UN RC Jacinta Barrins speech at “Turkmenistan and International Organizations: Partnership on Global Peace and Development”Apr 14, 2016
Ashgabat, 13 April 2016 – The United Nations has participated in the conference “Turkmenistan and International Organizations: Partnership on Global Peace and Development” organized at the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan.
Among the priority subjects covered on the conference were close cooperation of UN bodies with the Government of Turkmenistan and the election of Turkmenistan as a member of three UN Committees held at the meeting of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in New York, April 5, 2016. Turkmenistan is now a member of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development, for the period of 2017-2020, Commission on Population and Development, for the period of 2016 - 2020, Commission on Social Development, for the period of 2017-2021.
The UN Resident Coordinator Jacinta Barrins started her speech with the recent Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) consultations held in March 2016 and a direct link between the themes of the ECOSOC and what Turkmenistan is doing on a country level integrating SDGs.
Signing the Partnership Framework for Development, April 4, 2016, as Ms. Barrins mentioned, is also a step that will impact on the implementation and integration of the SDGs in the country.
Her speech was concentrated on the key 2016 commissions themes. The Population and Development Commission was the first presented to symbolize the importance of the commission, as the 48th session was simultaneously going on in New York on the theme “Strengthening the demographic evidence base for the post-2015 development agenda.”
Ms. Barrins stressed on the significance of improving the data collection, its accuracy, and evidence based results, “It’s vital to have accurate data and to make sure it is used in policy making,” she added.
Among all the UN agencies that support the data on population, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) take great part in collection the data.
One of the themes for Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) to be presented on the 19th session in Geneva, Switzerland, May 9 -13, 2016, is “Smart Cities and Infrastructure.” For this aspect, Ms. Barrins underlined what the capital city of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, can offer and gave the definition of a smart sustainable city (SSC). “SSC is an innovative city that uses information and communication technologies (ICTs) and other means to improve quality of life, efficiency of urban operation and services, and competitiveness, while ensuring that it meets the needs of present and future generations with respect to economic, social and environmental aspects.” 
“Foresight for Digital Development” is a second theme of the CSTD. In recent years, Turkmenistan has implemented various projects in the field. There is Fund of science and technology and a newly adopted “State Program on the Development of Scientific Sphere in Turkmenistan for 2012-2016,” as well as Technical Park in Ashgabat that combines scientific-research institutions, educational institutions and other facilities. All of the listed promote the enhancement of the scientific-technical potential of the country. Fiber optic communication and a launch of the new satellite TurkmenAlem52E/MonacoSAT were also indicated as steps forward.
In her turn, Ms. Barrins advocated to move on a research field too, “because research is a basis for policy making. So much exciting can come from the research.”
The Commission on Social Development focuses on social integration, elimination of poverty, and productive employment, which are fundamental parts of the SDGs. Ms. Barrins called to push agenda to eradicate poverty.
During the 54th session of the Commission on Social Development in New York, February 3-12, 2016, the following priority theme was covered “rethinking and strengthening social development in the contemporary world”.
While Turkmenistan takes steps on social integration, including signing the National Action Plan on Human Rights, National Action Plan on Human Trafficking, and National Action Plan on Gender Equality there is yet a lot of effort and work to be done in this area, Ms. Barrins explained.
In fact, Turkmenistan has a strong social security program, in terms of pension, social protection system, mandatory education, maternity leave, free gas, water, low utilities and transportation cost. In particular, some 80.5 percent of the budget funds allocated to the development of the country's social sector in the first quarter of 2014. What is important now, as Ms. Barrins continued, is the “move on social inclusion, respect equal rights, and ensure equal opportunities and involvement.”
She concluded her speech with encouragement for the youth to participate actively in proposing ideas to the Government of Turkmenistan to take them to the UN Commissions, as UN Commissions are looking forward to youth engagement.
UN family, Ms. Barrins, and other accredited international organizations, representatives from Mejlis, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, professors and students of the national universities took part in the conference.Contact information
UNDP Communications Associate