PRIORITIES OF TURKMENISTAN AT THE 74TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Turkmenistan, as a member of the United Nations, sees it as a universal international body endowed with a mandate from the international community to preserve and strengthen international peace and security and ensure the sustainable development of all states and peoples.
In this regard, during the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, Turkmenistan, together with other member states of the United Nations, will take a number of concrete practical steps aimed at strengthening the UN's leading and coordinating role in international affairs.
In doing so, Turkmenistan will be guided by the norms and principles of the United Nations Charter, its fundamental conventions and other international acts, adhere to the status of permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan recognized by the UN, and advocate for solving international issues only by peaceful political and diplomatic means and methods.
In order to implement the UN global strategies, concepts, programs and projects, Turkmenistan will use as much as possible its membership in the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Trade and Development Council of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and the Executive Council of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UN Commission on Social Development, UN Commission on Population and Development and other United Nations entities.
During the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, Turkmenistan will continue to work on the practical implementation of international initiatives and proposals of the President of Turkmenistan on international and regional issues.
The status of permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan, recognized by the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly of December 12, 1995 and again supported by the resolution of the UN General Assembly of June 3, 2015 is the basis of the country's foreign policy, its approaches to the development of international cooperation.
The neutrality of Turkmenistan and its basic characteristics such as: peacefulness, active peacemaking, non-participation in military conflicts, alliances and treaties, non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, respect for their sovereignty and territorial integrity - confirm their compliance with the national interests of the country, the long-term goals of the international community, the principles of the UN Charter, criteria for a constructive, balanced approach to ensuring international stability and security.
The conformity of the goals of foreign policy of Turkmenistan with the goals and objective requirements of the global development predetermines the nature and direction of wide opportunities to unleash the potential of neutrality of Turkmenistan in the context of multilateral efforts to maintain peace, security and the development of international partnership.
In 2020, our country will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the international recognition of Turkmenistan as a permanent neutral state.
In this regard, at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, Turkmenistan will propose to hold an International conference on peace, security and development in Ashgabat in December 2020. We are ready to cooperate with the UN Secretariat, UN member states of the Organization, international structures and all interested parties in organizing and holding this forum.
We also propose to consider the advantages of neutrality as a political and legal category in the activities of the governing bodies of the UN, its commissions and committees.
In the framework of the 74th session, we consider it appropriate to organize, under the auspices of the UN, a broad multilateral dialogue on the practical application of the principles of neutrality in order to prevent conflicts, eliminate their causes and consequences, and resolve humanitarian issues.
Given the potential of neutrality in ensuring peace and security, Turkmenistan at the upcoming session of the General Assembly will put forward an initiative to develop the UN Code of Practice on the effective use of the principles of neutrality in resolving international issues.
Peace and trust. Preventive diplomacy.
Turkmenistan is convinced that peace and trust are the basis for strengthening and further developing the modern architecture of international relations.
The resolutions of the General Assembly of the United Nations, its Security Council, the UN Strategy till 2030 and other multilateral acts consider peace and trust as interrelated categories designed to help create conditions for conflict-free and sustained development. Such an approach strengthens mutual understanding, creates conditions for the recognition of diversity in all its manifestations, and contributes to the achievement of peaceful coexistence.
Turkmenistan is firmly convinced that the United Nations needs to make additional efforts to build a culture of peace and trust.
Guided by this, Turkmenistan proposes to consider and adopt at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly a draft resolution declaring the year of 2021 as the Year of International Peace and Trust.
We look forward to the effective and constructive participation of all UN member states in the implementation of this initiative.
Turkmenistan attached a special role to preventive diplomacy in addressing the tasks of maintaining peace and security and countering new challenges and threats, .
The global peacekeeping agenda today is objectively in demand. There is an obvious need for developing and implementing constructive models of partnership between states on the basis of universally recognized norms of international law, relying on the UN and its experience in resolving crisis situations.
It is important to establish, within the framework of the work of the UN Regional Centers for Preventive Diplomacy, consultative and dialogue mechanisms with the participation of diplomats and experts, designed to help harmonize the approaches of states in regional development issues, to create and use in advance mode a set of political, legal, diplomatic and socio-economic warning instruments and neutralizing regional challenges and threats. It is under the auspices of the UN, as practice shows, that the levers of preventive diplomacy can work effectively and bring real results.
In this regard, Turkmenistan will continue to provide maximum assistance to the work of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia with headquarters in Ashgabat.
Security and sustainability
Maintaining and strengthening universal peace, stability and security remains the main direction of the international agenda for the foreseeable future. This is due, first of all, to the aggravation of contradictions and increased conflict potential in different regions of the globe, which in turn has an extremely negative impact on the content and orientation of international and interstate relations, and seriously complicates the course of political interaction on the world stage.
Under these conditions, being a responsible member of the international community and relying on its neutral status, Turkmenistan defines as priority areas of practical work on the world stage:
- consistent political and diplomatic opposition to the dissemination and adoption of the “ideology of force” in interstate relations;
- approval of negotiation mechanisms as the only acceptable way to resolve international and local conflicts and contradictions;
- assistance in the establishment of the supremacy of international law and the UN Charter as the basis of the global security architecture, respect for these concepts and their strict adherence to by all states without exception.
