Comprehensive development of constructive and effective cooperation between Turkmenistan and the United Nations Organization and its specialized agencies and institutions is one of the strategic lines of the foreign policy of our state. Close attention is paid to the all-round expansion and deepening of cooperation with one of the major UN structural divisions - the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Interaction with UNESCO is an important aspect of the long-term partnership between Turkmenistan and the UN and aims to strengthen the foundation of peace and security, as well as to achieve universal progress.
Turkmenistan has become a full member of UNESCO on August 17, 1993, after signing its Constitution in London. In 1995, Turkmenistan opened its permanent delegation to the organization. The issues of coordinating activities between UNESCO and Turkmenistan are managed by the Tehran cluster office. On September 9, 1993, Turkmenistan established the National Commission for UNESCO.
At present, cooperation between Turkmenistan and UNESCO covers virtually all priority lines within the sphere of interests of both parties, and seeks to achieve the aims and objectives of all-embracing development.
Concerted efforts towards all-round development and advancement of mankind, equal and mutually respectful partnership in implementing long-term socioeconomic and humanitarian activities by expanding international cooperation in the areas of education, science, culture, and information form the firm basis of the effective relationship between Turkmenistan and UNESCO.
By now, sound international legal framework has been established for cooperation between Turkmenistan and UNESCO. Our country ratified a number of instruments regulating a wide range of topical issues related to the parties’ interaction.
In foreign-policy strategy of our country, the vector of Turkmenistan- UNESCO cooperation assumes increased relevance and is one of the major priorities in foreign activities. At present, the objective is to effectively reform and upgrade the education and science system. Under the relevant UNESCO mandate, the parties actively implement joint projects and activities in this area.
During the years of effective cooperation, under UNESCO technical and expert support, much joint work has been done to provide research advisory assistance to major institutes of higher education in Turkmenistan, to monitor and systematize data related to study and maintenance of cultural and historic complexes in the country. Moreover, in the context of active interaction of Turkmenistan and UNESCO, of great educational importance are international conferences and for a training workshops and seminars for different specialists, which have been held in our country over the years.
In terms of developing constructive partnership in priority issues of global policy, a special theme of Turkmenistan-UNESCO cooperation is environment, first of all issues related to the climate change, sustainable use of water resources, saving the Aral Sea, and rehabilitation of the unique natural wealth of the Caspian Sea. Bearing in mind that these problems are now more than ever urgent for all Central Asian states, it seems vital to have interaction not only on the regional level.
Environmental aspect of Turkmenistan-UNESCO cooperation is based, first of all, on the basic principles of the UNESCO Convention concerning Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage and UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme. Taking into account national priorities and regional interests, a number of joint projects on environmental security have been developed and implemented under Turkmenistan-UNESCO cooperation, including the establishment of the water observatory in Turkmenistan and creation of the monitoring center in Repetek National Nature Reserve.
The vital aspect of Turkmenistan-UNESCO partnership is joint work related to interaction in expert studies and preservation of matchless historical and cultural values and unique natural monuments in the country.
Issues of revival, preservation and popularization of the unique historical and cultural heritage of the Turkmen nation, as well as its national heritage, are deemed to be the key priorities of the national development. Turkmenistan successfully implements different programs aimed at all-round study and revival of unique cultural monuments, preservation of protected and inimitable comers of the Turkmen land.
To date, the UNESCO World Heritage List includes major historical and architectural monuments testifying to the grandeur of the ancient Turkmen land, such as Ancient Merv, Kone-Urgench and Nissa. Turkmenistan continues its active work to prepare a number of initiatives and proposals to include not only new historical and cultural monuments, but also unique natural sites of our country in the UNESCO register. In particular, the famous Kara-Kum sand desert is an inseparable part of the diverse Turkmen nature.
Over the recent years, Turkmenistan, along with China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, which are the sites of ancient trade routes, in cooperation with representatives of Japan, South Korea, Mongolia, Iran, Turkey and Italy, has continued its activities to prepare the nomination dossier for Turkmen monuments to be included in the Silk Road World Heritage Serial and Transnational Nomination.
Pursuing these lofty aims and seeking to maximally promote their achievement, Turkmenistan has decided to stand for election to the Executive Board of UNESCO for the period of 2013-2017.This decision is based 011 realities of the current development of the country in political, socio-economic, humanitarian, and other areas, as well as perception of the role and place of Turkmenistan in international processes, and understanding of the new vista opening with its membership at the Executive Board of UNESCO.
Following are the key priorities of Turkmenistan during its membership in the Executive Board of UNESCO: In the area of education: Support to, and improvement of the education system and enhancement of the quality of education, in order to contribute to the solution of current issues of sustainable development, improvement of human well-being, strengthening the culture of peace and dialogue.
In the area of science: Strengthening and mobilization of the systems of science, technology and innovation for sustainable and rational use of natural and energy resources and renewable energy, in order to ensure sustainable development and reduce losses caused by natural disasters.
Efficient management and sustainable use of water resources, wide implementation of advanced technologies for drinking water, water-saving technologies in industry and agriculture; Sustainable and rational use of biodiversity and ecosystems.
Turkmenistan proposes to implement a project on strategic role of science in environmentally sustainable development of Central Asian States.
In the area of culture: Support to protection of cultural (both tangible and non-tangible) and natural heritage; Promotion of enhanced inter-cultural dialogue, strengthening of social cohesion and development through the dialogue based on cultural and natural heritage.
In the area of information and communication technologies: Development and strengthening of the ICT sector, in order to provide for universal access to knowledge and narrow the gap in digital technologies.
Large-scale implementation of modern digital technologies in the areas of education, science, and culture; creation of digital educational resources.
Based on the above, Turkmenistan respectfully addresses its request to all the UNESCO Member States to support its nomination for election to the Executive Board of UNESCO for the period of 2013-2017.