Press Release

UN, Government raise policy dialogues to a higher level

06 May 2024

Today, the United Nations Country Team in Turkmenistan has attended the first meeting of the Turkmenistan - UN Strategic Advisory Board (SAB), established by the President of the country on 8 March 2024. 

The decree mandates the Turkmenistan-UN SAB to organize activities aligned with the demands of the time and related to implementation of priorities stipulated in the national programs (National Program of the President of Turkmenistan for socio-economic development of Turkmenistan in 2022-2028, and the National Program of Socio-Economic Development of Turkmenistan for 2022-2052) and international initiatives of Turkmenistan and announced SDG commitments and discuss development of the joint UN-GOV programs in the areas covered by the commitments in the interests of the state and its people, and for building systemic partnership with the UN under the projects being realized with the UN and its Agencies. The Board will coordinate steps for the selection and approval of strategic directions of the UN-Turkmenistan and development of proposals for the Government of Turkmenistan. 

The Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Rashid Meredov and the UN Resident Coordinator in Turkmenistan Mr. Dmitry Shlapachenko chaired the meeting attended by the two Vice-Premiers responsible for the financial-economic and social sectors, head of the Agency for transport and communications under the Cabinet of Ministers, key national ministers and the heads of the UN agencies participating in the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework 2021-2025. 

The Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan noted in the opening the composition of the Turkmen side of the SAB demonstrates the interest of Turkmenistan in such form of engagement need for establishment of a joint coordination group, including the Office of the UN Resident Coordinator with a mandate to organize, hold regular meetings and to monitor implementation of the SAB decisions. He also suggested that a two-year Roadmap should be developed to be agreed through the exchange of diplomatic notes. 

The meeting focused on the highlights of the national priorities from the Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan, review and approval of the Roadmap for the development of the new cycle of the UN-Turkmenistan Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework for 2026-2030, and discussions of eight joint program concepts presented by the UN Country Team Members.   

“I would like to express the joint thinking of the UN Country Team in Turkmenistan: we consider this platform as an opportunity for high-level discussion of issues relating to our interaction that will contribute to the quality transformation of the strategic UN-Turkmenistan cooperation aimed at supporting the implementation of national priorities, international initiatives of Turkmenistan and the global UN initiatives proposed to the world community in response to the contemporary challenges and risks for the global peace, security, sustainable development and enjoyment of human rights”, UN Resident Coordinator Shlapachenko said in his opening statement. 

The SAB meeting also identified another priority area of engagement within the platform: expansion of SDG financing mechanisms including government co-financing and establishment of the national multi-partner SDG trust funds. 

“I hope all our joint initiatives will ultimately give powerful impetus to the accelerated achievement of national SDGs, growth of Turkmenistan’s international reputation contributing, as UN’s strategic partner, to strengthening of peace and security, realization of the UN Charter and implementation of the global agreements in the framework of UN summits and conferences”, said Mr. Shlapachenko in conclusion of his statement. 

Speaking about the Turkmenistan priorities for the upcoming UNSDCF rollout, the Foreign Minister outlined the following spheres: 

  • Political-diplomatic area, in which the culture of peace, dialogue and security will be matters of Turkmenistan-UN cooperation aimed at contributing to the development of a global security strategy, an initiative that Turkmenistan has been pursuing in the last to years; 
  • Social-economic sphere, where the major focus will be on acceleration of achievement of the national SDGs through adoption of effective and systemic measures within three dimensions of sustainable development, including structural changes in the economy, development of a global framework for circular economy;
  • Transport and energy sector, that will encompass initiatives towards the establishment of the Regional Center for Climate Change Technologies in Central Asia in Ashgabat, development of a global connectivity atlas, addressing climate change issues, methane emissions reduction, development of hydrogen energy; and        
  • Cooperation towards increasing the representation of UN entities in Turkmenistan, with initial efforts towards opening the presence of FAO, UN-Habitat, UNESCO, OHCHR offices.   

During the second session that focused on the presentation of eight joint program ideas that the UN Country Team had submitted for the Government’s review in June 2023, the Foreign Minister noted that all of them were important and a priority for Turkmenistan. As a result of the presentations and follow-up comments from the relevant Turkmenistan ministers, the Board decided that the UN-Turkmenistan partners could start development of full joint program proposals to be submitted for review by the Government for the following ideas:

  • Youth, Peace and Security;  
  • Digital governance and demographic policy 
  • Establishment of Regional Center for Climate Change Technologies in Central Asia   
  • Supporting NDCs and transition to just green energy 
  • Reduction of methane emissions 

In the end of the meeting, a signing ceremony of bilateral documents was held, including the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Turkmenistan and UN-Habitat, draft documents with FAO on capacity building for climate-resilient water resources management, digital solutions for sustainable pasture management", development of value chain of feed for aquaculture; agreement between UNDP and the Ministry of Health and medical Industry on procurement of health products to control infectious diseases in 2024-2025, and document between UNDP and the Academy of Civil Service under the President of Turkmenistan and on the institutional capacity building. 

Regular high-level consultations and reached agreements will build strong foundation for the strategic, long-term UN-Turkmenistan cooperation under which the UN will offer its best expertise and global knowledge to better respond to the development aspirations of Turkmenistan under the national programs. 




Chary Nurmuhammedov

Chary Nurmuhammedov

Strategic Planning and RCO Team Leader

UN entities involved in this initiative

International Maritime Organization
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Children’s Fund
World Health Organization

Goals we are supporting through this initiative