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Neutrality, peacekeeping and constructive cooperation are the priorities of the foreign policy of Turkmenistan
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Neutrality, peacekeeping and constructive cooperation are the priorities of the foreign policy of Turkmenistan
Published 06.10.2022
1219

As you know, the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly opened in New York in September. The development of fruitful cooperation with the UN is invariably one of the priority vectors of the foreign policy of the Motherland, based on the principles of positive neutrality, peacefulness, good neighborliness and constructive cooperation. This is confirmed by the strategic nature of the long-term dialogue with the UN, built on a systematic basis.

In this regard, it should be noted that Turkmenistan, actively cooperating with this largest international organization in a wide range of areas, was unanimously elected Vice-Chairman of the current session of the UN General Assembly. Under the leadership of President Serdar Berdimuhamedov, our country is taking consistent steps to build up its traditional partnership with the Community of Nations, demonstrating a responsible approach to pressing issues of world development, a consolidated search and development of their solutions. Another eloquent evidence of this was the specific initiatives voiced in the speech of the Turkmen side at the meeting of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.

As emphasized, for Turkmenistan, the new political year marks an important anniversary date - the 30th anniversary of membership in the United Nations. Relying on the established solid foundation of interaction, reaffirming the commitment to strategic partnership with the UN, the conviction that there is no alternative to this only structure with universal legitimacy, our country will continue to make efforts to enhance and strengthen its role in the world, the approval of recognized international legal norms and the Charter of the Community of Nations as political and ideological basis of interstate relations.

At the same time, it was noted that the logic of the development of global processes in the field of security dictates the need for a radical strengthening of the mechanisms of regional interaction. Thus, on July 28 of this year, the UN General Assembly by its Resolution proclaimed Central Asia a Zone of Peace, Trust and Cooperation. Turkmenistan, being the location of the headquarters of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), stands for the provision of all possible assistance to its work, which has proven its effectiveness.

Considering that December 2022 will mark the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the UNRCCA, our country intends to submit to the UN General Assembly a draft resolution on the role of the Center, reflecting in this document the significant events of recent years and consolidating the mechanisms of regional interaction built on its basis.

The speech of the Turkmen side also emphasized that at present the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals largely depends on the level of international cooperation in such important areas as transport and energy.

In this context, during the current session, Turkmenistan intends to summarize the results of the Global Conferences on Sustainable Transport held in 2016 and 2021, other high-level specialized forums held in recent years, including the International Conference of Transport Ministers of Landlocked Developing Countries, and prepare proposals for the development of a draft concept of the UN Special Interregional Program for the Development of Transport.

At the current session, our country is also counting on the logical continuation of a broad dialogue on the problem of energy security. Here it seems necessary, based on the provisions of the relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly, to continue the implementation of the proposals submitted earlier by Turkmenistan on the establishment of an open-ended International Expert Group to develop modern international legal instruments of the Community of Nations to regulate sustainable and reliable energy transit.

A separate emphasis in the speech was made on the issues of climate change, water and environmental issues, which, due to objective reasons, are the most important, and in some cases determining factors for the development of our region. In this aspect, it was noted that Turkmenistan is conducting preparatory work for the establishment in Ashgabat of the Regional Center for Climate Technologies for the states of Central Asia.

At the same time, our country, being committed to fulfilling its obligations under the Paris Agreement, intends to intensify efforts to achieve the goals outlined in this document, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and promoting the Global Methane Pledge initiative.

Turkmenistan will also persistently and purposefully seek to single out the Aral Sea problem as a separate area of work for the Community of Nations. In this regard, in May 2023, the Turkmen side intends to resume negotiations on the draft ESCAP resolution on the establishment of a UN Special Program for the Aral Sea Basin.

Along with this, it was noted that, based on the consequences of the pandemic, Turkmenistan will continue to support the joint activities of the world community in the fight against a new type of coronavirus infection, and the establishment of tools for medical diplomacy. Emphasizing the key role of the World Health Organization in developing consolidated responses to common challenges, our country supports the developed global concept of "One Health" and will promote it within the framework of the Roadmap in support of health and well-being in Central Asia until 2025.

Thus, Neutral Turkmenistan is ready, together with partners, to look for new approaches and ways to overcome the challenges faced by humanity, and, relying on strategic cooperation with the United Nations, will make every effort to achieve these goals.

