In the current year of 2016, Turkmenistan celebrates the 25th Anniversary of its independence. Independence is the sacred value for all the people of Turkmenistan.
25 years to historical measures is small term, but for our country, on scale of transformations, this period became equal to an era. On the occasion of celebration of this glorious date I would like to inform you in brief about progress and achievements, gained by our country within these years.
Relying on national consent and stability, a high level of credibility of the people, Turkmenistan as a result of the reforms being realized under the leadership of distinguished President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, have managed the possibility to pass through a difficult transition period of change of the economic and political formations. Today, estimating the passed way, it could be emphasized with confidence that our country succeeded to realize centuries-old dream of many generations of the Turkmen people consisting of creation of their own independent state. For the last 25 years our country vigorously has joined in the world community as the democratic, secular and constitutional state and has taken the worthy place on that stage. Now, Turkmenistan, along with other Central Asian countries, occupies one of key places the world in view of existence of the richest energy resources and a unique geographical position at the intersection of transport ways, being some kind of the “Gates” to Central Asia.
For many centuries Turkmenistan standing on the intersection of the roads connecting the East to the West and the South with the North, serves as the bridge uniting continents, the people and their cultures. Since the first Independence Day our country has developed own foreign policy strategy, at which Turkmenistan adheres to policy of “open doors”, positive neighborliness, a constant neutrality, non-interference to internal affairs of other states, non-use of force, non-alignment to military blocks and formations, promotes development of friendly and mutually beneficial relations. Proclaiming of the status of a Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan became the greatest event in the history of the XX century for our country, the event which entered the world history. The special Resolution on the Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan has been adopted with unanimous support of 185 states at the 50th session of General Assembly of the United Nations on December 12, 1995.
For years of independence Turkmenistan has established diplomatic relations with 141 countries of the world and now it is an equal member of 45 international organizations, 15 of which have representations in Ashgabat. Besides, Turkmenistan has 38 diplomatic and consular missions abroad. Permanent missions of Turkmenistan are also available near the headquarters of the United Nations in New York, Geneva and Vienna. Thanks to the active expansion of the framework of multi-format cooperation with all interested partners ? as separately taken states, as well as the international organizations, the foreign policy of Turkmenistan has found support of all world community which has realized need of creation the constructive dialogue with the aim of fastest solution of actual problems of the present. The understanding of exclusive importance of consolidation of all the efforts promoted the acceptance of additional Resolution called “A constant neutrality of Turkmenistan” during the 69th session of the UN General Assembly on June 3, 2015.
Turkmenistan has put forward a number of creative initiatives of creation of these or those forms of cooperation, as well as development of their concrete directions from a high tribune of the UN and other largest international and regional forums for the last 25 years. Among them are the initiatives on peaceful and stable development in the Central Asian region, including the Afghan perspective, cooperation in the region of the Caspian Sea, issues, related to the solution of environmental problems, development of transit and transport corridors, safety of energy resources, etc. which have got broad support from many countries of the world. As bright examples of the aforesaid are: twice acceptance in 2008 and 2013 of Resolutions of the UN on Turkmenistan proposals: “Reliable and stable transit of energy carriers and his role in providing a sustainable development and the international cooperation”, as well as the Resolution on creation of transport and transit corridors, adopted in 2014 and 2015, having 85 states as its coauthors.
Turkmenistan has become stronger and has grown in respect of its economy during the years of independence. Harmonizing the directions of development of the Turkmen society during a new era in compliance with the international standards, introduction of new technologies and international experience in our economy has led to the fact that our state turned from agrarian country into industrially developed power. Besides, the standard of living of the people considerably raises, enterprise initiatives of people became more active. Thanks to successfully pursued energy policy our country rich with the oil and gas resources (reserves of hydrocarbon resources of Turkmenistan are estimated at 71,21 billion tons of oil equivalent) left to ranks of the advanced countries of the world. The international gas pipelines “Turkmenistan - China” and “Turkmenistan - Iran” demonstrating creation of fuel and energy system, absolutely new on the Eurasian continent, are being constructed in Turkmenistan. In December 2015 the implementation of the large-scale project of construction of the gas pipeline of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India was started.
There are many important projects which are realized on formation of modern transport and transit infrastructure, having both national and regional value. Among the realized projects it is necessary to mention the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway link which opens an opportunity to the countries of Europe and Asia to have access to the Persian Gulf through the territory of Turkmenistan. At present construction of the railroad “Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan”, and also implementation of the project of creation of the international transport and transit corridor “Central Asia - the Middle East” (Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran-Oman) is actively conducted. Turkmenistan also has proposed to discuss possibilities of creation of the multimodal highway for Central Asia with an exit to Turkey on the basis of experience of the International Road Transport Union (IRU), EEK and ESCAP.
