It has been 25 years since Turkmenistan gained the status of a permanently neutral country through a resolution passed unanimously by the UN General Assembly passed in 1995.
To underline the importance and role of neutrality, the year 2020 was officially marked as ‘Turkmenistan – the Home of Neutrality.’ The events at various levels continued throughout the year, culminating on 12 December 2020 when Turkmenistan hosted a high level conference on neutrality.
The theme of the conference was ‘Policy of Neutrality and its Importance in Ensuring International Peace, Security and Sustainable Development.’
President Berdimuhamedov delivered the keynote address at the conference. The complete translation of his speech is included later in this report. The participants were the heads and representatives of international organizations, most them giving appearance through the live video link or video messages. The website of the foreign office of Turkmenistan gives brief stories on the contents of speeches of the participants – www.mfa.gov.tm.
The conference adopted a final document. The translation of the complete text of the document is also included in this report.
Another important event was the conference on ‘Contribution of States and International Organizations to Global Peace building Processes.’ It was hosted by the international university for humanities and development of Turkmenistan. The deputy speaker of the Turkmen parliament was the lead speaker with speeches from the representatives of the international organizations.
A multi-media exhibition was held from 1 to 12 December 2020. It was a unique event. Every day of the exhibition was dedicated to a different theme. A number of documents were signed every day, covering the different areas of economy, development, and cooperation. In all, 130 international documents and agreements were signed, with total value of USD 62 million, more than Euro 1.5 million, and Manat 2.5 million.
About 50 documents were signed with international organizations. Most of them are documents between Turkmenistan and the United Nations. The total amount of projects under the signed contracts is more than $ 82 million, of which $ 70.5 million is expected to be allocated by the Turkmen side.
In addition, 40 contracts were concluded for the export of domestic goods with a total value of USD 72.79 million.
On the final day of the exhibition, a memorandum of cooperation was signed through the video link between the official news agency of Turkmenistan – TDH – and the main news agency of Russia – TASS.
The president, his cabinet team, senior civil and military officials, and prominent citizens placed flowers at Neutrality Monument on the morning of 12 December.
A telephone conversation took place on 11 December between President Berdimuhamedov and President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan.
The film studio Turkmenfilm released a feature film ‘Galkynysh’ which is based on a real life love story and the devotion to the Turkmen Ahal-Teke horse. The members of the renowned Galkynysh equestrian group have played key roles in the movie.
The president chaired on 11 December an expanded session of the cabinet of ministers where some important decisions were announced. The details of the meeting are included in this report.
Speech by President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov at the International Conference
Dear participants of the International Conference! Ladies and Gentlemen!
First of all, let me warmly welcome you to the solemn meeting of the International Conference “Policy of neutrality and its importance in ensuring international peace, security and sustainable development”, dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan. I would like to express my gratitude for your participation in this forum, for your readiness to share your approaches, suggestions and opinions on important issues of its multifaceted agenda.
The acquisition of the internationally recognized status of permanent neutrality by Turkmenistan on December 12, 1995 has become a most important, without exaggeration, historical event for our country. It predetermined the direction and content of the foreign policy of the Turkmen state, had a powerful positive impact on internal development, the implementation of large-scale national plans in the economy and social sphere, the formation and strengthening of democratic institutions.
The peculiarity of the international recognition of our neutrality was that for the first time in UN practice this status was supported and consolidated by the unanimous decision of the General Assembly in the form of a special resolution. The document was co-authored by the leading states of the world, including the countries that are the permanent members of the UN Security Council. Thus, the neutrality of Turkmenistan acquired international legal legitimacy, becoming an integral part of world politics and diplomacy.
And today, on behalf of the people of Turkmenistan, I address the words of the most sincere gratitude to all states for their support, active participation in the preparation and adoption of a historic resolution on permanent neutrality.
I also speak with gratitude about the effective work of the UN Secretariat, its staff, who ensured prompt resolution of the necessary organizational issues and procedures. Of course, the international recognition of our neutrality was not an instantaneous act. The adoption of the General Assembly resolution was preceded by a large and painstaking political and diplomatic activity in various formats, numerous rounds of negotiations.
In this regard, I would like to note the constructive position of the member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation [ECO], which at the Summit in Islamabad in the spring of 1995 adopted a statement of support for the neutrality of Turkmenistan. The next stage was the Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in October of the same year in Cartagena, Colombia, at which the neutrality of Turkmenistan received unanimous support from this influential and authoritative international association.
