Turkmenistan – UN: cooperation for peace and global prosperity

Ashgabat has hosted an international conference, Turkmenistan-UN: strategic partnership for peace and security based on mutual respect, devoted to the 25th anniversary of our country's membership in the United Nations Organization. Among those attending the forum, held at the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, were heads of the diplomatic missions accredited to Ashgabat, large UN bodies and specialized agencies, other international organizations as well as representatives of Mejlis, the country's key ministries, agencies and public organizations, local and foreign journalists.

Conference speakers highlighted that the United Nations Organization regards neutral Turkmenistan as a reliable and responsible partner and highly values the Turkmen side's proactive approach to strengthening regional and international cooperation, and tackling vital global issues.

Priority aspects of fruitful collaboration between Turkmenistan and the United Nations were also addressed in speeches by representatives of the United Nations Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the World Health Organization, Mejlis of Turkmenistan, the Strategic Planning and Economic Development Institute of the Ministry of Economy and Development, as well as other participants.

Conference attendees emphasized the positive role of President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov's foreign policy, whose keystone is the international and legal status of neutrality, given to Turkmenistan by the Community of Nations in 1995 and reconfirmed by the United Nations General Assembly Resolution in 2015. The unanimous adoption of the Resolution declaring December 12 as International Neutrality Day vividly illustrates universal recognition of the instrumental role of neutrality in maintaining stability on the planet.

The evergrowing dynamics of fruitful relations with the United Nations is determined first and foremost by Turkmenistan's active position on the global community's affairs, its desire to render practical assistance in handling acute global problems. The fact that independent neutral Turkmenistan has repeatedly assumed the vice-chairmanship of the United Nations General Assembly sessions, including the 58th, 62nd, 64th and 68th ones, is remarkably eloquent.

In addition, our country has been frequently elected as a member of authoritative bodies of the United Nations. The opening of the United Nations Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia in Ashgabat in 2007 became a landmark event in the history of bilateral cooperation. The one-of-a-kind Center represents a pillar of the Community of Nations in the region.

Aimed to optimize the partnership in such important areas as global energy security and extensive transport-transit infrastructure construction, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov's initiatives (approved by the special General Assembly Resolutions) provide clear evidence of our country's active stand on cooperation with the United Nations.

Under the aegis of the United Nations, our country has many times hosted large international forums, which focused on crucial global issues. Large-scale projects initiated by the nation's leader Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov, including the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan railway project are an invaluable contribution to the peaceful settlement of the situation in Afghanistan and sustainable socio-economic development of the entire Central Asia region.

Turkmenistan has earned a reputation as a state that properly fulfills its international obligations in the field of humanitarian law, having acceded to more than 120 well-established conventions and international legal documents. Noting that our country was among the first to pay close attention to the issues of migration and stateless persons, the forum participants stressed that humanitarian efforts launched by Turkmenistan, had come into the international spotlight.

Turkmenistan is a party to the international UN Conventions against illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, as well as similar regional and international projects and programs. At present, our country is making efforts jointly with the European Regional Bureau of the World Health Organization aimed at tobacco prevention and healthy lifestyle promotion.

The successful partnership with specialized UN agencies, including the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has resulted in Turkmenistan's National Action Plan on Human Rights, the 2016-2020 Country Program Action Plan between the Government of Turkmenistan and UNICEF, and the 2016-2020 Country Program Action Plan between the Government of Turkmenistan and UNFPA. Cooperation with UNESCO is one of the main areas of Turkmenistan's state policy.

The 2016-2020 Partnership Framework for Development between Turkmenistan and the United Nations Organization is being successfully implemented. It fits perfectly with the priority tasks specified in our country's national programs as well as with the Global Goals and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly. Turkmenistan was among the first to adapt the Sustainable Development Goals at the national level and to start working towards their inclusion in the national plans and programs.

As a party to a number of UN Environment Conventions, Turkmenistan has a pro-active attitude towards tackling environmental issues, in particular dealing with the Aral Sea crisis, and protecting the Caspian Sea's unique ecosystem. Following the National Climate Change Strategy, our country proposes to establish a specialized agency to be based in Ashgabat � a Regional Center for Climate Change Technologies for Central Asia, and is ready to take necessary steps together with the United Nations to open an Ashgabat-based center.

Recent years have seen increased cooperation with large international organizations, such as the Unite Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE), the United Nations Conference on Trade And Development (UNCTAD), and others.

Upholding the principles of peaceful, good neighborly relations and humanism, Turkmenistan is demonstrating its commitment to constructive international dialogue, a well-structured approach to topical issues, and is taking a series of steps to work towards optimal solutions.

The relations between Turkmenistan and the Community of Nations are developing in the atmosphere of understanding and mutual interest in advancing the traditional dialogue across the whole spectrum of areas. Representatives of the UN authoritative agencies made special mention of this in their speeches.

Source: Turkmenistan State News Agency-TDH