22.09.10 12:01

Address by the President of Turkmenistan at the 65th session of the UN General Assembly

(New York, 20 September 2010)

Esteemed Mr. President,
Esteemed 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 beginning of the 65th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

I congratulate Mr. Joseph Deiss on being elected President of the UN General Assembly and express confidence that the General Assembly will work successfully and fruitfully under his leadership. I also would like to express our gratitude to Esteemed Mr. Ali Abdussalam Treki, President of the 64th session of the General Assembly for the effective activity at this post.

Esteemed Mr. President,
Ladies and gentlemen,

This year our country is preparing to widely celebrate a remarkable date, the 15th anniversary of Turkmenistan's Neutrality. It was within the walls of the United Nations that our desire of being a neutral, peaceful, nonaligned country acquired support of the whole international community and became a reality. Throughout all these years Turkmenistan has remained committed to this choice based on clear understanding of its role and place in contemporary world and strict fulfillment of international obligations assumed. From this high tribune I am addressing all UN member states and the Community of Nations to express gratitude for rendering support and assistance in implementing our international initiatives.

For us neutrality is not just a legal status. It is an active position, a full-scale involvement in international processes through peacemaking and assisting in working out effective models of economic cooperation. This also includes provision of a political platform for solving problems, both within the region and beyond, for the purpose of consolidating peace, security and creating favorable conditions for sustainable development and progress. This is the main purport and content of our steps and initiatives on the world arena. Turkmenistan's approach to contemporary problems is based on confidence in the ability of the international community to find right solutions, overcome stereotypes, free itself from the burden of inertial thinking and attain a new view on perspectives of global interaction. We call this a Strategy of the future, implying achievement of a wide and stable international consensus on key development issu-es, namely political, socioeconomic, energy and ecological issues.

Due to objective reasons, issues of economic cooperation are of particular importance for Turkmenistan. A strategic priority for us in this area is diversification of energy routes, provision of a new, multi-optional pipeline infrastructure. We have started working actively in this direction, based on clearly defined principles of a state policy in this sphere, realistic evaluation of our own resource base and possibilities of its long-term exploitation. Last year, the construction of new pipelines, Turkmenistan-China and Turkmenistan-Iran, was completed successfully in cooperation with our partners. We consider them a real contribution to international energy cooperation, an effective stabilizing factor which will positively influence a general situation and provide additional steadiness to the whole system of political and economic ties in the Asian continent.

Today we are actively working on implementing another project, a Turkmenistan-Afghanis-tan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, being convinced that it is beneficial for all parties involved. The project will promote economical upturn, create a great number of additional workplaces, form a social infrastructure and support and consolidate political stability in the region.

Currently, issues of equal, uninterrupted and secure access to energy sources and means of their transportation have assumed global importance, exerting increasing impact on the general situation in the world, nature and lines of international cooperation, level of engagement of states and regions in development processes. This requires raising this issue to the UN level, working out common principles and intelligible regulations of relations between producers, transit countries and consumers under the UN auspices.

In this connection, Turkmenistan intends to make a statement in the course of the current session, initiating the adoption of a General Assembly resolution on creation of an expert group under the UN auspices that would develop an international mechanism of stable energy supply in the world.

We understand that working on such mechanism requires from the international community time and effort, responsibility, flexibility and readiness for sensible compromise, and calling up political, diplomatic, intellectual, financial and organizational resources.

However, we are also convinced that from the standpoint of global security and stability, stra¬tegic benefits and advantages will immeasurably surpass all costs and expenses.

Obviously, in current conditions only the United Nations, with its unique legitimacy, enormous moral authority, available legal regulators and extensive experience in settlement of issues of universal importance, is able to give a stimulus to this process, provide conditions for a broad dialog and act as a guarantor in case agreements are reached.

The world community has an understanding that the problem of a globally secure and reliable transit of energy carriers requires multilateral disscussion.

In confirmation of the above, in 2008 the General Assembly supported our initiative on commencement of such dialogue, which is already being held within various international and regional meetings. We believe that we need to move forward and raise it to a brand new, institutional level.

Therefore, Turkmenistan suggests considering prospects of creating, in future, a special body, the United Nations Energy Council. The purport and content of its activity is to provide a political format and organizational conditions for a systemic professional discussion of the range of problems related to energy.

With due respect, we call on all UN member states to formulate their suggestions in the light of this initiative.

Esteemed Mr. President,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Ten years ago in its declaration, the Millennium Summit proclaimed all UN member states responsible for the destinies of the planet.

For Turkmenistan, the Millennium Development Goals have organically fit into our own development plans, matched with ideology and outlook of the reform of the national economy, social sphere and public relations and mostly defined lines of cooperation on the world arena.

Turkmenistan has set a strategic course for active participation in broad international partners¬hip from the position of peaceful, politically stable, economically strong state; arrangement of a multidimensional regional cooperation, based on compliance and compatibility of interests of various countries and support of their own and other large-scale international projects involving regional and non-regional countries and companies.

Due to geographical peculiarities of Central Asia and the Caspian basin, development of trans-port and communication areas seems promising here.