I am talking about these events in order to emphasize one important and, in my opinion, very indicative reality of the period 25 years away from us. Namely: at that time, at the difficult, in many respects critical, stage of the end of the bloc confrontation, the disappearance of the usual patterns and configurations of international politics, the neutrality of Turkmenistan received widespread support, including from states that sometimes had difficult relations with each other, professing different views and doctrines on issues of development of the modern world.
I am convinced that even then the prerequisites for using the neutral model as one of the stabilizing factors in world politics were objectively formed. And I believe that we have managed to explain, and in some cases convince our partners that the appearance on the map, in an important geopolitical region, of a neutral, peace-loving state will be a significant factor in the positive development of regional and international processes.
Of course, a meaningful historical experience of coexistence of Turkmen with other peoples, accumulated over the centuries, became an important motive for choosing neutrality. Despite the existence of different periods, it was always based on peacefulness, respect, tolerance, openness.
After gaining independence, we turned these concepts into clearly formulated principles of foreign policy and found the most suitable and organic model of neutrality for their successful practical application.
We called it positive, thereby underlining the nature and direction of our international cooperation, the desire to build good and even constructive relations with all states. Turkmenistan offered friendship, cooperation, equality, while taking upon itself, as a neutral country, the obligation of non-interference in internal affairs, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-participation in multilateral military-political treaties and alliances.
“Support for such a course was reflected in resolutions and other decisions adopted by international organizations and aimed at the practical implementation of the principles of neutrality in international affairs. Today, with a sense of pride and gratitude to the world community, I want to especially note that on December 7, 2020, at its 75th session, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution initiated by Turkmenistan on the “Role and significance of the policy of neutrality in maintaining and strengthening international peace, security and sustainable development process.”
This important document, co-authored by 34 UN member states, confirms the high positive role of the policy of neutrality in addressing pressing issues on the global agenda today.
It is also a great honor for me to announce that the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation at its 47th session, held on November 27-28, 2020, also at the initiative of Turkmenistan, unanimously adopted the resolution “The role of the policy of neutrality in maintaining and strengthening international peace, security and sustainable development in the region of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and around the world ”.
For a quarter of a century, Turkmenistan has been strictly following these principles, consistently pursuing a peaceful, balanced sovereign policy. First of all, we have managed to maintain and strengthen relations with neighboring countries.
Relying on centuries of experience, cultural and spiritual closeness, we together managed to ensure the continuity of the traditions of good neighborliness and mutual understanding, to form in modern conditions effective mechanisms of cooperation united by common goals and priorities, awareness of the inseparability of the historical destinies of peoples and states living nearby. This allows us to jointly solve the problems of maintaining and strengthening peace and stability, developing economic, trade and humanitarian ties, and implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.
The neutral policy of Turkmenistan is a significant factor in regional security as an essential element of the global strategic balance. Together with the neighboring states, in close cooperation with the UN, we are working on the creation of mechanisms for preventing disputes, establishing an atmosphere of mutual understanding, trust and predictability in Central Asia.
The territory of neutral Turkmenistan has been repeatedly elected as an acceptable venue for negotiations on a number of complex issues on the regional agenda. In general, the principles of neutrality, its peacekeeping capabilities in resolving contradictions, preventing and neutralizing conflicts, and transferring them into a negotiating channel are proving their effectiveness, taking their rightful place in the international diplomatic arsenal and gaining recognition at the highest level.
This is evidenced by the opening in 2007 by a decision of the UN General Assembly with the support of the Central Asian countries of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia [UNRCCA] with headquarters in Ashgabat.
Practice has shown that this was a timely and forward-looking step. The work of the Center is highly appreciated by the international community. As you know, the UN Security Council, assessing the results of the activities of the Regional Center, has repeatedly noted the importance of preventive diplomacy, early settlement of disputes and supported the efforts of this structure in Central Asia.
In 2017, at the initiative of Turkmenistan, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution “The Role of the United Nations Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia.” The document was co-authored by 57 states representing all continents. During the current session, Turkmenistan will continue to work to mobilize and use the potential of neutrality and preventive diplomacy.
