International conference “Turkmenistan and International organizations: Cooperation for peace and development” with participation of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov was held in Ashgabat. The forum was dedicated to the celebration of the 25th anniversary of neutrality of Turkmenistan.
In the morning, the Head of the State has come to the Oguzkent Hotel where participants of the forum – representatives of competent international and regional organizations, diplomatic circles, government of the country as well as representatives of national and foreign media have gathered.
In the hall of the hotel, the President of Turkmenistan greeted heads of the delegations representing the United Nations and its separate structures, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and European Union in general.
Photography ceremony on the background of the banner of this remarkable event took place thereafter, after which the Head of the State accompanied by the heads of the delegations went to the session hall.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov made a greeting speech to the participants.
Being an active member of international life, Turkmenistan proposes number of international initiatives on current issues of modern time for deserving contribution to provision of sustainable development and prosperity on global level, the Head of the State said.
Being a supporter of bilateral and multilateral cooperation, our country sets objectives, which are very important for current and future generation and tries to achieve them on different levels, in particular under international organizations.
Therefore, Turkmenistan does not stop only at proposal of important initiatives aimed at expansion of wide international partnership and meeting fundamental interests of all countries and nations but also takes measures for their practical implementation. This is indicated by the current meeting, the Head of the State noted.
Speaking of the agenda of the meeting, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov informed that subjects related to national and common interests would be reviewed.
The participants will have to the exchange their views and outline joitn work in the nearest future on these subjects.
This year, our country and the world community will celebrate the 25th anniversary of international recognition of the status of neutrality of Turkmenistan. This important date is a remarkable event in independent history of Turkmen state, a milestone in its foreign policy, the President highlighted.
At the same time, this is a good reason to think over way, which was made for the quarter of the century, to give assessment to current development of Turkmenistan as a neutral state. Today, we do it together with our friends and partners who represents big and competent international organizations. We are interested in and appreciate your opinions and recommendations, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said.
The Head of the State noted special importance of this in the context of preparation to International High-level Conference “Policy of Neutrality and its Importance in Provision of Peace, Security and Sustainable Development”, which is planned to be held in Ashgabat on December 12 this year.
After, Head of the State Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov referred to the history of neutrality of our country. For Turkmenistan, which gained independence in complicated conditions of fundamental changes of entire system of international relations, the selection of foreign course was one of the most important subjects, the President said.
What this course would be, how do we build relations with the world community, on what principles do we develop international cooperation?
The history has numerous samples when mistakes in choosing of foreign model have led to loss of real sovereignty of the states, their involvement to the sphere of interests, which ae far from true goals of national development.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov highlighted that Turkmenistan has chosen the model, which was named a positive neutrality and specified its fundamental provisions, which are peace-loving, non-interference in affairs of other states, respect of their sovereignty and territorial integrity, noon-involvement in international military organizations and treaties.
We started to pursue sovereign neutral but at the same time an active and constructive foreign policy. Therefore, it is no wonder that the world has accepted our efforts for strengthening of neutrality of Turkmenistan as international and legal status with friendliness and understanding. Our country received support from the neighbouring countries at first and after in Non-alignment Movement.
On December 12, 1995, the United Nations General Assembly has unanimously adopted the Resolution on Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov highlighted that neutrality of Turkmenistan has become a significant factor of international peace-making efforts in our region, having reminded that it was Ashgabat, which hosted number of talks under the UN aegis, which played an important role in achievement of peace and harmony in Tajikistan.
The capital of our neutral state became the place of negotiations on regulation of Afghan conflict in the end of the 90s of the last century.
Turkmenistan became a reliable ally and effective partner of the UN in protection and support of political stability in the region, development of good neighbourliness, friendship and cooperation. This was indicated by the decision of the world community with support of all countries of the region on opening of the UN Regional Centre of Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia in Ashgabat in 2007.
We accepted it as a huge responsibility and at the same time, as an evidence of the trust given to Turkmenistan by the United Nations Organization, the Head of the State said.
Today, Turkmen neutrality is an important factor of regional security. Its fundamental principles fully comply with strategic directions of the UN in Central Asia, which are aimed at turning of the region into the place of peace and cooperation, strong link of continental stability. In this context, the UN can always rely on support of Turkmenistan, which use political and diplomatic methods for creation of atmosphere of understanding and trust, favourable conditions for equal and constructive partnership, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said.
