Turkmenistan–Un: Strategy for Peace, Security and Common Development
A strategically important area of the foreign policy and diplomacy of Turkmenistan is active and consolidated participation in the solution of key issues of our time and comprehensive and active assistance in building up a positive international dialogue in order to strengthen global peace and stability and to develop constructive cooperation at the regional and global levels.
As President Serdar Berdimuhamedov emphasises, Turkmenistan will continue the policy of neutrality based on good neighbourliness, mutual respect, equality and mutually beneficial cooperation with all states of the world. The main principles arising from the legal status of the neutrality of our state, namely: strengthening global peace and security, expanding friendly and fraternal relations based on goodwill and ensuring sustainable development on the planet, will continue to be the priority directions of the foreign policy of the independent Turkmen state.
Being an active participant in authoritative international, regional and interstate cooperation mechanisms, Turkmenistan makes a huge contribution to strengthening the culture of peace and trust and assists in the consistent implementation of a balanced and consolidating international agenda. In this context, large-scale, purposeful and long-term cooperation of Turkmenistan with the United Nations is provided by the strategic course of the country’s foreign policy.
The Turkmen state is a supporter of the efforts of the world community to strengthen the coordinating role of the UN in terms of preserving and maintaining the system of modern global actions aimed at ensuring global peace and a balance of interests of all parties. Turkmenistan recognises the important role of the Organisation as a major pillar in the implementation of the declared Sustainable Development Goals.
The current state and prospects of international politics have repeatedly demonstrated the effectiveness of consolidated and systemic interaction of all states of the world in solving urgent problems and challenges of our time. The world and regional events of recent years vividly demonstrate that the preservation of peace and the strengthening of security and stability will remain the priorities of the international agenda.
Being a responsible participant in the world community and steadily following its internationally recognised legal status of a permanently neutral state, Turkmenistan strives for achieving the main goal – the creation of a universal system based on the principle of integrity and indivisibility of the concept of security. In this context, the goals and objectives facing Turkmenistan, its foreign policy and foreign economic guidelines and priorities and a balanced approach to solving various issues organically fit into the processes of world development. The systemic state policy, the commonality and interdependence of the strategic objectives of the domestic and foreign policies of the country and the matching of all relevant aspects of international life with national interests are important indicators that determine the effectiveness of the foreign policy of the Turkmen state, aimed at vigorous activity in the global political and diplomatic space.
The unique international status of Turkmenistan as a neutral state, the advantages of its geographical position and extensive resource potential, the accumulated positive experience of peacekeeping mediation and the commitment to a non-confrontational solution of interstate issues are also those objective factors that make it possible to effectively promote ideas and proposals both globally and regionally.
At the same time, the constructive and business-like position of Turkmenistan in discussing and solving the priority tasks of the modern world allows our state to maintain and strengthen its high status as a full participant in world processes that contribute to strengthening the atmosphere of mutual trust and understanding, equality and the maintenance of a balance of the interests of all states and peoples.
In this context, according to the existing tradition, on the eve of the opening of the regular 78th session of the UN General Assembly, Turkmenistan developed the priority positions of the state for the coming period. Actively continuing to implement the previously assumed international obligations, the new initiatives of Turkmenistan will be focused on further deepening the constructive dialogue in the basic areas of global development, covering political, diplomatic, energy, environmental and humanitarian issues. During the forthcoming session, our state will continue to work on the implementation of international initiatives of the President of Turkmenistan on global and regional issues.
This important document contains a number of main directions, among which issues of ensuring peace and security take a special place. In this context, Turkmenistan upholds the principle of the integrity of security and the inalienability and interconnectedness of its various aspects. None of the areas of security can be long-term and full-fledged without ensuring a number of its other aspects. In its activities during the 78th session of the UN General Assembly, Turkmenistan will be strictly guided by the principles of neutrality, non-interference and firm commitment to peaceful and political means of resolving conflicts and contradictions.
Over the years, Turkmenistan is known to have put forward a number of important and relevant initiatives within the framework of cooperation with the UN and its specialised bodies and institutions. Today, Turkmenistan proposes to start discussing the possibilities of developing a Global Security Strategy based on the principles of the UN Charter and generally recognised norms of international law and taking into account current realities and trends in world development.
