The following article was contributed by the Embassy of Turkenistan in Seoul for publication by The Korea Post media, publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean-language news publications.—Ed.
This year Turkmenistan widely celebrates the 25th anniversary of adopting the status of Permanent Neutrality. At the initiative of the President of Turkmenistan, the Mejlis (parliament) of Turkmenistan passed a resolution placing the year 2020 under the motto “Turkmenistan - Homeland of Neutrality”. On 11-12 December 2020 International Conference «Policy of Neutrality and its Importance in Ensuring International Peace, Security, and Sustainable Development» will take place in Ashgabat.
The status of the Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan got international recognition first by our neighbors and at the Non-Aligned Movement. On 12 December 1995 by the Resolution 50/80 the UN General Assembly recognized and supported the status of permanent neutrality declared by Turkmenistan. 20 years later after the first resolution on the neutrality of Turkmenistan, the General Assembly by its resolution 69/285 in June 2015 reiterated its support for the status of permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan. The UN GA recognized that the status of permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan contributes to the strengthening of peace and security in the region and the active and positive role that Turkmenistan plays in developing peaceful, friendly and mutually beneficial relations with the countries of the region and other States of the world.
The date of the first resolution on the neutrality of Turkmenistan became the National Day of Turkmenistan. Later on 2 February 2017 at its 71st session, the UN General Assembly declared 12 December also as the International Day of Neutrality.
Besides the Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan was enshrined at the national legislation. On 27 December 1995 after the adoption of the UN General Assembly resolution on Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan, the Constitutional Law on Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan was adopted. Article 2 of the Constitution of Turkmenistan states that Turkmenistan has the status of permanent neutrality recognized by the international community. It further states that the Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan is the basis of its domestic and foreign policy.
These facts show the importance of the neutrality status for Turkmenistan. As President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov states, the choice that the country made 25 years ago was historical and decisive. Turkmenistan chose the model named positive neutrality and determined its main provisions: peacefulness, non-interference into affairs of other countries, respect for their sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-participation in international military organizations and agreements. The neutrality status got support from the members of the UN through the above-mentioned resolution. At the same time, Turkmenistan adopted certain obligations: non-alliance with political, economic, military alliances and blocs; the presence of army only for the protection of peace and freedoms; renunciation of weapons of mass destruction; prohibition of transportation of such weapons by land and by air of our country; commitment to universal values, principles of democracy; guarantee of civil peace in the country; conducting own policies in close cooperation with the UN and humanitarian international organizations. This allowed Turkmenistan to avoid being drawn into any form of military confrontation in the region while ensuring its security guarantees that were confirmed by the entire international community.
The neutrality does not associate with passivity. Turkmenistan from the first days of independence conducted active and constructive foreign policy directed at sustaining friendly relations with other countries, promoting peace and security in the region and globally. Many international meetings and other events dedicated to regional or international cooperation held in Turkmenistan.
Turkmenistan initiated consideration of many issues at the United Nations related to international cooperation. At the initiative of Turkmenistan, several UN General Assembly resolutions were adopted. To name a few, resolutions on cooperation between the UN and International fund for saving Aral Sea, on cooperation in the fields of sustainable transport and energy. By the initiative of Turkmenistan at the 106 plenary meetings of the 73rd session, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming 2021 year as the International year of peace and trust. Turkmenistan actively promotes the idea of joint elaboration of political and economic cooperation in Central Asia and the Caspian region supporting projects with participation of various countries.
As a responsible member of the international community, Turkmenistan actively participates in global processes and efforts in all fields of sustainable development. Necessary national legislative acts and mechanisms were adopted and implemented in the framework of international obligations.
Turkmenistan attached great importance to cooperation with the United Nations. As the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov states, multifaceted close cooperation with the UN is the strategic priority for our country. Turkmenistan became a trustful ally and effective partner of the UN in guaranteeing and supporting political stability in the region, development of the good neighborhood, friendship and cooperation. Several specialized UN agencies such as UNDP, UNHCR, UNICEF, WHO, UNFPA, UNODC, UN Regional Office for preventive diplomacy work in Turkmenistan.
The neutrality status is of great importance for Turkmenistan. Based on this policy our country supports mutually beneficial cooperation with other countries in the name of sustainable development.
Turkmenistan established and expands friendly relations with the Republic of Korea which is among those states that supports the neutrality status of Turkmenistan. Diplomatic ties between Turkmenistan and Republic of Korea were established in February 1992. For 28 years Turkmenistan and the Republic of Korea have been developing their fruitful cooperation. During these years the relations were supported at the highest level. The President of Turkmenistan visited Korea two times and the President of Korea visited Turkmenistan two times. During the visits a number of agreements reached between the countries and significant bilateral documents were signed. Parliaments of two countries established relations and conduct regular meetings.
Today cooperation between the countries carried out in a wide range of spheres as education and science, transport and communication, tourism, sport, culture and other spheres. Many commercial projects were realized between the countries. Korean companies implemented big projects in the energy field. They supplied big amount of buses and cars to Turkmenistan.
Cooperation between the countries is being continued also at the multilateral level. Turkmenistan and the Republic of Korea render mutual support to each other, particularly within the framework of the United Nations Organization. Turkmenistan and the Republic of Korea jointly cooperate in resolving such issues of global agenda as non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and disarmament, fight with terrorism, drug trafficking and other kinds of cross-border crimes. Turkmenistan and Korea share common values related to regional and global peace and security.
There are many perspectives for further development of relations between the two countries. During the last visit of the President of the Republic of Korea to Turkmenistan in April 2019 the Leaders of two countries agreed to continue mutually beneficial cooperation between the countries in many fields. Implementation of these agreements is under way.