The next meeting of the Halk Maslakhaty of Turkmenistan, the highest representative body of people’s power, took place at Maslahat köşgi palace in Ashgabat on the eve of Independence Day. Traditionally, the meeting participants discussed current issues of the domestic and foreign policy, the successes, as well as important tasks aimed at developing all areas of public life.
The meeting touched upon many pressing issues regarding the further effective development of our state. In his analytical article for CentralAsia.news, the head of the Union of Economists of Turkmenistan Yuri Aronsky focused on some issues raised by the head of state in the field of international relations and the development of cooperation with international organizations and institutions.
Thus, the president of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov put forward proposals that would expand the scope of cooperation between Turkmenistan and UNESCO. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization promotes peace through international cooperation in the relevant fields. The importance of developing relations with UNESCO, a world center for culture and the arts that seeks to promote the identification, protection and conservation of cultural and natural heritage around the world that is of outstanding value, is obvious.
The head of the Turkmen state noted the need and relevance of work to join the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for Physical Education and Sport for 2023–2026, as well as the creation of the UNESCO Digital Science Chair at the Technology Center of the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan.
At the meeting of the Halk Maslakhaty, it was proposed to form a national federation of clubs of this structure under the National Commission of Turkmenistan for UNESCO, to include the ancient Turkmen traditions of folk healing with medicinal plants — endemics, as well as natural geological monuments — mud volcanoes on the southern shore of the Caspian Sea in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
In addition, ancient caravanserais and monuments located at the crossroads of the Great Silk Road are expected to be included in the World Cultural Heritage List. Turkmen national dishes, the art of Turkmen felting and a number of national achievements, as well as the art of breeding Turkmen Alabai will join the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The head of state also focused on the need to carry out work aimed at including Ashgabat and Arkadag in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.
Foreign financial institutions
At the meeting, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov also noted the need to intensify cooperation with foreign financial institutions. These organizations have great potential, and the head of state emphasized the importance of effectively using the opportunities to attract foreign investment and establishing coordinated work to increase the competitiveness of the national economy.
The head of the country said: «It is necessary to significantly intensify cooperation with foreign countries and international financial institutions, namely, with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Islamic Development Bank, and hold joint investment and business forums».
World Trade Organization
Turkmenistan has been actively interacting with the World Trade Organization (WTO) in recent years and intends to become a member of the World Trade Organization, currently having the status of an active observer. «We envisage significant development of the foreign trade system and logistics links», — the head of state said.
In order to realize full membership in the WTO, the president proposed a number of urgent measures that need to be taken, in particular, to conclude multilateral agreements on trade in goods, improve the insurance market, develop international partnerships in the field of standardization, and increase cooperation with the largest world and regional commodity exchanges, integration of national commodity producers and service providers into the global trade system and the creation of a wholesale trade and logistics center to increase the export of Turkmen products to foreign markets.
The expert drew attention to the ESG principles that have become relevant throughout the world. The acronym ESG stands for «environmental, social and corporate governance». In a broad sense, this is the sustainable development of commercial activities, which is based on the following principles: responsible attitude towards the environment (English, E — environment); high social responsibility (English, S — social); high quality of corporate governance (English, G — governance). A government or business that claims a good ESG assessment must meet development standards in three categories: social, governance and environment.
In its modern form, ESG principles were first formulated by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. He invited managers at all levels to include these principles in their strategies, primarily to combat climate change. And, according to a number of well-known international experts, in the near future, global funds will stop investing in companies that ignore the principles of sustainable development.
President Serdar Berdimuhamedov said that Turkmenistan joins international efforts on the climate agenda and supports the UN initiative — the Global Methane Pledge. The country is taking measures to reduce methane emissions at the national level. Turkmenistan plans to join the Global Methane Pledge after concrete steps and results are achieved.
During his speech, the head of state specially noted that the country is successfully implementing environmental protection programs and environmental projects, creating green belts around cities and villages, expanding forest belts, and also working to preserve ecosystems and biodiversity, and expand natural reserves.
Serdar Berdimuhammedov emphasized the need to introduce scientifically based norms and rules for the use of polymer and plastic materials and the processing of their waste in order to prevent harmful effects on the environment. He said that special programs for the collection and processing of such waste should be adopted, and noted that cooperation in this area will continue on the basis of relevant conventions of international and regional organizations, primarily the UN. This approach is fully consistent with the environmental principles of ESG, which determine how much a country cares about the environment and how it tries to reduce damage to the environment.
Summing up the meeting of the Halk Maslakhaty, it is necessary to note the importance and relevance of foreign policy issues raised by the president of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhammedov, which are fully consistent with the tasks proposed by the world community and solved by its international institutions.