Thus, our country has prepared a new draft resolution on the role of the Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, adding substantive elements to it, in particular, on the institutionalization of the Preventive Academy and consolidation of the mechanism of the Central Asian Expert Forum. Turkmenistan also presented a draft General Assembly resolution on the role and significance of the policy of neutrality in maintaining and strengthening international peace, security and sustainable development.
In addition, at our initiative, for systematic work to promote the principles of neutrality in the practice of international relations, the Group of Friends of Neutrality for Peace, Security and Development is being formed as a dialogue platform, which has already included more than 20 states. This, of course, speaks of a growing understanding of the importance and prospects of the principles of neutrality in the current conditions.
In this context, in our opinion, a logical and logical step is the development by Turkmenistan of the UN Code of Rules on the effective application of the principles of neutrality in the settlement of international issues. We are convinced that their use can be of great benefit and have a constructive impact on the entire international situation.
In general, we believe that today joint efforts to de-escalate tensions, maintain stability and predictability in the world on the basis of universally recognized norms of international law should become the top priority of states, international institutions, think tanks, responsible media.
It is necessary to restore trust and respect in relations with each other, to establish a culture of equal dialogue based on the recognition of the legitimate rights and interests of the participants. We are confident that each country is capable of making a significant and valuable contribution to achieving this goal. In this regard, Turkmenistan, guided by the principles of neutrality, peacefulness, conviction of the goodwill of the world community, took the initiative to declare 2021 the International Year of Peace and Trust.
This proposal received the support of the UN General Assembly, and next year we plan to hold a high-level international conference in Ashgabat, designed to become an important milestone on the path of establishing a multilateral dialogue on topical issues of world politics, giving it positive impulses, finding ways to converge points of view and approaches
The neutrality of Turkmenistan, the presence of friendly, constructive and respectful relations with all states, established cooperation with the UN, its specialized bodies, participation in the work of other authoritative international organizations create favorable opportunities for our country to fully participate in solving the most significant problems of the modern world order.
International initiatives of Turkmenistan sound weighty and authoritative in such strategic areas of global development as energy security, transport cooperation, ecology, food security, access to water resources, protection of refugees’ rights and many others.
We formulate our approaches to these problems, proceeding from the need to unite the potentials of states and international organizations on intelligible and transparent principles.
Possessing huge global reserves of natural gas, Turkmenistan is a consistent supporter of fair and equitable access to the planet’s energy resources. One of the ways to achieve this goal is to create a reliable and stable system of energy flows, taking into account the interests of all participants.
Our country has initiated a broad international dialogue on energy issues at the UN, and has developed draft resolutions that have found support in the General Assembly. During the current session, we also presented a draft resolution “Reliable and stable transit of energy carriers and its role in ensuring sustainable development and international cooperation.” Turkmenistan is convinced that the planet’s energy supply system should serve the cause of global progress, economic growth, human well-being, and stimulation of mutually beneficial cooperation.
To do this, in our opinion, it is necessary to abandon one-sided schemes for the supply of energy raw materials, eliminate discriminatory barriers, and ensure transparency of pricing. Turkmenistan adheres to similar principles in relation to the prospects of transport cooperation. Entering the UN level with the initiative of a global dialogue on transport issues, we proceeded from the fact that today it is directly related to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Strengthening the role of international transport is designed to stimulate the growth of the economies of states and regions through their integration into transport and transit flows, to help eliminate disparities in the level of development between them. To form a modern transport architecture focused on solving the key tasks of the community of nations in the 21st century, serving millions of people around the world, preserving and increasing the resources of the planet – this is today the international strategy in this area of human activity.
In 2016, Turkmenistan hosted the Global Conference on Sustainable Transport, and the International Conference of Transport Ministers of Landlocked Developing States is planned to be held in Ashgabat next year. We will also step up efforts at the UN to support draft resolutions calling for cooperation on sustainable transport.
Turkmenistan gives priority attention to the topic of ecology and climate change. At global meetings, such as the Summit on Sustainable Development RIO + 20, the 7th World Water Forum, at sessions of the UN General Assembly, from the tribunes of other authoritative organizations, Turkmenistan puts forward initiatives aimed at finding and achieving a reasonable balance between economic activity and environmental conservation …
In particular, we declared the need to combine objective economic interests, the realities of international cooperation in the energy sector with the need to preserve the biodiversity of the Caspian, to prevent upsetting its fragile ecological balance. Turkmenistan is the initiator of the development of the Central Asian Water Strategy, the UN Special Program for the countries of the Aral Sea basin, the implementation of the Regional Environmental Action Plan as a single environmental program of the Central Asian countries, and a number of other measures.
