UNRCCA celebrates fifth anniversary
ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan -
On 11 December, an international conference entitled "Neutrality and Preventive Diplomacy: Bases for Peace and Stability" was held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. The conference was co-organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan and the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) to mark the fifth anniversary of the inauguration of UNRCCA. This important event took place on the eve of the 17th anniversary of Turkmenistan's Neutrality.
The conference which was opened by His Excellency President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov was attended by Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, OSCE Secretary-General Lamberto Zannier, CIS Executive Committee President Sergey Lebedev, ECO Secretary-General Shamil Aleskerov, SCO Secretary-General Muratbek Imanaliev, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov, Deputy Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan Kairat Umarov, Deputy Foreign Minister of Kyrgyzstan Samargul Adamkulova, First Deputy Foreign Minister of Tajikistan Makhmudjon Sobirov, Deputy Foreign Minister of China Chen Guoping, Deputy Foreign Minister of Turkey Naci Koru, SRSG and Head of UNRCCA Miroslav Jenča, SRSG and Director of the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA) Said Djinnit, SRSG and Head of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA) Abou Moussa, SRSG and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) Ján Kubiš, EU Special Representative Patricia Flor, Chairman of the Executive Committee of IFAS Saghit Ibatullin, Deputy Executive Director of CICA Kanat Tumysh, Director General of UN Department of MFA of Afghanistan Mohammad Ayub Orfani, Ambassador of Uzbekistan to Turkmenistan Javkhar Izamov, US Ambassador to Turkmenistan Robert Patterson, Ambassador of Russia to Turkmenistan Alexander Blokhin, as well as heads of regional offices of UN Women, UNHCR, UNESCO, DPI, SPECA, international academic circles and others. Diplomatic corps in Turkmenistan and Turkmen ambassadors abroad were also present.
In his opening remarks, the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said that
The Center on Preventive Diplomacy based in the capital of Neutral Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, has significantly contributed to strengthening peace and stability in the region, fostering good neighborly relations and cooperation.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in his message delivered by USG Feltman, said that prevention is "one of the priorities of my five-years action agenda", adding that early warning and early action – focus areas of UNRCCA's work – "can advance security and stability, save lives and promote sustainable development".
Head of UNRCCA SRSG Jenča stressed that "the Center has become a recognized partner in the region and beyond, and works to help the countries of Central Asia identify and develop mutually acceptable solutions to existing and emerging problems...".
The conference focused on preventive diplomacy as a constructive tool to prevent conflicts and escalation of tensions. To this end the participants discussed lessons learnt, best practices, prospects, and challenges in this field. They emphasized the importance of early warning and mediation and various forms of dialogue facilitation, but also stressed the challenge of timely and unified diplomatic action.
The participants expressed appreciation for the role of regional structures such as UNRCCA, UNOCA and UNOWA in addressing existing and emerging threats to regional peace and stability jointly with regional and sub-regional actors. Taking note of the vast experience and positive role of such regional structures, the participants expressed the conviction that their establishment brought a new institutional dynamics to the process of dealing with regional challenges, and facilitated speedy action to address potential cross-border threats. The participants expressed their conviction that such regional structures could be used in other areas of the world as tools for preventive diplomacy and broader conflict prevention.
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