The UN General Assembly adopted on 6 December 2022 the draft resolution “International Year of Dialogue as a Guarantee of Peace, 2023.” — It was presented by Turkmenistan and co-sponsored by 68 members of the UN.
The title of the resolution is adequately self-explanatory but there is the need to refine the context.
In December 1995, the UNGA unanimously recognized Turkmenistan as a permanently neutral country.
In June 2015, the UNGA adopted another resolution, “recognizing that the status of permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan contributes to the strengthening of peace and security in the region, and the active and positive role that Turkmenistan plays in developing peaceful, friendly and mutually beneficial relations with the countries of the region and other States of the world.”
In December 2020, the UNGA unanimously adopted the resolution “The role and importance of a policy of neutrality in maintaining and strengthening international peace, security and sustainable development.”
In December 2020, Turkmenistan hosted the international conference, “The role and importance of the policy of neutrality in maintaining and strengthening international peace, security and sustainable development.”
The year 2021 was declared as the “Year of Peace and Trust” under the UNGA resolution presented by Turkmenistan, co-sponsored by 70 countries, and adopted unanimously.
At the end of the “Year of Peace and Trust,” in December 2021, Turkmenistan hosted an international conference, “Peace and Trust Policy – Basis of International Security, Stability and Development.” — (Forum of Peace and Trust).
During this conference, the-then President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, voiced the initiative that “Dialogue is the Guarantee of Peace.”
Just within a couple of days (11 December 2022), Turkmenistan is going to host an international conference “Dialogue is the Guarantee of Peace.”
The concept paper issued by the foreign office of Turkmenistan about the conference explains that “… the initiative directly echoes the initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General to form an ambitious “New Agenda for Peace”, which includes reducing global strategic risks, investing in conflict prevention and peacemaking, and supporting regional preventive measures. All efforts undertaken by the international community within the framework of this initiative are aimed at promoting conflict prevention, peaceful settlement of disputes, peacekeeping and peace-building, disarmament, sustainable development, protection of human dignity and promotion of human rights, social integration, democracy, the rule of law at the national, regional and international levels make a significant contribution to the formation of a culture of peace and dialogue.”
Clarifying the objective of the conference, the concept paper says that it “is aimed at uniting the efforts of the international community in strengthening the traditions of peaceful and trusting existence of the peoples of the world, restoring values, ideological views and traditions of preserving and promoting peace, comprehensively establishing a culture of peace and trust in international relations.”
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Quite clearly, the UN resolution presented by Turkmenistan and adopted by the UNGA on 6 December 2022, declaring “International Year of Dialogue as a Guarantee of Peace, 2023,” was not an impulsive idea.
Turkmenistan has showed consistency throughout, working for peace in the region and beyond, by using all the means at its disposal.
Permanent neutrality is the foundation on which Turkmenistan builds its initiatives.
Specifically speaking of the idea to declare 2023 as the year during which to promote dialogue as the guarantee of peace, we can see that it is the natural projection of the motto of 2021 “The Year of Peace and Trust.”
Trust is the prerequisite for peace, and peace is crafted at the negotiation table, through dialogue that moves forward on the strength of trust.
Trust is something that each party brings to the table; it cannot be borrowed from a central depository. It requires alignment between intentions and actions – one should echo the other.
This is where the holistic approach of Turkmenistan manifests itself – everything is connected with everything else.
This can be seen in the fact that the international conference of this Sunday is not an isolated event. There would also be the High-Level Meeting of the Group of Friends of Neutrality for Peace, Security and Sustainable Development, Wrap-up meeting of the Women Leaders’ Dialogue for Central Asia, Twelfth annual Meeting of Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Central Asian states, and the Annual meeting of Institutes of strategic studies of the Central Asian countries, Government-Youth Dialogue for Central Asia.
The holistic approach is also visible in the thematic sessions of the conference:
- First thematic session –”Dialogue as a basis for preventive measures and eliminating the causes of conflicts”
- Second thematic session –”Strengthening food and environmental security through dialogue”
- Third thematic session –”Multilateral cooperation in cyberspace and the role of online networks in building international dialogue”
With the natural and manmade disasters affecting nearly 400 million people in the world, there is the need to appreciate the importance of the neutrality and holistic approach of Turkmenistan.
The long and hard work done by Turkmenistan in helping build and maintain peace in the region and beyond has simultaneously focused on shared development and connectivity.
The world needs peace.
Peace will be within approach through dialogue. The basic condition is that from all sides there should be demonstrable synchronization between intentions and actions. The words and deeds must match. /// nCa, 9 December 2022