Our country was the author of the draft resolution “On cooperation between the United Nations and the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea”, supported by the General Assembly and which today has become a platform for consolidating joint efforts to overcome the Aral Sea disaster, improve economic and social conditions, quality of life and health of the population
Of course, the listed initiatives mostly relate to the region where Turkmenistan is directly located. But it seems that the same principles and approaches, dictated primarily by concern for future generations, the preservation of the unique appearance of our planet, and respect for the environment, are quite applicable in other parts of the world.
With the accession of Turkmenistan in 2016 to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, our country’s involvement in the implementation of the global environmental agenda received new impetus, and today Turkmenistan formulates its state tasks through the prism of following the principles of this comprehensive document, proactive and substantive assistance to international efforts to implement it.
Neutral status opens up favorable opportunities for Turkmenistan to participate in international humanitarian activities, in particular, providing assistance to refugees and stateless persons. As a permanent member of the Executive Committee of the Program of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, a member of the International Organization for Migration, Turkmenistan makes a significant contribution to solving this complex global problem.
In 2012, the first International Conference “Refugees in the Muslim World” was held in Ashgabat, during which important agreements were reached. We persistently work with partners to implement them. We intend to hold the second International Conference on this topic together with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees next year.
As for our national efforts in this direction, I will give just one figure: in the period from 2011 to the present, about 26 thousand people were accepted into the citizenship of Turkmenistan.
A few words about our approaches to the situation in Afghanistan – For many years, Turkmenistan has been providing concrete, targeted economic and humanitarian support to Afghanistan.
It is expressed in the construction of medical and educational institutions on the territory of the neighboring country, preferential supplies of electricity, training Afghan students in Turkmen educational institutions, regular dispatch of humanitarian convoys to Afghanistan, and other types of assistance and assistance.
All this is financed by Turkmenistan from its own resources. I can assure both our Afghan friends and the international community that such support will continue to be provided, and on a systematic basis, in accordance with the special program developed in Turkmenistan to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.
The most important condition for the political stabilization, economic and social recovery of Afghanistan, its successful integration into regional and world economic processes is the implementation of large infrastructure projects with Afghan participation, primarily in such vital areas as energy, transport and communications.
Consistently working in this direction, our country, as is known, has initiated a project to build a gas pipeline Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India.
The construction of power transmission lines and fiber-optic communication along the route Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan, as well as railways connecting Turkmenistan with Afghanistan is under way.
We plan to continue working on the implementation of significant projects with the participation of Afghanistan and other neighboring countries, and are ready to further expand our cooperation with international organizations, primarily the UN, in providing comprehensive support to the brotherly Afghan people.
As for the political aspect, I reaffirm the position of Turkmenistan, which we have repeatedly stated: as a neutral state and direct neighbor of Afghanistan, our country is ready to provide its political space and all the necessary organizational conditions for negotiations between all parties interested in a peaceful, political settlement of the situation in Afghanistan. We are convinced that there is no alternative to the negotiation process.
I cannot but mention the serious challenge the whole world is facing today. The coronavirus pandemic, in addition to hitting the health of tens of millions of people around the planet, and, unfortunately, taking many lives, has revealed systemic problems in international relations.
First of all, there is the lack of readiness, and not only technical, to join forces to combat this danger. And here again we have to speak about the insufficient level of trust and political will. Immediately after the start of the epidemic, Turkmenistan stated its position clearly and fundamentally: it is necessary to unite all states, their cohesion, solidarity and mutual assistance in the fight against a common threat.
As for practical steps, our country has advocated the full launch of channels of international scientific diplomacy, proposing at the current session of the UN General Assembly a number of specific measures aimed at creating conditions for establishing direct contacts between medical communities of different countries, stimulating joint development and long-term cooperation programs. Turkmenistan also proposes to hold in Ashgabat in 2021 the International Forum of Medical Scientists on the fight against new types of infections
Concluding my speech, I would like to note that today neutrality is applicable to almost all areas of international cooperation of Turkmenistan, has great potential in establishing cooperation and mutual understanding, and plays a significant role in the implementation of the fundamental goals and strategies of the United Nations.
