18.08.10 18:34

Initiatives in the name of peace

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan held a special briefing on August 16 on the upcoming 65th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. The Foreign Ministry spokesman briefed the media representatives on the priority positions of Turkmenistan for the 65th session of the UN General Assembly that, according to him, are based on the principles and practices of the foreign policy pursued by the President of Turkmenistan, ideas and international initiatives of the Turkmen leader focused on the further development of comprehensive cooperation with countries of the world and well-respected international organizations.

"Turkmenistan views this session as a landmark event. We expect the adoption of concrete decisions to effectively consolidate the efforts of Member States of the Organization, the mobilization of political, diplomatic, financial, economic, organizational and technical resources of the international community to successfully meet the goals and objectives of the UN," the Foreign Ministry spokesman said during the briefing, conveying succinctly the basic provisions of the document to journalists.

I. Strengthening peace and security

Turkmenistan's efforts will focus on the further development in the UN decisions of the principle of integrity of security.

Forming its own approaches to the problem of global security, our country is guided by the indivisibility of this notion both in a geopolitical sense and in terms of coherence of its specific aspects.

Therefore, in order to ensure sustainable world order Turkmenistan proposes to start work within the UN on the development of a unified concept of security.

In regional terms, we support the establishment of a multilateral mechanism of interaction of Central Asian and Caspian states.

In this context, we deem it appropriate to consider establishing regular political consultations at the highest level among the Central Asian and Caspian states under the auspices of the UN.

II. Non-proliferation and disarmament

Nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, disarmament and arms control are a priority for Turkmenistan.

We see our task in helping the international community to address these issues.

We consider it necessary to specifically consider at the 65th session of the General Assembly the issue of revitalization of the UN Conference on Disarmament.

Considering the Central Asian and Caspian Basin area an integral historical and geographical space that is now emerging as a strategic center of global significance, which includes important energy, transportation and communication hubs, we believe that it is here that disarmament issue should be an essential area of work of the UN.

In this regard, Turkmenistan considers it possible to create a permanent platform for a policy dialogue on disarmament issues in the Central Asian and Caspian regions. We will welcome the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs joining this work.

We also support the effective implementation of the provisions of the Treaty on the Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons in Central Asia, and establishing appropriate mechanisms for its implementation.

III. The fight against terrorism, crime and drug trafficking

Turkmenistan supports the efforts of the United Nations to establish an effective system to counter terrorism, with the UN and its Security Council playing a coordinating role.

We intend to continue to closely cooperate with Member States of the Organization in the development of a legal framework to combat terrorism. In this context, we consider it essential to intensify work on drafting a comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.

At the same time, we support the establishment of new formats of partnership within the UN. We consider it timely to think of the possibility of establishing counter-terrorism information focal points of the UN in various regions of the world.

Turkmenistan will continue to participate actively in the fight against drug trafficking both nationally, regionally and globally.

Of particular relevance in the present conditions is consolidation of efforts and concerted actions of the international community to implement the strategy in the fight against crime. We favor an efficient interaction between states and international organizations in this direction. The implementation of multilateral instruments in this area should be supported by legal, informational and technical assistance to interested states.

In this regard, we consider it expedient to organize training and information centers of the United Nations to combat crime.

IV. Resolving the situation in Afghanistan

Turkmenistan stands for lasting peace, stability and security in Afghanistan.

We believe that all the issues of Afghanistan should be solved only by peaceful negotiations through the creation of new political and diplomatic mechanisms based on the realities of today and the long-term perspective. An important role should be assigned to the United Nations.

We appreciate efforts of the leadership of Afghanistan aimed at resolving the situation through negotiations, the creation of a climate of national consensus and reconciliation. We consider it necessary that the international community should provide all possible assistance to Afghan partners.

In this regard, given its neutral status, we propose to hold in Turkmenistan under the auspices of the UN an international high-level meeting on confidence-building and reconciliation in Afghanistan and development of government institutions. Along with the political aspect of the issues in Afghanistan, we must develop new approaches to providing effective economic assistance to the Afghan people. This should be done in a systematic way. In this regard, we believe that under the auspices of the UN it is necessary to develop a long-term program to rebuild Afghanistan. This program, first of all, should include projects to develop transport and communication networks, electrification, development of diversified industries, construction of schools, hospitals and other social facilities. We are ready to take an active part in such international projects.

We note the enormous importance of the gas pipeline project Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India. The implementation of the Trans-Afghan pipeline project could have a significant impact on the development of Afghanistan's economy, solve major social problems, including those related to employment, attract investments that will ultimately have a positive impact on the political situation in the country and the region.

V. Implementing the Millennium Development Goals

Turkmenistan sees a sustained effort on the practical implementation of the Millennium Development Goals as an important aspect of the 65th session.

Based on the positive experience of international cooperation for the implementation of the MDGs, we are going to continue to develop partnerships with the UN and its agencies in this direction.

We note the great importance of the upcoming UN Summit on Millennium Development Goals, which will be held in New York, 20-22 September 2010, and intend to participate in its preparation and carrying out.