In the Epoch of the Revival of a new era of powerful state, our Fatherland, under the leadership of President Serdar Berdimuhamedov, continues to steadily follow the chosen creative foreign policy course, the key vectors of which for the next period are indicated in the corresponding Concept for 2022-2028.

Along with active cooperation with the UN and its specialized structures, Turkmenistan effectively interacts with many other major international and regional organizations.

As President Serdar Berdimuhamedov emphasizes, having entered a new historical stage, our independent neutral state intends to further develop a diverse partnership both on a bilateral and multilateral basis, on the principles of goodwill, equality and respect for each other's interests. In this regard, it should be noted that the geography of interaction between Turkmenistan and foreign partners is very extensive and systematically expanding. It is noteworthy that this year, 2022, is marked by the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our country and a number of states.

In the development of fruitful cooperation, special importance is attached to visits and high-level meetings. Thus, a new milestone in the history of bilateral relations based on deep historical roots and ties of sincere friendship, an important step towards realizing the existing solid potential for interaction was the state visit to Turkmenistan of the President of the Republic of India in April this year.

A wide range of issues of interstate partnership was discussed during the official visit of President Serdar Berdimuhamedov to the Russian Federation in June. The high-level talks held in Moscow marked another step towards the comprehensive development of the traditionally friendly Turkmen-Russian dialogue, an integral part of which is the established close contacts between our country and the largest subjects and regions of the Russian Federation.

In June this year, the official visit of the President of Turkmenistan to the Islamic Republic of Iran also took place, during which the mutual readiness of the parties to bring interstate cooperation to a qualitatively new level was demonstrated, which is in the interests of common well-being.

An important direction of the foreign policy strategy of Turkmenistan is the strengthening of traditional fraternal relations with the Central Asian countries, with the peoples of which the Turkmen people are united by centuries-old historical, cultural and spiritual ties. The regular nature of mutual visits and meetings at the highest, governmental and interdepartmental levels serves the progressive development of interstate partnership with a long-term perspective.

A clear confirmation of this is the state visit of President Serdar Berdimuhamedov to the Republic of Uzbekistan in July. As a result of the talks held in Tashkent at the highest levels, specific agreements were reached and an impressive package of documents signed, designed to further expand and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation across its entire spectrum.

The focus of Turkmenistan on a multifaceted partnership with the Central Asian states also finds its expression in productive interaction within the framework of regional and interregional formats, including such as "Central Asia-China", "Central Asia-India", "Central Asia-Russia" , "Central Asia-European Union", etc., which have been given new dynamics in recent years. In September, the delegation of our country took part in the first ministerial meeting of the strategic dialogue between Central Asia and the Gulf Cooperation Council, held in the capital of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - Riyadh.

In continuation of the topic, it should be noted that an effective role is also assigned to relations through parliaments. In this context, the Inter-Parliamentary Forum of the States of Central Asia and the Russian Federation held in Ashgabat in May this year, the initiative of which belongs to the Chairman of the Halk Maslakhaty Milli Gengesh of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, is of great importance.

The importance of strengthening direct ties through the legislature was also confirmed during the meetings of the President of Turkmenistan with the Chairman of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, the Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Chairman of the Majlisi Milli Majlisi Oli of the Republic of Tajikistan, the Chairman of the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic, the Chairman of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic Uzbekistan.

It is noteworthy that the Ashgabat Declaration, adopted as a result of the above-mentioned Inter-Parliamentary Forum, was published in the register of official documents of the previous, 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly. In addition, the final Declaration of the Dialogue of Women of the States of Central Asia and the Russian Federation, also held in May in the Turkmen capital, was recognized as a document of the same session of the UN General Assembly.

Based on the significant role of Central Asia not only in continental but also in global processes, our country stands for a systematic approach to issues of regional cooperation. In this aspect, the relevance of the format of Consultative meetings of the heads of state of the region is undeniable.

In July this year, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov took part in the regular, fourth Consultative Meeting in this format, which was held in Kyrgyzstan, in the city of Cholpon-Ata. On the sidelines of the summit, the head of Turkmenistan also met with the President of the Kyrgyz Republic. During the talks with the participation of members of the government delegations of both countries, priority issues of Turkmen-Kyrgyz cooperation were discussed in the context of the implementation of the agreements reached earlier, the existing potential and prospects.

Speaking at the Consultative Meeting, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov reaffirmed Turkmenistan's readiness for the closest partnership on a regional and interregional scale. Focusing on the topic of trust and mutual respect in interstate relations, the culture of dialogue, which today is of particular importance against the backdrop of the crisis observed in global politics and the economy, the head of Turkmenistan stressed that the Central Asian countries are called upon to set a good example in this and actively promote these ideas on the world stage.

Cooperation in the Caspian region is also defined as one of the key directions of the foreign policy of the Motherland. Being invariably committed to a friendly dialogue in the Caspian Sea, our country is making a concrete contribution to strengthening good-neighborly interaction between the coastal states and their peoples.

As a venue for regular events on Caspian issues, this year Turkmenistan hosted the Sixth Caspian Summit. In his speech at the five-sided summit meeting held on June 29 in Ashgabat, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov touched upon the entire range of aspects of the Caspian issue, and also voiced a number of proposals on specific areas of partnership with a view to the future. As a result of the Summit, a corresponding Communiqué was adopted, which confirmed the readiness of the coastal countries to continue mutually beneficial cooperation, implement the agreements reached, and join efforts to address the priority tasks of the all-Caspian development.

As part of the Summit, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov also held bilateral meetings with his foreign counterparts - the heads of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation.

Consistently expanding interaction with the states of the world and international organizations in various formats, Turkmenistan in its foreign policy strategy attaches great importance to the practical implementation of multilateral diplomacy: political, economic, energy, transport, water, scientific, medical, cultural, environmental, sports, etc.

As for transport diplomacy, the International Conference of Ministers of Transport of Landlocked Developing Countries, held in a hybrid format in the Avaza National Tourist Zone in August this year, became an effective step in this direction. Having delivered a video message to the forum participants, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov also announced new initiatives of Turkmenistan designed to ensure the interests of the LLDCs. Confidence was expressed that the decisions and proposals adopted at NTZ Avaza will serve to strengthen effective cooperation and form the basis for the preparation of the Third UN Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries, scheduled for 2024.

The significance of the Conference, held on the Turkmen coast of the Caspian Sea, was also emphasized in the read out written message of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres. The results of the forum were consolidated in the adopted Final Statement, where special emphasis was placed on the importance of continuing the Ashgabat process, which was launched during the First UN Global Conference on Sustainable Transport.

In the light of modern realities, water diplomacy also acquires special significance, opening up opportunities for a systematic dialogue on issues related to the restoration and conservation of water resources, their reasonable and rational consumption. It is this approach that serves as a reliable basis for the coordinated activities of the world community in order to develop an effective mechanism for solving the tasks set out in the SDGs in this most important area.

The invariable commitment of the Fatherland to these principled positions was confirmed in the speech of President Serdar Berdimuhamedov at the Fourth Asia-Pacific Water Summit (APWS). As is known, in April of this year, the head of state took part in this representative forum on the digital system at the invitation of the Prime Minister of Japan.

As the President of Turkmenistan emphasized, our country closely and consistently cooperates with the world community on water issues, primarily with the United Nations, on the basis of program documents adopted at the UN Conference "Rio + 20" in 2012, the VII World Water Forum in Daegu (Republic of Korea) in 2015, the Dushanbe International High-Level Conference in 2018, and other important forums. The initiatives of the Turkmen side voiced at them are of an extremely specific nature, are associated with the real needs of people, the goals of regional development and interaction. In his speech, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov drew attention to the efforts made by Turkmenistan in this direction, to the ongoing large-scale projects.

The active position of our country in matters of constructive interstate cooperation, including at authoritative international platforms, is also evidenced by the participation of President Serdar Berdimuhamedov as an honored guest at the meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, held in Samarkand in September. As the head of Turkmenistan emphasized, speaking at the Summit, our country is aimed at further developing the dialogue with the SCO in the political, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres, at enriching and diversifying this promising interaction, giving it a long-term, strategic character.

Recall that on the eve of the Summit, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov held a number of bilateral meetings - with the Chairman of the People's Republic of China, the President of the Russian Federation, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as with the SCO Secretary General. During the discussion of priority areas of cooperation, the parties expressed their readiness to intensify productive ties, for which there is an impressive diverse potential.

Thus, independent neutral Turkmenistan actually confirms its commitment to a constructive foreign policy aimed at developing equal full-scale cooperation with all interested foreign partners. This far-sighted constructive strategy, which meets the goals of general well-being and progress, has received wide recognition and support from the world community, which is clearly evidenced by the high authority of the Motherland in the international arena.

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