Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia is a unique structure of the UN peace-making activity
The growth and consolidation of international authority owing to peace-loving course of the Leader of the Nation, his initiatives and concrete actions for peace, security and progress are one of undisputable factors of dynamic development of Turkmenistan. The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Resolution on the Role of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, co-authored by 57 countries, the members of the Community of the Nations, during the 55th plenary session on November 17, 2017. Draft Resolution, which review was placed as the 65th item of the agenda named Peace Building and Protection of Peace, was proposed by Turkmenistan and received the support of the UN states members that became its co-authors.
Unanimous adoption of this important document of the UN General Assembly reflects comprehensive support of the practice of preventive diplomacy by the world community as an effective tool of peace-making, which appropriateness increases greatly in modern conditions.
As is known, Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia is a unique structure of the UN peace-making activity. The initiative f its foundation belongs to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, who steadily stands with conceptual ideas for the support of peace and provision of security in the region and around the world. As the result of productive regional dialog and fruitful cooperation under the United Nations, the ceremonial opening of the Headquarter of the UNRCCA was held on December 10, 2017. The Centre is the first UN political mission in the history, which authorities include preventive diplomacy that takes into account actual directions of cooperation in modern cnditions.
In the context of important role of preventive diplomacy for the support of the efforts for assistance in peaceful regulation of the disputes, the United Nations Organization recognized the role of the Regional Centre in adopted Resolution in the support of Central Asian countries in accordance with its mandate and under expanded regional cooperation for counteraction against transnational threats to the world and support of sustainable development in the region. In this relation, the experience of cooperation of the countries of the region proves again the relevance of Turkmenistan initiatives in the support of more effective methods of political and diplomatic solution of the issues of the world’s range of problems where important role is given to preventive diplomacy. Close cooperation an fruitful partnership of Turkmenistan with the UN and its structures including Regional Centre are aimed at joint search and development of constructive approaches in support of regional peace and security, consolidation of the atmosphere of cooperation and making of the conditions for sustainable development.
In this regards, it is necessary to note the proposal and further realization of number of large international initiatives of the President of Turkmenistan in the sphere of rational use of large natural resources of the region and careful treatment of the environment. From this point of view, the Provision in preamble of adopted Resolution on the willingness of Central Asia countries to put the efforts for beneficial agreements on integrated use of water and energy resources in the region is very topical.
The UN General Assembly also highlights the specific objective of the Regional Centre in the support of the cooperation between Central Asia states in counteraction against modern challenges and threats, first of all against the terrorism and extremism. Ten years of the experience of preventive diplomacy receives its significance also in the context of the realization of the objectives of comprehensive and balanced fulfilment of all components of the Global Counterterrorism Strategy of the UN in the region. At the same time, the General Assembly focuses on the Provisions of Ashgabat Declaration adopted on June 13 , 2017 by the members of United Nations and Central Asia High Level Dialog on realization of the Global Counterterrorist Strategy of the United Nations in central Asia.
The main part of the UN General Assembly Resolution on the Role of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia is laid down in the spirit of the support of the activity of the Regional Centre where it is recommended to continue supporting the connection with the governments of the countries in the region and with other relatives parties on their agreement on the issues of preventive diplomacy.
In his speech during the opening ceremony of the Centre on December 10, 2007, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said that Turkmenistan is ready for constructive and fruitful cooperation with the Centre, which activity is able to make huge positive effect on the solution of the problems our region is facing. “We highly appreciate the fact that the capital of neutral Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, was chosen for the residence of the Centre and consider this as the trust to our country from the UN, - the Leader of Turkmenistan noted. – understanding the responsibility, I would like to assure that our country would do all necessary for the efficient and fruitful work of the Centre”. Further development of the events and activity of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia have demonstrated the validity of the ideas and the initiative of Turkmenistan President in foundation of this structure with the headquarter in Ashgabat.
The 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Regional Centre is observed on the threshold of International Neutrality Day, which is observed in the UN calendar for the first time what also is a remarkable event in new history of the world diplomacy. The period activity of the UNRCCA, relatively short by historical measures, outlines the realization of initial steps for Central Asia in the implementation, development and spread of fundamentally new model and culture of relations in the region. The fact that regional structure of the UN represented by the RCCA gives an opportunity of application of political and organization resource of the United Nations as well the potential of Turkmenistan neutrality is very important.
Based on the example of foreign policy of Turkmen state, the combination of the concepts of neutrality and preventive diplomacy outlined their organic integrity and found its practical implementation through the realities of the first decade of new millennium. The anniversary of the activity of unique UN structure for preventive diplomacy can be considered as good opportunity to sum up some outcomes and to analyse the work that has been done, evaluate future perspectives of joint activity in urgent international issues. In this context, the review and adoption of relative Resolution at the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly indicates keen interest of the world community in the potential of preventive diplomacy, belief of humankind in peace-making power of neutrality on Turkmen example. High appreciation given to gained experience of the UNRCCA Head-quarter in Ashgabat undoubtedly would make practical use and support the efficiency and commitment of future efforts of Central Asia states and whole international community in protection and consolidation of peace and stability, successful handling of existing threats, improvement of mutual understanding and trust for the sake of universal development objectives.
The neutrality of Turkmenistan, which is the fundamental basis of foreign policy course of the country, organically combines the firm principles of international law and diplomacy as well as constructive practice of peace-making dialog and realization of the preventive measures based on proposal and implementation of large-scale initiatives aimed at the consolidation of international partnership. Peace-loving character of foreign course stipulating the solution of all issues only by political and diplomatic means, mainly through the UN and other competent international organizations is the fundamental condition for Turkmenistan following from its neutral status and international obligations. Following these principles, Turkmenistan practically proves that the neutrality, peace-loving and good neighbourliness have been and remained to be the core of its foreign policy.
