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06.03.07 15:36

THE PRESENT DAY REALITIES
Turkmenistan and the United Nations assess the results of cooperation in last 15 years
On March 2, Turkmenistan and the United Nations Organization marked the 15th anniversary of cooperation. In 1992, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously voted for the young Turkmen state to become a full fledged member of the organization. In 1995, the UN adopted an important resolution granting Turkmenistan the permanent neutrality status. The UN's presence in the country has been expanding year after year. Nowadays, dozens of UN agencies and divisions in Turkmenistan are realizing programs and projects in such spheres as economy, social security, environment protection.

On this occasion, the Turkmen newspapers published a message sent by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. "Turkmenistan's permanent stance is to contribute to strengthening of the United Nations as the supreme international forum the primary goal of which is to establish and maintain a just and humane world order. Turkmenistan stands for the expansion of the UN's role, for increasing the Organization's peace-making capacity, its further reformation in accordance with the realities of the global development," the message says.

The country determined its foreign and internal policy priorities from the first days of its membership in this biggest and universally recognized international organization. Maintaining peace in the country and developing good neighborly relations with other countries both in the region and the whole world are the main goals of the Turkmen Government's policies which remain invariable till the present moment. In the past years Turkmenistan, following the principles of peace-making, signed the Universal Nuclear Weapons Non-proliferation Treaty, Convention on Prohibition of Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer Anti-Personnel Mines, acceded to all 12 fundamental documents adopted by the UN against international terrorism and organized crime.

On the eve of this wonderful day, the UN Resident Coordinator in Ashgabat, Mr. Richard Young, gave interview to the Turkmen journalists. He pointed out Turkmenistan's active role in settlement of internal conflicts that took place in some neighboring countries including Tajikistan. "In 1999, Turkmenistan also initiated political talks in Ashgabat aimed at restoring peace in Afghanistan. In October 2002, the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan visited Turkmenistan and thanked the country for rendering such support. Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov's decision to write off part of the state debt of Afghanistan (almost US $ 4 million) is the latest demonstration of Turkmenistan's commitment to the process of building peaceful life in neighboring Afghanistan", said Mr. Young.

Regarding the economic and social aspects of partnership, Richard Young specially underscored the significance of the joint UN-Turkmen activities in the frames of UNDAF program (United Nations Development Assistance Framework for 2005-2009).

This project has been in progress on the consultative basis since February 2004. In Turkmenistan, the UN activities under this program include good governance, healthcare, education, children's rights, information and communication technologies, environment protection, fighting drug trafficking, border control and supporting refugees and migrants. "The UN is also assisting the Government in strengthening the national capacity including submitting reports on meeting the obligations under international human rights treaties," said the UN Resident Coordinator.

Speaking about the prospects of cooperation, Mr. Young stressed the special importance of those reforms that President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov promised to implement during his election campaign. "The UN agencies could play a major role in supporting the national efforts aimed at realizing these reforms through the consultative assistance and in view of strengthening the country's potential".

It should be pointed out that the intention of the Turkmen side to strengthen and expand the cooperation with the United Nations has been reflected in the first steps made by the new head of state last month. The documents aimed at solving the most urgent issues for the Turkmen society as improvement of the education system and the country's integration into the world information space through developing the Internet became one of the first decrees that Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov enacted after assuming the office.

Anton TARASOV

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