An important property of our neutrality is that it is a living, creative process that is enriched with new ideas and practical developments, and adapts to changing conditions and emerging challenges. But one thing remains unchanged – its peaceful, creative, humanistic character. Next year, Turkmenistan will celebrate the 30th anniversary of independence.
We were able to achieve a lot during this period, to become a dynamically developing state with a strong economy and social sphere, a respected and authoritative member of the international community. To a large extent, these successes are the result of a consistently pursued neutral policy.
Therefore, I always say that independence and neutrality are inseparable concepts for the Turkmen people. These are the two supporting pillars of our statehood, on which modern Turkmenistan confidently stands and, together with its many friends around the world, is confidently moving to new heights of cooperation, progress and prosperity.
Dear conference participants!
Concluding my speech, I want to say that in 2021, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly on the initiative of Turkmenistan as the “International Year of Peace and Trust”, our country will celebrate another historic date – the glorious 30th anniversary of Turkmenistan’s independence.
The political, socio-economic and foreign policy model of the country’s development, chosen 30 years ago, based on the principles of peacefulness and humanism, has demonstrated its effectiveness.
Our main achievement is that we founded an independent sovereign Turkmenistan with a powerful innovative economy, a high standard of living of the people and high international prestige.
Our mighty state will continue to make every effort in the future to strengthen peaceful, friendly relations on the planet in the name of a happy and prosperous life for all mankind.
Taking this opportunity, from the bottom of my heart, I would like to congratulate you on the upcoming 2021 – the “International Year of Peace and Trust”! May this year bring us prosperity and happiness!
Final Document of the International Conference “Policy of Neutrality and Its Importance in Ensuring International Peace, Security and Sustainable Development”
Participants of the International Conference “Policy of Neutrality and its Importance in Ensuring International Peace, Security and Sustainable Development”, gathered in Ashgabat on December 12, 2020 in connection with the twenty-fifth anniversary of permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan,
Reaffirming their commitment to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,
Noting the need to implement the global strategies and programs of the United Nations, in particular the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
Emphasizing the relevance of United Nations General Assembly resolutions 50/80 A of 12 December 1995 and 69/285 of 3 June 2015, entitled “Permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan”, as well as resolution 71/275 of 2 February 2017, proclaiming International Day of Neutrality ,
Taking into account the final document of the international high-level conference on the topic “Policy of neutrality: international cooperation for peace, security and development” (Ashgabat final document), adopted on December 12, 2015,
- Emphasized that the policy of neutrality, proclaimed and implemented by the Member States of the United Nations, plays an important role in the development of peaceful, friendly and mutually beneficial relations between the countries of the world and contributes to the strengthening of international peace and security at the regional and global levels;
- Called to promote the implementation of an active neutral policy by promoting the concept of indivisible and enhanced security aimed at supporting peace-loving initiatives and good-neighborly relations, countering traditional and modern threats and challenges by strengthening cross-border cooperation;
- Encouraged all Member States of the United Nations, UN agencies and other international, regional and subregional organizations to make full use of the potential of neutral states in the peaceful settlement of disputes, prevention and settlement of conflicts;
- Emphasized that the national policy of neutrality is intended to encourage the use of preventive diplomacy, which is one of the main functions of the United Nations, in conflict prevention, mediation, negotiation, good offices, fact-finding missions, the use of special envoys, informal consultation, peacebuilding and targeted development activities;
- Noted in this regard that the United Nations Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, which was established in Ashgabat in December 2007 with the support of the international community, plays an important role in assisting the states of the Central Asian region and neighboring countries in solving regional problems by stimulating closer cooperation between them;
- Supported the initiative of Turkmenistan to submit, during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, a draft resolution on the role of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, aimed at consistently unlocking the potential of the Regional Center, including through the use of the advantages of a neutral policy;
- Called upon the international community to continue to promote the development of a culture of peace and trust in relations between states, inextricably linked with the policy of neutrality, as a value that contributes to sustainable development, peace and security through the strengthening of solidarity and harmony, while noting the need to follow the Declaration and Program of Action on a Culture of Peace, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly;
