Turkmenistan believes that the 68th session of the United Nations marks an important stage in the process of consolidation of efforts of the international community aimed at maintaining and strengthening universal peace, stability and security, crating foundations for multilateral dialogue on various regional issues, adopting meaningful decisions on sustainable development and resolution of modern challenges and threats. Turkmenistan formulates its approaches to the work of 68th session of the UN proceeding from the purposes, tasks and the priorities of international cooperation reflected in its Concept of foreign policy for the period of 2013-2017 years, foreign policy initiatives which have been put forward by the President of Turkmenistan, as well as Turkmenistan’s membership in electoral bodies of the Organization.
I. Peacekeeping and security issues
Turkmenistan believes that in the coming years the United Nations has to play a crucial role and bear main responsibility for maintenance of global peace, security and stability. United Nations, using its peacekeeping instruments, acts as the main guarantor of peaceful, political settlement of emerging conflicts and prevention of their escalation.
In this context Turkmenistan supports creation, under the auspices of the UN, of institutional and organizational bases forregional cooperation and partnership. Creation of the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) in 2007 withheadquarters in Ashgabat became an important step in this direction.
Furthermore Turkmenistan considers useful the use of such forms of multilateral interaction, as constantly operating international conferences, forums and meetings acting as political platforms for discussion and development of decisions on topical issues of regional and international policy.
In this regard it is important to create a new mechanism of political dialogue in the Central Asian region – the Forum on peace and cooperation in Central Asia – with the participation of the states of the region and international agencies with a view to elaborating mutually acceptable approaches to the most important issues of the present and future development.
While attaching paramount importance to the settlement of any situations by peaceful means and methods, Turkmenistan considers such means and methods as the main legitimate resource, available to the world community. Proceeding from this assumption and in strict accordance with fundamental documents of the UN, Turkmenistan would like to suggest that the world community should initiate the development of a Declaration on priority application of political and diplomatic means to the solution of international issues which should be later submitted for the consideration of the UN General Assembly. Adoption of such Declaration could significantly reduce the likelihood of the use of military methods for the resolution of conflicts in interstate relations; reduce the risks connected with it and threats for general stability and security.
Turkmenistan will continue its interaction with the member states and thematic bodies of the UN in consecutive implementation of processes of disarmament in Central Asia, reduction of weapons arsenals to the necessary minimum and struggle against arms and military supplies trafficking.
II. Issues of Sustainable Development
Reliable and uninterrupted international supplies of energy resources are one of the major components of stability of the world economy, its stability and protection against distortions and deformations. In this regard formation of a universal international legal mechanism aimed at ensuring energy security, is a challenge of global importance.
Turkmenistan consistently undertakes efforts aimed at achieving this goal. In development of the resolution of General Assembly unanimously adopted on May 17, 2013 that was sponsored by Turkmenistan "Reliable and Stable Transit of Energy and its Role in Ensuring Sustainable Development and International Cooperation", our country suggests that member states should begin working with the purpose of creating an international expert group on the preparation of the new, comprehensive document on global cooperation in the energy sphere. In particular, Turkmenistan will suggest that an international meeting of experts on this issue should be convened in 2014.
We consider adoption of the resolution as a very serious step, which will significantly help in approximating approaches and positions of the states in the context of discussion of the ways of cooperation and interaction on the world energy sphere. Unanimous support for this document will, certainly, represent general success for all countries interested in constructive and substantial dialogue on energy issues. We recognize that following the adoption of this Resolution such dialogue will move from the stage of intentions to the stage of practical actions.
In this context, in pursuance of the above mentioned resolution, Turkmenistan will urge the UN Secretary-General to seek opinions of member states and relevant UN structures, including the Regional Commissions, on the issues concerning reliable and stable transit of energy, and also possible forms of the international cooperation. We will promote the timely submission of these opinions to the General Assembly in the form of a summary report of the Secretariat for further consideration at its 69th session.
Nowadays cooperation among the UN member states is essential in such a promising sphere of global development as transport and communications. Geo-economic potential of new transport and transit knots is enormous because it involves huge and extensive spaces, human resources and attracts considerable investments. All this creates opportunities for transformation of the transport segment into one of the engines for the development of the world economy. Turkmenistan is convinced: the transport architecture of the XXI century is architecture of integration breakthrough, connection of the regions, resources, production and human potentials. Future belongs to the combined system of transportation providing access to the largest international and regional Seas, river, automobile, railway and air junctions, their optimum combination and use of advantages of each of them. For this reason in its geo-economic strategy Turkmenistan assigns a major role to the creation of modern transport infrastructure and together with other states implements large-scale regional and continental projects.
