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24.09.09 14:38

Speech by President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov at the 64th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

(New York, 23 September 2009)

Dear Mr. President,
Dear Mr. Secretary General,
Distinguished Heads of Delegations
Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the people and Government of Turkmenistan I cordially welcome and congratulate you on the opening of the 64th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

I congratulate the honorable Mr. Ali Abdel Salam Al-Treyki on election to the presidency of the UN General Assembly and express my confidence that under his leadership the General Assembly will work successfully and productively. I would also like to express our gratitude to the distinguished Mr. Miguel d\'Escoto Brockmann, the President of the 63rd session of the General Assembly, for skilful and effective work at this post.

Dear Mr. President,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

The current state of global realities, the nature and trends of political, economic and social processes today require objectively closer and more coordinated cooperation between states and major international organizations around the common main objective of ensuring, on a global scale, peace and security, creation of conditions for further development and progress, and preservation of legal and moral foundations of the modern world order. The effectiveness of such interaction, finding a reasonable balance between national interests and the interests of the entire international community, will largely determine success and deal with other, equally important global issues - environmental, energy, food, issues of equitable distribution of water resources, the impact of work on poverty reduction, infectious diseases, anti-narcotics and other challenges.

Speaking about implementation of these goals is impossible without the recognition and confirmation of the critical role of the United Nations. Over the last sixty-odd years, the UN is the main guarantor of the preservation and maintenance of world peace, security and development. During this time, our organization has gained high prestige in the world, has gained unique experience in helping to solve complex international problems, and has acquired a solid legal basis for cooperation between states.

The UN was and remains the foundation of the modern world, attracting multitude of hopes and aspirations of all mankind. In the present circumstances the United Nations must become a mainstay in the creative activities of states in building a fair and balanced system of international relations.

From this perspective, Turkmenistan considers the issues of reforming the UN. We are aware that a number of aspects of its activities need to be improved, and made more efficient, according to the requirements of the day. This is normal and natural process, the logic of today\'s dynamic development of the world. That is why we are for reasonable reform of the UN, but only in the direction of its further strengthening and steady consolidation of positions in the international system of interaction, expanding its role and functions as a guarantor of global peace, stability and development. We believe that the reform of the Organization should be meaningful, targeted, and correlated with the actual needs of the international community.

Turkmenistan supports the efforts of UN member states, and its Secretary-General aimed at making the Organization\'s work more dynamic, efficient, transparent and democratic. In this context, Turkmenistan agrees on the need to further improve the structure of the Security Council, and closer and effective cooperation between the Security Council and General Assembly.

Dear Mr. President,

The main goal of Turkmenistan\'s foreign policy was and remains the greatest measure of assistance to the world community in its efforts to maintain and strengthen the global security system, prevent and neutralize the threat of conflict, ensure conditions for a stable and sustainable development of nations and peoples, and broad and constructive international cooperation.

We consider in this context that the permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan and related features of its legal status open good opportunities for the United Nations to positively influence the course and nature of the processes in Central Asia and Caspian Sea region. It is about establishing here permanently the existing mechanisms for international dialogue to discuss various aspects of regional issues and develop on them for reaching mutually acceptable consensus. Based on the past experience of political and diplomatic peacekeeping under the UN auspices, Turkmenistan declares its readiness to provide the world community with all the necessary political, organizational and technical conditions for this work. In this context, we believe that the decision adopted by the United Nation in 2007 to open the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia with headquarters in Ashgabat was very important and promising. Currently, the Center is actively monitoring and analyzing regional perspectives, taking active part in various activities on critical development issues in Central Asia, including at the level of heads of state, and assisting in developing approaches to address these issues. In this context, Turkmenistan welcomes the collaboration of different states, international organizations, financial and economic institutions, and UN experts to develop constructive models of regional development processes.

In shaping the approaches to the problem of ensuring global security, we believe in integrity and indivisibility of the concept, in the geopolitical sense and in terms of coherence of specific aspects. We are convinced that security of one country cannot be achieved in the absence of security in the region, the continent, and the world. Similarly, political and military security will not be long term and full-fledged without economic, energy and food security, without warning and management of environment and manmade risks, without effective countering of international terrorism, organized crime, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and other global challenges.

From this perspective, one of the most relevant components of global security is energy security. This is primarily due to the fact that the current system of international energy supplies has become a vulnerable link in the global economy. Such vulnerability is characterized by a number of reasons - political instability in certain regions of the planet, lack of internationally recognized regulatory and legal mechanisms, the imperfection of the infrastructure, and lopsided geography of pipeline routes. All of this affects the overall atmosphere in the world market for energy supplies. It is an objective necessity to alter this situation, overcome the inertia of the stereotypes, reach a new level of thinking in line with modern requirements. We are not talking about any preventive measures or local agreements on certain aspects of transportation of fuels, but creation of fundamentally new, universal model of relations in the world energy markets; the model based on a multilateral balance of interests, common views and perceptions about the architecture of global energy security, the understanding of long-term benefits and advantages of cooperation.

