Press release on the occasion of the election of Turkmenistan to the structures of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOС)
On the 7th of May 2019, during the work of Organizational session of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, Turkmenistan was elected to its three important bodies: Executive Council of the World Food Programme for the period of 2020-2022, Commission on Population and Development for the period of 2020-2024 and Commission on Narcotic Drugs for the period of 2020-2023.
The election of our country to these structures became one more proof of growing reputation of Turkmenistan in the world, recognition of its major role in the resolution of most contemporary issues of present day global development.
A significant vector of international activity of Turkmenistan is the provision of food safety and nutritional development on the national, regional and world-wide levels. In this regard, our country proposed an initiative to gather the High-Level Food Forum under the auspices of the UN. The meaning of the proposed initiative is based on the notion that such Forum will give effective impulse to the international partnership in the area of global nutrition and thus will assist attaining concrete future resolutions on the UN level in this direction.
As to the contribution of Turkmenistan in the resolution of population related issues, it is worthwhile to note the implementation in the country of various important programs in the area of reproductive health, countrywide and regional projects aimed at provision of most convenient conditions for applying the demographic policy, protection of mother and child.
Turkmenistan will continue uncompromised struggle against the narcotics. Practical actions are realized in our country aimed at combatting illegal drug trafficking and in this regard national programs are successfully implemented. The membership of Turkmenistan in the Commission on Narcotic Drugs opens new perspectives for cooperation for efficient response to this global challenge.
The election of Turkmenistan to these three important bodies of the United Nations Economic and Social Council serves as a vivid proof of rightness and rationality of the course selected by our country aimed at wide international cooperation in the resolution of actual problems of modern world, suitability of our policy with the security protection, progress and sustainable development.
Development of Cooperation in the Transport Sector was discussed during the Turkmen-Turkish Negotiations
On July 8, 2020, negotiations between the heads of the transport departments of Turkmenistan and the Republic of Turkey took place in a video conference format.
The Turkmen side was represented by Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan B. Ovezov, heads of the agencies “Türkmendemirýollary”, “Türkmenawtoulaglary”, “Türkmenhowaýollary”, “Türkmendeňizderýaýollary”.
The Turkish side was headed by the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure of the Republic of Turkey, A. Karaismailoglu. The Deputies of the Minister of Transport and Infrastructure of the Republic of Turkey O. Fatih Sayan and S. Dursun, heads of various transport departments of Turkey also attended the negotiations.
During the meeting, the parties emphasized the importance of developing cooperation in the transport sector of the two countries, in particular, the effective use of transport corridors and air routes to improve trade relations. New aspects of bilateral cooperation in the field of cargo transportation were discussed.
Based on the initiatives of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to establish effective cooperation in the transport sector, put forward on July 2 this year during a trilateral meeting, the Turkmen side drew the attention of the participants to the country's progress in the transport sector and logistics capabilities, as well as possible for implementation joint projects in this direction.
The parties also focused on the role of logistics companies in the development of transport corridors. Separately, issues of a joint project - an international transit transport corridor along the route Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey (Lapis Lazuli) were considered. The role of such projects in strengthening regional and international trade and economic relations and universal sustainable development was noted.
Turkmenistan representatives take part in the talks to modernize the Energy Charter Treaty
Representatives of a number of ministries and departments of our country, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance and Economy, the Ministry of Justice, as well as the “Türkmengaz” State Concern take part in the first round of negotiations on the modernization of the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT), held in videoconference format by the Energy Charter Secretariat in Brussels (Belgium).
Earlier, the states - members of the Energy Charter Conference submitted their proposals for updating the Treaty. During the current meeting of the working group on the modernization of the ECT, the parties continued to discuss the main provisions of the draft of this document.
Among the main topics of discussions are the protection of investments in the energy sector. The meeting participants discussed a wide range of issues, including the role of the Energy Charter Treaty in creating an international investment regime, the specific features of investing in a new transit cross-border energy infrastructure, legal and commercial aspects of regulating partnerships between countries and other participants in energy projects.
In particular, it was underlined the importance of adapting the ECT to the modern requirements of the global energy sector, developing uniform rules that are obligatory for all participants and minimizing the risks associated with financial investments and energy trade.
In this context, it was emphasized the constructive nature of the initiatives put forward by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov with the aim to establish a new global architecture of energy security, which today stands as the most important factor in the sustainable development of states, global peace and stability.
Currently, the ECT that unites dozens of countries in Europe and Asia, is the only multilateral agreement that addresses complex political, economic and legal problems associated with energy transit, including through interstate gas pipelines and power lines.
For Turkmenistan, which has initiated a number of major international projects in this area, these issues are of great importance.
Press Release of the MFA of Turkmenistan
In connection with the ongoing new type coronavirus pandemic and the comprehensive measures adopted on the part of the international community on counteraction against this global threat, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan informs about the following.
