favorable conditions for the development of mutually beneficial economic cooperation, improving the investment climate, creating reliable and secure communications, attracting highly profitable and environmentally friendly technologies, the forum participants said.

The conference highlighted the main directions and results of the systematic work carried out by Turkmenistan at the national and international levels to implement the Tehran Convention in the field of environmental protection of the Caspian Sea, conservation of biodiversity of a unique natural reservoir, prevention of its pollution, rational use of its wealth, compliance with environmental standards in the activities of the Turkmenbashi International Seaport, the tourist potential of the Avaza National Tourist zone, etc.

The effectiveness of the five-party mechanisms of interaction and the possibilities of new dialogue formats were emphasized. The special importance of establishing regional cooperation on the conservation, reproduction and use of biological resources of the Caspian Sea, commercial shipping, tourism development, as well as the development and use of hydrocarbon resources of the bottom and subsoil of the Caspian Sea was stated.

It was noted that the Caspian region is rapidly developing as one of the world’s largest centers of production and transportation of hydrocarbons, becoming a global transport hub. In these conditions, it is important to solve a common task – to combine objective economic interests with the need to preserve the biodiversity of the Caspian Sea, which is a true pearl of nature with exceptionally rich and diverse flora and fauna, and to prevent environmental disorder.

The conference participants were unanimous in the opinion that the Caspian Sea Day, a holiday held in the Caspian states, is an opportunity to once again address the public with an admonition, and notification about interconnectedness of everything in this world and how it is possible to lose what is dear to everyone by tilting the fragile ecological balance of the sea.

Summing up the results of the forum, its participants stated the unity of the positions of all interested parties on the importance of maintaining cooperation, peace and trust in the Caspian Sea region, calling for further strengthening of international partnership in ensuring reliable environmental protection of the Caspian Sea and the development of its potential in the interests of common well-being and progress.

The participants addressed the words of gratitude to the President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov for the excellent conditions created for the conference, as well as for the tireless care for the protection of nature and the preservation of the environment of the Caspian Sea.

The conference participants got acquainted with the exposition of the exhibition dedicated to the holiday in honor of the sea of peace, friendship and harmony.

The program of the Caspian Sea Day also included cultural and sports events held at the Daýanç Health and Recreation Center. Among them are competitions in various sports, which were participating by children and schoolchildren of Turkmenbashi city, as well as vacationers in Avaza. And the holiday completed with a concert, performed by artists of the State Drama Theater of Balkan velayat and children’s art schools.

Source: Turkmenistan: the Golden Age Online Newspaper