Turkmenistan sees assertion of the culture of dialog as its priority objective as a neutral state during solution of arising issues and confrontations. As is known, the UN General Assembly with co-authorship of 73 member states has unanimously adopted the Resolution initiated by Turkmenistan on declaration of 2021 as International Year of Peace and Trust.
In this context, our country will develop and present proposals on conducting of International Year and of Peace and Trust with maximum practical benefit for the efforts of for provision of peace and security to the UN for review, the President of Turkmenistan informed, having noted that we hope for close cooperation with relative structures of the UN and other international organizations during formation of these initiatives and their further realization.
During the last session of the UN General Assembly, Turkmenistan proposed initiative on development of set of rules on application of the principles of neutrality in provision of peace and security. We considers that this is very useful initiative and look forward for your support in its implementation, the Head of the State said addressing to the participants of the forum.
This document can be used by international community as an effective mechanism for prevention of possible confrontations, non-admittance of their escalations into war, for turning of conflict processes into peaceful negotiation stream.
Recently, we have also proposed to establish the Group of friends of neutrality for the interests of peace and security, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov continued, having expressed the willingness for close cooperation with all sides, which are interested in promotion of this initiative.
The Head of the state made special mention that Turkmenistan has always been and remains to be an active participant of international efforts for combating against modern challenges and threats, and highlighted solid position of our country in counteracting of terrorism, combating against illegal drug and human trafficking.
Turkmen leader highlighted that support of reconciliation processes in Afghanistan receives special importance today. The Head of the State confirmed the position of Turkmenistan: as a neutral state and close neighbour of Afghanistan, our country is willing to provide necessary conditions for establishment of peaceful dialog on Afghanistan. There is no alternative to negotiation process, the President of Turkmenistan said. Previous practice has shown that force methods are non-productive and have no future in this case.
Throughout many years, Turkmenistan provides specific addressed economic and humanitarian support to Afghanistan. It is expressed in construction of medical and educational facilities in neighbouring country, beneficial supplies of electricity, study of Afghan students in Turkmen educational institutes, regular humanitarian cargos to Afghanistan, other support and assistance. All of these is financed by Turkmenistan from its own funds.
The President assured Afghan friends and international community that such support would be continued on systematic base according to special programme developed in Turkmenistan.
Having noted that special attention is paid to economic aspect of Turkmen neutrality these days, which implies creation of conditions for rapid social and economic growth of our country, development of its beneficial foreign economic and trade relations, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov highlighted that the neutrality guarantees from any politicization of such cooperation and provides equal treatment of all foreign partners.
Provisions of Turkmenistan’s neutrality, non-confrontational outlook, our strict adherence the UN Chapter and international regulatory standards are completely reflected in realization of international projects of the country. Their direction is provided not only by commercial and economic benefits but also by intent to provide rapprochement of the states to create the atmosphere of trust and predictability in relations between them.
In its turn, it will support to expansion of economic relations between the countries, practical implementation of the principles of transparency and equality in international economic cooperation. These foundations have been laid to the activity of international organizations of economic, financial and investment orientation.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov expressed the willingness of Turkmenistan in activation of cooperation between such international financial institutes as the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Islamic Development Bank. Last year, we have also enforced our work on study of rules and procedures to join the World Trade Organization, the Head of the State added.
The Head of the State outlined execution of the Agenda of the Sustainable Development, where Turkmenistan is also willing to share the experience gained in this direction, as another subject of exchange of opinions.
The President said that today, important parameters of the Sustainable Development Goals are inherently integrated to the Programme of social and economic development of Turkmenistan in 2019 – 2025. Implementation of the SDGs in economic part of the Programme is to ensure universal access of the population to cheap, reliable and modern energy provision, stable economic growth and full occupancy, establishment of flexible infrastructure, support of stable industrialization and promotion of innovations. Big attention is paid to widespread digitization of the economy.
Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in Turkmenistan has brightly expressed direction. This is about such important aspects as provision of food abundance and improvement of nutrition of the population, widespread assertion of healthy life style, provision of full gender equality, creation of conditions for inclusive fair and qualitative education.
