In the last quarter of the XX century, or rather in the last ten years, for Turkmenistan, which gained its independence in the difficult conditions of a fundamental transformation of the sphere of international relations, the choice of foreign policy became one of the most important tasks. In these difficult conditions, the independent and sovereign Turkmen state chose the path of neutrality from the foreign policy direction and developed such cardinal provisions as peacefulness, non-interference in the internal and external relations of other states, as well as respect for sovereignty and territorial unity. In the era of happiness of our sovereign state, these decisive principles form the basis of the wise foreign policy of the esteemed President, which in a year is held under the motto „Turkmenistan is the homeland of Neutrality” and gives beneficial results for the systematic increase of our country’s prestige at the international level. The policy of „open doors”, which has become the main direction of foreign policy relations of Turkmenistan, gives great opportunities to establish friendly cooperation with any country in the world. Moreover, this is important for the implementation of all directions emanating from the Neutrality policy.
The main task of the foreign policy strategy of our neutral state is to develop bilateral and multilateral relations with the international community.
The main objectives of Turkmenistan’s foreign policy consist of:
- Protection and strengthening of the sovereignty of Turkmenistan, development of its priority and place in the sphere of international relations
- Creating the highest, most practical foreign policy conditions for the internal development of the state
- Protection and realization of national benefits of Turkmenistan using all methods available in international practice of diplomatic relations
- Ensure the security of Turkmenistan by political, diplomatic means
- Based on equality and mutual respect, development of mutually beneficial cooperation with all foreign partners
- Ensure full compliance of Turkmenistan’s foreign policy actions with international rights and UN regulations.
Independent Turkmenistan became a full member of the United Nations on March 2, 1992. That day the representative office of Turkmenistan started working in the UN headquarters, in 1994 in Ashgabat. Moreover, this was the first step for our independent country to achieve its neutrality.
In October 1995, the XI Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement was held in Cartagena, Colombia, with 113 member states of the world. Then Turkmenistan was the first CIS country (114 states) to join this movement. At that summit it was decided to apply to the UN to support the status of neutrality of Turkmenistan.
As a result, on December 12, 1995 at the 50th anniversary meeting of the United Nations General Assembly with the unanimous support of representatives of 185 states the Resolution „On permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan” was adopted. This historical event indicates the high international status of Independent Turkmenistan. The achieved high success was fixed in the 2nd article in the Main Law of our Motherland – Constitution of Turkmenistan. It says, “Turkmenistan has the status of permanent neutrality recognized by the world community and enshrined in law”.
Turkmenistan, which has a permanent status of neutrality, develops its relations with the United Nations and adheres to universally recognized international legal laws developed by the United Nations. Relations aimed at expanding and deepening mutually beneficial cooperation with the countries of the world acquire new content. Turkmenistan has a creative attitude to solving modern important tasks, implementing the Millennium Development Program with the UN membership, which is the center of joining efforts to achieve sustainable development and other authoritative international organizations. Opening of the Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia in our capital Ashgabat on December 10, 2007, as well as holding international meetings and conferences, confirms that multilateral cooperation is gaining wide scale and takes place to strengthen peace in the region. The action of this center in our country indicates that the world community considers Turkmenistan to be the home of peace, stability and cooperation of Central Asia. Currently, this Reconciliation Center conducts monitoring, analysis of issues in the region, participates in various activities to develop Central Asia.
Relying on the status of neutrality, our State expands its international relations, and within the framework of effective relations with authoritative international organizations develops effective relations. It develops relations with the United Nations Organization and its main structures. The election of the Independent, Neutral Turkmenistan six times in the last period – in 2003 at the 58th, in 2007 at the 62nd, in 2009 at the 64th, in 2013 at the 68th, in 2016 at the 71st, and in 2020 at the 75th meeting of the vice-president of the General Assembly of the United Nations and various commissions of this organization, testifies to the authority in the international world political arena.
