H.S. MR. RASHID
MINISTER FRO FOREIGN AFFAIRS
AT THE GENERAL DEBATE
THE 56TH SESSION OF
THE UNITED NATIONS GENEREAL ASSEMBLY
NEW YORK, NY
Esteemed Heads of Delegations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all, I would like on behalf of Turkmenistan delegation to express my deep condolences to the families and relatives of victims of November 11 airplane-crash in New York.
Mr. President, I have the honor on behalf of Saparmurat Niyazov, President of Turkmenistan, to congratulate the United Nations and its Secretary General on receiving the high award, the Nobel Peace Prize and wish success in the UNís effective and professional work aimed at solving burning problems of todayís world.
Permit me to congratulate you on your election to the post of the President of the 56th session of the UN general Assembly. We are confident that your experience and knowledge will facilitate the work of the General Assembly with utmost efficiency.
It is the tenth time that Turkmenistan takes part in the work of the United Nations General Assembly as an independent subject of international relations and it is the sixth time that it participates as a state whose status of neutrality has been recognized by the Community of Nations. Since the adoption of UN general Assembly resolution on Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan, which is of historic significance for us, our young state has constantly felt the support of United Nations of its peace loving policy, foreign policy initiatives aimed at strengthening peace, security and stability. Availing of this opportunity I would like to convey to the heads of the delegations present here and to the representative of the member states of the United Nations the words of gratitude from the President of my country Saparmurat Niyazov and assure you of the unswerving adherence of Turkmenistan to international obligations it assumed upon itself as a permanent neutral state.
Relations with the United Nations based on close cooperation and strict observance of the fundamental principles of this Organization have been and remain at the fore of Turkmenistanís foreign political strategy. For us the United Nations is the main and universal decision-making structure on the most crucial problems of global development. We share the view of this Organization that the issue of providing it with a new impetus in view of the rapidly changing realities of contemporary world is of utmost relevance today. Turkmenistan upholds the opinion that the main thing in this drive is to respect the balance of interests on the basis of the fundamental criteria underlying the functioning of the Organization, its ideals, the letter and the spirit of the United Nations Charter. It is our firm belief that the United Nations has proven over the years of its existence that it is the most effective and just mechanism for resolving international issues, it is the pillar of the entire system of international stability and security.
Turkmenistan has always stood and stands for the strengthening and expansion of the UN role in the world. In this connection we believe that international law and UN Charter, based on principles of peace, equality, respect for nations, their rights and sovereignty, choice of the way of development, continue to serve as the basis for the world order in the new century. This tenet corresponds to our principles of a neutral state, the entire philosophy of our countryís foreign policy and practice of its decade-long participation in regional and international affairs.
Turkmenistan attaches utmost importance to its cooperation with the United Nations and its specialized agencies. Our government and the United Nations Development Program jointly carrying out a number of big projects in the social and economic spheres resulting well in the reforms of environment and other spheres which are under way in our country. Our cooperation with UNICEF, UNFPA and other agencies is effective. Turkmenistan will continue to keep up close ties with these important agencies of the United Nations in its search for new avenues of cooperation.
We consider interaction with UN bodies and its agencies to be an important and useful instrument of common regional economic, cultural and information cooperation, joint efforts with the governments of neighboring countries in implementing international programs in different spheres. All this, undoubtedly, facilitates development of good-neighborly and partnership relations in the region. Therefore our country intends to pay due attention to keeping the most close contacts with the offices of the UN specialized agencies in the future whose importance continues to grow.
In line of what I have just said I would like to attract special attention to the situation that has emerged in our region after tragic events of September 11 in the United States. It was with great grief that people in Turkmenistan received news from America. President of Turkmenistan on behalf of the people of our country expressed sincere condolences to the families and relatives of victims, he expressed the words of consolation and compassion to all Americans. The acts of terror have been unconditionally condemned in our country. The Government of Turkmenistan was one of the first to make a statement in support of international efforts to effectively counter terrorism. In this connection Turkmenistan stated that it was advisable to unite those efforts under the auspices of the United Nations. It is the close coordination of actions of the members of international community on the basis of international law that can determine creation of such a situation in the world when any manifestation of terrorism will not go unpunished and will also make it possible to take effective and legitimate measures to combat this evil.
Under the emerged circumstances our country actively cooperating with the United Nations provided opportunities to transport through Turkmenistan humanitarian supplies to Afghanistan by UN specialized agencies providing humanitarian relief, including UNICEF, OHCR, World Food Program, as well as other governmental and non-governmental organizations. Such a constructive stand of Turkmenistan has received broad support from the United Nations and the majority of states in the world.
We are concerned over the situation in Afghanistan and the ongoing-armed conflict in this country, which affects stability in the region, its social and economic development. Turkmenistan shares the view that there is no alternative but peaceful resolution of Afghanistan issue through negotiations. That is why we are convinced that the road to peace in this long-suffering country lies through political negotiations under the UN auspices. In this respect we consider it as highly valuable activity of the Secretary General to enhance the role of the United Nations in finding a solution to the Afghan crisis because the United Nations is to hold the key position in working out international legal mechanisms for resolving the situation in Afghanistan.
As regards the implementation of a strategy for peaceful development and cooperation in the region I would like to underline that the original foreign policy of neutrality pursued by Turkmenistan follows exactly this goal.
It touches upon the point of mastering rich deposits of hydrocarbons in the Caspian Sea basin where not only interests of regional nations but also other nations of the world and transnational companies come across. We take into account those interests.
It is a common knowledge that oil and natural gas reserves in the Caspian Sea are the most important energy resources of the 21st century. Their rational and effective exploitation, construction of appropriate pipeline infrastructure to deliver those energy supplies to the world markets will ensure considerable economic growth of many states and well being of their peoples. United Nations can play an important role in this process as it is capable of creating a mechanism for guaranteeing a safe and unimpeded transportation of raw materials along interstate pipelines. As it is known, Turkmenistan put forward this idea at the Millennium Summit and suggested that an international convention should be worked out in this regard.
Effective economic activity in the Caspian is directly linked to ensuring stability in the Caspian region. Turkmenistan holds the view that the Caspian Sea area should be a zone of peace, stability and sustainable international cooperation on the basis of principles of justice and mutual respect.
It is obvious that problems member states of United Nations are facing at the moment are complex and of multifarious nature. Their solution is possible not only through collective efforts but also through a mandatory recognition of individual role and responsibility of each nation - member of the world community. It is the logic of political behavior that is professed by Turkmenistan, which sets for itself only the goals of strengthening peace and promoting economic, social and cultural development. Our country is always ready for constructive partnership and the United Nations may always rely on Turkmenistan.
Thank you for your attention.