Turkmenistan first informed the international community on the decision to declare neutrality as the fundamental principle of its foreign policy in July 1992 at the Helsinki Summit of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe – the OSCE predecessor. This fact was an important reference point in the history of cooperation between Turkmenistan and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
– Over the past years, the Turkmen model of neutrality has become a new phenomenon in international legal practice. The OSCE highly appreciates the position of neutral Turkmenistan in the strengthening of peace and trust, as well as the settlement of all disputes between states through peaceful negotiations on the basis of equal responsibility for peace and security, Natalya Drozd, Ambassador, Head of OSCE Center in Ashgabat said.
She highlighted the most significant achievements in collaboration in recent years. For example, during the period from 2018 to 2019, about 4000 representatives of state agencies, the academic community, the media and public organizations participated in our training events.
– We are actively cooperating with Turkmenistan in countering transnational threats, including those related to violent extremism and radicalization resulting in terrorism. We conducted a series of trainings for law enforcement personnel working at the airports of Turkmenistan, which contributed to improving their practical skills in identifying threats related to terrorism and organized crime.
The OSCE Center’s project “Capacity-Building for the State Border Service of Turkmenistan” deserves special attention. As part of this project alone, more than 45 important professional events were held over the past two years, which were attended by about 500 representatives of the frontier agencies of Turkmenistan.
In 2019, an underwater patrol training was organized for frontier divers for the first time in the history of the country and the State Border Service, following which the participants had passed international certification. Our trainings in the fields of mountain patrolling, the use of service dogs in work and the provision of first aid were an important contribution to enhancing efficiency of the border service.
Joint activities with the participation of the State Border Service of Turkmenistan and the Border Police, the Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan were conducted as part of the project.
– It is difficult to overestimate the contribution of Turkmenistan to the strengthening of economic stability in the country and in the region, Drozd added, highlighting in this respect the joint activities on the efficient management of trade and transport.
According to the ambassador, support in improving the system of combating money laundering and terrorism financing is of great importance. The first National Risk Assessment on this issue was developed with the participation of the OSCE Center.
Natalya Drozd also specified the success of partnership in the wider application of innovative technologies for sustainable water resources management, the development of renewable energy and energy-saving technologies, as well as Turkmenistan’s implementation of international environmental safety commitments, in particular under the Aarhus Convention, with the participation of the country’s civil society.
– As for the humanitarian fields, we have established and actively support close cooperation with the Ombudsman’s Office, the creation of which marks an important step in strengthening the democratic foundations in Turkmenistan. We also provide active assistance in the implementation of the National Action Plan for Human Rights and the National Action Plan for Gender Equality for 2015-2020.
Regarding cooperation plans for this year, Natalya Drozd informed that 41 joint projects are to be carried out. Twenty two events are planned in the field of assistance to the State Border Service alone.
The OSCE Center will also conduct a seminar for students – future diplomats – with the goal of introducing them to the OSCE mechanisms and practices in the field of early conflict warning and prevention.