On 3-4 September 2014 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan hosted a two-day high-level international conference entitled “The Role of Transport and Transit Corridors in Ensuring International Cooperation, Stability and Sustainable Development”, the opening ceremony of which was attended by H.E. Mr. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, President of Turkmenistan.
The forum was organized in order to implement the foreign policy initiatives of Turkmenistan, aimed at providing a comprehensive global peace and sustainable development, and the proposal brought forward within the framework of the 66th session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.
Event was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Road Transport of Turkmenistan in collaboration with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the International Road Transport Union (IRU), and the Intergovernmental Commission on Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia (IGC TRACECA).
The conference was attended by delegations from 36 countries and 16 international organisations. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the conference, the Head of Turk-men state said that Turkmenistan puts forward constructive initiatives, aimed at the development of a broad international partnership and meeting the interests of all countries and peoples, and takes necessary measures for their implementation, a clear evidence of which is illustrated by the current forum.
Committed to its peacekeeping creative policy, the neutral Turkmenistan is a constant supporter of the diversification of transport routes as the essential condition for the development of large-scale international cooperation. Currently, Turkmenistan is a key link in the formation of the new regional and inter-regional transport and communications infrastructure, the presence of which is one of the main factors of global socio-economic progress.
During the work of the Conference, its participants stressed an exceptional relevance and demand of creative initiatives, set forward by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, which are aimed at enhancing fruitful partnership in the transport sector in the regional and global scale, as well as production of its best forms. In this regard, the participants praised Turkmenistan’s contribution to the strengthening of positive international dialogue in this field, creating a modern and extensive secure transport and transit infrastructure, which is an important factor in geopolitics and a powerful integration resource that can provide great economic prospects for states and regions as well as promote the interoperability of their strategic interest.
Mr. Shamil Aleskerov, Secretary-General of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), expressed confidence that a successful operation of the Ashgabat conference and Turkmenistan’s efforts in this direction would lead to positive results which, in turn, will contribute to global sustainable development.
On the first day of the Conference quadripartite meetings were held on the creation of the transport corridors “Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran-Oman” and “Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia”.
During the forum, a number of documents were signed, including the Memorandum of Understanding “On the Development of Euro-Asian Road Transport Links through the Territory of Turkmenistan” between the Government of Turkmenistan and the International Road Transport Union (IRU).
Through the signing procedure Turkmenistan also joined the Joint Declaration “On the Development of Euro-Asian Rail Transport and Activities of a Unified Railway Law and the Joint Statement “On the Future Development of Euro-Asian Transport Links”, adopted in Geneva in February 2013.
During the conference, the delegates participated in the opening of the international customs terminal, the international passenger terminal and ground-breaking foundation of the Ashgabat-Turkmenbashi highway.
The International High-level Conference resulted in adoption of the Ashgabat Declaration.