Role of Turkmen Leader’s Initiatives in Achieving Sustainable Development Goals Discussed at Conference

Photo: Yuri Shkurin

The Conference Hall of the Center for Public Organizations of Turkmenistan hosted a Conference dedicated to Resolutions, “World Bicycle Day” and “Cooperation between the United Nations and the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea”, adopted at the 82nd meeting of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly and drafted based on the initiative by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. The Conference was attended by Deputy Chairmen of the Cabinet of Ministers, Chair and members of the National Parliament, leaders of ministries and sectoral agencies, heads of foreign diplomatic missions accredited in Turkmenistan, representatives of the country’s public organizations, mass media and honorable elders.

An exhibition was organized in the foyer of the Center for Public Organizations displaying items of decorative and applied art, paintings of Turkmen nature, carpets and carpet products, agricultural products, textiles etc. Scientific and literary works by the head of state occupied a special place at the exposition. Performance by a band of dutar players created a festive atmosphere at the event.

The session opened with the address by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to the people of the country on the occasion of adoption by the UN General Assembly of two new Resolutions proposed by the Turkmen leader.

As stressed at the forum, adoption of new Resolutions reflects our country’s increasing influence in international relations, its enormous creative potential and peacekeeping capacity. Adoption of such important documents essential for global progress demonstrates the focus of Turkmenistan’s foreign policy course on sustainable development of the whole mankind and broad support that it finds around the globe.

Through the Resolution on declaring 3 June as World Bicycle Day, the Community of Nations highly commended the actions of the Government of Turkmenistan aimed at developing sports and physical education; promoting ecological culture of the society; cooperation in this field between nations and peoples.

Speakers stressed that these extensive works are personally coordinated by the head of state and motivated by the desire to create conditions for improving living standards and ensuring well-being of the people and every single citizen.

In addition, they noted that the head of state has a special relationship to sports, primarily as the best way to maintain human and public health, which is embodied in Turkmenistan’s consistent social policy.

As is known, in today’s Turkmenistan, sports are attracting an increasing number of people which is inspired by the personal example of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. In the recent years, cycling, that turned into a massive movement in our country, has been developing actively and acquiring popularity among the younger generation.

Towns and roads in Turkmenistan are becoming more and more bicycle friendly. Apart from general physical training, cycling delivers tremendous aesthetic pleasure; makes it possible to discover the world around us; and gives a new perspective on different things.

In recent years, there has been much talk about ecological culture in our society. The expression is used in different contexts: in the aspects of global sustainable development, national socio-economic policy, environmental activities and moral education.

Addressing the United Nations Summit for the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda at the United Nations headquarters in New York, President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, noted that it is impossible to achieve social and economic development of nations and peoples of the planet without environmental initiatives. The concept by the Turkmen leader implies wise management practices, scientific organization of production and use of advanced technology that would help prevent negative impact on the environment. Attainability of these is well-illustrated by environmental stability in Turkmenistan, in the backdrop of intensive industrial development in the country.

Today’s appearance of Ashgabat, beautiful and well-maintained, landscaped and clean, is the best evidence of the fact that Turkmenistan has entered that phase of promoting the ecological culture that can serve as a vivid example for many countries of the world.

Ecological culture is a notion that is truly comprehensive and covers the system of spiritual values and ethical principles, worldview positions, set of government measures, economic mechanisms and legal norms, and social institutions.

But at the heart of this lies personal responsibility of every human being towards environment, one’s own activity, conscious behavior, the ability to put efforts and skills into practice, bringing certain benefits to the people – by one’s own strength and in one’s place.

The ecological culture of the society has many levels, beginning at homes as a small ripple and then extending to towns and villages, countries and the planet… and the more people have environmental thinking, the wider the ripples, the better our environment and our lives, noted speakers.

Today, Turkmenistan began preparations to celebrate World Bicycle Day established by the UN upon the initiative by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. In this regard, various sporting, cultural and public activities aimed at upholding the principles of healthy lifestyle in our society, promoting cycling, attracting the people of Turkmenistan to engage in the massive recreational and sports movement are scheduled to be held on a high organizational level.

As is known, Turkmenistan is an active supporter of development of interstate relations in the region in the context of environmental issues, based on partnership with leading international organizations.

The importance of such cooperation is highlighted due to the emphasis that President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov places on the environmental aspect as an integral factor of global sustainable development.

It is on this vision that Turkmenistan builds its concept of presidency in the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea. The concept is aimed at expanding and strengthening cooperation between the countries of Central Asia across the full range of environmental issues, intensifying the close interaction with major international structures, primarily the UN and its specialized agencies and bodies.

In this sphere Turkmenistan acts as an author of several concrete initiatives voiced from the rostrum of the UN General Assembly and major international forums such as Rio+20 Global Summit in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai (Japan) and the Seventh World Water Forum in Daegu (Republic of Korea).

Particularly, in his address at the World Water Forum, the President of Turkmenistan reiterated the need for active promotion of water diplomacy. It is in the creation of a new political and diplomatic form of multilateral interaction that our country sees a possibility for a systematic dialog aimed at addressing all problems connected to restoring sources of water resources, their reasonable and rational consumption.

Participants of the Conference at the Center for Public Organizations highlighted the importance of the UN Resolution on Cooperation between the United Nations and the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea for intensified international dialog in such a pertinent field as environmental problems. Turkmenistan stands for deepening and expanding positive cooperation in the UN format; development of effective partnership with other major organizations and structures; and seeks to promote optimized interaction on issues of concern that affect the future of the whole mankind. A prime example of that are dozens of different projects and programs currently implemented on the national and regional level and supported by such reputable international organizations as the UN Development Programme, UN Environment Programme, the Global Environment Fund and others.

Speakers stated that adoption of the new UN Resolutions serves as yet another evidence of the fact that the global community highly commends efforts by the President of Turkmenistan that are aimed at developing productive regional cooperation in all areas. The United Nations Center for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia that opened in Ashgabat has great potential in this sphere, and its capabilities need to be used in addressing environmental problems in the region.

Once again, the foreign policy strategy of neutral Turkmenistan aimed at constructive partnership with all countries of the world and reputable international organizations raised great interest and attracted close attention from the global community.

The head of Turkmenistan won a solid reputation for peacekeeping initiatives and proposals concerning the pertinent issues of our time that he consistently puts forward both on regional level and within the United Nations. Today, Turkmenistan is recognized on the international arena as the nation that makes a significant contribution to strengthening peace, stability and sustainable development.