Press Release

Joint UN-Turkmenistan Steering Committee and National SDG Working Group Evaluate Progress and Chart Future Course for Sustainable Development

15 December 2023

December 14, 2023, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan hosted a combined meeting of the Joint UN-Turkmenistan Steering Committee for implementation of the 2021 - 2025 United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF/CF) and the National Working Group on implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Turkmenistan.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan H.E. Mr. Rashid Meredov and UN Resident Coordinator Mr. Dmitry Shlapachenko chaired the first session attended by the heads of UN entities – members of the UN Country Team and the Deputy Heads of national ministries and departments, Deputy Chair of the Parliament, Ombudsperson, research institutions and NGOs.

Having reviewed the 2023 progress in implementing the Cooperation Framework and challenges to be addressed and opportunities for  cooperation in 2024, the meeting participants gained from the vision of the Foreign Minister on the national priorities for engagement with the United Nations system and new proposals for consideration by the Steering Committee.

Minister Mr. Meredov emphasized the importance of resuming the Turkmenistan-UN Strategic Advisory Board’s (SAB) work. He also stressed  the necessity of organizing the mechanism of collaboration and the tools for implementing project and program activities among Turkmenistan's ministries, government agencies, and UN agencies in the country. The parties agreed on the need to review and update the Terms of Reference and composition of the SAB and hold joint meetings both on the CF and on the SDGs, including:

  • food security and climate change, through the use of modern green technologies;
  • digitalization and data management;
  • further development of the education system with an emphasis on school and vocational education;
  • strengthening health care capacity;
  • development of human rights institutions in Turkmenistan, in particular the formation of specialized areas within the structure of the Commissioner for Human Rights for the protection of children’s rights, ensuring women’s rights, etc.

The UN Country Team (UNCT) proposed strategies to support Turkmenistan's National Commitments at the SDG Summit and expedite the achievement of the SDGs. The six transitions and five means of implementation, including the cross-cutting need to ensure gender equality and prevent gender-based violence, were mentioned as the global accelerators to reach SDGs. It was also emphasized that the national SDG commitments Turkmenistan presented to the SDG Summit and the joint program ideas the UN Country Team proposed to the Government for approval were in line with these global accelerators.

The UNCT also presented an innovative mechanism of SDG financing – the establishment of a country-level Multi-Partner Trust Fund as a pivotal mechanism to enhance engagement of development partners and leverage additional resources for financing joint programs under the UNSDCF to accelerate implementation of the National Commitments to SDG Transformation. This mechanism is considered an additional tool to expand existing government cofinancing modalities and strengthen the Integrated National Financing Framework. The national side welcomed this idea and suggested holding additional discussions with the Central Bank.

Additionally, the participants received information on the draft Roadmap for the development of the 2026-2030 UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework which shall be based on the strategic vision for collaboration.

The second session of the combined meeting was chaired by the Minister of Finance and Economy Mr. Serdar Jorayev and devoted to the issues of National Working Group on implementation of the SDGs in Turkmenistan. The speaker from Ministry of Finance and Economy presented the National Action Plan on strengthening of national reporting on SDG indicators and proposed certain changes to the national Matrix on SDG indicators. Both issues were positively accepted and approved by National Working Group members. Meeting participants were also informed on (i) the results of the ESCAP activities on assessment and analysis of national CRVS system and recommendations on its redesign and improvement and (ii) the activities of the UN-Turkmenistan Joint Expert Group on SDG financing in 2023.

UN entities involved in this initiative

International Organization for Migration
United Nations Resident Coordinator Office
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Population Fund
United Nations Children’s Fund
World Health Organization

Goals we are supporting through this initiative