H.E, Mrs. Aksoltan ATAEVA,
Head of Delegation of Turkmenistan,

at the United Nations Special Session of the General Assembly on Children

New York,10 May 2002


Mr. President, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

The issues being considered at this special session of the United Nations General Assembly by their significance are one of the most important and urgent among all tasks that stand before the humankind in the 21 century because on their resolution depend our future. We are here to declare once more our commitment before the children of the world to build peace that corresponds to their interests. Adopting the World Declaration in 1992 on ensuring the survival, protection and development of children, leaders of the countries have outlined a specific plan of action and have committed to put interests of the children above all, to ensure their well-being, to render all possibilities for the development of children's potential. These documents of huge importance had created a foundation for the National program of action that was approved and is being implemented from the first days of independence of Turkmenistan.

In response to the appeal of the World Summit Turkmenistan have ratified the Convention on the rights of child and acceded to the main international covenants on human rights and freedoms.

On the initiative of the President of Turkmenistan Saparmurat Niyazov International conference "Implementation of the Convention on the rights of child in Central Asia and Kazakhstan" was organized (February 1997) that had adopted Ashgabat Declaration. This document has determined the priorities of the national legislation in the area of rights of child for survival, development and protection. Issues of protection of maternity and childhood, rights and freedoms of children are legally reflected in the Constitution and other legislative acts. Mejlis of Turkmenistan (Parliament) have developed a draft law "On guarantees of rights of child in Turkmenistan". It is aimed at realization of the country's policy in the areas of human rights, legal status of child, guaranteeing its rights and legal interests, overall physical and spiritual development, its upbringing as a full-fledged subject of civil society.

Socio-economic and political reforming of the Turkmen society primarily aimed at improving well-being of people with particular attention to the interests of children, mothers and family is being carried out jointly with international organizations and agencies of the United Nations (ITNICEF, UNFPA, UNDP, WHO). The fact that 60% of the budget is directed for the social tasks and first of all for healthcare, education, social security, creation of the most favorable conditions for development stand as a proof of social orientation of the budget policy of the state.

President of the country has approved state program in healthcare, education, social support of family that allowed to focus attention on solving specific tasks in determined periods.

Strengthening of the preventive thrust of the actions, annual immunizations of children, strengthening of the sanitary control for the quality of water, control of environment, improvement of social and everyday conditions - all of these in general have allowed to achieve positive results in such indices as health of the population and primarily of children.

Program of breast feeding, control over diarrhea, anemia, and iodine insufficiency are being effectively implemented jointly with UNICEF.

From 1996 by the decree of the Government in the country enrichment of flour with iron, iodizing of salt given free of charge to all population is being done. Program of child feeding is successfully carried out.

Effectively implemented joint program with UNFPA on reproductive health of women has a significant influence on birth of the healthy child, preservation of health of mother.

A big social support of the family is the provision of the population free of charge with electricity, gas, water that allowed directing the main resources of the family budget to the provision of good nutrition.

A specific task is being set in terms of ensuring food security of the population and from 2001 people are fully provided with bread from the grain grown on the Turkmen soil. Intensive development of domestic economy and food industry allowed to increase variety of consumed products. Gross national income has grown 17% (2002)

As a result of the implemented measures in the country a significant progress was achieved in decreasing child mortality of children from 1 to 5 years old, and lowering incidents of diarrhea, liquidation of iodine deficiency. Since 1997 no single case of poliomyelitis was registered. Cases of anemia and maternal death rate have sharply decreased.

Considering education as a key factor of person's development and its interrelation with socao-economic progress the Law of Turkmenistan "On education" envisages comprehensive development of person on the basis of national and human values, in the spirit of humanism, democracy, national identification and mutual respect despite nationality and religion. Education in the country is provided free which allows preserving its availability to all people. Children left without parents, disabled children are under the personal patronage of the President.

Evaluating the progress we are far from being satisfied and understand all responsibility according to our commitments. The Government looks for new reserves to reach the aim, i.e. give to children possibility to develop in peaceful and safe environment, allow them possibility to be active participants of the creation of the future of their country and future of humankind.

Our duty is to make peace better and pass it in the hands of the deserving generation.

Thank you for your attention.