Starting implementation of national plans in different spheres of the economy and social sphere, Turkmenistan correlates them with ecological component of the SDGs strictly and responsibly. For this purpose, the country starts using modern eco-friendly and resource-saving technologies in all spheres of the economy – in industry, agriculture, transport and other spheres.
We have always clearly stated out positions in this subject: the ecology and environment have not to be hostages of commercial benefits, no matter how attractive they seemed to be, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said, having highlighted that provision of sustainable development of the country, improvement of quality of life of the population are directly related to the solution of ecological objectives in the region.
Saving of Aral Sea is one of the main objectives. Our terms in this direction have been discussed in details at the Summit of the Heads of the States, the Founders of International Fund for Saving of Aral Sea (IFAS) in Turkmenbashy in August 2019 and certain agreements have been reached. Therefore, important steps toward improvement of activity of IFAS and improvement of its effectiveness have been made.
The President of Turkmenistan urged to move in this direction more actively, to involve potential of international community, first the UN and its specialized structures, wider. We proposed an initiative on development of the UN Special Programme for Aral Sea basin and allocation of Aral Sea problems in separate direction of the UN activity.
It is necessary to concentrate more on the efforts of Central Asian states and international structures in provision of equal and fair access to water resources, the President continued. The position of Turkmenistan in this subject is well known to all: we consider that review and solution of water management issues have to made on the base of the standards of international law, mutual respect and interests of all countries of the region with participation of international organizations.
The Head of the State noted that in general, we expect continuation of constructive dialog on the issues of the Sustainable Development Goals, which provide consolidation of efforts on international, regional and national levels.
In this context, firm confidence in expansion of partnership between Turkmenistan and the UN Development Programme, UNICEF, World Health Organization, UN Population Fund, the UN Environment Programme and other specialized establishments and institutes of the United Nations has been expressed.
Cooperation of our country with the UNESCO is one of priority subjects of international agenda of Turkmenistan in the context of implementation of the UN Agenda 2030, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said further.
We plan to take efforts for realization of potential of cooperation with the UNESCO in such spheres as education, science, ecology and sports in the nearest future, Turkmen leader said.
The President of Turkmenistan has focused on humanitarian problems. As is known, for number of years, Turkmenistan cooperates closely and comprehensively with relative international organizations for improvement of democratic institutes in the country, effective fulfilment of its obligations in human rights sphere.
At the same time, Turkmen leader Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov made special mention that realization of principle “State for Human Being!”, which is aimed at creation of maximum favourable conditions for comprehensive reveal of potential of human individuality, is the main one in our joint work.
We confirm our intent in activation of partnership with such international structures as the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, as the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, International Migration Organization, International Labour Organization, International Federation of Red Crescent and Red Cross Societies and other humanitarian structures, the Head of the State said.
The neutrality of Turkmenistan is a reality of today and our future, which opens new opportunities for development of wide international partnership in all directions. Following strict commitment to undertaken international obligations, we affirm with all responsibility about our willingness to wide and active cooperation with international organizations for achievement of universal creative goals, the Head of the State summed up.
After, the President of Turkmenistan gave floor to Special Representative of the UN Secretry General for Central Asia, Head of the UN Regional Centre of Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia Natalya Gherman.
The UN welcomes important and timely initiatives of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, which are aimed not only at consolidated cooperation and solution of the main issues of regional and global agenda but also at the assertion of the central role of the UN in the subjects of peace, security and sustainable development in the region and on global level, Mrs Gherman said.
Special Representative of the UN Secretary General noted that following the course of neutrality, Turkmenistan has not only achieved significant results in different spheres but also has made a significant contribution to strengthening of peace and stability in Central Asia. It can be confidently stated that choice of Turkmenistan was prompt and well-grounded and the model of foreign political development of the country was the most optimum and meeting national interests, long-term goals of the world community and principles of the UN Chapter, she highlighted.
Natalya Gherman highly appreciated Turkmen idea on development of the UN Code of Practice on effective use of the principles of neutrality during regulation of international issues and provision of peace and security as well as initiative on organization of wide multilateral dialog on practical implementation of the principles of neutrality under the UN aegis for prevention of conflicts, elimination of their root causes and consequences, solution of humanitarian issues.
Mrs Gherman said that assuming the post of the UN Secretary General in the beginning of 2017, Antonio Guterres proposed his vision of the UN activity where the utmost place was given to preventive diplomacy.