Since the first days of the conquest of Independence, Turkmenistan has been actively pursuing a foreign policy. Moreover, the policy of neutrality serves as a firm basis in international affairs of our country on the world arena. The world community highly appreciates the foreign policy direction of our country’s neutrality. The repeated adoption of the „Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan” at the 69th meeting of the United Nations on June 3, 2015 with the support of 193 member states of the world community once again testifies to the world recognition of the peace-loving good neighborly policy of our Neutral State. Former UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon noted about this joyous event: „It is impossible not to note unanimous support for the Resolution on Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan at the 69th Anniversary Session of the UN General Assembly. With its adoption, it proves that the UN supports the status of permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan”.
As it is known, on February 2, 2017, at the 71st meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations the resolution on declaring December 12 „International Day of Neutrality” was unanimously adopted. This event shows that our country enjoys great authority in the world and contributes to peace, security and sustainable development in the region and in the world. As well as making such a high-level decision, it has shown that the foreign policy of Turkmenistan corresponds to the universal good and its permanent neutrality occupies an important place in ensuring peace in the world and sustainable development.
The President notes: „In the state policy of our country, we, taking into account the importance of a united, peaceful life with the peoples of the world – with all inhabitants of the universe, successfully promote international relations. As a center of reconciliation in the region, our State enjoys great authority. In the history of our Homeland, the proclamation of December 12 as „International Day of Neutrality” by the UN is a proud reality of the success of high humanitarian goals. Our goal is to unite for the benefit of peace. The world has created different methods of solving the problems facing society. Their main importance is aimed at prosperity, friendship, prosperity, mutual understanding”.
The humane principles of „Peace through Development” put forward by the Leader of the Nation form the basis of foreign and domestic policy of our Neutral State. The foreign policy strategy of the esteemed President, based on the principles of peace and good neighborliness, helps to expand mutually beneficial trade and economic cooperation and effective cultural and humane relations. Universal security and well-being is fully reflected in the doctrines of the esteemed President. Turkmenistan has turned into a place where peace talks on important economic, cultural issues of the modern era are held. Among them is the example of the first Caspian Economic Forum. Under the auspices of Turkmenistan, the first Caspian Economic Forum was held on August 11-12, 2019 in the city of Turkmenbashi and National tourist zone „Avaza”. The states and representatives of international organizations participating in this forum noted its global significance and expediency, which will result in united solution of global problems, and highly appreciated its organized holding.
On the initiative of the Leader of the Nation Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov at the 106th plenary session of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly unanimously adopted the Resolution „2021 – International Year of Peace and Trust” and the adoption of the Caspian Economic Forum as a document of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, was a high triumph of proclaiming the peace-loving policy of our country. This resolution, which was co-sponsored by 73 states, is important in strengthening peace and trust between states, to regulate solidarity and relations between peoples, to unite efforts based on mutual understanding and cooperation.
Every year the activity and diplomatic representation of Turkmenistan in the world arena is expanding. At present, it has established diplomatic relations with 149 countries of the world, is a member of 47 international organizations. At the same time, Turkmenistan participates in 150 international conferences, agreements and other multilateral documents.
There are 40 embassies, consulates and permanent missions of Turkmenistan in foreign countries. Moreover, in Turkmenistan there are 35 embassies, consulates and 15 representations of international organizations on the basis of constancy.
The active participation of our country in the preparation of programs of stable development for the period up to 2030 of the United Nations and, along with the first implementation of these programs, shows a new level of relations between our state and these organizations.
Our Independent Homeland, which pursues a policy of neutrality, actively participates in the global community and international development. It participates in the promotion of pressing issues on the international agenda, especially international initiatives in political and diplomatic, energy, transport, environmental, sports, humanitarian and other areas, and participates in their implementation.
In the past period, under the leadership of Turkmenistan, the United Nations General Assembly adopted 13 Resolutions on the above directions.
The announcement at the international level of the wise undertakings of our President put forward at the meetings of the United Nations General Assembly, as part of the implementation of the policy of neutrality, is a pride for each of us, the Turkmens.
Hoshgeldi Tahyrov, teacher of the Department of Social Sciences at the State Energy Institute of Turkmenistan
Azat Atamyradov, chairman of the primary party organization of the State Energy Institute of Turkmenistan
Yazgeldi Yakubov, teacher of the Department of Mechanics and Metal Technology at the State Energy Institute of Turkmenistan