We consider that development of transport and transit infrastructure meets objective requirements of development, and in this sense demands closer interaction of the states with the relevant UN structures.
In this regard at the forthcoming session of General Assembly Turkmenistan will propose to conduct in 2014 in Ashgabat - jointly with the UN - of an International Conference devoted to the role of transport and transit corridors in ensuring international cooperation, stability and sustainable development.
Ecology and environmental protection
Turkmenistan fully realizes its responsibility as a major producer and international exporter of hydrocarbon raw materials. Therefore issues of ecological safety are very important for our country. We are convinced that the development of the energy infrastructure cannot be carried out if it may cause damage to the environment. This approach lies at the root of Turkmenistan’s position which consists in the need for finding international consensus with respect to energy safety issues where the ecological aspect would be considered as one of the most important issues.
It is especially relevant because the Caspian Sea region will soon become one of the world’s largest centers of production and transportation of hydrocarbons. And therefore it is especially important today to combine objective economic interests, realities of the international cooperation in the energy sphere with the need for preserving biodiversity of the Caspian Sea and preventing the destruction of its fragile ecological balance.
In this context with a view to pooling together the efforts of the Caspian Sea states in the field of environmental protection, Turkmenistan considers that it is highly urgent to create under the auspices of the UN of a new mechanism – the International ecological dialogue on Caspian Sea. By putting forward this idea, we recognize that the interested UN structures will actively promote initiation of such dialogue that will be transparent and open for all.
Thus our country is ready to engage in close cooperation with specialized UN structures – the UN Environment Program, UN Development Program and others.
Another urgent problem is the rescue of the Aral Sea. Without its resolution it is difficult to talk about the fulfillment of the goals of sustainable development in Central Asia. Today the Aral Sea is a zone of disasters whose consequences directly affect the life and health of hundreds of thousands of people; make negative impact on the economic, social and ecological situation all over the region. It is obvious that activity of the International Fund for the Rescue of the Aral Sea and efforts of the Central Asian states at the national level are insufficient. What is needed is a focused and integrated international approach, as well as active and systematic participation of the United Nations. In this regard our country suggests that a set of measures should be developed which could be implemented as a separate area of UN activity. We suggest that it should be named as a Special UN Program for the Aral Sea which should reflect concrete plans for the stabilization and improvement of the situation. We consider that the decision on the creation of such program can be taken at a meeting of the UN Economic and Social Council.
The UN Conference on sustainable development "RIO+20" that was held in the summer of 2012 and major international forums on climate change that were organized recently Copenhagen, Durban and Cancun, clearly demonstrated the need for strengthening of interaction among the states on this issue and adopting concrete and effective measures and decisions. In our opinion, today there are opportunities for giving due impulse to this work based on mutual understanding and responsibility for the situation in the sphere of ecology, both at the global level, and first of all in those geographical zones and natural areas where the most direct and closest interests of numerous states intertwine. The Central Asia region and the Caspian Sea basin belong to such of zones.
In this regard Turkmenistan has initiated the creation of a specialized structure - the Regional Center on Technologies related to the climate change in Central Asia and Caspian Sea basin, in cooperation with the UN, which professionally and on a constant basis would deal with the challenges related to the climate change. We consider that the creation of such structure will allow the countries of Central Asia and the Caspian Sea basin to strengthen their interaction in the field of ecological safety, will promote effective coordination of common regional efforts, will facilitate mutual understanding and trust in the implementation of common goals of sustainable development and progress.
With a view to promoting international economic dialogue we consider that main attention should be concentrated on combining objective economic interests of the states with the need for maintaining a required level of ecological balance and preventing damage to the environment. And, in turn, it implies the use of new ecological technologies and development of innovative solutions in the sphere of nature’s protection. Therefore high ecological compatibility of the world economic space becomes a synonym of its efficiency. In this context we note the efforts undertaken by the UN Secretary General, and also a number of actions taken by the international community during the Summits on Climate Change in Copenhagen and Cancun and the 17th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Durban which, finally, created the basis for the development of comprehensive decisions at the RIO+20 Summit. We look forward to the continuation of a constructive international dialogue on this issue during the 68th session. We are convinced that it is necessary to combine our efforts in this area at the international, regional and national levels and promote effective coordination of national efforts with those of the UN.
