Toyli Komekov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Turkmenistan to Kazakhstan
Large-scale tasks of the international community are mainly conditioned by the high responsibility of world leaders for the fate of the modern world and the future of humanity.
Large-scale ideas and initiatives on topical areas of the world and regional politics consistently put forward by Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov clearly demonstrate the dynamic nature of the implementation of the foreign policy strategy of the state in international arena.
This is evidenced by the fact that large-scale initiatives of Turkmenistan that have global and transcontinental significance are being put into practice as part of multilateral interaction within the UN and other major international structures.
Turkmen foreign policy aimed at ensuring the national interests of the country is now more than ever closely linked to the global and regional objectives of ensuring international peace and security, consolidating efforts to combat the threats and challenges of modern humanity, creating favorable conditions for trade and economic relations, the formation and functioning of transcontinental transport and communication corridors, expansion of cultural and humanitarian ties.
The achievement of high goals is mainly promoted by the open and peace-loving nature of Turkmen diplomacy, which aims to foster a constructive dialogue in the system of international relations, to jointly search for and solve topical problems - both at the regional and global levels.
Turkmenistan makes a worthy contribution to the collective efforts of the Community of Nations to achieve the universal goals of peace, security and development. Thanks to the active implementation of multilateral diplomacy of Turkmenistan, the geographical limits of positive perception and support for the Turkmen foreign policy are also significantly expanding, and this is especially clearly demonstrated at the UN level.
The concrete proposals put forward by the Turkmen president aimed at consolidating common efforts in such areas as strengthening peace in the region and on the global scale, forming a new energy security architecture, developing transit transport corridors, overcoming the consequences of the Aral crisis, found a complete understanding of the international community, which was enshrined in the relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly.
“Having assumed the chairmanship in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) this year, Turkmenistan approached this mission with all the responsibility,” President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said in his speech at the meeting of the Council of CIS Heads of Government held in Ashgabat on May 31, 2019.
“We are clearly aware of how important our cooperation is, that it often directly affects the interests and vital needs of the people living in our countries,” he noted. “It is all the more important to maintain respect and equality in relations between the CIS states, to take into account each other’s interests, the ability, if necessary, to find compromises and mutually acceptable solutions.”
In this context, it should be noted that the chairmanship of Turkmenistan in the CIS is marked by giving a new impetus to the meaningful development and qualitative growth of the levels of interaction between the member states of the organization.
Speeches at the meeting of the Council of CIS Heads of Government highlighted the long-term nature of the initiatives by Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, which are embodied in specific documents.
This is a distinctive feature of the current forum held during the presidency of Turkmenistan in the CIS, as well as confirmation of the focus of the CIS states on an effective multi-faceted partnership including prospects for the future.
The unanimous adoption of the UN General Assembly’s second resolution "Cooperation between the United Nations and the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea" on May 28, 2019 was a significant event on the eve of the meeting of the Council of the CIS Heads of Government.
While delivering speeches, the CIS heads of government emphasized that the adoption of the resolution is a source of pride not only for the Central Asian countries, but also for all the CIS countries.
By congratulating Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on this significant event, the meeting participants confirmed the readiness of the parties to continue to fully support the constructive initiatives being put forward by Turkmenistan.
Among the priorities of the partnership of the CIS countries is the cooperation in the format of authoritative international organizations, first of all, the UN and the OSCE, in which presently, one of the key factors is the issues of strengthening universal peace and security.
Presently, Turkmenistan’s achievements are of great interest to the world community. The politicians, public figures, experts of authoritative international organizations attribute Turkmenistan’s indisputable success with Turkmen president’s scientifically grounded, deeply thought-out policy which responds to the modern realities. The experience gained by Turkmenistan is of great value not only nationally but also globally.
In this context, Turkmenistan was among the first countries which adapted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the national level. Presently, the country actively participates in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Turkmenistan participates in the Voluntary National Reviews in 2019, in which it will show its experience in implementing the 2030 Agenda to the world.
A significant role in the implementation of tasks has been also assigned to the Scientific and Methodological Center on Sustainable Development Goals, which opened on September 1, 2017 at the Institute of International Relations of the Turkmen Foreign Ministry.
Among the Center’s objectives are training in the implementation of the SDGs, the preparation of educational programs and their implementation in secondary and higher educational institutions, as well as the preparation of methodological aids on the SDGs.
The resolution initiated by the Turkmen president and unanimously adopted at the 85th meeting of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly "Cooperation between the United Nations and the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea" is a document of historical significance, which created the legal basis for interaction between the UN and IFAS on a system basis.
According to the resolution, full support for the outcome of the Summit of Heads of IFAS Founding States, held in the Avaza National Tourism Zone on August 24, 2018, chaired by the Turkmen president, has been expressed.
The resolution envisages the consultations to be held in 2019 with the participation of the representatives of the UN agencies, all member-states of the Community of Nations of the IFAS Executive Committee to explore the possibilities of creating the UN Special Program for the countries of the Aral Sea region. Moreover, the UN secretary-general’s report on the implementation of this resolution is planned to be prepared. The corresponding documents are planned to be adopted by the General Assembly.
As it is known, Turkmenistan chairs the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea in 2017-2019. The fact that this decision was made by the UN General Assembly during Turkmenistan’s presidency in IFAS is also of great importance. This resolution will serve to the further strengthening of the role of the Community of Nations in IFAS and the development of the IFAS interaction with foreign partners.
