Here is the translation of the speech of President Berdimuhamedov at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly, delivered via the video link as a pre-recorded message:
Dear Mr. Secretary General!
Dear Mr. Chairman!
First of all, let me congratulate Mr. Abdullah Shahid on his election as President of the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly and wish him success in this responsible post. I assure you that Turkmenistan will provide you, Mr. Shahid, with all kinds of assistance and support.
I ask Mr. Volkan Bozkyr to accept our sincere gratitude for his skillful and efficient work as Chairman of the 75th session.
The current state of global realities, the nature and trends of political, economic, social processes objectively require closer and coordinated interaction between states and major international organizations in order to achieve a common main goal – to ensure peace and security on a global scale, conditions for further progressive development and progress, preservation legal and institutional foundations laid in the foundation of the modern world order.
The degree of effectiveness of such interaction will largely depend on whether a common denominator can be found between national interests and global goals and priorities. Will we, the members of the world community, have enough responsibility, foresight, political will to overcome differences, tactical differences and differences in approaches and assessments, to focus on achieving strategic, long-term development objectives, solving the most acute global problems – environmental, energy, food, issues equitable distribution of water resources, overcoming poverty, protection from natural disasters, countering terrorism, drug threat and other challenges.
This fully applies to the problem of combating the dangerous infection of a new type and minimizing the socio-economic consequences caused by its spread. It must be honestly said that the efforts of the world community in this direction are still insufficient. Moreover, the pandemic revealed serious systemic failures in the mechanisms of the international response to this challenge.
We are convinced that only the unification of all member states and organizations of the UN system can provide conditions for success in the fight against the common threat. At the same time, there should be no place for politicizing the coronavirus problem, using it as an instrument of influence in interstate relations.
We emphasize that the World Health Organization is the main platform for multilateral dialogue to develop consolidated, mutually agreed responses to common challenges in the field of global health.
Turkmenistan will continue to promote its previously expressed initiatives aimed at enhancing multilateral cooperation through scientific diplomacy. In particular, during the 76th session, we propose to start studying the issues of establishing the following international and regional instruments: the Special Program of the World Health Organization for the Study of the Coronavirus Genome; The World Health Organization’s Multilateral Pneumonia Control Mechanism; Methodological Center of the World Health Organization for the Treatment and Prevention of Acute Infections; Central Asian Regional Center for Epidemiology, Virology and Bacteriology.
In the context of minimizing the negative economic consequences of the pandemic, Turkmenistan considers it necessary to strengthen the UN’s activities in certain areas. In particular, work should be actively pursued to rehabilitate and strengthen the resilience of international transport systems in emergencies. There is a good basis for this – the UN General Assembly Resolution “Strengthening links between all modes of transport to ensure stable and reliable international transport for sustainable development during and after the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic”, adopted at the initiative of Turkmenistan on July 29, 2021.
The past period was marked by serious problems in terms of ensuring global peace and security, exacerbation of local and regional conflicts.
In these conditions, Turkmenistan, as a responsible member of the world community, will continue to consistently assist in resolving international issues only by peaceful, political and diplomatic means, on the basis of the norms and principles of the UN Charter, fundamental Conventions and other international acts.
In this regard, we plan to take a number of practical steps to realize the potential of neutrality as an effective instrument of peacekeeping and to achieve constructive consensus decisions, to implement the provisions of the UN General Assembly Resolution “The Role and Significance of the Policy of Neutrality in Maintaining and Strengthening International Peace, Security and the Process of Sustainable Development” on the initiative of Turkmenistan on December 7, 2020.
As you know, this year has been declared by the UN General Assembly as the International Year of Peace and Trust. As the initiator of this decision, Turkmenistan has carried out extensive international work in order to strengthen the culture of peace and respectful dialogue, to eliminate the deficit of trust in interstate relations that has arisen at the present stage. Concluding events within the framework of the International Year of Peace and Trust, Turkmenistan plans to convene in December this year in Ashgabat the International Conference “The Politics of Peace and Trust – the Basis of International Security, Stability and Development.”
We invite UN member states and international organizations to actively participate in this event.
At the same time, we believe that the topic of trust and the culture of dialogue, launched this year, should remain in the focus of world attention, becoming a permanent element of the UN strategic agenda. In this context, in order to develop dialogue mechanisms in Central Asia, Turkmenistan proposes the development of a draft UN General Assembly Resolution “Strengthening regional and international cooperation in order to ensure peace, stability and sustainable development in the Central Asian region”.
