Ashgabat, Turkmenistan

13 June 2015

Secretary-General's press remarks at UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia

It is a great pleasure to meet you. Thank you for your taking the time. I am also very happy to visit this UNRCCA [United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia] office after five years. I was here in April 2010.

And I have seen many dramatic and phenomenal developments in this country, Turkmenistan, and I would like to really thank you for taking this opportunity for the Government of Turkmenistan’s strong support for this Preventive Diplomacy Centre for Central Asia.

I have to admit to have witnessed myself that so many changes, so many improvements, have taking place in our capacity in preventive diplomacy, as well as the support and development of this host Government, Turkmenistan.

Throughout my visit I have heard again and again strong support for the essential work of the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia. And I want to thank again the Government of Turkmenistan for its solid support, and I would also like to thank, first of all, Mr. [Miroslav] Jenca, who had been here for seven years as head of this Centre. Now I would like to proudly present to you again, even though you might have met him, Mr. [Petko] Draganov, who is very experienced, with long experience in the UN system, now taking over this very important job. I really count on your strong support in working with him.

This Centre – and my Special Representative for Central Asia and the entire United Nations team in Ashgabat – have always received strong backing in their regional preventive endeavors.

As you know, preventive diplomacy is one of my top priorities.

I am convinced that preventive diplomacy remains a sensible and cost-effective tool for maintaining international peace and security and creating conditions for steady and sustainable development.

I am pleased that since the inauguration in December 2007, UNRCCA has become a valuable partner for the region.

The Centre has worked with the countries of Central Asia, developing activities to support their efforts to address regional challenges, encouraging and facilitating closer cooperation, identifying and tackling potential sources of tension and responding to domestic and transnational threats to peace and security, including through promoting the respect for human rights.

UNRCCA is working with the Central Asian countries to strengthen their capacities to fight transborder threats, including terrorism.

I welcome the considerable work done towards implementing the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia.

I also commend UNRCCA’s initiatives to promote regional consensus over the management of transboundary water resources and in building national capacities in the field of preventive diplomacy.

These are extremely complex challenges. But I believe that our ability to help develop common understandings and joint initiatives will usher in valuable results.

I welcome UNRCCA’s close interaction with regional organizations such as the OSCE [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe], the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and the CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States] and others. We should all step up our coordination and partnership.

It is in that spirit that I am honored to visit once again this Centre.

Sag bolung. Thank you.