Ashgabat, 14 September 2016 (nCa) — Turkmenistan adopted Wednesday the new version of its Constitution, a sophisticated document based on the framework of sovereignty, neutrality and human rights.
The initial draft of the Constitution was presented to the public for debate last year. The Constitutional Reforms Committee received and reviewed thousands of ideas and proposals, many of which were incorporated into the final version vetted by the Elders Council and approved by the parliament Wednesday during the annual session of the Elders Council.
President Berdymuhamedov said Wednesday at the Elders Council session, “The Constitutional Commission has done great work on drafting new edition of the Constitution. The people had supported this work. The draft constitution was published in print media. And the commission for the study and systematization, working under the Constitutional Commission, had received a number of suggestions from citizens, political parties, lawyers, international and national experts, and representatives of public authorities.”
“The final draft was prepared by all our people,” said the president.
In the new edition of the Constitution, 28 articles have been added, of which 24 are new and 4 are extensively revised versions of the old provisions. In all, 107 articles were amended and supplemented and one new section has been added to the Constitution.
The neutrality of Turkmenistan, which is the cornerstone of its foreign policy, has been given Constitutional guarantee under a separate article.
The Constitution, under the principle of neutrality, clearly defines the basic principles of its foreign policy: Peaceful initiatives; good neighbourliness, non-interference in matters of other states, unambiguous support for non-use of force; non-alignment with any military blocs; and development of friendly relations with all countries of the world.
The new edition of the Constitution, just like its older version, defines Turkmenistan as a neutral, independent, secular, democratic and legal state.
The new Constitution has remained focused on the international obligations of Turkmenistan.
The president said during his speech, “I would like to stress that Turkmenistan is the only country in the world, the constitution of which reflects the provisions of the UN General Assembly resolutions.”
The question of human rights, in its broadest context, has been given ample space in the new Constitution.
nCa has learned from reliable sources that mechanisms are being created already for the implementation of the human rights provisions of the Constitution. A law will be passed before the end of this year for the establishment of the office of Ombudsman to deal with the practicalities in the implementation of human rights obligations.
In addition to input from the members of the parliament, the law experts and common citizens, the new edition of the Constitution of Turkmenistan has benefited from the expert consultations with the UN, OSCE and the German society for international cooperation GIZ.
The new Constitution, reflecting the new and emerging political and economic realities, embraces the concept of ‘State for People’ – Dovlet Adam Uchindir.
President Berdymuhamedov said in his remarks during the session, “The new edition of Constitution is aimed at good governance, increasing the scope of responsibility between the individual and the government, and bringing the economy in line with the principles of market economy. The articles of the constitution also reflect international best practices.”
In his concluding remarks at the landmark meeting of the Elders Council, President Berdymuhamedov said:
“Constitution is our reputation and our honor. The adoption of the basic law of the country on the eve of the 25th jubilee of independence is a historic event. The new edition of the Constitution corresponds to the international and national experience of democracy.
“We will strengthen the power of our country. The individual is declared as the main value of society and state. Turkmenistan is the only country in the world, which has fixed UN resolutions and principles of international law in its Constitution.
“Political, economic and cultural power creates opportunities to raise the authority of Turkmenistan as a peacemaking center on the planet.” /// nCa