In this regard, it was noted that the Regional Centre has become one of the first structures of the UN, which was to use and promote preventive diplomacy as a tool of support of interstate dialog and development of cooperation between the countries. In this context, Natalya Gherman highlighted the currency of the thesis of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov that positive neutrality and preventive diplomacy go together. Prevention is our common goal for provision of peace and stability in Central Asian region and on global level.
The Head of the RCPDCA has also noted that in 2020 when the 25th anniversary of permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan symbolically falls on the 75th anniversary of the United Nations Organization, under the celebration of this anniversary, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has initiated and invited all to participate in large-scale and open global discussion on the subject of the role of international cooperation in building of the future we want.
In this context, the idea of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on organization of International High-level Conference in Ashgabat on December 12 is very current especially on the threshold of 2021, which is declared as International Year of Peace and Trust by initiative of Turkmenistan.
Natalya Gherman expressed confidence that representative forum in Ashgabat would be a substantive part of the process of definition of the future of the UN that we want, to which international community has to strive. This is related not only to Central Asian region but also thee the world in general, which experiences hard times from the consolidation point of view.
Turkmenistan and the UN will have to face big and fruitful work for further promotion of started initiatives, development of existing formats and platforms of cooperation as well as intensification of the dialog in all main spheres for the interests of peace, stability and sustainable development, Mrs Gherman said in the end.
Having expressed gratitude to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for substantive speech, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov highlighted that being the state hosting the Headquarter of the UN Regional Centre of Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, Turkmenistan pays special attention to promotion of peace-making agenda, establishment of multilateral cooperation in the sphere of early prevention of conflicts and confrontations, elimination of challenges and threats, establishment of reliable base for peace, security and development.
For almost 12 years of its activity, the Regional Centre has recommended itself as an effective link between the United Nations and Central Asian countries in solution of many issues, the Head of the State said.
After, the Head of the State Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov gave floor for speech to the UN Permanent Coordinator in Turkmenistan Mrs Elena Panova.
Having gained significant experience of development as a neutral state, which status was confirmed by two Resolutions of the UN General Assembly, Turkmenistan offers the world to use the concept of neutrality as a tool to protect peace and promotion of sustainable development. We are willing to support Turkmenistan in promotion of the principles of neutrality, the high-rank UN representative said.
She has also noted that Turkmenistan is one of the advanced countries in implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. According to her, the main achievement in this aspect is that the country has laid firm systematic foundation for the SDGs, having established national coordination mechanism and included goals and objectives of the SDGs into the Programme of the President for 2019 – 2025.
The Permanent Coordinator has presented the main priorities of 2020 to the participants of the forum, realization of which would held to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs in the country, it includes support in mobilization of financing for achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
In her speech, Mrs Panova suggested to establish joint coordination mechanism for attraction of foreign investments and financial resources of international banks for implementation of the SDGs in the country. Participation of international financial establishments and big international companies is expected.
Support in improvement of statistical reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals is another priority direction. It was noted that huge work has been done with the State Statistics Committee for development of national database on indicators in the sphere of sustainable development.
Development of new Framework Programme of cooperation between Turkmenistan and the UN in 2021 – 2025 is another priority. Consultations for development of this document have started last year and three directions of cooperation – improvement of efficiency in the sphere of the government administration by digitization and promotion of human rights; development of the economy taking into account the climate change; quality services in health protection, education and social protection sphere, have been defined in the result.
Special attention in new Framework Programme will be paid to involvement of youth to implementation of the SDGs and development of youth policy. Intensification of joint activity of different UN agencies will be another special feature of the Programme.
In this regard, Elena Panova made proposal to develop actual mechanism for encouragement of joint projects between the UN and the Government of Turkmenistan.
On behalf of the UN Mission in Turkmenistan, Mrs Panova expressed support to initiative of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on organization of International Conference for subjects of Peace, Security and Sustainable Development, which was made at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly. The theme of this forum is consonant with the activities in the world; it allowed having better look through he prism of neutrality as global challenges of sustainable development, the UN representative said.
Having expressed gratitude to Elena Panova for substantial speech, the President highlighted that membership in the United Nations Organization, active participation in its activity in implementation of the Global Agenda for sustainable development are the main priorities of home and foreign policy of Turkmenistan.