The systematic work on preventing the entry of this infection on the territory of the country was implemented by Turkmenistan since the first days of the spread of the COVID-19 in the world.
In this regard, a Governmental Commission was established under the leadership of the President of Turkmenistan that is authorized to resolve organizational, legal, financial, technical and other issues related to the counteraction against the coronavirus. To coordinate the activities of the relevant state agencies, an Operational Center has been created which consists of the representatives of the Ministry of Healthcare and Medical Industry, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs, State Border Service, State Customs Services, State Migration Service and others.
At the first stage of combatting the coronavirus infection, a set of measures on strengthening borderline, customs and migration regulations, as well as the sanitary-epidemiological, phytosanitary and veterinary supervision was adopted.
The system of regular provision of the population with the necessary, free of charge medications contributing to the strengthening of immune system of a human being was arranged.
The clinical examination programme for the population is being carried out and the necessary measures on enhancing the immune status of the people are implemented.
At the same time, Turkmenistan is developing international cooperation aimed at the consolidation of efforts of the world community on combatting the pandemic threat.
Hereby, it is worthwhile to note the active participation of the President of Turkmenistan in the international Summits organized with the aim of counteracting against the pandemic.
Particularly during the Non-Aligned Movement Summit held in May 2020, the President of Turkmenistan set forward the initiative on promoting the scientific diplomacy by proposing the establishment of International Council of Medical Scientists.
The main content of this initiative lies in the establishment of direct contacts between the practicing doctors, scientists in the field of medical science on the following:
firstly, it is proposed to cooperate actively in the area of determining the nature of appearance of the new type coronavirus,
secondly, it is advisable to intensify the work of the scientific medical community in the field of studying the form of onset of the diseases evolved from the new type infection;
thirdly, the need for joint work is highlighted in terms of the search for forms, methods and means of treatment of the acute infectious diseases and their prevention, including the development of vaccines, other special medical substances and many more.
The information on the set of measures carried out by our country and outlined in the letter of the President of Turkmenistan addressed to the Director-General of the World Health Organization stand as one of the significant examples of Turkmenistan’s input in the international efforts on combatting the spread of COVID-19 infection. This letter was distributed as the official document of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
At the same time, on May 28, 2020, the International Forum dedicated to the issues of sustainable development and initiated by Turkmenistan was held. The resulting document of the Forum was also published as the official document of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly.
In line with the above said, it is pertinent to underline the call of the UN Secretary-General António Guterres to the Organization’s member-states made on March 30, 2020 on organizing the comprehensive and systematic work on counteraction against the coronavirus threat.
Consequently, the National Preparedness and Response Plan of Turkmenistan for Acute Infectious Disease was adopted in Turkmenistan on the state level on May 22 of current year.
In addition, the Plan of Operational Socio-economic Activities in Turkmenistan on the counteraction against the coronavirus pandemic was affirmed on July 3 of ongoing year.
Currently, jointly with the United Nations’ agencies, Turkmenistan is starting to develop the third National Plan encompassing the humanitarian constituent of the preventive measures implemented by the country against the COVID-19 infection.
Today, the issues of pandemic are subject to professional researches, scientific studies and developments. The scientists of many countries are involved in this work and based on deep scientific analysis they already today attain significant results, having important practical implementation in the process of counteracting against the pandemic.
One of such occasions became the address of 239 scientists from 32 countries of the world with an open letter to the Director-General of the World Health Organization, published on July 4 of current year, which contains information on the results of scientific researches confirming the chances of the new type coronavirus spreading through tiny aerosol droplets retaining in the air for a long time.
Based on the researches of the medical scientific community of Turkmenistan, the Turkmen side supports the above mentioned scientific results.
In this regard, it is pertinent to note that the multiyear researches of the Turkmen doctors, ecologists, specialists in the field of hydrometeorology and other areas of science prove that the substances posing danger for the human health, including the viruses, can be transmitted through air flow in the sensitive ecological environment of Central Asia.
At the same time, air masses forming in the zone of ecological disaster evolved from the drying of the Aral Sea pose an explicit danger and have a severe negative impact on the nature, climate, and human health of those residing in the Aral Sea area and far beyond it.
The dust and salt storms transmitting severely harmful substances from the ground of the dried Aral Sea extend for thousands of kilometers and pose a real danger for the human health.
The position of Turkmenistan on the Aral problems is well known in the world today. During his speech at the Sustainable Development Summit “Rio+20” on June 22, 2012, the President of Turkmenistan underlined that the problem of the Aral Sea currently “reached far beyond the region and gained a truly global scope.”
That is why the establishment of the UN Special Programme for the Aral Sea basin was proposed.
With the aim of practical implementation of the given proposal by the world community in the person of the UN and upon the initiative of Turkmenistan, two Resolutions of the UN General Assembly on “Cooperation between the United Nations and the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea” were adopted which created a firm basis for multilateral collaboration on the resolution of the Aral problems in the UN platform.