The strategy should include such areas as preventive diplomacy as a tool for preventing and neutralising conflicts; the use of the potential of neutrality for the peaceful, political and diplomatic settlement of disputes and contradictions and the restoration of a culture of trusting dialogue based on the decisions of the UN General Assembly to proclaim 2021 the International Year of Peace and Trust and 2023 the Year of Dialogue as a Guarantee of Peace.
In the context of an inclusive, full-format and systemic dialogue in the Central Asia–UN format, Turkmenistan takes the initiative to convene, under the auspices of the Organisation, a Conference on Security in Central Asia and adjacent zones. The purpose of the Conference is to develop approaches and solutions aimed at bringing together and synchronising the efforts of the countries of Central Asia and the world community, international organisations and financial and economic institutions in ensuring sustainable and conflict-free development of this region. The Turkmen party expresses readiness to hold its first meeting in Ashgabat in 2024.
Another important area of activities of Turkmenistan in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals is the maximal aid to the UN in solving food problems. Based on this, Turkmenistan proposes to convene a major international forum on food security under the auspices of the UN in cooperation with the World Food Programme, the World Health Organisation and the UN Children’s Fund.
In the context of expanding international cooperation against terrorism, Turkmenistan emphasises the need to develop educational activities in this area, including the introduction of programmes aimed at combating terrorism, the development of curricula and materials, the activation of educational work and the strengthening of intercultural dialogue and tolerance. In this regard, Turkmenistan will continue to work with the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (OCT) on the establishment of the OTC Programme Office for Central Asia on the basis of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia.
From the point of view of maintaining and strengthening stability in Central Asia, one of the topical issues on the international agenda remains the provision of aid in achieving peace and harmony in Afghanistan, taking into account the existing realities, including the provision of economic and humanitarian aid to the neighbouring country.
In order to further strengthen multilateral cooperation within the framework of the Group of Friends of Neutrality for Peace, Security and Sustainable Development, it will be proposed to hold the next high-level meeting of the Group of Friends in Ashgabat in December 2023, followed by the organisation of the International Conference on the Group of Friends of Neutrality in the interests of peace and security in Ashgabat in December 2024. In this context, Turkmenistan proposes to discuss the possibility of establishing the Institute of Neutrality and Security in Ashgabat, which could become an effective platform for conducting scientific work and research on neutrality and related issues.
In the context of strengthening sustainable development at the international and regional levels, Turkmenistan comes up with a specific initiative – to organise, together with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, a separate Ministerial Dialogue on financing the SDGs. In this regard, Turkmenistan proposes to consider the possibility of adopting the Resolution of the UN General Assembly “Reliable and stable transit of energy and its role in ensuring sustainable development and international cooperation”. The draft resolution provides for the possibility of holding the International Forum entitled “Sustainable Energy for All” in Ashgabat in 2025.
Taking into account the interest of Turkmenistan in the issues of energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources, readiness is expressed for cooperation with interested parties in the context of the development and introduction of energy-saving technologies and the development of a system of renewable energy sources.
Within the framework of the 78th session, Turkmenistan considers the activation of international relations in the transport sector as a priority area of its activities. In this context, Turkmenistan will come up with a number of initiatives – a proposal to develop a draft resolution of the UN General Assembly “Strengthening the links between all modes of transport to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals”, to hold high-level meetings of the General Assembly on the development of cooperation with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs in the field of sustainable transport as part of the Ashgabat process, timed to coincide with World Sustainable Transport Day on November 26, and to organise the first high-level meeting of the Group of Friends on Sustainable Transport in December this year.
Another important aspect on which Turkmenistan focuses the attention of the world community within the framework of the 78th session of the General Assembly is environmental issues. The issues of climate change and the rational use of water resources are closely related to this problem. Turkmenistan pays great attention to the issues of ecology and the environment and is a supporter of closer international contacts in this sphere. Our state, being a party to a number of UN Conventions on environmental safety, implements an active position on environmental issues. In this context, the Turkmen party will continue to pay attention to the environmental agenda, which is also topical for the UN. The problems of the Aral Sea and the protection of the environment in the Caspian basin are of the same significance.
In its fundamental approaches to environmental issues, Turkmenistan proceeds from the fact that the main priority at the institutional level today is the combination and complementarity of global, regional and national instruments for the implementation of multilateral UN documents in this direction. As an important step in the adoption of a strategic approach to the environmental problems of Central Asia, Turkmenistan proposes the establishment of a specialised structure, the Regional Centre for Climate Change Technologies in Central Asia, for substantive and systematic work on climate issues.