We believe that the consideration and adoption of this document will contribute to the practical implementation of the international initiatives of the Central Asian countries, reflected in the final document of the Consultative Meeting of the Heads of State of Central Asia, held on August 6, 2021 in Turkmenistan.
At the same time, realizing the interconnectedness and indivisibility of issues of maintaining international peace, security and sustainable development in Central Asia and the Caspian region, Turkmenistan comes up with a proposal to create a Zone of Peace, Trust and Cooperation “Central Asia-Caspian Region”.
We consider this model as a platform for promoting initiatives aimed at strengthening multilateral cooperation in the interests of global peace and development.
Dear Mr. Chairman!
Today the eyes of the whole world are fixed on Afghanistan. The situation there is not easy; the emerging institutions of power and society are extremely fragile. And therefore, when interpreting and assessing the situation in this country, extreme reconciliation, balance, responsibility – both in words and in deeds are required.
Afghan realities have changed, and when shaping approaches to them, ideological preferences, old grievances, phobias and stereotypes must be discarded and, above all, thinking about the Afghan people, tired of wars and turmoil and dreaming of a peaceful and calm life.
Turkmenistan, developing relations with Afghanistan, always puts in their basis the principles of friendship and good neighborliness, as well as the historical, cultural and civilizational community of the peoples of the two countries.
Our country has been and remains deeply interested in the political stability and security of Afghanistan, the well-being and unity of the fraternal Afghan people. At the same time, we are firm adherents of resolving contradictions by peaceful, political and diplomatic means.
We stand for the earliest possible normalization of the situation in Afghanistan and express the hope that the emerging state institutions will be able to work effectively for the benefit and in the interests of the entire Afghan people.
For its part, Turkmenistan, as before, will provide Afghanistan with comprehensive economic support and humanitarian assistance.
We are firmly committed to completing already begun and implementing new infrastructure projects with Afghan participation in the energy, transport and communications sectors. We see this as the most important condition for the restoration of the economy and social sphere of Afghanistan, its equal, mutually beneficial integration into world economic relations.
The readiness of Turkmenistan as a neighboring and neutral state to promote the establishment of appropriate contacts and the creation of conditions for the early establishment of peace, harmony and unity in Afghanistan remains unchanged.
During the current session, Turkmenistan looks forward to continuing a broad dialogue to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. In our opinion, today the main priority is effective interaction and practical compatibility of global, regional and national instruments for the implementation of the SDGs.
We stand for active promotion of the topic of ensuring adequate funding for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
In this regard, we consider it necessary to organize in the near future the next international conference on financing for development.
We will continue to pay and attract the unremitting attention of the world community to the issues of minimizing the consequences of the ecological catastrophe of the Aral Sea. During the upcoming session, Turkmenistan intends, together with partners in the region, to seek the creation of a UN Special Program for the Aral Sea Basin.
Humanitarian issues remain among the priorities of the agenda of cooperation between Turkmenistan and the UN.
As a member of the UN Commission for Social Development for 2021-2025, Turkmenistan intends to help strengthen its role as the main coordinating body for the development of coordinated approaches and actions in global issues of social protection, youth affairs, strengthening the role of the traditional family and other areas.
Migration policy will remain an invariably important area of cooperation between Turkmenistan and the UN.
As a permanent member of the Executive Committee of the Program of the High Commissioner for Refugees, having extensive experience in resolving difficult humanitarian situations of this kind, Turkmenistan is ready to contribute to the solution of this global task.
We are united by common thoughts and hopes, common concerns and threats. All the more valuable is the experience gained in jointly solving complex problems – whether on an international scale or at the regional and national levels.
Turkmenistan is ready to share it, together with partners to look for new approaches and ways to overcome the challenges facing the Community of Nations.
We declare our firm commitment to cooperation with the UN, active participation and assistance to its political and diplomatic efforts in preserving and strengthening the existing architecture of global security, overcoming the consequences of the pandemic, in implementing plans and programs in the economic, social, environmental, humanitarian and other spheres.
For Turkmenistan, partnership with the United Nations has been and remains a strategic priority, ideological and practical foundation of all our activities in the international arena. /// nCa, 24 September 2021 (translated from Russian text from TDH, 23 Sep)