To this end, at the 74th session of the General Assembly, Turkmenistan, in close cooperation with UN member states and international institutions, will focus on identifying new approaches to creating a stable and sustainable system of international relations based on universally recognized international norms and rules.
Turkmenistan considers terrorism, cross-border crime, drug and arms trafficking, human trafficking to be serious challenges and threats to international security.
The geography of these phenomena covers large spaces. Extensive human, financial and material resources are involved in them, which objectively affects the decrease in the level of stability in individual states and regions. Turkmenistan considers these phenomena as a real threat to national, regional and international security, the course of interstate cooperation. In these conditions, Turkmenistan is intensifying its partnership with neighboring countries and the international community in order to effectively counter existing challenges and threats.
In close cooperation with specialized UN agencies, primarily the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism, the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, our country will continue to actively participate in the practical implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
In this regard, Turkmenistan, in cooperation with international structures, will focus its efforts on the following priority areas:
- compliance with international conditions for socio-economic development as a method of combating violent extremism;
- eliminating the risk of radicalization leading to violence;
- countering the use of the Internet by terrorists;
- Promoting a comprehensive youth policy through educational and employment opportunities.
The Government of Turkmenistan will also provide comprehensive support for the effective implementation of the Counter-Terrorism Action Plan in Central Asia, the implementation of the third phase of which was launched at the high-level meeting in April 2018 in Ashgabat.
Turkmenistan considers a consistent disarmament process to be the most important condition for peaceful and constructive development, the formation of a climate of trust, openness and cooperation. Our country proceeds from the belief that a confrontational model based on the constant buildup of arms as an instrument of foreign policy is untenable.
Disarmament issues are a priority for Turkmenistan. At the national level, a number of practical actions are being taken in our country aimed at implementing the UN Treaties and Conventions in the field of disarmament and ensuring the non-proliferation regime.
At the regional level, Turkmenistan is actively involved in the further promotion of the Treaty on the Establishment of a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia.
During the 74th session of the General Assembly, we will continue our active cooperation with the IAEA, the Interim Technical Secretariat of the CTBTO Preparatory Commission, and other international organizations providing multilateral cooperation on disarmament issues.
Turkmenistan, being an active participant in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, together with specialized organizations, agencies and entities of the UN system will continue focused work on the implementation of the UN Agenda 2030. In this regard, we consider the institute of the UN Resident Coordinator established in 2019 in the UN member States, the UN Development Program, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the UN Population Fund, the World Health Organization and other entities as the main partners of our country.
In July 2019, Turkmenistan presented a Voluntary National Review on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals at the UN High-Level Political Forum. Based on the results of its review, our country will expand its cooperation with key partners on the implementation of the Strategy 2030.
Taking into account the importance of providing adequate financial resources for projects and programs aimed at achieving the SDGs, Turkmenistan considers it appropriate to consider the possibility of holding the UN Conference on Financing for Development in the near future during the 74th session of the General Assembly.
To this end, it is proposed to create, with the assistance of the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), a special coordination group whose tasks should include exploring possibilities of organizing such a conference in 2022-2023, determining the venue, drafting the initial draft of the program and agenda.
One of the most important areas of Turkmenistan’s activities in the context of the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals in the forthcoming period will be contributing to the efforts of the international community on energy issues.
This is due to the fact that broad and interested interaction in the energy sector is a key factor of the stable and progressive course of world processes in the 21st century. Its new principles should become a basis for the formation of the modern global energy space, and the security and sustainability of energy supplies to world markets will largely determine the overall vector of world development in the long term.
In this regard, Turkmenistan believes that the development of fundamentally new models of interaction designed to turn multilateral energy dialogue into a driving force for the development of the modern world is one of the pressing issues on the global agenda today.
At the same time, the priority task is to ensure comprehensive and indivisible energy security, covering the sphere of energy production, its transportation and final consumption. It is such an integrated approach that underlies the energy policy of Turkmenistan, determines the content and orientation of the proposals and practical actions of our country in this area.
Initiatives put forward by Turkmenistan on the reliability and stability of energy supplies have received wide support from the international community. Evidence of this was the unanimous adoption by the UN General Assembly of Turkmenistan-initiated resolutions of 2008 and 2013, co-sponsored by dozens of states.
Continuing its activity at the UN site, Turkmenistan during the 74th session of the General Assembly intends to submit a draft resolution of the UN General Assembly “Reliable and stable energy transit and its role in ensuring sustainable development and international cooperation”, which will include modern ideas aimed at developing international energy partnerships. During the upcoming session, Turkmenistan proposes to discuss with all interested parties the possibility of forming an International Expert Group on the development of modern international legal instruments of the United Nations, designed to ensure compliance with the general principles of doing business in the global energy space.
Turkmenistan views the intensification of international relations in the transport sector as the priority area of its activities in the framework of the 74th session.