Turkmenistan intends to intensify efforts to promote the Global Methane Pledge initiative. Following the path of joining this document and in order to strengthen, within the framework of the National Strategy of Turkmenistan on climate change, control over the effectiveness of work to systematically reduce the volume of greenhouse gases and methane emissions that occur in various sectors of the economy, it is proposed to start developing under the auspices of the UN a global strategy for zero growth in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. As a concrete step in this direction, it is proposed to hold an international forum in Turkmenistan with the participation of the relevant UN structures and the International Observatory on Methane Emissions.
Taking into account the fruitful cooperation on the Caspian issues, Turkmenistan makes a proposal to create the Caspian Ecological Initiative, which is intended to become an international platform for substantive and professional cooperation on a wide range of issues related to the protection of the environment of the Caspian Sea, the preservation of its biological resources and the solution of a number of environmental problems.
In order to maintain peace, security and good neighbourliness in Central Asia and to establish a mechanism for water use of transboundary rivers in the region, it is proposed to consider the initiative to establish the UN Regional Council on Water Use in Central Asia, headquartered in Ashgabat.
The most important priority of Turkmenistan’s foreign policy is cooperation in the field of health care and medicine. Our state will continue to consolidate the efforts of the international community in combating the spread of infectious diseases, minimising their socioeconomic consequences and establishing tools for medical diplomacy. In this regard, Turkmenistan puts forward a number of initiatives – to hold an international scientific conference on infectious diseases within the framework of the Non-Aligned Movement in December 2023 and together with the WHO Regional Office for Europe, the European Ministerial Conference on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), timed to the 10th anniversary of the 2020 Ashgabat Declaration on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases in the Context of Health Policy in April 2024.
The most important component of the state policy of Turkmenistan is the humanitarian aspect. Turkmenistan has established itself as a state that comprehensively and strictly fulfils its international obligations in the sphere of humanitarian law. Reaffirming its commitment to the strict observance of the fundamental Conventions and other multilateral international instruments of the UN in the field of human rights and freedoms, Turkmenistan reaffirms its readiness to actively participate in the implementation of practical actions in the humanitarian sphere. This is of particular importance during this session. This year is known to mark the 75th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 30th anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. In this regard, Turkmenistan intends to hold a number of events on the occasion of these dates.
Among the priority aspects of humanitarian cooperation, a special place will be given to the protection of the most vulnerable categories of people: refugees, migrants and stateless persons. Turkmenistan has made significant progress in reducing and preventing statelessness. In 2024, our state intends to hold a regional conference on this topic.
In order to expand the activities of the Central Asian Women’s Dialogue, the Turkmen party comes up with initiatives to develop cooperation in this direction. It is proposed to establish a mechanism for regular consultations of the Women’s Dialogue on the implementation of the global agenda “Women, Peace and Security” with the relevant UN agencies, to create a platform for the exchange of information and best practices in the context of interregional cooperation and to hold joint events and forums.
To promote the development of a multilateral dialogue among the youth of the countries of the region, it is proposed to hold the founding session of the Central Asian Youth Dialogue in Turkmenistan this year.
An important priority direction of the foreign-policy strategy of Turkmenistan is the effective cooperation of Turkmenistan with the UN. Within the framework of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly, Turkmenistan intends to expand project and programme activities with specialised UN structures and, in this regard, will take steps to open representative offices of the FAO, UNESCO, ILO, UN-Habitat and the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in Turkmenistan.
In order to promote the intercultural dialogue and to implement the resolutions of the UN General Assembly to support multilingualism in international relations, Turkmenistan proposes holding in 2024, together with UNESCO and TURKSOY, the International Week of Turkic Languages, timed to coincide with the 300th anniversary of the birth of Magtymguly Pyragy, and considering the possibility of adopting a resolution of the UN General Assembly “World Day of Turkic Languages”.
Putting forward a number of important initiatives, aimed at maintaining peace and security and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, within the framework of the 78th session of the UN General Assembly, Turkmenistan expresses its readiness for further broad multilateral dialogue on topical issues of the global agenda and, at the same time, will be guided by the high ideals of peace and justice, which form the basis of the activities of the United Nations.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan.