On the 27th of October 2020, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov held a videoconference meeting with the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Ms.Olga Algayerova.
During the meeting, the parties noted the efficiency of multiyear collaboration of Turkmenistan with the UN Economic Commission for Europe on a wide range. The important role of the UNECE in coordinating the relations between the countries of Europe and Asia in the area of transport, trade, energy, nature protection was stressed which is especially relevant in the current pandemic period.
It was underlined that under the leadership of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Turkmenistan remains committed to the development of cooperation with the UNECE, in particular on the improvement of transport and transit potential of the region, expansion of trade-economic ties and integration, sustenance of ecological safety and energy efficiency.
Speaking about the sustainable transport, the parties reiterated positive cooperation experience in the framework of the Inland Transport Committee (ITC). The commitment of the Turkmen side to widening the partnership through active participation in the activities of the ITC Working Groups on International movement, harmonization of cargo transportation and transport routes was expressed. The adherence of the Government of Turkmenistan to the development of multimodal movements is reflected in a number of international initiatives within the UN platform, as well as the actions adopted by the Government on the national level.
Accordingly, this year Turkmenistan joined a number of significant international legal documents in the area of transport. These are six Conventions of the United Nations aimed among others at taking forward the enhancement of the international road traffic.
The collaboration in the framework of the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) which is calling for the mobilization of necessary resources of the member countries for the attainment of priority tasks of multidimensional development was specially discussed. It was noted that the Turkmen side perceives SPECA as an important regional platform functioning under the auspices of the UN and enables the countries of the region to discuss its further economic development and adopt appropriate measures.
The efficiency of the Chairmanship of Turkmenistan in SPECA in 2019 was highlighted. The meetings of the Working Groups were held on a high organizational level in Ashgabat, in particular the importance of the 2019 SPECA Economic Forum “Connectivity: Sustainable Transport and Trade Facilitation in the SPECA sub-region” was underlined, on the outcomes of which the “Ashgabat Initiative” was adopted.
The interest of the Turkmen side in the development of cooperation with the SPECA countries aimed at the strengthening of regional market and cross-border supply chains was expressed. This is expected to have a favorable effect on the connectivity of the economies of the SPECA countries among themselves and other regions, attraction of new investments, technologies and innovations into the SPECA region.
The parties also discussed the perspectives of cooperation in the framework of the SPECA taking into consideration the proposals of the UNECE and the ESCAP experts. As is known, the overall support to the work of the Programme is realized by the UN Economic Commission for Europe and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. In this regard, the issues of enhancing the structure and reforming the work of the given Programme, including the establishment of the SPECA Trust Fund and its Secretariat were touched upon.
An exchange of views took place on the expansion of cooperation with the UNECE, particularly in the format of the Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework between the Government of Turkmenistan and the United Nations for 2021-2025 which envisions among others a regional cooperation format on the path towards the SDGs.
In the end of the meeting, the parties expressed hope for the development of cooperation in the framework of current and future initiatives.
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