Turkmenistan has become a full-fledged member of UNESCO on the 17th of August 1993 by ratifying the relevant document in London. In 1994, Turkmenistan joined the UNESCO Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. To the present time, more than 1000 historical and cultural monuments were found and registered on the territory of Turkmenistan.
UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Among the main goals of UNESCO is providing support to the strengthening of peace and security through the expansion of cooperation between the countries and people in the area of education, science and culture. UNESCO plays the primary role in the international efforts on safeguarding of cultural monuments and natural landscapes, works on the creation of conditions for open dialogue based on the respect for overall values and dignity of each nation. The headquarters of UNESCO is located in Paris, the French Republic.
In 1995, the Mission of Turkmenistan to UNESCO was opened. The coordination of actions between UNESCO and Turkmenistan are carried out by the Cluster Office located in Tehran, the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The National Commission for UNESCO of Turkmenistan is functioning in Turkmenistan. In order to develop the cooperation of Turkmenistan with UNESCO and enhance the work of the Commission, on the 23rd of October 2020, the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov signed the relevant Resolution confirming the composition of the National Commission for UNESCO of Turkmenistan and its Provisions.
The President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov pays special attention to safeguarding the national cultural heritage of Turkmen people. It was he who proposed the initiation of the nomination process of numerous objects and occurrences of tangible and spiritual culture of Turkmen people to be included in the Lists of UNESCO.
In the framework of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, till the present time more than 1000 historical and cultural monuments were found and registered on the territory of Turkmenistan.
In the framework of the Convention, the following has been entered in the World Heritage List of UNESCO:
In 2011, Turkmenistan joined the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and since then the country acts as one of its most active parties. The epic art of Gorogly (in 2015), the Kushtdepdi rite of singing and dancing (in 2017) and the Traditional Turkmen Carpet Making Art in Turkmenistan (in 2019) were entered into the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
On the 30th of November 2016, the multinational nomination of “Nowruz” holiday was considered during the 11th session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage held in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and was entered into the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Turkmenistan continues active collaboration with UNESCO, in particular on the enrichment of the World Heritage List.
The work in this direction continues in accordance with the instructions of the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. Next in a row are the nominations of monuments situated along the main routes of the Great Silk Road between such major ancient Turkmen cities as Dehistan, Nisa, Merv, Serahs, Amul, Kunya-Urgench.
The work on the expansion of the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity also actively continues.
The entrance of the nomination of Turkmenistan “Dutar making craftsmanship and traditional music performing art combined with singing” into the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity is planned for the end of 2021, when the session of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage will be held in the headquarters of UNESCO.
Also the work on the nomination of the national methodology and traditions of Akhalteke horse breeding and rearing of the Turkmen alabays into the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity is aimed at unfolding the input of the Turkmen people in the formation of the civilization and world culture.