President Berdimuhamedov of Turkmenistan had a meeting with the members of both houses of the parliament on Tuesday, 1 March 2022.
It was not a formal joint session of the parliament; it was a meeting to underline the need for the improvement of some laws and creation of some new laws to meet the requirements arising from the development strategy of Turkmenistan for the next 30 years (2022-2052).
Within this context, the meeting was focused on the tasks facing the lawmakers of both the houses in 2022.
Here is a summarized and condensed version of the speech of President Berdimuhamedov to the members of the Mejlis and the Halk Maslahaty:
On 11 February 2022 we adopted the programme ‘Revival of new era of powerful state: national programme for the socio-economic development of Turkmenistan in 2022-2052.’
Together with this, we have also adopted the development and investment programmes for this year.
This year we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of Turkmenistan and the state flag of Turkmenistan.
We have come a long way since then. We have transformed our internal system in all areas and attained great successes in the foreign policy.
In 2020, we moved to the bicameral system of parliament. Now we have two chambers of Milli Gengesh (National Council) – Mejlis (Parliament) and Halk Maslahaty (Peoples Council).
As we continue to strengthen the legal foundation of the democratic state, a fair civil society, there is the need to keep a constant eye on the legislative base and update and improve it wherever and whenever necessary.
Some of the areas that need the attention of the lawmakers include the protection of human rights and freedoms, improvement in the legislation and its norms in the fields of economy, social policy, science, education, culture, youth policy, digital system, environmental protection, nature management, and agro-industrial sphere.
In foreign policy, we must continue improving the relations with the parliaments of other countries, and the international organizations, particularly the structures of the United Nations. I foreign policy, our philosophy is: Dialogue is guarantee of peace.
This year we will host Inter-Parliamentary Forum of Central Asian countries and the Russian Federation, which is scheduled for May. We will also host the Dialogue of Women of Central Asian Countries. Both the houses should work with the foreign office for the organization of these events.
Since we are marking the 30th anniversary of our Constitution and the Flag, events should be planned to highlight their significance.
We also need to study the requirement of the improvements in our Constitution in the light of the aspirations of our people and the best international practices. In particular, we need to focus on the improvement of activities of state authorities, and revising their rights and duties and powers.
Our 30-year development plan creates new tasks in improving the efficiency of industries in the market economy, their active integration into the world economic space, the support of the entrepreneurial activities, stimulation of investment activity, privatization of state property and turning them into joint stock companies where necessary.
In our quest for import-substitution, there should be the further improvement in the legislative documents to create economic and industrial zones and their effective operation.
The laws related to economy in general are also in need of review.
There should be the dynamic development of all areas of Turkmenistan down to the village level. The members of the Milli Gengesh should visit the localities and play their role. Contact should be maintained with the voters through all possible means. One of the purposes is to maintain high rate of development across the country.
There is the need to review the laws related to the military, particularly the laws ‘On military duty and military service,’ ‘On Defence,’ and ‘On state borders of Turkmenistan.’
The Criminal Code of Turkmenistan should be improved, with attention to combating the cybercrimes, crimes committed using the Internet services, and the data protection laws.
We are increasingly transforming our transport and logistics capabilities at the regional and global level. This opens up opportunities for the further development of industrial processing of raw material deposits of fossil resources. To stimulate the economic, entrepreneurial and investment activity, there is the need to improve the Merchant Shipping Code, the Customs Code, the Tax Code, and the documents regulating the investment activity and associated areas.
In the social sphere, we pay particular attention to young and large families, children who have lost their parents, veterans and people who have lost their health in the defense of state and public interests. It is, therefore, necessary to analyze the legal base in this area and improve it where necessary.
In our healthcare system, we have the national programme ‘Saglyk’ (Health) and in this area we cooperate with the WHO and other UN organs on the prevention of various diseases, timely detection, treatment, and protection of the nation’s gene pool.
Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in the world, we have worked closely the WHO regional office for Europe for its prevention. In the framework of scientific and medical diplomacy with the WHO and its Regional Office for Europe, Turkmenistan presented its proposals on the preparation of a special program to study the coronavirus genome, the creation of a regional method to counter pneumonia diseases, and the creation of a Center for the treatment of acute infectious diseases and their prevention within the WHO. Considering the natural and exogenous features of the Central Asian region. The task for the members of both the houses here is to widely inform the international parliamentary community about the scientific and medical diplomacy carried out by Turkmenistan and providing it with parliamentary support.
The labour laws must be improved because the process of labour of a person creates material and spiritual wealth.
There is the need to focus on the issues of youth policy. Last year, we adopted and approved the State Program on the Youth Policy of Turkmenistan for 2021-2025 and the Action Plan for its implementation. Our state will continue to create all conditions for the participation of young people in the socio-economic, political and cultural life of society.
The system and framework of physical culture and sports, and the preparation of the national athletes at the highest level is an area that needs attention. This is part of the general drive to promote a healthy lifestyle in the society.
We are working on the introduction of digital systems and new innovative technologies in all sectors of the country. In the recent years the Concept for the Development of the Digital Economy in Turkmenistan for 2019–2025, the State Program for the Development of the Digital Economy in Turkmenistan for 2021–2025, and laws related to cybersecurity, electronic documentation, electronic document management and digital services have been adopted. The world does not stand still, the digital system is developing every day, which dictates the need for further improvement of the legislative basis of this system,
There should be the support for the national culture. In this area we have done valuable work in collaboration with UNESCO. The legal foundation in this area should be analyzed, and if necessary, improved.
We have done substantial work last year to bolster the agro-industrial sector and the area must remain under attention to bring further improvements where required. Our goals are to create and maintain food abundance, introduce environmentally friendly crops, and provide the industrial sector with raw materials in this area.
The legislative activity in relation to the work of the local executive and representative authorities, local self-government bodies should ensure the successful implementation of the adopted programs for the further socio-economic development of the country and, in particular, its regions, the democratization of the society, and the satisfaction of the needs of the population.
The Laws of Turkmenistan ‘On local representative bodies of state power,’ and ‘On local executive bodies’ should enhance the role of Gengeshes (village councils).
We need to pay very special attention to the children. The rights of the child should be in line with the generally recognized norms of international law, and world practice. Measures should be taken to improve the activities of commissions of khyakimliks (governorates), etraps (districts) and cities/towns for minors.
Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov Charitable Foundation plays an important role in this area. Under the auspices of the Foundation, the Children’s Health and Rehabilitation Center will operate in the new modern administrative center of Ahal velayat (province), which will unite a kindergarten for 150 places, a hospital for 120 places and a health center.
Since its inception, the Foundation has ensured the right to full and fair participation in the life of society and the state of children in need of care, which also includes material assistance in providing them with medical services, restoring health and obtaining medicines and provides for education in general education and specialized schools, providing sports and other necessary accessories.
In Turkmen society, children without parents are not left alone. Care for a child who has lost his parents for various reasons is primarily taken by close relatives, and in their absence, distant relatives. If the child has no relatives, he/she is taken care of by the archin (head) of the village, who, by decision of the elders, attaches him/her to one of the families. The host family raises the child as their own.
Today, the Council of Elders operates under the Fund to solve such difficult problems, including those related to adoption and guardianship.
The main task of the Council is to provide the Fund with comprehensive assistance in the implementation of the tasks set out in the Regulations, as well as assistance to children in need of guardianship.
Members of the Council of Elders are considering and will consider various issues, including those related to the adoption of children who have lost parental care, giving them a first and last name. They will be given the authority to take specific decisions on these matters. In this matter, the elders will be guided by the laws of Turkmenistan, national traditions and customs.
All these measures will allow children to feel the comprehensive care shown for them and take their rightful place in society.
The funds will also be allocated for children in need of treatment in the relevant medical institutions of our country and, if necessary, other countries.
Issues related to raising children under the auspices of the Foundation, receiving secondary specialized, higher education, providing them with housing will be in the center of constant attention of the state.
The citizens of our country, various enterprises and firms regularly make contributions to the Fund, which has already paid for complex medical operations for several sick children.
While working on these areas, there is also the need to develop and adopt the concept for improving the legislation for the period 2022-2025. /// nCa, 2 March 2022