President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev and President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani have inaugurated Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran transnational railway.
The heads of three states arrived at the Turkmen railway station “Akyayla” (white plain) on the Turkmen-Iranian border. The Presidents of Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Iran had a trilateral meeting, during which they underlined the historic significance of the railway opening. The interlocutors expressed the continued commitment of their countries to the traditional relations of friendship, good neighborliness and fruitful cooperation.
Then, the Presidents of Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Iran delivered short speeches at the ceremony of opening of the new transnational railway.
As President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted in his speech, the longest part of the railway runs through the territory of Turkmenistan, accounting for 825 kilometers along with the side tracks. According to the President of Turkmenistan, from the economic point of view this railway is the shortest route for cargo delivery, including transit, as well as passenger transportation in the future. Time is currently the most important factor. In this regard, shortening the period of freight turnover provides a significant competitive advantage. In turn, it will take effect on business activities and ultimately on the growth of welfare of the peoples.
“Wellbeing of children is a top priority for the Government of Turkmenistan. With signing the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Turkmenistan made a commitment twenty years ago to protect and promote the rights of its youngest citizens,” said Vepa Hajyyev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, at the high level meeting on the 25th anniversary of the CRC. “We reaffirm that commitment today,” stated V.Hajyyev.
The meeting hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with support of UNICEF, highlighted the progress since the country ratified the CRC. It also stressed out the unfinished business in advancing the child rights agenda. The meeting reaffirmed the relevance of the CRC, and pointed the way forward in realizing rights for the most excluded children in the context of the post-2015 development agenda. High level government officials, national partners, UN and other development agencies, civil society, media, diplomatic missions and children themselves attended the meeting.
“Gains in implementing the child rights are impressive and important. They prove that common goals and shared efforts can drive real change for children on the global, national and local levels,” said Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov, UNICEF Representative in Turkmenistan. “The CRC anniversary must also serve as an urgent reminder of the millions of children globally we have not yet reached. We should find new ways of reaching them, and putting equity and children’s rights at the centre of agenda for all children, including the most vulnerable,” she added.
UNICEF launched the 2015 State of the World’s Children Report “Reimagine the Future: Innovation for every child” at the meeting. The report reflects on new ideas and creative solutions for solving key challenges to fully realize the rights of the children.
“Children and youth are important partners in development. Despite our differences, we have many things in common. We want quality education and healthcare, as well as opportunities to express our views. We want children with difference abilities to be fully included in our societies,” said Dunya Gurbanova and Nurgeldi Ushmekov at the meeting. Dunya and Nurgeldi represented Turkmenistan at the last year General Assembly special event on International Youth Voices in post-2015 world.
The high level meeting is one of the events organized to celebrate the CRC anniversary. All children born on 20 November 2014 will receive a congratulatory letter. Media representatives participated at the briefing to better understand the CRC issues and planned activities. Schoolchildren reflected their understanding of the CRC through the drawings, which were exhibited during the high level meeting. Educators and researchers gained knowledge on inclusive education at the Ministry of Education and UNICEF organized international conference. UNICEF will also organize an interactive discussion on child rights issues with students and faculty of international development studies.
An estimated 1.1 million children with disabilities form a significant proportion of the out-of-school population in Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States and their right to access quality education is too often violated.
Governments in the region, including Turkmenistan, are encouraged work towards “schools for all” which include everybody, celebrate differences, support learning, and respond to individual needs, UNICEF said at the international conference on inclusive education, which opened today in Turkmenistan.
Inclusive education requires that all children, including children with disabilities, not only have access to schooling within their own communities, but that they are provided with appropriate learning opportunities to achieve their full potential. Inclusive education stresses the open learning potential of each student, rather than a hierarchy of cognitive skills, and reform of the curriculum and a crosscutting pedagogy, rather than a need to focus on student deficiencies. Inclusive education also takes into account the active participation of students in the learning process and availability of the common curriculum for all, based upon differentiated and/or individualized instruction.
Organized by UNICEF and the Government of Turkmenistan, the conference on 12-13 November convenes experts from ten countries, as well as government officials, public organizations, international development agencies and media. At the centre of discussions are the sharing of good practices in inclusive education: appropriate legal framework, suitable policies, practices and financing.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child and Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities guarantees every child a right for quality education. Turkmenistan has signed both these conventions and made a commitment to address the issue of children with disabilities who should have access to an inclusive, quality and free pre-school, pre-primary, primary and secondary education on an equal basis with others.