Permanently Neutral Turkmenistan is on the way to achieving Sustainable Development Goals

  Turkmenistan pursues a foreign policy based on the principles of positive neutrality, open doors, and mutually beneficial cooperation. Last year, Turkmenistan celebrated 25th anniversary of its Permanent Neutrality recognized by the UN General Assembly.

  Today, positive neutrality policy of our country is widely supported by the international community. This is clearly testified by repeated election of our country as the vice-chairman of the United Nations General Assembly sessions. Turkmenistan's positive neutrality policy is of particular importance in strengthening stability and security, and in developing economic and humanitarian cooperation.

  2015 was the year of completion of the Millennium Development Goals and the beginning of a new stage of international cooperation. As is known, that year the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was approved by more than 190 countries around the world at the jubilee session of the United Nations General Assembly. Millennium Development Goals were a solid foundation for developing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It envisages, along others, sustainable and inclusive development, environmental protection and international cooperation in this area.

  Turkmenistan was actively involved in its development and formally adopted all 17 Goals of the Sustainable Development. The Sustainable Development Goals have been nationalized on the Government level and have been significantly adapted in the state policy. National programmes, strategies and plans in the country include steadfast implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals as one of the main directions. National programme of social and economic development of Turkmenistan until 2030, Programme of social and economic development of the country in 2019 – 2025 and other strategies and programmes are aimed at the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and reflect the objectives of the Global Agenda 2030. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals set out in the Global Agenda for the period up to 2030 is one of the key areas of the policy of the President of Turkmenistan.

  In the context of practical implementation of Sustainable Development Goals, Turkmenistan pays special attention to ensuring food security, raising the level of food nutrition, promoting healthy lifestyles throughout the country, ensuring gender equality and providing high quality and inclusive education and other relevant issues.

  It is self-evident that prosperity cannot be achieved without economic development in the country. Having a highly developed industrial infrastructure and human resources, Turkmenistan is achieving great successes in the economy. Particular attention is paid to the transition to a market economy and the legal foundation for it has been created. The processes of privatization of state-owned facilities, restructuring of enterprises using advanced scientific and technological achievements in management and production sphere are continued. Our country attaches great importance to development of the economy through diversification, broad support for small and medium-sized businesses, including the further development of transport opportunities to promote international trade and enter world markets.

  Economic growth should not be achieved at the expense of environmental instability. In this regard, the issues of thoughtful use of natural resources and combating global climate change are essential for sustainable development. Turkmenistan is constantly taking actions against global climate change, prioritizing the issue of a balanced approach to natural resources, and paying special attention to the introduction of environmental standards into production.

  As is known, in accordance with the Resolution of the President of Turkmenistan, in 2017, the Scientific and Methodological Centre for Sustainable Development was established at the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan. Its main goal is to ensure practical implementation of Sustainable Development Goals and to carry out relevant scientific and methodological work.

  Sustainable Development Goals include economic, social and environmental dimensions. While economic dimension involves rational use of resources, social sphere is focused on development of humanity, ensuring stability of social and cultural systems, and environmental dimension considers security of natural systems.

  Owing to the farsighted and well-thought policy of the esteemed President of our country, Turkmenistan is accomplishing positive results in the economy, as well as environmental, and social spheres on the way to achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

  The respected President of Turkmenistan in his book "Turkmenistan is on the way to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals", which provides a thorough analytical review of the integrated development of our country, notes that "Sustainable development policy of the country unites all three essential growth conditions and serves as a guarantor of establishing a highly-developed society".

  The State Programme “Health” is currently being successfully implemented. The successful implementation of this programme has given a tremendous impetus to strengthening the health of our citizens, and increase their life expectancy. Increase in the birth rate in the country with low level of death, positive indicators for provision of the population with available and qualitative medical services are the evidence of successful implementation of the Programme. The country's pharmaceutical industry has been strengthened, as well as tremendous work is being done to attract qualified professionals to the healthcare system and strengthen its legal framework.

  As a result of the improvement of the material and technical base of health care sector, the main focus has been directed to disease prevention. The sector has been developed in compliance with international standards, and it is expanding and intensifying cooperation with the world's leading companies and scientific and medical centres. All health care centres are equipped with state-of-the-art medical and high-precision equipment, which uses a wide range of natural methods of treatment. In the health care system, e-governance has been widely introduced. This, in turn, helped provide the population with an electronic medical card.

Among schoolchildren, students, and workers of all spheres the rules of hygiene are widely promoted, relevant publications, as well as brochures on healthy lifestyles are published, and other related work is carried out.

  The education system has a special role in ensuring harmonious and sustainable development of the state. In this regard, there is a twelve-year system of secondary education in Turkmenistan. High results have been achieved in the development of children in terms of physical health, education and social security. New schools, secondary special and high educational institutions are being built in the country that meet modern requirements.

  The share of the private sector in our national economy is increasing year by year. Emphasis is placed on labour protection and human rights issues. Huge financial resources are being invested with the aim of introducing green technologies in the production and structural sectors. This allows to maintain positive economic growth by focusing on the social system.

  The rights and capabilities of women are expanded. The equality of the capabilities and comprehensive participation of women in economic, political and cultural life of the country is provided.

  Turkmenistan pays special attention to the creation of conditions for building of democratic and inclusive society, which is based on the supremacy of the law. The Institute for Authorized Representative for Human Rights, the Ombudsmen were established. National Action Plan for Human Rights and number of other important programmes in this direction are under implementation.

  At the High-level Political Forum on “Expansion of rights and capabilities of people and provision of comprehensive coverage and equality” held in the UN Headquarter in July 2019, Turkmenistan presented its Voluntary National Review on fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals. The review reflects development of Turkmenistan and the main achievements of the country in the Sustainable Development Goals, including the initiatives and proposals of the President of Turkmenistan related to sustainable development in regional and international level in such priority directions as transport sector, energy and ecology.

  At present, all measures for implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in our country are aimed at the stable development of all branches of the economy, provision of dynamic growth rates, strengthening well-being of the population. Thus, the work aimed at achieving the Goals of Sustainable Development plays an important role in the policy pursued by the President of Turkmenistan.

                                                                 

Gapbar Hallyyev, Lecturer of the Institute of International 

Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, 

Coordinator of the Scientific and Methodological Centre

For Sustainable Development Goals