Turkmen leader gave floor to the Head of the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat Natalya Drozd.
The OSCE Centre in Ashgabat, which has marked its 20th anniversary last year, established constructive cooperation with the Government of Turkmenistan. The Head of the centre highlighted the most remarkable achievements of joint work for the last years. For example, 4,000 representatives of the government authorities, academic circles, mass media and public organizations have become participants of our training events in 2018 – 2019.
Natalya Drozd Highly appreciated contribution of Turkmenistan to strengthening of economic stability in the region, having also noted joint activity for promotion of effective management of trade and transport, innovative technologies for sustainable management of water resources, development of renewable sources of energy and energy-saving technologies as well as for realization of international obligations of Turkmenistan in the sphere of ecological safety, which is one of the priorities of the policy of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
In humanitarian aspect, the OSCE Centre actively cooperates with the office of the Ombudsman of Turkmenistan, supports in fulfilment of National Action Plan in Human Rights sphere and National Action Plan for provision of gender equality in 2015 – 2020.
The OSCE has been providing long support in the sphere of development of mass media. Speaking of perspectives of cooperation this year, the Head of the OSCE Centre noted that realization of Plan of joint projects, which provides dozens of events with relative ministries and departments of Turkmenistan, starts in 2020.
In the end, Natalya Drozd expressed gratitude to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for trust, permanent support and comprehensive assistance to cooperation.
Having expressed gratitude for the speech, Turkmen leader noted that our country traditionally pays special attention to close partnership with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The President stated with delight that for the last several years, our cooperation with the OSCE in these directions is developed dynamically. Connections with such structures as the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights, the UN High Commissioner on National Minorities, the Representative on Freedom of the Media.
The Head of the State gave floor for the speech to the Chargé d'affaires of the European Union Representative Office in Turkmenistan Mr Lubomir Frebort.
The European Union respects and appreciates the status of Turkmenistan, its policy of permanent positive neutrality, which is selected as the base of foreign course of the country, the EU representative highlighted.
2019 was very important in relations between the European Union and Turkmenistan, which is our important and respected partner in Central Asia, Lubomir Frebort highlighted. Opening of the EU Representative Office in Ashgabat in the middle of the last year has become a top event in our relations and demonstration of the EU interest in strengthening and expansion of relations with Turkmenistan.
Enhancement of the level of our relations allows us expanding political and economic sections of joint efforts in strategic fields such as security, energy, climate change, environment, diversification of the economy and development of private sector, supremacy of law, human rights and many other, the EU representative continued.
It was mentioned that some initiatives of neutral Turkmenistan proposed by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov meet priorities of the EU, first in the subjects of peace and stable development.
Regarding peace and security, including water security, the EU recognizes permanent contribution of Turkmenistan to stabilization of situation in Afghanistan and this agenda is one of the main priorities of the EU security. We welcome initiative of Turkmenistan on declaration of 2021 as International Year of Peace and Trust.
The EU entirely supports the policy of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on diversification of gas export markets while the construction of strategic Trans-Caspian gas line and import of Turkmen gas remain an important part of the EU strategy in the sphere of energy security and recently, new European Commission has included the project into renewed list of priority energy projects. We have activated our bilateral and multilateral energy dialog in 2019 and are ready to continue it.
In the end, Lubomir Frebort expressed confidence that 2020 would give an opportunity for thorough preparation to the high-level meeting between the EU Government and Turkmenistan.
Having expressed gratitude to the Chargé d'affaires of the European Union Representative Office in Turkmenistan for substantial speech, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov highlighted that European direction is one of important vectors of foreign policy of the country.
After, the President of Turkmenistan gave floor to Head of the UN Regional Office on Drugs and Crime Mrs Ashita Mittal.
Expressing gratitude to the Government of Turkmenistan for support in promotion of the agenda of the UNDDC in counteracting of transnational organized crime, illegal drug trafficking and prevention of terrorism, Mrs Mittal noted that today as never before, the principles of neutrality occupy central place in provision of peace, security and stability in the planet.
She has also highlighted historical role of Turkmenistan in launch of the UNDDC Programme for Central Asian states in 2015 – 2020, which has been signed in Ashgabat on May 15, 2015 by all five countries of the region as the main framework document on technical cooperation in the region.