- Supported the initiative of Turkmenistan to hold the Forum of Peace and Trust at a high level in 2021 as the main event within the framework of the International Year of Peace and Trust, proclaimed by the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly 73/338 of 12 September 2019 at the initiative of Turkmenistan, and also encouraged Member States of the United Nations, UN agencies, other relevant international and regional organizations and civil society to carry out educational and outreach activities through the International Year of Peace and Trust;
- Welcomed the creation at the United Nations platform at the initiative of the Government of Turkmenistan of the Group of Friends of Neutrality for Peace, Security and Sustainable Development, designed to provide a broad multilateral dialogue on the practical application of the principles of neutralism in preventing conflicts, eliminating their causes and consequences, and called on all countries – Members of the United Nations, as well as relevant international structures to join cooperation within the above Group;
- Expressed support for the efforts of Turkmenistan to develop the United Nations Code of Rules on the effective application of the principles of neutrality in the settlement of international issues, which will complement the toolkit of the governing bodies of the United Nations, its specialized agencies in matters of preserving and strengthening peace, while urging the relevant international organizations and interested countries to contribute your contribution to the work on this document;
- Emphasized the importance that the economic and geo-economic aspects of national neutrality have for maintaining stable and long-term trade and economic ties between states in conditions of political stability, as well as for strengthening subregional, regional and international interconnectedness;
- Reaffirmed the special humanitarian importance of the policy of neutrality and the positive role that neutral countries play in the provision and delivery of humanitarian assistance in complex emergencies and natural disasters in a humanitarian, neutral, impartial and independent manner, proposing to strengthen regional coordination in the field of humanitarian relief of the Organization The United Nations through the establishment of the Office of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) in Central Asia;
- Emphasized the need to develop the concept of neutrality, welcoming the earlier initiative of Turkmenistan to establish a training and research center to study the theory and practice of neutrality policy in international law and international relations, within available resources, in order to conduct research and disseminate policy knowledge neutrality through training sessions and workshops conducted by experts and organizations specialized in the relevant fields;
- Called upon all United Nations Member States, international and regional organizations, non-governmental organizations and individuals, including young people, to annually commemorate International Day of Neutrality on 12 December to conduct events aimed at raising public awareness of the role and importance of neutrality policies in maintaining and strengthening international peace, security and sustainable development;
- Based on the Outcome Document of the International Conference on “Politics of Neutrality: International Cooperation for Peace, Security and Development” adopted on 12 December 2015, once again stressed the need for high-level forums dedicated to strengthening the role of neutrality policy in international relations held at least every five years, recognizing that dialogue on this topic contributes to the strengthening of international peace and security;
- Expressed deep gratitude and appreciation to the people and government of Turkmenistan for organizing and holding the International Conference.
Ashgabat Outcome Document – 12 December 2020, Ashgabat
Expanded cabinet meeting on Friday (11 Dec 2020)
President Berdimuhamedov chaired through the video link an expanded meeting of the cabinet of ministers on Friday (11 Dec 2020). The meeting was devoted to the foreign policy of Turkmenistan. Members of government, governors of provinces and of Ashgabat city, Turkmen ambassadors, accredited to foreign countries were called via teleconference.
Here are the main points:
Amnesty granted to 2082 prisoners
President Berdimuhamedov signed the decree granting amnesty to 2082 prisoners, including 4 foreign citizens.
Turkmenistan granted amnesty on occasion of the Neutrality Day. Presidential decree sets aside the remaining sentence of eligible prisoners on the days of national importance, giving them the chance to a fresh start in life.
Turkmenistan’s foreign policy achievements in 2020
“Today we can confidently say that all proposals put forward on the United Nations platform are supported by the international community. A striking example of this is the group of friends of neutrality for peace, security and development based on the UN platform, which has already joined more than 20 countries,” the head of Turkmenistan said.
This year, Turkmenistan was elected Vice-President of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, and also started its activities as a member of the UN Commission on population and the Executive Board of the World Food Programme. Turkmenistan is a member of the Commission on science and technology for development, social development and narcotic drugs.
This organization has put forward and adopted numerous draft documents prepared by Turkmenistan aimed at strengthening the role and significance of neutrality in maintaining global peace, security and sustainable development.
In this context, the head of state emphasized the need to intensify coordination with UN member-countries during the current UN GA session to promote the importance of adopting these documents that meet the long-term interests and strategic goals of the world community.
The foreign ministry was instructed to enhance the activities of the Embassies of Turkmenistan in New York, Geneva and Vienna.
Foreign policy goals for 2021
Special attention should be paid to the celebrating 2021 as the Year of peace and trust, initiated by Turkmenistan, the leader of the nation said.