The Turkmen president has emphasized that without caring for the environment, social and economic development of nations and peoples of the world cannot be achieved.
The concept of the president implies rational methods of management, scientific organization of production and the use of advanced technologies to avoid adverse effects on the environment. An example of the attainability of this is the stable ecological situation in Turkmenistan, despite the intensive industrial development in the country.
In this regard, the preservation of environmental well-being is an important aspect of the socio-economic reforms carried out in Turkmenistan. Large-scale projects are carried out in the fields of the efficient use of water resources, the protection of biological diversity and natural landscapes, and combating desertification and soil degradation. The National Strategy on Climate Change, the General Program for Providing the Population with Clean Drinking Water, and the National Forest Program of Turkmenistan are being implemented, under which 3 million trees are planted every year.
As is known, environmental and water issues have been holding an increasingly prominent place on the international agenda in recent years, as these problems are closely connected to the preservation of peace, security and the survival of humanity as a whole. It is not by chance that the UN General Assembly declared 2018-2028 the International Decade for Action "Water for Sustainable Development".
Water also plays a key role in achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda. In this context, a large-scale water-ecological and social-production project is the creation of the Turkmen Lake Altyn Asyr in Karakum Desert, each stage of which is accompanied by the laying of a new facility that is part of a large infrastructure complex. A solemn ceremony was held with the participation of President Berdimuhamedov on May 8 of this year to lay a new village - essentially a large-scale social-production cluster of a new type in the area of this unique body of water. A scientific-practical conference devoted to the significance of the Turkmen Lake Altyn Asyr in the development of an environmental and socio-ecological system was also held here.
The forum participants confirmed that the Turkmen Lake Altyn Asyr is a unique hydraulic structure located in the center of the Karakum Desert, and that, in addition to its ecological and national economic mission, it also has great social significance. The project of creating the Turkmen Lake Altyn Asyr is a thoughtful, long-term step that will have a positive impact on the environment of the region. Collecting drainage water from the irrigated lands of all 5 regions of the country, this facility makes it possible to radically improve the ameliorative condition of the farmland, protect the soil from degradation, and rehabilitate the land.
Consecutive development of the vast area of Karakum is conducted on a comprehensive and long-term basis according to the implementation of the Concept for the development of this lake area in 2019-2025 and the Action Plan for its implementation. Therefore, along with the environmental and water-saving component, the development prospects of the near-lake area envisage the creation of a modern social infrastructure, production facilities, livestock, fish breeding, agricultural complexes and other high-tech complexes.
The President of Turkmenistan is the initiator of the establishment of a significant date at the UN level - the World Bicycle Day. Every year, on June 3, the peoples of the world celebrate this international holiday, emphasizing the importance of such enduring values as peace and solidarity, health and good spirits.
This year, held under the motto "Turkmenistan - the motherland of prosperity," the international holiday of World Bicycle Day in Turkmenistan was organized with particular enthusiasm. In honor of the World Bicycle Day, large-scale mass cultural, physical culture and sports events, cyclo-crosses, specialized exhibitions and creative contests were held.
President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov was awarded the Certificate of Appreciation of the International Cyclists Union June 3 in Ashgabat at the solemn ceremony in the Turkmen capital on the occasion of a mass bicycle rally dedicated to the World Bicycle Day.
Presenting a high sporting award, the head of the UCI David Lappartient also said that the International Cyclists Union delegated the right to hold the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Ashgabat in 2021. On June 1, 2019, a new world record was set in the Olympic town - the longest single line bicycle parade and it was included in the Guinness World Records.
Thus, as a result of serious intensification of international relations, an increase in their qualitative content, the Turkmen foreign policy resource has grown significantly, its political and diplomatic tools have expanded, the country has gained additional significant weight and authority in international affairs. This is evidenced by the consistent election of Turkmenistan to the governing structures of international organizations, including the UN.
The growing dynamics inherent in fruitful relations with the UN is primarily conditioned by the active participation of Turkmenistan in the affairs of the world community, its desire to provide real assistance in solving actual problems. This position, as in general, the foreign policy of the head of state, received wide recognition and support from the UN.
In recent years Turkmenistan has been repeatedly elected deputy chairing country of the UN General Assembly sessions. In addition, Turkmenistan was repeatedly elected to the authoritative structures of this organization - the UN Economic and Social Council, the UN Commission on Population and Development, the UNESCO Executive Board, the UN Economic Commission for Europe and the Bureau of the UNECE Committee on Sustainable Energy, the UN Special Program for the Economies of Central Asia, the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs, the Executive Committee of the Program of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and other structures.
Another vivid confirmation of the recognition and support by the world community of the state strategy and initiatives of President Berdimuhamedov aimed at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is the fact that on May 7, 2019, during the meeting of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on organizational issues, Turkmenistan was elected to the membership of the Executive Board of the World Food Program for 2020-2022, the United Nations Commission on Population and Development for 2020-2024 and the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs for 2020-2023.
Turkmenistan, as one of the initiative participants of the modern system of international relations, makes its worthy contribution to peace, security and sustainable development, strengthening the atmosphere of friendship and mutual understanding between nations and states.
Speaking as a generator of innovative ideas, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov initiates and promotes in his work qualitatively new approaches to addressing topical issues of the modern world, which are accompanied by effective steps that contribute to the consolidation of efforts considering the long-term prospects for human development, responding adequately to the global challenges of the 21st century.