Taking into account the multi-aspect problems of the Climate Change, Turkmenistan will declare during the current session of the UN General Assembly its readiness to make a contribution to the strengthening of the role of multilateral international mechanisms directed at eliminating negative consequences resulting from the global climate changes.
In particular, it is necessary to enhance the effectiveness of implementation of the UN Convention on Combating Desertification. In this regard we are ready to host a Conference on this issue in Turkmenistan in the year 2014.
III. Activity of Turkmenistan as a member of the UN Elected Bodies
The UN Economic and Social Council, 2013-2015
During its membership in the ECOSOC Turkmenistan will actively contribute to close interaction with its partners in the world community in the context of wide exchange of positive experience, granting opportunities for its studying and application, it will act as a host and organizer of major regional and international forums devoted to the study and application of successful methods for conducting reforms in social and economic spheres.
Turkmenistan views its membership in the ECOSOC from the point of view of effective use by the international community of infrastructure opportunities available in our country for conducting the work of various UN structures directly in the Central Asian region, the Caspian Sea basin and neighboring regions.
Turkmenistan will actively assist ECOSOC in strengthening and enhancing its role in the solution of topical issues of world’s social and economic development as well as increasing the authority and effectiveness of this important body of the United Nations.
The UN Commission on Population and Development, 2012-2015
We consider the analysis of implementation of the Action plans accepted at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994 as an important area of international partnership within the UN Commission on Population and Development.
In particular, we regard the need for carrying out a global review of the achievement of the objectives of this Conference as one of the main tasks that should include:
• Assessment of the status of the fulfillment of obligations, accepted in Cairo in 1994;
• Definition of barriers preventing the fulfillment of those obligations;
• Definition of new national priorities and challenges in the field of the population and development.
For discussion of these questions we are expressing our readiness to hold an International meeting in Ashgabat in 2014 in close cooperation with the relevant UN bodies
The UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, 2012-2015
Turkmenistan supports efforts of the Community of the Nations aimed at creating an effective system for combatting drug trafficking under the UN coordinating role.
Illegal drug trafficking continues to cause serious concern, remaining one of the threats to the international peace and security.
Being a member of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Turkmenistan will further promote the expansion of multilateral dialogue on anti-narcotic issue and further to the initiatives of the President of Turkmenistan will continue systematic activities for the implementation of the United Nations Conventions aimed at eradicating this threat.
In particular, Turkmenistan continues to support the elaboration of the UN Global Counternarcotics Strategy.
Besides, we believe that it is expedient to strengthen coordination of activity of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, International Narcotic Control Board, World Health Organization, UNICEF and other UN specialized structures on combating drugs.
At the regional level we consider effective activities of the Central Asian Regional Information and Co-ordination Center (CARICC) on combating illicit trafficking of drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors. We also suggest that it is necessary to activate the work of the Center on creation of new forms of cooperation for the purpose of development and application of a broader arsenal of legal, administrative, economic, cultural and educational and medical funds allocated for combating drugs.
We also believe that is will be useful to use the potential of expert community for discussing effective approaches to the implementation of regional and national projects and programs of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the European Union, and also bilateral projects with the participation of Governments of partner countries in the region. In particular, we suggest that attention should be once again given to the idea concerning the creation of a standing consultative expert mechanism in which the representatives of the relevant state and public structures and also international consultants will be welcomed to take part.
Executive Committee of the Program of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Being a permanent member of the Executive Committee of the Program United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Turkmenistan will continue to promote actively practical realization of the measures aimed at protecting the rights of refugees.
Taking into account the experience accumulated during recent years in this sphere we suggest to carry out together with UNHCR continuous work on acquaintance with national experiment of Turkmenistan on granting nationality to refugees and stateless persons and in this regard to hold an Expert meeting with the participation of all interested parties in Ashgabat in 2014.
We consider issues relating to the protection and ensuring the rights of refugees and stateless persons as an important area of international interaction. We consider the International Conference "Refugees in the Muslim World" sponsored by Turkmenistan that took place in May, 2012 in Ashgabat as a significant event in this regard. Based on the final document of this forum and realizing that many situations involving refugees and stateless persons demand continuous and vigorous activity of the relevant divisions of the UN system, we consider that it is necessary to elaborate long-term decisions in compliance with international law and resolutions of the General Assembly. We are expressing our readiness to hold a high level meeting in Ashgabat in 2014 in cooperation with UNHCR with a view to discussing those issues.