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Turkmenistan-UNESCO: cooperation for enhancement of intellectual potential of the nation
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Turkmenistan-UNESCO: cooperation for enhancement of intellectual potential of the nation
Published 12.01.2022
7025

In his New Year message to the Turkmen people, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted that all conditions are created in our independent country for development of culture, literature and art and a large-scale work is carried out to preserve, enrich and popularize the national heritage and congratulated our compatriots with inclusion of the nomination “Dutar making craftsmanship and traditional music performing art combined with singing” into the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The head of the state, who attaches special attention to the preservation and study of national legacy, promotion of contribution of Turkmen people to development of world culture, always underlines the significance of systematic development of a traditional dialogue with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Election of Turkmenistan as member of the Executive Council of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO on June 21, 2021 for three years’ period as well as member of the Intergovernmental Council of the International Hydrological Programme for the period 2021-2025 during the 41st session of the General Conference of UNESCO on November 18, 2021 served as significant milestones in development of new areas of cooperation between our country and this specialized agency of the UN.

Election of Turkmenistan to bodies of the UNESCO speaks of the next victory of the national environmental and water diplomacy successfully implemented under the leadership of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

For years of cooperation with this authoritative agency, Turkmen specialists jointly with international experts have chosen unique sites, which subsequently have been included in the prestigious UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Among them are three historical and archaeological monuments of universal value –ancient Merv, Kunya-Urgench, Parthian Fortresses of Nisa.

In 2011, Turkmenistan joined the UNESCO 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, at the initiative of our country, the multinational nomination of “Nowruz” holiday was considered during the 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.

The establishment of the National Commission for UNESCO of Turkmenistan in 2020 became an important step in collaboration with United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. With a view of further development of cooperation and improvement of work of the given Commission, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov signed the relevant Resolution confirming the composition of the National Commission for UNESCO of Turkmenistan and its Provisions on October 23, 2020.

In 2021, the dialogue Turkmenistan-UNESCO experienced further active development. One should note that work in this direction goes in unison with principles and measures laid out in the Roadmap initiated by the head of the state in the Year of Peace and Trust.

The Actions Plan for 2021-2023 realized by the Government of Turkmenistan and UNESCO envisages the bringing of bilateral cooperation to a new level.

Leader of the nation Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov initiated the process of nomination of many sites and occurrences of tangible and spiritual culture of Turkmen people to be included in the Lists of UNESCO. So, the work in this direction continues in accordance with the instructions of 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, and Kunya-Urgench.

The work on expansion of the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, into which, at the proposal of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Turkmen traditions are nominated, continues actively.

Among them is the unique national schools, which have gained rich experience for ages. They are connected with the Akhal-Teke horse breeding and development of the alabay dog breed.

The joint three-year Actions Plan envisages preparation for inclusion of Ashgabat in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the creative field of Design, and Turkmenabat in the field of Crafts and Folk Arts and in future, Mary in the field of Literature.

It is planned to open special courses at the faculty of archaeology of Turkmen state university named after Magtymguly to teach standards of UNESCO in development of historical cities. Besides it, a great number of other projects in culture, education, science, sports, youth policy and others are envisaged to consider.

It is also planned to establish chairs of UNESCO in higher educational establishments of Turkmenistan and in future, inclusions of secondary schools of Turkmen cities in the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network.

As leader of the nation Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov points out that the initiatives made by us and aimed at ensuring careful preservation and promotion of thousands of years old historical and cultural monuments of Turkmenistan as well as intensification of cooperation with the UNESCO, have obtained a wide support from the side of the UN.

In this regard, it is noteworthy to mark the Memorandum of Cooperation for 2021-2023 signed between the Government of Turkmenistan and the UNESCO on April 15, 2021.

In the past year, a great deal of work was carried out to strengthen the legal basis of bilateral cooperation. In this connection, Resolutions of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan on joining the Convention against Discrimination in Education and Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions adopted on March 13, 2021 should be noted. Up to today, our country has joined twelve UNESCO Conventions.

On June 14, the webinar of the Secretariat of the National Commission for UNESCO of Turkmenistan on the theme “Works of Magtymguly Fragi and universal values” was organized in Ashgabat.

On November 17, on the online platform with participation of heads and experts of sectors, profile companies and associations from many countries there was held the international conference «Main areas and opportunities for development of tourism in Turkmenistan».

In the past year, cooperation within the framework of the UNESCO program «Man and Biosphere» was also expanded, concrete measures were taken for its realization. The National Commission for UNESCO of Turkmenistan plans to carry out a joint work with the given agency to include mud volcanoes in Balkan region where almost half of all mud volcanoes of the world are concentrated, in the UNESCO World Heritage List as the most interesting volcanic region of the world. It will open new opportunities for study and preservation of unique landscape and geological formation.

The national file for inclusion of the mountain eco-system of the Koytendag with its karstic caves in the UNESCO World Heritage List is also prepared. With a view of strengthening the scientific research and information basis of the given document, Turkmen specialists carry out an active dialogue with their colleagues from the Centre for Large Landscape Conservation (CLLC, USA).

Three national nature reserves of Turkmenistan: Repetek Biosphere, Bereketli Garagum and Gaplangyr State Reserves also claim for inclusion in the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

With a view of successive continuation of work in this area in September, 2021, for the first time in Turkmenistan there was set up the National Committee for the UNESCO Program «Man and Biosphere» and its Regulations were developed.

UNESCO Program «UNITWIN» is an international project for development of cooperation in education. In particular, its significance was disclosed in the conference «Turkmenistan-UNESCO», held on December 4 in the Turkmen state teachers’ training institute named after Seyitnazar Seydi and timed to Day of Neutrality of the country. Participants of the conference were informed on the measures taken to establish chairs of UNESCO in Turkmen state university named after Magtymguly and Turkmen state teachers’ training institute named after Seyitnazar Seydi as well as on inclusion of six secondary comprehensive schools of the country in the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network.

After its establishment, the chairs will be given a special emblem. Wide opportunities open for establishment of relations with the Association of international universities and foreign high educational establishments.

UNESCO Memory of the World Program is an international project for protection of ancient documentary monuments of countries and peoples of the world. Within the framework of its realization, our country has prepared and submitted to the Secretariat of the Organization documents for inclusion of the legacy of the great Turkmen poet Magtymguly Fragi in the above-mentioned international List.

In the past year, the online working meeting on preparation of joint proposals for inclusion in Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO between representatives of the Ministry of Culture of Turkmenistan and UNESCO Cluster Office and in particular, the multinominational file “Art of embroidery” was held was discussed.

In the course of the third meeting of the National Commission for UNESCO of Turkmenistan held in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the process of preparation of preliminary nomination files for inclusion of historical sites in the UNESCO World List and felt making art, blacksmith’s handcraft and Turkmen tazy as well as hunting falcon in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, was discussed.

In particular, Turkmenistan has made proposals on nominations: «The art of Growing and Breeding Akhal-Teke horses», «The art of upbringing of the Turkmen Alabay dogs», «Turkmen felt-making art», «Turkmen blacksmith’s handcraft», «Turkmen tazy and hunting falcon», «Turkmen national wrestling goresh», «Underground kyarizes and traditions of «mirapchylyk».

Thus, the progressive initiative made by our country and aimed at careful preservation and promotion of historical and cultural monuments of the country as well as intensification of cooperation with the UNESCO obtained a wide support of the UN. All this testifies to the triumph of science diplomacy of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov in the name of triumph of high ideals of Turkmen people in particular and human civilization in general.

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