Secretary-General's press encounter after his visit to the National Institute of Democracy and Human Rights
Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, 2 April 2010SG: I am very pleased to visit this National Institute of Democracy and Human Rights, and I have complimented President Berdimuhamedov's reform policies on major areas of mutual concern, particularly in education and promoting human rights.
I am very encouraged by all the commitments – very positive commitments – of the Turkmen Government that it will implement all the recommendations of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) [?] by the UN's Human Rights Council in 2008.
Turkmenistan has already ratified the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and also ratified [?] the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. That's quite positive.
I was assured that the Turkmen Government was going to ratify or enact all the necessary measures as a part of implementing the recommendations of the Universal Periodic Review, such as the Convention against Torture.
I have also encouraged the Turkmen Government to issue a standing invitation to the UN Special Rapporteur on education and I was again given a very positive response that they will consider this invitation to the Special Rapporteur.
In my meeting with President Berdimuhamedov this morning, I complimented his reform efforts during the last three years. I encouraged him to do more and this afternoon, I was given that assurance.
Q: Did they tell you anything about prisons?
SG: I have raised this issue with the President and I was given a very positive response that they will improve penitentiary systems.
Off-the-Cuff on 2 April 2010