The creation of a modern, integrated, balanced and high-tech transport infrastructure is an objective imperative of the time, one of the priority goals of sustainable development. Its implementation meets the strategic interests of the entire international community, is capable of effectively contributing to the strengthening of world economic relations, stimulating investment activity, and efficiently promoting the growth of economic and social indicators on the global, regional and national scales.
Turkmenistan’s position in the area of global transport cooperation is based on the need to make it systematic and focused, translate discussion of these issues from the regional platform to the level of the main international forum - the United Nations.
To this end, in recent years, Turkmenistan has put forward for the UN General Assembly’s consideration three relevant draft resolutions adopted by consensus in 2014, 2015 and 2017.
Today, the transport agenda is becoming an object of close and keen attention by the expert community. Evidence of this was the success of the first UN Global Conference on Sustainable Transport held in Turkmenistan in November 2016, which culminated in the adoption of the Ashgabat Declaration.
The logical continuation of this process should be the organization in the near future of the Second Global Conference on Sustainable Transport. Our country is ready to take active part in its preparation and conduct.
Taking into consideration the specificities and features of multilateral cooperation in the transport sector for landlocked countries, Turkmenistan proposes to hold in 2020 an International Conference of Ministers of Landlocked Developing Countries. In this regard, our country is ready to consider the possibility of providing the infrastructure of Turkmenistan for organizing this Forum.
In the process of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals, Turkmenistan pays special attention to the need to continue a broad dialogue on climate change, environmental protection and the use of water resources.
In its fundamental approaches to the environmental agenda, Turkmenistan proceeds from the idea that at the institutional level today, the main priority is the combination and complementarity of global, regional and national tools for the implementation of the UN multilateral environmental documents.
Accordingly, our country, on the basis of the provisions of the UN General Assembly resolutions “Cooperation between the United Nations and the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea” adopted at the 72nd and 73rd sessions, will continue to arrange extensive consultations at the UN, the subject of which will be the development of the UN Special Program for the Aral Sea basin countries.
The most important issue is the preservation of the natural resources of the Caspian Sea. The Caspian region is developing rapidly as one of the world's largest hydrocarbon extraction and transportation centers. Under these circumstances, Turkmenistan considers important to solve the common issue - to combine objective economic interests with the need to preserve the biodiversity of the Caspian Sea Basin and to prevent disruption of the ecological balance.
In this regard, at the 74th Session of the General Assembly, Turkmenistan intends to take the initiative in creating a new UN Caspian Ecological Program. The main purpose of it is to monitor the environmental situation in the Caspian Sea and to formulate appropriate recommendations to the countries of the Caspian Sea Basin.
At the same time, we look forward to close cooperation with the UN Environmental Program (UNEP) and other UN Environmental organizations.
During the forthcoming 74th session, Turkmenistan will pursue a work towards reaching a common consensus on resolving issues of preservation and rational use of water resources, both at the global and regional levels.
Forming its approaches to the issues of preservation and rational use of water resources, Turkmenistan approach is based on the fact that these issues cannot be undermined by isolating from global long-term development plans, strategic goals of environmental and food security, and creation of an integrated system of sustainable energy. In this perspective, the water diplomacy is considered as an integral part of the foreign policy and foreign economic activity of Turkmenistan.
Moreover, as the main goal of water diplomacy Turkmenistan considers the consolidation of international efforts on establishing fair global and regional systems of water consumption and equal access of countries to water resources, whiçh takes into account multilateral interests.
The priority direction of Turkmenistan’s water diplomacy is cooperation with the United Nations. In this regard, Turkmenistan proposes to intensify and to specify the work on creation of a specialized international structure on a permanent basis under the UN auspices in the Central Asian region, which would deal with issues of international cooperation in the field of use of water resources.
Water diplomacy of Turkmenistan envisages an active and engaged cooperation with other states, primarily with neighbors, with the aim of coordinating actions in the water and water-energy spheres. In this regard, Turkmenistan sees its primary task in achieving regional consensus on the basis of universally recognized norms of international law, mutual respect and taking into account the interests of all countries in the region and with the participation of international organizations.
One of the main tasks of water diplomacy in Turkmenistan is to initiate a universal political and legal document at the UN level - the UN Water Strategy, which would clearly reflect the goals, approaches and actions of the international community regarding the preservation and use of the planet’s water resources in the long term.
The position of our country on water issues is based on the international commitments, initiatives of Turkmenistan, as well as agreements reached as a result of forums on sustainable development, primarily the UN Conference on Sustainable Development "Rio + 20", the World Water Forum in Daegu (The Republic of Korea).
These priority positions determine the main directions of Turkmenistan’s activity within the United Nations during the 74th session of the General Assembly. They cover the most topical directions of international partnership, on which Turkmenistan along with other UN member states , is ready to develop multilateral cooperation. The implementation of the initiatives and proposals of Turkmenistan, presented in these Priority Positions could become an effective factor in strengthening international peace and security, ensuring sustainable development on the planet.
Turkmenistan expresses its readiness for a broad multilateral dialogue on pressing issues of the global agenda, and at the same time will be guided by the high ideals of peace and justice, which constitute the main pillars of the United Nations.
Ministry of foreign affairs of Turkmenistan.