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  • Published on: 16 Mar 2012
  • Submitted by: Turkmenistan

Position of Turkmenistan at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio +20
Turkmenistan considers the upcoming Conference as a landmark event in the global effort to promote sustainable development. Turkmenistan supports the adoption of specific decisions for the effective partnership by the international community to mobilize its political, diplomatic, financial, economic, organizational and technical resources to successfully address persistent issues.

Turkmenistan considers environmental issues as a priority area in the international cooperation as well as rendering assistance to solve global problems in this area. By ratifying the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Kyoto Protocol Turkmenistan demonstrated its willingness to take actions aimed at addressing a wide range of challenges raised in the documents. The position of Turkmenistan in this regard is replicated in the major national programs, primarily in the "Strategy of economic, political and cultural development of Turkmenistan until 2020" and the "Strategy of socio-economic development of Turkmenistan until 2030". These documents define, among others, the environmental policy of the state in the near perspective, taking into consideration national and climatic features of Turkmenistan, as well as measures to implement the country's obligations under international environmental programs and conventions ratified by Turkmenistan.

From the very beginning of participation of the country in the UNFCCC it undertakes coherent actions for its implementation. In particular, Turkmenistan has prepared and submitted the First and Second National Communications, and presently the Third National Communication is being drafted.

Adaptation measures are widely implemented in the country including forest restoration and improvement of land management to mitigate impacts. At present, within the large-scale national program "Green Belt" 50 million trees have been planted to create green belts around cities using advanced water-saving irrigation methods.

Turkmenistan made an inventory of emissions and sinks of greenhouse gases. The results of the inventory helped to identify priority areas to reduce emissions and increase sinks of greenhouse gases, as well as to use modern technologies and attract investments. Turkmenistan supports international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and is currently in transformation to the use of advanced clean and resource-saving technologies in the industry, primarily in oil and gas, energy and transport sectors, which are the main emitters of greenhouse gases.

Turkmenistan has supported the international community's efforts to reduce human impact on the Earth?s climate system and confirmed its commitment under the Kyoto Protocol. In order to promote and implement the objectives of the Kyoto Protocol, Turkmenistan established a Designated National Authority on Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in 2009 in the form of an inter-agency state commission. Today, four projects on CDM are ready for implementation. At present a large-scale reconstruction of the entire energy system is underway, the effort is financed by the state budget. As a result, over the past 10 years there has been a decrease of the carbon-intensive products produced in Turkmenistan. In the future, we look forward to use the potentials of the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol for a deeper reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the country.

We consider it necessary to continue the validity of the Kyoto Protocol after its first 10-year period, it should be based on generally acceptable options of action mechanisms of this document.

Turkmenistan supports the decisions adopted at the Summit on climate change in Copenhagen and Cancun, and at 17th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Durban. We look forward for the continued constructive international dialogue on this area and are convinced of the necessity for joint efforts in this direction at the international, regional and national levels, and of the need for effective coordination of countries with the UN.
At present, Turkmenistan has prepared a large-scale document - the National Strategy on Climate Change, which after its adoption, we are ready to submit it to the appropriate UN structures as a contribution to our common objectives.
Turkmenistan pays special attention to the effective co-operation with Central Asian countries in all range of environmental problems and in particular in the area of climate change. In accordance with the decisions of the Central Asian Interstate Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) adopted in June 2007 and November 2008, Turkmenistan has been assigned to coordinate the activities on climate change in the region.

We believe that in the context of the closer multilateral cooperation the establishment of a system of mechanisms in this area could be started. In this regard, Turkmenistan proposes to establish, in cooperation with the UN, a specialized body ? Regional Center to address issues related to climate change. It is recommended that the Headquarters of the Center be established in Ashgabat. We are willing to provide the entire necessary infrastructure for its functioning.
The other most important question, which goes far beyond regional boundaries ? is the environmental issues of the Caspian Sea. Here, we are also convinced of the need for more concrete impetus of the international efforts to save the unique natural resources of the sea. In this regard, we propose to organize a Caspian Environment Forum - a permanent platform for addressing environmental issues of the Caspian Sea Basin and to develop relevant proposals and recommendations.

