H. E. Mrs. Aksoltan ATAEVA
Head of Delegation
General Debate of the 57th session of the United Nations General Assembly
New York, 18 September 2002

Mr. President,
Esteemed heads of delegations, Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Let me first of all convey greetings and wishes of peace and prosperity to the countries from the President of Turkmenistan Saparmurat Niyazov.

Mr. President,

Allow me to congratulate you on the occasion of your election to such a high post and wish you success in the organization of the fruitful work of the 57th session Assembly.

Mr. President,

The neutral Turkmenistan from the first days of its independent development has carried out a close cooperation with the United Nations and considers it its main direction of its foreign policy. The key issue for neutral Turkmenistan in these conditions is cooperation in the name of peace and security, well-being and prosperity of people and we constantly feel the support from the UN towards its foreign policy initiatives aimed at strengthening of peace, security and stability.

Our commitment to the international obligations as a permanent neutral State remains unchanged.

Actualization of the role of the UN becomes more evident on the background of the modern development of both global and regional processes where concentration of collective efforts and adoption of decisions that take into account various interests is required. Turkmenistan stands for strengthening and broadening of the role of the UN in the solution not only global problems but also in the collective discussion of the regional issues, for a more extensive use of the potential of the United Nations and its institutions in proposing and implementing foreign policy initiatives.

We see huge opportunities in the close cooperation with the UN and its specialized bodies in the implementation of the large-scale national projects. In this context we express our gratitude for the cooperation to the leadership of the UN and its specialized agencies such as UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNDCCP and others. Cooperating with them the Government of Turkmenistan carries out a number of large projects of social and economic orientation that give specific results in the social area, healthcare, education, environment and a number of other areas.

Mr. President,

More than a year have passed since the tragic events of the September 11 which made us evaluate the issues of security of the people and States through the qualitatively new system of
measurement having defined the necessity to consolidate efforts in this direction.

In this context the region of Central Asia has come to the front of the world's attention. In many respects perspectives of peace and security on this scale will be dependent on the way how the multilateral dialogue will be constructed on the issues of this region.

Turkmenistan attaches foremost importance to the role of the UN in invigora ng of regional and interregional dialogue in searching solutions of the existing problems. In thi connection I would like to draw your attention to the initiative of the President of Turkmenistan on the creation of the regional consultative council of the countries of Central Asia.

We are talking about creation of interstate body on the highest level for regular consultations and development of joint decisions that touch upon directly the destinies of the states in the region and the real needs of people that populate them. First of all this issue concerns trade and economic interaction, energy supply, cross-border trade, water use, transportation, humanitarian cooperation. We believe that mechanism of multilateral consultations of the Heads of States would contribute to the development and implementation of the agreed actions of the parties on the interests will allow to create maximally effective system of rational interaction.

In this regard, the initiative of the President of Turkmenistan S.A. Niyazov to hold in Turkmenistan an international conference on economic cooperation in Central and South Asia with participation of representatives of this region, United States, Russia, China, Japan, countries of European Union, other interested states, and international financial institutions structure is believed to be very timely.

Such forum will promote a new system of economic ties between West and East based on joint and equal cooperation of States. Its main goal should be creation of most favor
for trade, investment activities, and introduction of modern technology. Moreover, holding such international conference gives opportunity for developed countries to assess the real potential of industrial and social development of the States of Central and South Asia.

The beginning of the implementation of the Trans-Afghan gas pipeline on the route "Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan" has become an important stage.

Agreement on construction of the new gas highway was signed in May Islamabad by the Presidents of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan.

Turkmenistan welcomes the interest in the project of the large companies, financial and industrial groups, first of all on the part of the Asian Development Bank which actively takes part in the negotiating process on the implementation of the Trans-Afghan gas pipeline project.

Trans-Afghan gas pipeline is a project of international scale that has colossal social, economic and political significance primarily from the point of view of strengthening stability and security in the region. Trans-Afghan gas pipeline of which more than 700 kilometers would be laid through Afghanistan besides its economic component also has an invaluable social and humanitarian significance. Construction of the gas pipeline would create jobs for more than 12 thousand afghans and also a new social infrastructure in Afghanistan.

In this connection we call on the UN to assist in the effective implementation of this project. Turkmenistan had proposed before from the same podium this initiative on the development and adoption under the UN aegis of the international convention on the regime and guarantees of the functioning of interstate pipeline. Such document, to our opinion, would allow to create a reliable political and legal mechanism for provision of safe transportation of the raw materials to the world markets.

Mr. President,

The foreign policy of positive neutrality that Turkmenistan carries out is aimed at provision of secure development and cooperation in the name of social revival of the countries of the region, creation of new work places, fighting against poverty, in other words, all those which is today called human dimension.

In the 21st century the notion of sustainable development acquires a qualitatively new meaning, the basis of which is stable and gradual economic growth. At the same time one of the important aspects of the sustainable development is maintaining balance between industrial and technological progress and protection of the environment. Realization of this necessity is especially relevant today when there are examples of breach of this balance in the world.

International community undertakes collective efforts to prevent negative consequences of technological character on the environment. A vivid example of that is the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Turkmenistan, participating in this important international document, takes active role in implementing of its norms and principles and cooperating with international organizations primarily with those of the United Nations.

Mr. President,

In the 21 century a problem of development of huge deposits of hydrocarbon resources of the Caspian basin which is connected with the interests of not only countries of the region but many other States of the world and transnational companies as well has come to the world's attention.

It is known that the deposits of oil and gas in the Caspian Sea are the most important energy resources of the planet in the 21 st century. Their reasonable and effective development and creation of the necessary pipeline infrastructure for bringing energy resources to the world markets would ensure significant economic growth of many States and wellbeing of their people.

It is evident that many countries are interested in the security of transit of the energy resources and the United Nations could play an important role in this process.

The first Summit meeting of the Caspian littoral States in Ashgabat in April of this year on the initiative of the President of Turkmenistan could be considered as a qualitatively new stage in this process of agreeing and developing of the mutually acceptable solution of the Caspian problem.

At this historic Summit, Presidents have expressed the will of their State and people - Caspian Sea is and will be the sea of friendship and peace. The result of the Summit is that the Caspian theme for the first time was openly discussed at such high level and a strong agreement was reached that any problems should be resolved on peaceful and constructive basis. Thus, the first step towards common goal - development of Caspian status was made.

It is an obvious fact of the today's reality that effective cooperation and activities on Caspian Sea as a whole is directly connected with ensuring stability in the Caspian region. Turkmenistan stands for Caspian to be the zone of peace, stability and sustainable international cooperation on the basis of principles of justice and mutual respect.

Mr. President,

Diversity and complexity of tasks standing before Member-States is evident. Their solution is only possible by undertaking collective efforts with necessary realization of individual role and responsibility of each Member-State of the world community. It is this logic of political behavior that is being adhered by Turkmenistan that pursues the aims of strengthening of peace, economic, social and cultural development. Our country is always ready for constructive part United Nations could be very sure in that respect.

Thank you.