A conference titled “Turkmenistan 2017” was arranged by the Turkmenistan Embassy of Islamabad at Marriott Hotel Islamabad on January 20, 2017. H.E. Atadjan Movlamov Ambassador of Turkmenistan chaired the said conference. A large number of ambassadors and diplomates attended the conference. During his speech ambassador briefed about the upcoming mega events to be held during 2017 in Turkmenistan. He also elaborated its strategic importance for the region and as well as world.
Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan, Expert of Central Asian briefed about the successful “Sustainable Transport Conference” which was held in November 2016, Ashgabat and attended by more than 50 countries, their prime ministers and ministers of transports. Turkmenistan was the first country in Central Asian Region where it was held in the month of November 2016.
On the initiative of Turkmenistan’s President H.E. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov first ever “Global Sustainable Transports System” conference was co-hosted on November 26-27 in Ashgabat by the government of Turkmenistan and the UN. More than 50 countries actively participated in the conference. More than 40 deputy prime ministers and ministers of transport attended the conference and shared their valuable experiences in the field of transport, he added.
During his speech he share that during first Global Sustainable Transport Conference the “Transport Business Summit” was also held on 27 November 2016 in which a wide range of issues related to all modes of transport (air, motor, railroad and marine were addressed and thoroughly discussed. The subjects of investments in basic and auxiliary infrastructure to environment and safety issues were also tabled.
Speaker Khan also highlighted the salient features of H.E. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov
President of Turkmenistan remarkable speech. The President Outlined the importance of sustainable transport system in the national, regional and international economies. He projected his own country contribution in the further enhancing of regional connectivity through the development of sustainable transport system and different economic corridors. He stressed that the current global conference on sustainable development of the transport system reflected a shared understanding of the need and inevitability of cooperation in this field. He showed satisfaction that creation of modern, integrated, balanced and high tech transportation infrastructure is an objective necessity of our time, one of the priorities of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The President showed his wiliness to closely work with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Eurasian Economic Union, the CIS and the Organization of Economic Cooperation for tapping the opportunities in the fields of transports for the further strengthening of regional connectivity.
Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan, the solo speaker also highlighted Ashgabat Statement 2017 and pinpointed its main points. 50 countries endorsed the ‘Ashgabat Statement on Commitments and Policy Recommendations,’ with a view to supporting cleaner, greener transport from local transit systems to worldwide multimodal networks, he added.
The Conference reinforced the importance of sustainable transport and has shown it is a shared global task, he elaborated. It secured prosperity, enabled access to services and protected the environment, without sustainable transport, there will be no lasting progress on climate action and the sustainable development goals (SDGS) he further added.
Ashgabat Statement 2017 identified areas for regional and international cooperation and shared far-reaching policy recommendations. It also looking ahead, shared understanding to advance sustainable transport for all, by delivering on our commitments, forging new alliances and transforming our policies, khan added.
The speaker also shared some important recommendations of Ashgabat Statement 2017 not confine to addressing all MODES OF TRANSPORT road, rail, aviation, ferry and maritime, including both passengers and freight, and accorded priority attention to the concerns of developing countries.. Participants reaffirmed enhanced role of sustainable transport. Conference demonstrated Sustainable Transport’s Role in National GDPs. Stakeholders need to work together to ensure the availability of safe, universally accessible, reliable, secure, affordable, fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly, low-carbon, and climate-resilient transport services, systems, infrastructure and operations, with due attention to local, national and regional circumstances, he elaborated.
Recommendations stressed the need to work jointly to tackle all the confronting challenges in the field of transport, including safety and security challenges and stakeholders agreed to tap all the tremendous opportunities to re-think the current, largely unsustainable, transport policies, and to fast-track best practices to a new paradigm of sustainable transport in particular in developing countries, hassan added.
Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, strategies to Accelerate Transition to Low-Carbon Energy Sources and Technologies, reduction of air pollution, implementation of a global market-based measure and importance of International Maritime Transport were also strongly recommended.
The speaker Mehmood said that there was an urgent need to build transport systems that are inclusive, integrated, gender-sensitive and that have people’s needs at their core.
Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan, expert on Central Asian also briefed about upcoming Presidential Election to be held on February 12, 2017 in Turkmenistan. Political campaigning has been permitted and all the candidates are busy to get more and more support from the general masses to win upcoming Presidential Election 2017. As per new amendments of the Constitution, Turkmenistan President is now elected for a period of seven years.
Turkmenistan is a “Multi-Party Presidential Democracy” the political parties have already nominated their candidates for the upcoming Presidential Election 2017, he added.
The speaker highlighted the salient features of its political system and narrated that it has “unicameral parliament/national assembly or mejlis” which is the mother of modern democracy with 125 seats; members directly elected he clarified. According to article 6 international standards of impartiality, and transparency of its constitution, “state power in Turkmenistan shall be divided in the legislative, executive and judicial branches; they shall operate independently, balancing each other.
He also highly talked about its political parties. All three political parties nominated the candidates for the slot of the President of Turkmenistan. The Democratic Party nominated the candidacy of the existing Head of the State Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov; the Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs elected Board Director of “Rysgal” Joint Stock Commercial Bank Begmyrat Atalyev; the Agrarian Party selected Durdygylych Orazov, the Chairman of Mary Velayat Committee, he added.
Article I “Turkmenistan shall be a democratic, legal and secular state in which the government shall take the form of presidential republic.
Projecting the level of political stability and sustainability the speaker shared that Turkmenistan is a “democratic country” where elections are conducted on regular basis according to provisions of “constitution”. Its democracy is vibrant where people elect their representatives through “free will and fair voting patterns”. Its political system is based on “mutual respect, cooperation and coordination” due to which there is not a single incident in the country of political chaos, anarchy or constitutional deadlock since its inception. Turkmenistan has rich history and traditions of “politicization and democratization”.
