On Foreign Policy Initiatives of Turkmenistan

 

Turkmenistan has traditionally been the author of international initiatives aimed at strengthening peace and stability. The country also takes an active part in the discussions on the most pressing issues for the countries of the Central Asian region and beyond.

Universal peace, security and stability are the key components of Turkmenistan's position, which will be presented at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly. Turkmenistan also actively supports and develops this foreign policy line through the use and strengthening of preventive diplomacy and the priority role of the United Nations in solving acute problems related to the preservation of peace and security. A special role of the country in ensuring regional and global peace and stability was also noted during the last meeting of the President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov with the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, in Ashgabat in June this year.

The UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, welcomes and appreciates the efforts of Neutral Turkmenistan in the international arena as they are in tune with the Mandate and the functions of the Center, in particular in encouraging States to use the tools of preventive diplomacy. In this context, the Regional Center also welcomes the new foreign policy initiative of Turkmenistan - the drafting and adoption of a draft Resolution at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly on preventive diplomacy.

Special attention should be paid to the initiatives of Turkmenistan concerning the development of transport and transit corridors, cooperation in the energy and environmental spheres. Given the direct dependence of Sustainable Development on addressing energy security and environmental issues, these initiatives of Turkmenistan appear to be timely and deserving of the most serious consideration by the partners in the region.

We welcome and support the initiative of Turkmenistan to hold in 2018 the Summit of the founding states of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea. The use of water resources is one of the key areas of preventive activity of the Center. The Center cooperates with the Executive Committee of IFAS in terms of information exchange, increasing the capacity of its staff, assistance in mobilizing international support for the implementation of the Aral Sea Basin Program (ASBP) and a number of other issues. Currently, the UNRCCA is in close contact with the Turkmen chairmanship of the Executive Committee of IFAS on the development of a regional water strategy. The Turkmen side also actively participates in regional events organized by the Center on water issues.

Another notable initiative of Turkmenistan - to build up cooperation in the field of countering terrorism, will undoubtedly contribute to the consolidation of peace in the region of Central Asia, which is important for the global stability. The UN Regional Center and Turkmenistan are constructively cooperating in this direction. In November 2011, the Regional Center, with the assistance of the Government of Turkmenistan, organized a high-level meeting in Ashgabat, during which the participants adopted the Joint Plan for the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. The adopted document is unique, as it was the world's first experience in adapting the global counter-terrorism strategy to a specific region. It served as an example for countries in other parts of the world. As part of this process, on June 13 this year in Ashgabat with the participation of the UN Secretary General, Mr. Antonio Gutterish, the High Level Summit “Dialogue: Central Asia – UN” on the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia had been held, which culminated in the adoption of the Ashgabat Declaration.

The recent opening of the Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) at the Institute of International Relations in Ashgabat is a significant event for all participants in peacekeeping. In our opinion, this indicates a high degree of commitment by Turkmenistan to the creation of a framework for the effective implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We are convinced that the SDG will not only stimulate international cooperation, but also contribute to intensifying the dialogue in the conceptualization of sustainable development, and will serve as a good example for future projects in this field.

  In the coming days, V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games will start in Ashgabat. This kind of Olympiad for the countries of Asia and Oceania is a good indicator of Turkmenistan's efforts to popularize sports and healthy lifestyles. Sport not only contributes to the health of the nation, but also to cooperation between nations. Parallels with ancient times naturally arise: as we know, during the Olympic Games, a sacred truce was declared. According to the founders of the Olympic Games, "Youth of the world had to be measured by forces in sports, and not on the battlefields". This slogan is very harmonious with the foreign policy of Turkmenistan. These games will bring a large number of athletes from different countries that will get an opportunity to get to know each other and get acquainted with the beautiful Ashgabat.

The Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy encourages sport as an effective element of preventive diplomacy and, in this context, fully supports Turkmenistan's initiatives and contribution to the development of international sport. Our Center also makes its feasible contribution to this great process and annually organizes a mini-football tournament between diplomats from different countries accredited in Ashgabat. We are grateful to the Turkmen Government for their support in organizing these events.

In conclusion, I would like to wish Turkmenistan successful implementation of important international initiatives and express the readiness of the Regional Center to assist in this process in the framework of its Mandate.

 

 

Philip Saprykin,
Senior political counselor of the United Nations Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia countries