Expanding multilateral cooperation on the Aral course, the draft concept of the UN Special Programme for the Aral Sea was presented at the sixth Session of the Committee on Disaster Risk Reduction of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) held in August 2019. Upon the results of consideration of the given document, the draft ESCAP resolution on the issues of further work on the mentioned Special Programme was prepared and is planned for consideration in the framework of the successive session of the Commission in May 2021.
Great attention to the resolution of the Aral Sea problems is also paid in the Regional Environmental Program for Sustainable Development in Central Asia developed in the framework of the chairmanship of Turkmenistan in the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea during the period of 2017-2019 and approved by the resolution of the Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development of the IFAS in October of 2019 in the city of Nukus of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Based on the above said, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan is underlining the preparedness of the Turkmen side to continuation of wide multifaceted cooperation on the regional and international level on the counteraction against the pandemic, including the issues of detailed studying the impacts of exogenous factors on the spread of coronavirus COVID-19.
With these aims, in the near future Turkmenistan is going to implement a set of further practical measures in the framework of implementation of the agreements attained with the international partners and aimed at strengthening of solidarity on the counteraction against the new type of infection.
Press service of the
MFA of Turkmenistan
A TRILATERAL MEETING OF THE PRESIDENTS OF TURKMENISTAN, AFGHANISTAN AND AZERBAIJAN WAS HELD
On July 2, 2020, a trilateral meeting was held in the form of a video conference between the Presidents of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Azerbaijan. The agenda of the high-level meeting included discussion of a joint project - the international transit and transport corridor along the route Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey (Lapis Lazuli).
During a video conference on the implementation of this joint project, the heads of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev noted that the fulfillment of projects on the creation of transcontinental transit transport corridors will serve to strengthen regional and international trade and economic relations, universal sustainable development.
Warmly welcoming President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov thanked his colleagues for organizing the forum.
In his speech, the President of Turkmenistan emphasized that cooperation in this direction is given particular importance taking into account the global danger that the world is currently facing. As part of international efforts to combat the proliferation of COVID-19, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Azerbaijan have worked together effectively. In this regard, the head of state expressed his gratitude to the Afghan and Azerbaijani parties for understanding and providing comprehensive support to the initiatives of Turkmenistan to combat the coronavirus infection and reduce the socio-economic consequences of the pandemic.
Turning to the issues of cooperation in the field of transport, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov emphasized that Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Azerbaijan are located at the crossroads of continental routes.
Considering the already outlined directions of the plan for joint cooperation in the transport sector, as well as the deadlines, the need to establish effective cooperation was emphasized. In this regard, the head of Turkmenistan put forward a number of specific proposals for actively establishing a long-term partnership in the field of transport.
Firstly, based on the Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey (Lapis Lazuli) Agreement on the transport corridor, signed in Ashgabat on November 15, 2017, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov proposed the creation of a single logistics center.
Secondly, the availability of modern, high-tech transport infrastructure is of paramount importance for increasing the efficiency of freight transportation. Aware of this, it is necessary to pay special attention to the further development of points of departure and reception of goods: seaports, railway stations and bus stations.
Thirdly, the head of state proposed a common pricing policy for the transportation of goods along the Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan route and in the opposite direction. In this context, it was emphasized that the parties can discuss the issues of providing each other with various benefits - such as reducing prices (tariffs) for transit, exemption from payment for certain types of services during storage of goods.
Fourthly, the Turkmen leader proposed to consider the possibility of simplifying customs operations by introducing a control system based on the Single Window principle.
Fifthly, the need was expressed to prepare an atlas of the Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan route in digital format with detailed information on the existing transport and communications infrastructure.
In order to elaborate on the initiatives voiced in detail, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov proposed holding an online meeting in July this year between leaders of the transport agencies and other relevant departments of the three countries.
Thanking the participants of the online meeting for their attention, the Turkmen leader expressed his conviction that the development of effective mechanisms and mutually agreed positions will expand cooperation that meets the real interests of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Azerbaijan.
During the meeting, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani told in their speeches that the initiatives put forward by the President of Turkmenistan find broad support from the international community and expressed gratitude to the Turkmen counterpart for the ongoing constructive peace policy and put forward initiatives to deepen multilateral partnership in all promising areas.
Council agrees to start lifting travel restrictions for residents of some third countries
The Council of the European Union adopted, on 30 June, a recommendation on the gradual lifting of the temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU. Travel restrictions should be lifted for countries listed in the recommendation, with this list being reviewed and, as the case may be, updated every two weeks.
Based on the criteria and conditions set out in the recommendation, as from 1 July member states should start lifting the travel restrictions at the external borders for residents of the following third countries:
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity
The criteria to determine the third countries for which the current travel restriction should be lifted cover in particular the epidemiological situation and containment measures, including physical distancing, as well as economic and social considerations. They are applied cumulatively.