Mehmood, speaker and expert on Central Asian shed light on Turkmenistan’s democracy and said its democracy stands for services where provision of basic necessities of life namely education, medication, shelter and clean drinking water is the duty of the state and totally free. its democracy stands for freedom of association, affiliation with equal playground for any business activity. Its democracy upholds the traditions of political accommodation not political revenge or vendetta. Its democracy sustains the spirits of cooperation and coordination and not conspiracies and contradictions as a common political tool for survival in most of the countries of Asia, Africa, Latina America and even Europe. Its democracy supports the culture of tolerance and interfaith harmony and protects the rights of weaker factions of the society as well as minorities. Its democracy strengthens its socio-economic development.
The speaker also talked about the role of international election observers and 3223 international observers have been invited for the upcoming Presidential Election 2017. International Observers” in the country are free to monitor the procedures, policies, laws and arrangements of Presidential Election in Turkmenistan. There is concept of “Pre & Post Election Engineered Rigging” in Turkmenistan as commonly prevalent in most of the countries of South East Asia, Latin America and Africa. It reconfirms its government’s strong political will towards holding a fair, free and transparent election in the country, he added.
Mr. Khan, the speaker shared that President is elected through a “Direct Vote” as commonly practiced in most of the modern democracies of the world i.e. USA, Russia, Brazil, Thailand etc. It has “universal suffrage” with over the age “18 years” for an eligible voter. Moreover, candidate for President of Turkmenistan has to be a citizen, who was born in Turkmenistan, not younger than 40 years old, speaking the State language and who lived and worked in the country during previous 15 years, he added.
He highlighted because every vote matters, 2582 polling centres have been established. 39 polling centres have also been established at foreign diplomatic missions of Turkmenistan,
Moreover, Presidential Elections 2017 is going to hold under conditions of new political reality and improved legal framework. Three political parties, namely the Democratic, the Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and Agrarian parties, participate in Presidential election for the first time in Turkmenistan. The “Law in the Electoral Code of Turkmenistan” guarantees fair, free and transparence elections in the country from top to bottom. It was promulgated in 2013 and institutionalized in accordance with general international standards, he shared.
Talking about its unique political system and mode of governance he said that “Turkmenistan’s political system is productive, progressive and people’s friendly where people through their free voting patterns elect their representatives including the President”.
The speaker shared an interesting and unique aspect of Turkmenistan’s Presidential Election where initiative groups of the citizens nominated 6 candidates for the said election. It believes in participatory development, capacity building, massive socio-economic development and above all alternativeness. In Turkmenistan six Initiative groups have been formed during the ongoing election campaign for the Presidential Elections 2017, he added.
They nominated Maksat Annanepesov, the Deputy Chairman of the State Association of Food Industry of Turkmenistan, Jumanazar Annayev, the Deputy Hyakim of Mary Velayat, Ramazan Durdiyev, the Director of Seydi Refinery, Meretdurdy Gurbanov, deputy Hyakim of Dashoguz Velayat, Serdar Jelilov, the director of the Head Department of Economy and Development of Ahal Velayat; Suleymannepes Nurnepesov, General Director of Production Association “Karabogazsulphat” for Presidential Elections 2017, he elaborated.
The speaker was of the view that nominations clearly showed true democratic traditions of its dynamic political system. Most of them are from corporate world which reconfirms that political stability is must for macro-economic sustainability. Its “model of initiative group” is the replica of “Japanese Political System” where majority of the candidates for premiership are from business community/sector, he added.
The speaker concluded the topic by saying that Turkmenistan is true democratic country where Parliament and People are supreme. It is a democratic country where political change is achieved through regular elections which are conducted in fair, free and transparent manners. It is democratic country which cares about its people and not profits. The Presidential Election 2017 will further strengthen its national drive of palatalization and democratization in the country
Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan also briefed about the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games which will be held in September 2017. Less than 250 days are left. It is the first country in Central Asia which is going to conduct this sports event.
He talked about its strategic importance and positive role of its Sports Diplomacy for achieving further socio-economic prosperity and regional connectivity. A great number of valuable guests from 62 countries, including 45 Asian and 17 Pacific countries will be received. It expects 5 thousand athletes from 21 kinds of sport, 2,500 coaches, more than 10,000 foreign guests, more than 1,500 technical staff members and over 10,000 volunteers. Approximately 150,000-200,000 sport fans are expected to arrive in Ashgabat in September 2017, he added.
According to Turkmenistan embassy, the sports venues are under construction in Turkmenistan Olympic Park with the square of 156 hectares. It includes over 30 multi-purpose venues, Paralympic Complex and Medical Rehabilitation Center. The sports venues in the Olympic Park will be provided with high quality sports equipment manufactured by leading world companies, also the peculiarities of venue decorations will be taken into account, he further shared.
He said that all sportsmen and participants will be provided with all the necessities. Major competitions change image of cities, force their development, thus Ashgabat truly has a bright future. He also named the participatory countries mainly, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, DPR Korea, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, I.R. Iran, Chinese Taipei, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, UAE, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Yemen. Speaker also highlighted the different games to be included in the upcoming V Asian games.
Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan also briefed about upcoming Energy Charter Conference to be held in the month of November 2017 in Ashgabat. Currently Turkmenistan is the chairman of this conference which has strategic policies to be pursued for further strengthening of energy security, saving, efficiency, alternativeness, and the last but not the least greater regional energy cooperation. The speaker said that said energy conference would also deal with the reduction of carbon footnotes, and innovation of science and technologies for the promotion of regional as well as global energy cooperation in the days to come.