This year, the world has faced an unprecedented threat from a new infectious disease that has spread, the head of state continued, emphasizing that Turkmenistan immediately took comprehensive protection measures at the national. At the international levels Turkmenistan outlined its specific position, which stress the need to consolidate the efforts of all countries and specialized international structures in the fight against pandemic threat.
In this regard, Turkmenistan immediately has set bilateral cooperation with various countries of the world and the World Health Organization.
At the same time, Turkmenistan initiated an international forum of medical scientists in Ashgabat in the second half of 2021 to review research and development to struggle the pandemic, president Berdimuhamedov said.
In this regard, the ministry of foreign affairs, the ministry of health and medical industry and relevant departments were instructed to coordinate activities with foreign partners.
The pandemic has had a negative impact on international trade and economic relations and transport links, the president of the country underlined, ordering to start the necessary work to restore these systems.
Turkmen leader urged to speed up the implementation of the Ashgabat Agreement on transport and transit corridor Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey (Lapis Lazuli corridor).
Among the priorities for the upcoming year is the full operation of international railways of Kazakhstan-Iran-Turkmenistan, Kerki-Ymamnazar-Aqina (Afghanistan), railway and road bridges across the Amu Darya, realization of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project, TAP power transmission lines and fiber-optic communication lines projects.
The Ministry of foreign Affairs was instructed, taking into account the national interests of Turkmenistan and topical issues of cooperation with the Central Asia, to prepare proposals for the development of bilateral relations with each regional country for 2021. The ministry has been asked also to develop a National program for the Aral sea and submit it to the Cabinet of ministers in the first quarter of 2021.
In 2021, Turkmenistan will host the sixth Caspian summit.
The Caspian Sea region is currently turning into one of the largest transport and logistics hubs in Eurasia. Turkmenistan plays important role in this process, president said
Currently, there is a regular ferry service between the Turkmenbashi international seaport and the Baku International commercial sea port. Negotiations are underway to establish links with the international commercial sea port of Aktau and the Kuruk sea port in Kazakhstan. The opening of a logistics center in Astrakhan is being discussed with Russian partners, and the opening of a trading house of Turkmenistan in Kazan is planned. A longpterm transport project is being drawn up with access to the Russian ports of the Baltic sea, and then to Europe along the route of the Caspian sea-the Volga river.
In this regard, the foreign ministry was instructed to work out this issue with the relevant national bodies, having completed the solution of organizational and other issues with the Kazakh and Russian sides.
Among the urgent projects are the draft quadrilateral intergovernmental Agreement on the creation and implementation of the Caspian sea – Black sea transport corridor, which Turkmenistan initiated together with Azerbaijan, Georgia and Romania.
The Asia-Pacific region, which is rapidly developing and becoming the driving force of the entire world economy and trade, is the most essential vector of the country’s foreign policy, president Berdimuhamedov noted.
Taking into account the recently ASEAN, China and partners signed world’s biggest trade deal, as well as other important agreement made by Asian and Pacific countries, Turkmen leader ordered embassies in the region to carefully study these documents and prepare recommendations and proposals on the opportunities of Turkmenistan’s participation in relevant projects and plans.
President of stressed the need of expanding partnership relations with the European Union, both on a multilateral and bilateral basis. The priorities of cooperation with the EU include such areas as peace and security in Central Asia and neighbor regions, implementing Sustainable Development Goals, transport, environment, water resources, and energy.
Stressing that a few weeks ago, the Action Program of the government of Turkmenistan and the OSCE for 2021 was approved, which envisages 68 promising projects, the leader of the nation instructed the ministry of foreign affairs to coordinate the implementation of this document, as well as to strengthen work on security, transport, and climate change in the coming year together with the relevant departments of OSCE.
The USA is one of the important trade, economic and foreign policy partners of Turkmenistan, with which cooperation is carried out in the field of ensuring regional security, combating threats and challenges, as well as in other areas, President Berdimuhamedov continued.
In cooperation with the United States, great importance is attached to the Turkmen-American business council. Over the past 12 years, the council has become an effective mechanism for establishing, developing and strengthening relations between the business communities and prioritizing of cooperation areas. The activities of the US-Turkmenistan business council structure should be encouraged in the future in order to increase and diversify mutual trade turnover and implement major projects.