The President of Turkmenistan highlights that our state committedly and steadily develops the relations with all countries both in bilateral format as well as under international organizations, under the UN, first of all in its foreign strategy in accordance with the plans and chosen course.
Close cooperation of Turkmenistan with the UN and its structures is expressed in the development of new efficient approaches aimed at the protection and support of the security and stability in the region, at the realization of programme objectives of its sustainable development. It is worth mentioning that large painstaking preparation work related with steadfast negotiation process forestalled the official opening of the UN Regional centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia in Ashgabat ten years ago. Deep analysis work, strategic grounds of many issues were also related with the fact that the Centre was the first structure of the kind in the United Nations not only in the region but in the world.
The foundation of the unique structure of the UN for preventive diplomacy with the headquarter in Ashgabat was the first step in modern conditions when international efforts for protection of peace and provision of the security acquire fundamentally new characteristics and dynamics and completely differ from previous historical periods. Turkmenistan, proposing the idea of the establishment of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, went his own new way where the emphasis on political and legal mechanisms of the UN during realization of the measures of preventive diplomacy based on the respect of the states’ sovereignty, non-interference in internal affairs, equality and good will is very important. Thus, new serious step toward the formation of new political psychology free form outdates dogmas and stereotypes in international arena has been made. The establishment of the Centre is the result of productive consultancies on the UN level and with the programmes and agencies and the Governments of Central Asia states. The UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia was established as the political mission led by the Secretary General’s representative.
The decision taken on the highest level of the UN agencies was based on the analysis of specific and actual measures of the President of Turkmenistan in the world arena, which were followed by number of large initiatives aimed at the activation of international cooperation.
The main ideas that stipulated the opening of the Centre have also been laid down in the works of the UN High Level Group, which made special report by the request of the UN General Assembly. The UN Secretary General wrote in his letter No.S/2001/279 of May 7, 2007 addressed to the UN Security Council: ”I have informed the members of the Security Council on my intent to establish the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia in Turkmenistan”. He noted that the necessity of the enforcement of the UN capabilities in prevention of the conflicts is one of the purposes of the foundation of the Preventive Centre. In this regard, the following duties have laid upon the Preventive Centre:
• New Centre is to provide the cooperation of the UN with the Governments of the region as well as with other structures related with preventive diplomacy. This will give another opportunity in improvement of the efficiency of cooperation and collaboration between all interested parties in specific aspects of the provision of peace and stability in the region, first of all in urgent matters of preventive diplomacy.
• Monitoring and analysis of the situation on site and provision of the information to the UN Secretary General on real situation in the sphere of the efforts for prevention of the conflicts. From this point of view, the content and methods of preventive diplomacy are stipulated by deep monitoring of geopolitical processes, strategic evaluation and long-term forecast of the perspective of the region development.
• The Centre is to support the contacts with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, Shanghai Cooperation Organization and other regional organizations. The establishment of the contacts with the OSCE, CIS, SCO and other regional organizations supporting them in peace-making efforts and initiatives and the arrangement of coordination and sharing of the information with them under special mandates are to support the expansion and intensification of international cooperation in support of peace-making efforts and initiatives. Such cooperation also stipulates the coordination and sharing of the information on higher organizational level.
• While being regional structure of the UN, the Centre is also to provide political conditions for the support of the efforts of the coordinators, the residents of the UN system. First of all, they mean the formation of integrated approach in taking and implementation of preventive measures and humanitarian aid;
• Monitoring and analysis of the situation on site, provision of the information to the UN Secretary General on the measures and cooperation of the sides in the issues of the consolidation of peace and stability are the important objectives laid upon this regional structure;
• Establishment of close contacts with the UNAMA for provision of comprehensive and integrated analysis of the situation in the region.
The reply of the Chairman of the Security Council No.S/2007/280 of May 15, 2007 noted the agreement of the members of the UNSC and expressed the request to inform on the activity of the UN structure six months after the start of work in the region.
The opening of the centre was the evidence of the great attention of international community toward the processes occurring in Central Asia as well as of clear understanding of the role and importance of the region in global affairs, desire to render maximum positive assistance in solution of regional problems and achievement of long-term goals for provision of security, stability, cooperation and sustainable development of the nations and states of Central Asia region. Selection of the capital of neutral Turkmenistan as the head-quarter of the Centre indicates huge responsibility and trust to Turkmen state from the UN and Central Asia countries.
Turkmenistan works efficiently the UN Regional Centre in the spheres of sharing of the experience, monitoring and evaluation of regional development, elaboration and realization of preventive diplomacy, support of peace and security. At the same time, the concept of preventive diplomacy is supplemented with quality new content where the implementation of large economic transport and transit projects of international significance is also the factor of some sort of guarantee of social stability what is important for the consolidation of this stability and solution of the objectives of sustainable development and peace.
Turkmenistan, working on large projects in sustainable energy and transport, natural protection and ecology, health protection and sports is an attractive example in formation of the solid base of sustainable development of the country and society in general. In this context, the UN attaches great importance to established high level of cooperation with Turkmenistan and makes special mention of active position of the country that proposed number important initiatives recently including on the provision of water and energy security, peaceful regulation of the situation in Afghanistan, consolidation of the efforts in realization of counterterrorism strategy of the UN, on assistance to refugees and solution of other pressing issues of international and regional agenda.