CHALLENGES OF OUR TIME CALL FOR COLLECTIVE RESPONSE
The fight against the coronavirus pandemic was expectedly the key message of the video address by the President of Turkmenistan to the participants of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly. Beginning his address with the words of condolences to people who did not survive COVID-19, expressing gratitude to doctors, hospital attendants, nurses, technical staff, volunteers and all those who worked selflessly for many months to save the lives and health of people in the most different parts of the world, the Turkmen leader presented his vision of an international strategy to combat the pandemic.
According to the President of Turkmenistan, all states and peoples of the world can overcome the current crisis if only they consolidate their efforts. They can win this fight and come out of it refreshed, wiser, more responsible and far-sighted. "And even though the current period is difficult and contradictory, it is this time that offers us a chance to change the fate the entire planet for the better. Taking this chance, showing dignity, solidarity and genuine humanism is our highest political and moral duty," Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov stressed.
In this context, Turkmenistan advocates for the establishment of close professional coordination and consolidation of efforts of scientific and medical communities around the world, systemic multilateral cooperation on the problem of dangerous viral diseases and full launch of scientific diplomacy channels.
In terms of specifics, Turkmenistan proposes creating relevant international mechanisms. In particular, Turkmenistan calls for establishment of a special WHO programme to study the coronavirus genome, development of a multilateral mechanism to combat pneumonia, as well as establishment of a methodological center for treatment and prevention of acute infections.
Ashgabat is ready for a substantive dialogue on the implementation of these initiatives with all interested countries and international bodies.
The coronavirus pandemic has a significant negative impact on the course of development of the global economy, seriously undermining the efforts of the international community to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Therefore, in his speech, the President of Turkmenistan made a special emphasis on improvement of cooperation to restore economic and trade ties.
According to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, it is important to create platforms to bring the global economy onto the path of sustainable growth. Energy, transport, industry and trade should become the key areas. In this regard, Turkmenistan intends to intensify work through the international platforms to create the UN international legal instruments to ensure stability and reliability of energy transit.
Cooperation in the transport sector is no less urgent. Being one of the initiators of the broad international dialogue on transport issues, Turkmenistan proposes to discuss ways to ensure stable international shipping operations during emergency situations. Ashgabat has already prepared a draft UN General Assembly resolution on this issue and circulated it for discussion among the UN member states.
An international conference of ministers of landlocked developing countries to be held next year in Turkmenistan is seen as an effective platform to formulate coordinated approaches to this problem.
Ashgabat believes that the World Trade Organization should play the proactive role in ensuring global economic recovery and stimulating trade and investments. Having recently received an observer status in the WTO, Turkmenistan intends to actively use new opportunities in this area to promote practical measures to quickly overcome the global economic crisis and ensure positive dynamics of the world economy.
Addressing the participants of the regular session of the UN General Assembly, the President of Turkmenistan regretted the fact that the session is taking place against the background of complex and painful phenomena associated with the escalation of military-political rivalry in the world. For all the differences in assessment of these events and their causality, one thing is clear - they negatively affect the situation in the world as a whole, erode the foundations of the global security architecture and impede the implementation of economic, trade and humanitarian ties. There is a risk of expansion of zones of conflict potentials, hotbeds of tension and involvement of greater number of participants in various forms of confrontation.
According to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the recent trend to disregard international law is of particular concern. In this situation, Turkmenistan calls for the consolidation of efforts to strengthen the role of international law, multilateral legal instruments of the existing global security system, strict observance by all countries of the universally recognized norms arising from the UN Charter. This is the only way to maintain stability and predictability in the international politics and reduce the risks of conflicts.
One of the ways to make it happen is to restore trust in international politics and promote a culture of respectful dialogue.
As is known, in September last year, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution initiated by Turkmenistan, declaring the year 2021 the International Year of Peace and Trust. Following the provisions of this document, Turkmenistan came up with an initiative to hold an International Forum of Peace and Trust next year to give a powerful impetus to the constructive and respectful multilateral dialogue on the most pressing topics of the modern global agenda.
This year is special for Turkmenistan. It marks a significant date in the country's modern history - the 25th anniversary of permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan that was recognized by the international community at the UN.
It is natural that in his speech Gurbanguly Berdimahmedov emphasized the importance of Turkmenistan's neutrality in the context of the UN work. Noting that for a quarter of a century neutrality has been one of the foundations of Turkmenistan's statehood, its domestic and foreign policy, the head of state noted the full compliance of the principles, values and vision of neutrality with the strategic goals and objectives of the United Nations.
In practical terms, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted the unconditional importance of Turkmenistan's neutrality in creating conditions for an equal, respectful, mutually beneficial international partnership in politics, economy, environmental protection, ensuring global food security, fair and effective distribution of the planet's natural resources and many other problems facing the modern world.
The special role of Turkmenistan's neutrality is evident in its peacekeeping efforts and the country's readiness to participate in solving all global and regional issues through peaceful, political and diplomatic means and methods. In this context, neutral Turkmenistan put forward a sound and promising proposal to provide all necessary political and organizational conditions in its territory for initiating a peaceful dialogue between the government of Afghanistan and all parties interested in the political settlement of the situation in Afghanistan.
Preventive diplomacy is the most important function and integral part of Turkmenistan's neutrality. It is deeply symbolic that the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia was established in the capital of neutral Turkmenistan in 2007 by the resolution of the UN General Assembly with the support of neighboring states and members of the UN Security Council.
As Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov stressed, the UN has been and will remain the most important priority partner of Turkmenistan. Ashgabat aligns all its steps in the international arena with the spirit and letter of the UN Charter. And in the year of the 75th anniversary of establishment of the UN, Turkmenistan reiterates its unwavering commitment to the great ideals inherent in the UN foundations, and will continue to strengthen and build up its strategic partnership with this organization, thereby making its contribution to unlocking its potential in the interests of global peace, security and progress.