Turkmenistan has close historical, spiritual and cultural ties with the countries of the Middle East. “We consider these countries as promising partners in implementing major plans in the economy, trade, investment, and transport,” President Berdimuhamedov said.
In this connection, Turkmen diplomacy should promote the realization of the Ashgabat Agreement on the creation of international transport and transit corridor signed Iran-Oman-Qatar-Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan.
The head of state also stressed that certain outcomes have been achieved in cooperation with Africa and Latin America. Noting with satisfaction the establishment of relations with the African Union, the leader of the nation noted that there are great prospects for the development of cooperation with Latin American countries.
Based on its neutral status, Turkmenistan will continue mutually beneficial cooperation with regional blocks such as the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Islamic Cooperation Organization and the Economic Cooperation Organization.
One of the achievements of 2020 is obtaining observer status in the World Trade Organization. In this regard, conditions are being created for entering the global market of goods and service and benefiting from other advantages under the World Trade Organization.
Over 2000 persons granted citizenship of Turkmenistan – over 800 people have received a residence permit
According to the presidential decree, 2 580 people representing 19 nationalities were admitted to the citizenship of Turkmenistan.
The ministry of foreign affairs, the ministry of internal affairs, and the state migration service, together with the relevant ministries and departments are instructed to continue working on the registration of documents of stateless persons who have applied for citizenship of Turkmenistan, and then submit relevant proposals to the President of Turkmenistan.
874 citizens of 11 countries and representatives of 31 nationalities have been granted a residence permit in Turkmenistan.
To date, 3,119 foreign citizens and stateless persons have received residence permit in Turkmenistan.
President of Turkmenistan awarded a medal and order
Parliament of Turkmenistan awarded the President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov the order of Turkmenistan “Bitaraplyk” and the jubilee medal “Türkmenistanyň Bitaraplygynyň 25 ýyllygyna”.
Members of the government awarded the jubilee medal
The Chairman of the parliament, DPMs, heads of military and law enforcement agencies, governors of the provinces and mayor of Ashgabat were awarded the jubilee medal of Turkmenistan “Türkmenistanyň Bitaraplygynyň 25 ýyllygyna”.
Head of the OSCE mission in Turkmenistan awarded the order
Natalia Drozd, head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Center in Ashgabat, was awarded the “Bitaraplyk” order of Turkmenistan.
Heads of international organizations and international experts awarded the jubilee medal
In accordance with the presidential decree, heads of international organizations and international organization were awarded the jubilee medal of Turkmenistan “Türkmenistanyň Bitaraplygynyň 25 ýyllygyna”:
- Alexander Blokhin, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Turkmenistan
- Oleg Kononenko, instructor, cosmonaut of the Russian State Corporation for space activities “ROSCOSMOS”, commander of the cosmonaut detachment
- Madej Andrzej, cultural attache of the Vatican Nunciature in Turkmenistan
- Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary-General
- Wandel Jens, UN under-Secretary-General, special adviser to the Secretary-General for development
- Olga Algayerova, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
- Jan Kubis, UN Secretary-General’s special coordinator for Lebanon
- Natalia Gherman, special representative of the UN Secretary-General for Central Asia, head of the United Nations Regional center for preventive diplomacy for Central Asia
- Miroslav Jenca, UN assistant Secretary-General for political affairs
- Shinzo Abe, member of the Japanese Parliament
- Helen Clark, managing Director of the WHO independent commission for the assessment of pandemic preparedness and prevention,
- Sergey Lebedev, Chairman of the Executive Committee, CIS Executive Secretary
- Ban Ki-moon, head of the Global Green Growth Institute
- Thomas Christoph Greminger, adviser to the Permanent mission of the Swiss Confederation to OSCE and other international organizations in Vienna
- Francis Gurry, Secretary-General of the International Union for the protection of new varieties of plants
- Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary of the Preparatory Commission of the Treaty Organization the comprehensive nuclear-test-ban,
- Akhtar Shamshad, member of the Advisory Committee and Scientific Group for the 2021 Food Systems Summit
- Lubomir Frebort, head of the EU general security and defence policy department of the security policy Department, Czech foreign ministry
- Lamberto Zannier, international expert
- Vladimir Goryaev, international expert
- Morel Pierre Jean Louis Achille, international expert
- Christian Friis Bach, international expert. /// nCa, 14 December 2020