Turkmenistan considers the reliability and security of hydrocarbons supply to international markets as an essential component of sustainable development, including addressing the environmental risks. In this regard, Turkmenistan has proposed in the UN to begin the development of the universal mechanisms which would ensure reliable and safe functioning of the international infrastructure of the energy supply. As a first step in this direction Turkmenistan proposed a draft UN resolution called "Reliable and stable energy transit and its role in sustainable development and international cooperation." The draft resolution has attracted the attention of UN member states, many of whom took an active part in the extensive consultations prior to its formal submission to the General Assembly. As you know, the resolution was supported by all states without exception, and was co-sponsored by 57 of them, including by 5 permanent members of the Security Council. The Resolution was adopted by consensus at the General Assembly on 19 December 2008. We are convinced that it is time to begin developing specific, effective and systematic measures aimed at resolving the issues of security guarantees of energy transportation. In this context, in order to combine the efforts of UN member states which are actively involved in developing the international legal framework in the field of energy, Turkmenistan considers it expedient to establish a new mechanism - the Interregional energy dialogue under UN auspices. We believe that the relevant UN agencies will actively promote the establishment of such a dialogue which is transparent and open to all. We see as participants of the dialogue the countries of Central and South Asia, the Caspian and Black Sea regions, Russia, China, European Union, countries of the Middle East, and all other interested States, companies, international financial institutions.

With the aim to promote sustainable development, and especially to implement the Millennium Development Goals at national level, Turkmenistan has prioritized those objectives in its economic development, public policy and social areas, particularly in such critical sectors as education, health and gender equality. All public, interagency and national programs are aimed at addressing human needs, optimizing standards of the quality of life on all levels - both in the urban and rural areas.

To implement the fundamental principle of "State for the people," Turkmenistan has reformed and developed the national health care system, giving it the status of a multi-purpose social welfare system. The transformation has started with the improvement of the legal framework including the advancement in the society of the new approach to health, promotion of healthy lifestyle, creation of improved public primary health care system, preventive and rehabilitative services, the country further strengthened the material-technical basis and created a broad network of modern medical centers furnished with high-tech equipment.

In line with the Millennium Development Goals and as important part of its public health policy Turkmenistan coherently implements a strategy to reduce the morbidity. Turkmenistan is one of the first countries which is carrying out immunization prophylaxis, and is a leader in the region in terms of availability of vaccines and immunization. The vaccination in Turkmenistan is free of charge. From 1 January 2010 Turkmenistan has started Hib-vaccination, which is also one of the most important preventive measures.

Turkmenistan completely liquidated various diseases thanks to step by step implementation of "Saglyk" ("Health") national program and to a strategy of lowering the morbidity. In 2000 the country was awarded the WHO certificate for eradication of dracunculiasis, in 2002 Turkmenistan was awarded a certificate for eradication of wild poliovirus in its territory, which indicates the total eradication of polio. Turkmenistan was the first among the CIS countries and the fourth in the world that introduced the universal salt iodization in accordance with generally accepted international standards. Turkmenistan was recognized as the country which removed one of the pressing problems of humanity - iodine deficiency, and was awarded WHO certificate in 2004.

Turkmenistan has also significantly enhanced the fight against other diseases. In this context, it should be highlighted that in 2010 Turkmenistan was recognized as a country free from malaria. This fact has been officially confirmed by a special WHO certificate awarded to the Ministry of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan.
Turkmenistan works in the area of prevention of diseases associated with lack of iron in the human body. Turkmenistan in close cooperation with foreign partners undertakes a series of large-scale projects on enrichment of food such as flour and salt.

Protection of motherhood and childhood is the state policy, the implementation of its program objectives is an integral part of the health care system. Important international organizations has highly appraised the efforts of Turkmenistan in creation throughout the country of highly-equipped health centers on maternity and childhood ("Ene Mahri,") and the successful implementation of national programs on breastfeeding and anemia control. In particular, almost all maternity facilities have been awarded the status of "Child Friendly Hospital", which was officially confirmed by the WHO experts.
An effective model of economic and social development has allowed Turkmenistan to create an entirely new health system. The country has created an integrated infrastructure of medical facilities, hospitals and clinics furnished with modern equipment. Each year, new diagnostic and therapeutic and health care institutions are put into operation and new others are being built.

The results achieved can be considered as the contribution of Turkmenistan at national level to the global Millennium Development Goals. In this context, Turkmenistan is ready for wide cooperation with the international community at large, with the interested countries on a bilateral basis in order to exchange experiences and to achieve positive results in the aforementioned areas.
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