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Guterres commends Turkmenistan’s ‘policy of neutrality’ amid troubled times

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Guterres commends Turkmenistan’s ‘policy of neutrality’ amid troubled times



The Secretary-General expressed his appreciation to Turkmenistan for hosting the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia in Ashgabat, and commended Turkmenistan’s generosity in granting citizenship to stateless people.

He also thanked the President for providing the UN Country Team with a new building.

Regional challenges

Later at a press encounter, Mr. Guterres told journalists that “Turkmenistan is playing a very important role in international relations”, particularly in cooperation with the UN.

“In these troubled times, I commend Turkmenistan’s policy of neutrality,” he said.

The Secretary-General is on an official visit to Central Asia, which covers Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

Mr. Guterres last visited the region seven years ago.  Since then it has been affected by numerous global challenges, he said, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, rising geopolitical tensions and the intensifying climate crisis.

He was encouraged that relations between Central Asian countries have improved in the face of these challenges, and regional cooperation has deepened, again highlighting the important role played by Turkmenistan.

He said the region continues to face many obstacles to development, including water shortages, land degradation, natural hazards, and a lack of adequate connectivity. 

“The solutions are interlinked and can be found through dialogue and cooperation, and Turkmenistan plays a central role in that cooperation,” he said.

UN commitment

The Secretary-General noted that the establishment of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy demonstrates the Organization’s commitment to Central Asia.

“With the engagement of all five Central Asian countries, the Regional Centre will continue to provide a forum for coming together around common solutions, especially on the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia and the management of natural resources to the benefit of all,” he said.

Climate action and sustainable development

The Secretary-General also used the opportunity to highlight how like other countries across Central Asia, Turkmenistan is suffering the impacts of the intensifying climate crisis.

He stressed the need for “far more ambitious climate action and cuts in emissions if the world is to stay within 1.5 degrees of global heating.”

Mr. Guterres further noted that Turkmenistan has made “important strides” towards achieving a number of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adding that the UN Country Team is engaged with the Government in identifying gaps and risks.

“Sustainable, inclusive development can be enormously enhanced by respect for the full spectrum of human rights – economic, social, political, cultural and civic,” he added.

In this regard, the Secretary-General encouraged Turkmenistan to continue engaging with UN human rights mechanisms and recommendations. 



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