Background

In the face of political tension and escalating crises, it is of great importance to uphold the principles of sovereignty and the sovereign equality of States, territorial integrity, self-determination and non-intervention in the internal affairs of any State, and to defend, promote and encourage the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security are not endangered.

Therefore, the policy of neutrality contributes to the strengthening of peace and security in relevant regions and at the global level and plays an important role in developing peaceful, friendly and mutually beneficial relations between the countries of the world.

It is worth noting that the policy of neutrality — a key factor for providing conditions and building a platform for peaceful negotiations — is also closely interconnected with and based on the tools of preventive diplomacy, such as early warning and prevention of conflict, mediation, good offices, fact-finding missions, negotiation, the use of special envoys, informal consultations, peacebuilding and targeted development activities.

Hence, preventive diplomacy is a core function of the United Nations and is central to the role of the United Nations Secretary-General, including the special political missions of the United Nations and the good offices of the Secretary-General in peacemaking, peacekeeping and peacebuilding.

Consequently, and in accordance with the guiding principles for the strengthening of the coordination of emergency humanitarian assistance of the United Nations system, countries with the status of neutrality play an important role in providing and delivering humanitarian assistance in situations of complex emergencies and natural disasters.

On 2 February 2017, the UN General Assembly adopted without a vote resolution 71/275 — introduced by Turkmenistan, recognized by the UN as a permanently neutral state since 12 December 1995 — which noted the link between the preservation of peace and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and declared 12 December as the International Day of Neutrality.

The aforementioned GA resolution also proposes that UN Secretary-General continue to cooperate closely with the neutral states, with a view to implementing the principles of preventive diplomacy and utilizing them in the mediation activities.