Ashita Mittal has highly appreciated initiative of Head of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on bringing of collaboration to more practical level under recently signed Roadmap on further development of cooperation between the country and the UNDDC in 2019 – 2021. Our Department remains comprehensively committed to support of Turkmenistan in its efforts for solution of integrated challenges in security sphere and elimination of the threats to international peace, security and sustainable development, Mrs Mittal noted.
Besides, gratitude has been expressed to the Government of Turkmenistan for its proposal to hold the 55th session of the Sub-commission for illegal drug trafficking in Middle and Near East and issued related to this in June 2020.
Our country pays special attention to international cooperation in combating illegal drug trafficking, especially in close cooperation with specialized UUN structures, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said. Current activity of the UN Department on Drugs and Crime is carried out in Turkmenistan by implementation of 15 global, regional and national projects.
The Head of the State noted that Turkmenistan has ratified the main international conventions and treaties related to the mandate of the UN Department of Drugs and Crime in drug, crime and terrorism spheres. In May 2019, our country was elected to the Commission of Narcotic Substances for 2020 – 2023.
In addition, National Action Plan for Combating Human Trafficking in 2020 – 2022 has been adopted on October 6, 2019, which outlines that the UN Department on Drugs and Crime is one of the main partners in realization of this action plan.
Having expressed gratitude to Mrs Ashita Mittal for her speech, the President gave floor to Head of the UN Cluster Office, Mr Svetan Svetkovsky.
In his speech, he noted that Turkmenistan is one of the first countries, which has completed Voluntary National Review of the progress in achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. This review demonstrates an integrated approach of the country to implementation of the SDGs in the sphere of the UNESCO authority.
Cooperation between Turkmenistan and the UNESCO in the last four years was focused on implementation of the SDGs in the sphere of education, natural, social and humanitarian studies, culture, communication and information. Turkmenistan took active part in development of the SDGs in these directions and is one of the first countries, which officially adopted and included them into national plans and development strategies, Mr Svetkovsky said.
The UNESCO held its 40th General Conference and adopted the Programme and Budget for 2020 – 2021 in November last year. Subsequently, all programme sectors and site departments have adopted similar plans for work during the same period.
Tehran Bureau of the UNESCO is a cluster bureau, which covers four countries from four different sub regions, namely Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Turkmenistan. It allows the UNESCO developing potential for development of regional and transboundary approaches. Active role of national Commission of Turkmenistan for the UNESCO affairs has become a link in all communications with the government authorities and existing partners.
We also plan some events related to land management based on protection of ecosystems and biological resources, creation of geological parks, the UNESCO representative has informed.
In the sphere of social and humanitarian studies under strategic goals of social integration and building of peaceful and fair societies, our activity in Turkmenistan includes intercultural and inter-religious dialog as a continuation of International Conference for support of intercultural dialog along the Silk Road, which was organized in Turkmenistan in December 2018.
Session of experts in traditional sports and games of intellectual atlas of cultural collaboration along the Silk Road has also taken place in the fields of the forum in Turkmenistan.
In the sphere of involvement of youth, we plan to expand the Contest of Young Ambassadors of the SDGs in Turkmenistan as a continuation of national campaign of Turkmenistan for promotion of the Agenda 2030. Activities for expansion of potential for National Anti-Doping Agency of Turkmenistan are planned in sports and physical education sphere.
In line of education, it is planned to hold number of events for expansion of potential in the sphere of technical and professional education; educational monitoring and information systems, use of information and communication technologies in teaching methods and study of information technologies.
Joint efforts in the sphere of natural sciences are concentrated on enhancement of role of researches, science, technologies and innovations in stimulation of economic development.
Number of activities for expansion of potential for protection of cultural heritage alogn the Silk Road, for integration of the management of sustainable tourism in the aspect of management of heritage facilities, provision of safety and risk management in museums, protection of intangible cultural heritage and other.
Having expressed gratitude to the Head of the UNESCO Cluster Office for substantial speech, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted that development of culture and education, protection and popularization of historical heritage are the main priorities of the government policy in Turkmenistan. Development of comprehensive and close relations with the UNESCO is an integral component of the policy.
We are proud of high level of cooperation between Turkmenistan and the UNESCO, which is based on intent to realize noble ideals of understanding and friendship between the nations, the President said.
Next, Director of the UN Regional Office of High Commissioner on Refugees, Mrs Yasuko Oda has given a speech.
