The activities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan are regulated by the legislative acts of Turkmenistan: by laws “On Diplomatic Service,” “On the Status of Diplomatic Missions of Turkmenistan Abroad”, “On Diplomatic Ranks,” “On Consular Offices of Turkmenistan”, Conception of the foreign policy course of Turkmenistan.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan consists of 21 structural subdivisions – 3 departments, 13 divisions and 5 representative offices of the Ministry in velayats (provinces).
The tasks, functions and order of activities of structural subdivisions of the central office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan are determined by the relevant provisions. The structure and number of employees of the central office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, as well as of the diplomatic representations and consular offices of Turkmenistan abroad, are approved by the President of Turkmenistan.
In accordance with the law “On Diplomatic Service of Turkmenistan”, diplomatic service is a type of state service associated with the execution of powers to implement the foreign policy of Turkmenistan, representation and protection of rights and legitimate interests of Turkmenistan in international relations.
The system of diplomatic service includes the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, diplomatic representations and consular offices of Turkmenistan abroad, missions of Turkmenistan to international organizations, representative offices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan in the territory of Turkmenistan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan is a central executive body that implements foreign policy activities and regulates the system of diplomatic service of Turkmenistan.
At present, Turkmenistan has established diplomatic relations with 142 states of the world. There are 38 diplomatic missions and consular offices of Turkmenistan abroad. The diplomatic representations of 35 foreign countries work in Turkmenistan.
Turkmenistan is a party to 139 international conventions and treaties.
The priorities of Turkmenistan’s foreign policy are to maximize the promotion of comprehensive peace, stability and security, consistent implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, consolidation of neighborly relations and cooperation in the region and beyond, creation of favorable conditions for the implementation of disarmament, settlement of the existing conflicts and contradictions by peaceful political means, and ensuring energy security.
To this end, initiatives have been put forward by the President of Turkmenistan in various international forums, in particular the proposal on establishment of the Energy Council of the UN, establishment of a high-level permanent forum on security and cooperation in Central Asia and in the Caspian Basin, five points of promoting the political settlement in Afghanistan and its economic reconstruction, and a range of other important initiatives.
As one of the main components of its foreign policy, Turkmenistan considers its active involvement in the work of the UN, aimed at ensuring human progress and development, increasing living standards and well-being of the people, creating favorable conditions for the global economic and social development, maximum realization of the creative capacities of an individual and promotion of the human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Turkmenistan consistently consolidates traditionally friendly and mutually beneficial relations with neighboring States, especially with the Central Asian and Caspian Basin countries. At the same time, close cooperation with the States of the Middle and Near East, Asia and Pacific Ocean region is developing. The main course of the foreign policy of Turkmenistan is multilateral partnership with the countries of the European and American continents. In recent years, on the instructions of the National Leader, work has been undertaken to expand fruitful dialogue with the African countries.
The relevant measures are undertaken on further development of cooperation with the authoritative international organizations and structures. Turkmenistan is a member of 44 international organizations, such as the United Nations Organization, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Non-Alignment Movement and etc. In such organizations as the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Economic Cooperation Organization Turkmenistan has a status of an associated member.
Turkmenistan participates actively in the global processes of development and implementation of Millennium goals and objectives. In 2016 Turkmenistan was elected vice-chair of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly. The country is a member of 7 Councils, Committees and Commissions of the UN.
During the organizational session of the ECOSOC on 23-24 April 2014, elections were held to different UN bodies, in which Turkmenistan was elected as a member of the following institutions: the United Nations Social Development Commission for the period of 2014-2017, the Executive Committee of the Programme of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (on a permanent basis).
In the ordinary organizational session of the ECOSOC on 8-10 April 2015, during the elections held to different UN bodies, Turkmenistan was elected to the following institutions:
On 13 November 2012 during the 37th session of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris, for the first time Turkmenistan was elected to the Executive Board of UNESCO, having become a member of the governing body for 2013-2017.
In 2016 Turkmenistan was unanimously elected to the following structures of the UN: the United Nations’ Commission on Science and Technology for Development for the period of 2017-2020, the United Nations Commission on Population and Development for the period of 2016-2020, and the United Nations Social Development Commission for the period of 2017-2021.
Collaboration with authoritative organizations is pursued in a systemic manner, as demonstrated by the Partnership Framework for Development between Turkmenistan and the UN for the period of 2016-2020, Action Plans of Country Programmes on Cooperation with the UNICEF and the UNFPA for the period of 2016-2020 and a number of other documents signed in 2016. All of them are aimed at the realization of concrete joint projects on socio-economic, energy, environmental, legal and other areas.
Turkmenistan’s proactive approach to cooperation with the United Nations is confirmed by the constructive initiatives of the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to optimize and strengthen effective partnerships in critical areas, including ensuring global energy security and building extensive transit transport infrastructure, which were set out in specific resolutions of the UN General Assembly.
As is known, Turkmenistan has been repeatedly a venue for major international forums, the agenda of which included the pertinent issues of the present. In 2016 Ashgabat hosted the first Global Conference on Sustainable Transport that convincingly demonstrates the increasing authority of Turkmenistan on the world stage.