The creation in the region of a modem extensive infrastructure of railway and highway services and network of communications can provide a great impetus to the successful integration of our countries into the process of the global economic development.

This will ensure an investment inflow, create conditions for an effective cooperation within the scope of intercontinental economic realities in the Eurasian space, in "North-South" and "East-West" directions.

We suggest that the UN keenly considers perspectives of development of transport and communication infrastructure in Central Asia and the Caspian basin, and thereby are ready for the closest cooperation. We consider it reasonable that the UN specialized structures get actively involved into this work, Economic Commission for Europe, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific being in the first place.

The pivotal component of achieving the Millennium Development Goals in the region is solving serious ecological problems - first of all, saving the Aral Sea and rehabilitating unique natural resources of the Caspian Sea. More specifically, we consider it necessary to create a special international expert group which, in collaboration with the UN and its structures, could prepare a comprehensive international legal document on saving the Aral Sea. The action is to be taken today, based on the Memorandum of Understanding between the UN and the Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, signed in Ashgabat on 3 March 2010.

Overall, we consider it reasonable to find an opportunity for immediate presence of the UN specialized structures in Central Asia and the Caspian basin.

In the first place, we count on the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to work here actively. We propose to consider the issue of establishing a UNEP regional office in one of the regional countries. Turkmenistan is ready to provide the necessary infrastructure for this purpose.

The critical problem, directly connected with the ecology, is the use of water resources. More specifically, in Central Asia the rational use of water is one of the determining factors having a significant impact on the dynamics of the socio-economic development of our countries.

Turkmenistan views the settlement of water disputes on the basis of universally recognized norms of international law with regard to interests of all countries of the region, with the world community represented by the UN and other reputable international organizations being actively involved.

Esteemed Mr. President,

Our efforts are directed at forming a solid and effective system of regional security in Central Asia and the Caspian basin; commitment to peaceful negotiated methods of settlement of existing or disputable issues. The crucial conditions here are mutual understanding, confidence and openness, honest and objective discussion of any topical issues.

This, in turn, presupposes the availability of a mechanism of a regional dialog, a constant process of multilateral communication for the purpose of development of mutually acceptable approaches to certain issues. Such dialog is to be conducted systematically, with a clearly specified agenda, and parties immediately involved in a dialog should have authorities required for decision-making.

We believe that such form of communication is in demand today due to the realities of regio¬nal development. We propose to establish a high-level Forum on security, peace and cooperation in Central Asia and the Caspian basin, which will serve as a political format of such interaction.

It would be reasonable to hold a Forum on a regular basis, each country of the region hosting it by turns. We are ready to organize the first session of the Forum in Ashgabat within a reasonable period.

Esteemed Mr. President,
Esteemed heads of delegations,
Ladies and gentlemen,

International conferences dedicated to settlement of the situation in Afghanistan were held in London and Kabul this year. Overall, we are satisfied with the results of both meetings, and would like to suggest our approaches in the light of decisions made there.

Number one. Turkmenistan understands and supports efforts of the Afghanistan administration, directed at settlement of the situation by negotiations and creating an atmosphere of national concord and reconciliation in the country. This corresponds with our view of perspectives of development of infra-Afghanistan processes. We consider it necessary for the world community to render international assistance to Afghan partners. In this connection, taking into account our neutral status, our country is ready to hold, under the UN auspices, an International high-level meeting on confidence building in Afghanistan and development of efficient institutions of state power. We are ready to discuss issues of organizing such meeting with our Afghan partners, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Afghanistan, other specialized UN structures involved in the Afghanistan issue and all interested parties.

Number two. Being desirous of rendering assistance to the people of the country in state building, and in accordance with the results of the London and Kabul meetings, we offer our help in training in Turkmenistan, under the UN patronage and programs, of the Afghan personnel for management structures in various sectors.

Number three. The paramount task is assisting Afghanistan in developing a transport infrastructure.

Our country proposes a project for constructing a railway from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan with its further extension on the Afghan territory aided by international organizations, donor countries and international financial institutions. We would welcome involvement of the world community.

Number four. We find it necessary to substantially activate efforts directed at the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline. The Trans-Afghan pipeline can have a great impact on development of Afghan economy; help resolve major social issues, employment being among them; promote attraction of investments; positively influence the political situation in the country.

Number five. Turkmenistan is ready to consider the issue of increasing the electric power sup¬ply to Afghanistan, as well as expanding our own energy infrastructure for the purpose of future installation and networking on the Afghan territory. We invite the international community represented by the UN to discuss this proposal.

Esteemed Mr. President,
Esteemed heads of delegations,
Ladies and gentlemen,

The full-scale and purposeful cooperation with the UN is a strategic choice of Turkmenistan. To us UN is more than just the most representative international structure. We view the UN as a bearing mainstay of the entire contemporary system of global interaction; the guarantor of preservation and maintenance of peace and balance of interests on the international arena, and of persistence of current security architecture.

Along with the world community, based on accumulated positive experience of cooperation, wisdom and responsibility of all UN member states, Turkmenistan will continue to work diligently for the purpose of achieving the high goals and ideals of the United Nations Organization.

Thank you for your attention.

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