Dynamic economic growth of Turkmenistan has led to forward increase in GDP per capita that is confirmed by experts of the World Bank. In recent years it was noted that GDP per capita of Turkmenistan has exceeded the standard threshold for the country with the average high level of the income. It is also necessary to emphasize that every year over 70 percent of budgetary funds are being allocated to “the intellectual sphere” ? education, science, as well as for the purpose of strengthening material and technical resources of the healthcare and cultural spheres. Comfortable houses, perfectly equipped schools and kindergartens, the medical centers and palaces of culture, stadiums and sanatoria, digital automatic telephone exchanges, other social and economic objects are put into operation in the framework of implementation of National programs of social and economic development. The launch of the first National communication satellite “T?rkmen ?lem 52 °E” became a significant event in the history of Turkmenistan that has created conditions for formation of the telecommunication system conforming to the international standards.
All branches of national economy ? fuel and energy complex, power industry, chemical and the construction industries, the textile and food industries are being developed actively. Considerable progress is noted in education and sciences, sport and tourism. Separately I would like to mention achievements in the field of healthcare. Annually our country is being awarded with certificates of World Health Organization. So, for years of independence significant progress has been achieved in the field of prevention of distribution of a number of serious infectious diseases and their elimination. Turkmenistan is the first country among the CIS countries and Central Asia, and also the fourth state in the world which has provided iodination of table salt.
It should be noted that one of the significant achievements of the last 25 years of independence of Turkmenistan is the successful implementation of the large-scale project on creation of the National tourist zone “Avaza” on the Caspian Sea coast.
On December 20, 2010 the Olympic council of Asia has taken the special decision on holding the V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in 2017 in Ashgabat. In the framework of preparation for these large sports competitions the modern sports facilities corresponding to the international standards are under construction in the capital of Turkmenistan.
One more important point is that during last 25 years have become the time of blossoming of national culture and spiritual updating of society ? in full sense of these words. The heritage of the Turkmen people is great and diverse. The Turkmen land is the homeland of the Akhalteke horses and magnificent carpets which have conquered the whole world with their playfulness and beauty, it is the place where the culture prospered many centuries ago, the cities of trade and handicrafts were being actively developed, where the spiritual energy and richness of knowledge being accumulated for millennia. In this regard it would be mentioned that monuments of three historical and cultural reserves of Turkmenistan are included in the List of the World heritage of UNESCO ? they are: Ancient Merv, Kunyaurgench and Parthian fortresses of Nisa. The most ancient settlements of the first-ever farmers have been found in the territory of our country, - such as Dzheytun, Anau, Kara-depe, Namazga-depe, Altyn-depe, rock paintings of Bezegli-dere, architectural complexes and separate constructions in Abiverd, Serakhs, on coast of Amu Darya and in the foothill valley of Kopet-Dag, along the historical monuments situated along the course of Uzboy and in the delta near Sarikamish area. The aforesaid historical monuments are only a small part of full list of all the objects of cultural heritage of Turkmenistan.
The heroic eposes such as “Gorkut Ata” and “Gorogly” defining development of consciousness of the Turkic people through many centuries have been created on the Turkmen land. In this regard it would be reasonable to mention that based on the decision, taken by the Committee of UNESCO in 2015, the epic art of “Gorogly” has been included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The Turkmen land also the homeland of outstanding classic poets whose works were included into a treasury of world culture.
And last, but not least, during the years of independence the close attention are being paid to deep studying of the rich cultural heritage of the Turkmen people having centuries-old nice history, as well as to their protection, promoting and revival. The international program “Preservation of Cultural Heritage” is being carried out successfully for more than ten years in Turkmenistan. In this regard it is important to emphasize that the year of 2016 when Turkmenistan celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Independence, this year is proclaimed as the Year of Respect for Heritage, Reformation of Motherland.
There are many traditions and customs in Turkmenistan. The most ancient is traditional respect of seniors. Each year the session of the Council of the Elders is hold with the main aim of which is to get advice from wise elders before the beginning of any noble deed and celebration of holidays. This year the annual session of the Council of the Elders was held under the leadership of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov in Ashgabat on OCTOBER 14. The session was marked by important historical event ? the adoption of new edition of the Constitution of Turkmenistan. The constitutional reforms undertaken in our country are the core of work for legislation transformations during new stage of development of the state. The new Constitutive Document of our state includes 28 new Articles, 107 Articles, which were amended and annexed and one new Chapter. The provisions on independence, permanent neutrality and legislation, temporal and democratic character of our State as well as other fundamental provisions of the Main Law would remain unchanged. Our country is the only state that reflected the Resolution of the United Nations Organization in its Constitution. The main target is to consolidate the importance of legal status of neutrality of Turkmenistan in the Main Law as well as to attach special meaning to the historical Resolution on permanent neutrality of the country, which was repeatedly adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. The adoption of the Constitutional Law of Turkmenistan on appointment of new edition of the Constitution of Turkmenistan would become remarkable date in the history on our independent state and native people.
Ambassador of Turkmenistan
in Republic of Korea