We consider it expedient to hold during the 65th session a special meeting of the General Assembly devoted to the interaction of the UN structures and Member States in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

VI. Issues of international energy and transport infrastructure

Turkmenistan will continue making steps to strengthen the position and expand cooperation in the development of comprehensive guarantees to ensure reliable and stable energy supplies to the world markets.

On this basis, Turkmenistan proposes to develop the universal UN mechanisms aimed to ensure the safe operation of the international infrastructure of energy supplies, equal and equitable access to energy.

We call for further promotion of this initiative within the UN. In this regard, we focus on the practical solution of the problem associated with the creation of an expert group under the auspices of the UN to develop an international legal mechanism in the sphere of energy transit. We intend in the course of the 65th session to prepare a draft resolution of the UN General Assembly.

In the context of strengthening the cooperation of UN Member States in the sphere of transport and expansion of cooperation in this area, we find it necessary to revitalize the work of the Organization and its specialized institutions on the international legal support to functioning of transnational transportation routes.

The most important of them are transport corridors "North-South" and "East-West", connecting the major regions of Europe and Asia. We believe that we should approach prospects of this partnership with interest, particularly on the part of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). Turkmenistan is ready to take an active part in the work of these commissions on a wide range of areas.

VII. Environmental issues

Ecology and rational utilization of natural resources are one of the priorities of the state policy of Turkmenistan.

In this context, we intend to intensify work on the highly topical issue such as the salvation of the Aral Sea that goes far beyond the regional framework. On this basis, Turkmenistan proposes to establish in cooperation with the UN an International Task Force for the preparation of a comprehensive program to save the Aral Sea. The starting point for this activity could be the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding between the UN and the Executive Committee of IFAS signed in Ashgabat on March 3, 2010.

We believe that issues of water management are related to the problems of the Aral Sea region. Resolving water problems in Central Asia, in our view, should be based on universally recognized norms of international law, taking into account the interests of all countries in the region and with the active participation of international organizations.

Turkmenistan attaches key importance to ensuring the conservation regime in the Caspian Sea and the preservation of the Caspian Sea as a unique natural complex. We intend, in close cooperation with the UN and the Caspian Environment Programme in particular, to make efforts to implement the Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea. The completion of work on four key protocols to the Convention should be put on the list of specific problems to be resolved during the 65th session.

The most important component of environmental work in Central Asia and the Caspian basin is cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). We are convinced that closer cooperation of Central Asian and Caspian states with this structure will contribute to a coordinated approach to solving environmental problems. In this regard, Turkmenistan proposes to specifically consider the issue of opening a UNEP center for the countries of Central Asia and the Caspian region. For its part, Turkmenistan could provide all the necessary conditions to headquarter this center in Ashgabat.

VIII. Food issues

Turkmenistan considers global food security an important factor for sustainable and stable economic and social development of mankind. We consider it appropriate to improve the international agricultural and food policies, taking into account the need to ensure the balance of needs in major types of food in various countries of the world. In this context, we propose to discuss during the 65th session the issue of preparation of the World Food Congress.

Turkmenistan, located in the heart of this important agricultural region, is ready to contribute to the further development of the institutional foundations of the UN, designed to manage the processes in the field of food security. In this regard, we consider it timely to think of the possibility of creating a cluster office of FAO to the countries of the Middle East.

IX. On science, culture and education

We believe that in this respect the special role belongs to UNESCO, the positive cooperation with which provides a solid basis for joint efforts to safeguard and promote the rich cultural and historical heritage of Turkmenistan and unique natural sites in our country. In this regard, we expect in the future to hold one of the sessions of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Turkmenistan.

In this context, we would be interested to consider acceding to the relevant UN Conventions from UNESCO. We intend, with the direct participation of the National Commission of Turkmenistan for UNESCO, to hold a series of activities aimed at the study of international educational and scientific standards for their further introduction.

X. Human rights

Protection and promotion of human rights and freedoms is one of the main priorities of the policy of Turkmenistan.

We intend to continue to participate in the work of committees and commissions of the UN dealing with human rights. We are ready to form a delegation of Turkmenistan to attend the meetings of the UN Council on Human Rights.

Turkmenistan is contesting a seat on the Executive Committee of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. We will continue work on this issue at the 65th session.

XI. The role of the United Nations

The full-scale, purposeful and long-term cooperation with the United Nations is a strategic choice of Turkmenistan.

We regard the UN as a bearing pillar of the entire modern system of global interaction, the guarantor of the preservation and maintenance of peace and balance of interests on the international arena, the stability of the existing security architecture.

In Turkmenistan, there is an understanding that some aspects of the work of the Organization need to be reformed and improved. However, we believe the UN reform should be directed towards strengthening and expanding its role in the world. It is in this vein that Turkmenistan supports the efforts of UN Member States, the Secretary-General, aimed at making the Organization's work more dynamic, efficient, transparent and democratic. We follow these principles speaking of the need to improve the structure of the Security Council, closer and effective cooperation between the Security Council and the General Assembly. At the same time, the universal legitimacy of the United Nations as the main instrument of the international community in its efforts to ensure world peace and development must remain invariable and unshakable.

We consider it relevant and promising that the UN and its specialized structures are actively involved in the solution of socio-economic problems in various regions of the world.

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