Having expressed deep gratitude to the Governmetn of Turkmenistan for old successful cooperation with the UNHCR Office, she mentioned recent participation of high-level Turkmen delegation in two main global events held in Geneva.
Expressing gratitude for specific statements made by Turkmenistan at these important forums, Mrs Oda noted that by thus, our country has demonstrated high level of commitment to protection of refugees and efforts for solution of problem of stateless persons.
The UNHCR has established its office in Ashgabat in July 1995. Many things have been achieved since then. The country has ratified all four UN Conventions on refugees and stateless persons. Turkmenistan is the first and only country in Central Asia, which has joined the conventions of stateless persons. In April 2011, Turkmenistan has been elected as a member of the UNHCR Executive Committee and National Action Plan for elimination of statelessness has been adopted last year.
The UNHCR also hopes to join the country groups of the UN for support in conduct of the next national population census in Central Asia including Turkmenistan.
Mrs Yasuko Oda reminded the participants that Turkmenistan received thousands refugees from Afghanistan from the first days of independence and not only provided protection of these people but also gave them access to education, health protection and agricultural lands for their deserving life. Many people received citizenship. This achievement has to be highlighted as one of the best world practices, she highlighted.
Director of the Regional Office of the UN Commissioner on Refugees has also expressed gratitude to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for invitation of refugee sportsmen from Kenia to take part in the Asian Games in 2017 as well as for conduct of the Conference on refugee problems in the Muslim world in 2012 together with the UNHCR and the Islamic Cooperation Organization, which resulted in adoption of the Ashgabat Declaration calling for close cooperation of all interested countries for solution of problems of refugees and stateless persons.
She has also outlined another important direction of cooperation – the readiness for emergencies. The UNHCR and Turkmenistan conduct annual trainings in this direction.
Having expressed gratitude to Mrs Yasuko Oda for substantial speech, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said that Turkmenistan pays great importance to cooperation with the High Commissioner on Refugees and tries to make its contribution to solution of this problem, which concerns destinies of millions of people.
As is known, Turkmenistan in close cooperation with the UN High Commissioner on Refugees and the Islamic Cooperation Organization held international conference dedicated to the problems of refugees in Muslim countries.
Together with the efforts at international platforms, active work is carried out on national level. Starting from 2005, Turkmenistan gave citizenship to more than 23,000 refugees and stateless persons, the Head of the State added, having said that the state would continue paying priority attention to these subjects.
Summing up the reports, assessment and concluding the opinions, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov expressed since gratitude to all participants for substantial speeches. Current meeting confidently demonstrated high level of understanding during definition of goals and objectives of our cooperation, reflected coincidence of approaches to the main subjects of the world development, the Head of the State noted.
Targeting and focus on final result is a character feature of cooperation between Turkmenistan and big international organizations. At present time, implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in Turkmenistan is one of the priority directions of partnership with international organizations.
We were able to make significant move forward in this way, having started development of specific mechanisms of adaptation of the SDGs on national level, having adopted relative indicators for inclusion of them into National programme of social and economic development of Turkmenistan in 2019 – 2025, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said.
International initiatives of Turkmenistan in energy and transport spheres are also provided by the necessity of provision of the Sustainable Development Goals in these important segments of global economy.
It is indicative that relative Resolutions were unanimously supported by the UN General Assembly in co-authorship with dozens of the states. In this context, International Conference of transport ministers of the countries without access to sea in Turkmenistan in March this year is to reflect the continuity of creation of balanced and ramified international transport infrastructure with the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
It was almost quarter of the century since the choice of neutral model of development and foreign course made by Turkmenistan in the United Nations Organization received unanimous recognition of all member states, the Head of the State continued.
Having wished success for development and progress to all participants, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted that number of urgent issues of the global agenda has been highlighted at the Conference. At the same time, it was emphasized that their solution is closely related to high level of international cooperation.
In this context, the Head of the State said that partnership between Turkmenistan and international organizations is dedicated to fulfilment of this objective. Having expressed gratitude to all participants of the meeting and wished them success on work, which is to serve national and universal interests, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov left the Oguzkent Hotel.
After the break, conference “Turkmenistan and International Organizations: Cooperation for Peace and Development” was continued in the format of working session in the foreign Ministry.
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