Turkmenistan has been elected to the Bureau of Inland Transport Committee of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe in 2019 – 2020. This news came from the UN Department in Geneva (Switzerland) where regular 80th session of this competent intergovernmental organization was held on February 20 – 23. Turkmen delegations has also taken part in the work of the session.
The agenda included wide spectrum of topics of international cooperation in transport sphere including the development of transport corridors and intermodal transportation in Eurasian space, introduction of innovations into this sphere, expansion of the participation of the states in international conventions in transport sphere aimed at facilitation of the procedures of borders crossing, improvement of the safety of passengers and cargo transportation. The participants also discussed the Strategy of transport development until 2030, which is planned to be adopted at the 81st session of UNECE Inland Transport Committee Bureau in February 2019.
During the session, Turkmenistan Permanent Representative Office in the UN department in Geneva organized the session “Intermodal Communication and Role of Historical Transport Routes: The Silk Road”. It was dedicated to the projects in transport communications that are realized by the countries, which were crossed by this ancient route many years ago.
At present, this historical route is restored in the merit bearing the idea of consolidation and further activation of trade and economic, humanitarian and cultural relations between the states and the nations.
Implementation of the Resolution on Strengthening the Links between all modes of transport to achieve the Goals of Sustainable Development adopted at the 74th meeting of 72nd session of UN General Assembly was the main subject of session.
This Resolution, co-authored by 74 states, was the third document on international transport range of issues developed in accordance with the proposals of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov ad unanimously adopted by the United Nations.
In September, 2014, Turkmen capital hosted high-level International Conference dedicated to this subject, which resulted in the adoption of Ashgabat Declaration. Based on this document, the Resolution on the Role of Transport and Transit Corridors in Provision of international Cooperation for Sustainable Development was adopted at the 69th session of UN general Assembly on December 19, 2014.
In December 2015, the Resolution on Establishment of Transit and Transport Corridors was adopted at the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly. It supported the proposal of our country on the first UN Global Conference on Sustainable Transport, which was held in Turkmen capital in November 2016 and resulted in the adoption of Ashgabat Declaration.
The relevance and need of these proposals is obvious as the transport sphere is one of the key segments of the world economy and directly effects the stability and balance of the world economic relations and plays important role in the achievement of the Goals of Sustainable Development adopted by the United Nations.
At present, systematic activity for the elaboration of new legal and organizational bases for the intensification of the cooperation in transport sphere and preparation of the next Global Conference on Sustainable Transport is continued.
Taking active position in consolidation of joint efforts in this direction including in the UN and other competent organizations format, neutral Turkmenistan together with foreign partners successfully implements big projects making considerable contribution to the formation of ramified combined transport infrastructure in regional and global scale.
Transit flows logistic potential of our country makes special impression taking into account the opening of transnational railroad Kazakhstan – Turkmenistan – Iran, modern railway and automobile bridge across the Amudarya, railroad Kerky – Ymamnazar – Akina, which is the first part of international transport corridor, modernization of the highway Ashgabat – Turkmenbashy, completion of construction of Turkmenbashy International Seaport in the Caspian Sea.
2018 held under the slogan “Turkmenistan – the Heart of the Great Silk Road” is marked with big projects in transport sphere. Railroad Serhetabat – Turgundy was put into operation on February 23 with the participation of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Shahid Hakan Abbasi and State Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of India Mobashar Javed Akbar.
After involvement of Afghanistan to the projects on the formation of ramified transport infrastructure in the region, the country will have a unique opportunity to use its geographical benefits as transport and transit hub in Eurasian continent.
The idea of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on inclusion of Afghanistan to transport and logistic system of Turkmenistan and via our country to international connection routes is implemented with the opening of Serhetabat (Turkmenistan) – Turgundy (Afghanistan) railroad.
Railways and highways connect Turgundy with Ashgabat and with Turkmenbashy International Seaport on the Caspian. The corridor is continued across Caspian Sea to Baku and thereafter via Tbilisi to Ankara and Istanbul. As is known, the TRACECA international transport corridor runs across Turkmen coast of Caspian Sea and in the near future, the sea gate connecting Central Asia with Europe will be the largest logistic centre of the region.
Modernization of the infrastructure and technical rearmament of national civil aviation, which has an important role in passengers and cargo transportation both in domestic and international routes, is an integral part of large transformations gradually performed in transport sector of Turkmenistan. National Programme of the development of civil aviation of Turkmenistan in 2012 – 2030 developed by the initiative of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov is oriented to innovative technologies, advanced engineering and technical solution and the best world practice.
The Head of the State pays unremitted attention to the modernization of this sphere including the implementation of new technologies in the development of the infrastructure of air navigation and passenger service sphere. The construction of super modern Ashgabat International Airport that is the main air entry of Turkmenistan and big transit point on continental and intercontinental flight paths is a visual example of this.
Similar project was completed few years ago in Balkan Velayat. International Airport in Turkmenbashy became a hallmark of Avaza National tourist zone. And now, modern air complex was opened in administration centre of Lebap Velayat with the participation of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
Steadfast integration to the world transport system and further expansion of the infrastructure of the main routes and connecting hubs in East – West and North – South directions are among the key objectives outlined by the Head of the State for the nearest future. The President highlighted that the formation of important transport corridors in these directions is very important in the context of realization of the goals for the restoration of the Great Silk Road and for the connection of two economic poles of Eurasia. It also stipulates the opportunity of connecting to international transport system in southern and eastern directions with the entry to China, India, Pakistan, Middle East a d Asian Pacific.
Summing up what was said above, it can be stated that foreign policy of the Head of the State is based on the vision of Central Asian region and Caspian Basin as solid link of strategic stability in Eurasian space and Turkmenistan as reliable partner for all interested countries and as transport and transit hub of the continent.
Initiating important undertakings including on the realization of big projects in transport and communication sphere, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov is a pioneer and at the same time a visionary pragmatist in the formation of the architecture of new geo-economic space.
Elected to the Bureau of the UNECE Inland Transport Committee, Turkmenistan receives new stimulus for further promotion of strategic initiatives for the solution of global issues of the present time. Further expansion of fruitful cooperation with the UN structures will support to social and economic development of Turkmen state.
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