Launching a broad international dialogue on the issue of energy supplies is seen as a first logical step. We need to find the contact line of interest, determine the starting positions, and a common language in which to engage in the dialogue. In other words, it is necessary to create a framework for meaningful and interesting interaction. With this in mind, during the last session of the General Assembly, Turkmenistan took the initiative to formulate the universal mechanisms that would ensure reliable and safe operation of international energy supply infrastructures, and access to and effective use of the energy resources. The first step in this direction was the resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations on reliable and stable transit of energy resources and its role in sustainable development and international cooperation, adopted unanimously on the initiative of Turkmenistan, on 19 December 2008. Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my appreciation to all the states for their support of our initiative for a responsible and constructive attitude in this matter.

Following in the letter and spirit of the resolution, Turkmenistan hosted, in cooperation with the UN, a high level International Conference on reliable and stable transit of energy resources and its role in sustainable development and international cooperation, in Ashgabat in April 2009. One outcome of the conference was a proposal to ask the United Nations to consider establishing an expert group to prepare recommendations for a future international legal instrument on the transit of energy resources in the light of proposals by interested countries and international organizations. Turkmenistan is ready to fully contribute to the formation of this group within the UN and calls upon all concerned states to formulate proposals for its work. We believe that such a group could be the first step in the process of preparing a comprehensive document of the UN aimed at ensuring the effective functioning of the international system of energy supply, including issues related to security of energy transportation systems.

Dear Mr. President,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Facilitating the disarmament process, reduction of the arsenals of weapons, especially the weapons of mass destruction and their proliferation, continues to be one of the key themes of the global agenda. We believe that there is no place in modern international relations for the legacy of the Cold War; the recurrence of block confrontation, when the quantity and quality of available weapons was almost the main criteria of authority of states. We believe that the lesser weapons there are in the world, the more stable and safer it is for development, the more trust and understanding it will create between nations and peoples.

As is known, in 2006, Semipalatinsk Treaty was signed on the establishment of a zone free of nuclear weapons in Central Asia. All countries in the region acceded to the Treaty. This joint initiative was in tune to the aspirations of the majority of the world. It has received high appraisal of the international community, and gained approval in the UN General Assembly. We believe relevant in this regard the holding in the first half of next year under the UN auspices, an international conference on disarmament issues in the region of Central Asia and the Caspian Basin. Our country is ready to sponsor such an event. We would also welcome constructive proposals of the international community and individual nations to promote global disarmament processes, and we will actively engage in implementing these proposals.

One of the greatest challenges on a global scale today is to effectively counter such threats as international terrorism, drug trafficking, and transnational organized crime. For several reasons, this problem is particularly relevant to our region. We are convinced that only joint efforts of states, in close cooperation with international organizations, can successfully counter these threats. In this context, Turkmenistan believes in a special role of the United Nations. We believe it is necessary and timely for the increased participation of the UN and its institutions and agencies in the formulation and coordination of effective models of international cooperation in order to neutralize these threats, activating the mechanisms of preventive diplomacy, creating the conditions for post-conflict rehabilitation of economic and social infrastructure.

It is therefore necessary to emphasize the importance that Turkmenistan attaches to the revival of Afghanistan, establishment of lasting peace on the Afghan soil. Our country is providing assistance to Afghanistan in rebuilding its economy, in the construction of social and humanitarian facilities. This work will continue. We want to see Afghanistan a peaceful and prosperous country, a good neighbor and partner of all the countries of the region. At the same time we believe that in the Afghan settlement an important role can and should be played by the United Nations. We are convinced that the UN peacekeeping system, with its enormous experience, and the highest moral authority, can offer new forms and models in the context of political and diplomatic efforts to solve the problems of Afghanistan, and induce reconciliation and peace in this country. Today, such work can be intensified and made more efficient, given the potential of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia. Turkmenistan advocates greater involvement and engagement of the Regional Center in the efforts of the international community to resolve the situation in Afghanistan.

Dear Mr. President,
Distinguished members of delegations,

Awareness of the international community of commonality of the long-term commitment to development goals and willingness to work together to implement them is today the condition of stability throughout the system of international relations. The serious consequences of the global financial crisis once again demonstrated the necessity to unite the efforts to build a global security architecture, and create conditions for equitable and just relations between nations and peoples, based on recognized international legal norms and the great, enduring ideals of the United Nations.

Turkmenistan believes that the responsibility, morality and humanity will become the defining criteria for current and future generations to judge our work. We, as a nation, as a member of the international community, will continue to contribute to the consolidation of these lofty principles in the management of international affairs, consistently implementing the philosophy of the Turkmen neutrality, in which the strategic partnership with the United Nations has a fundamental role.

Thank you for your attention.

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