In the transition from the 20th century to the 21st century and in the recent times, there are two basic concepts that the whole world is talking and worrying about. These are undoubtedly “peace” and “security”.
The establishment of peace and security has not been as important as it is today. The basis of these concerns are the geopolitical earthquakes in the post-Cold War era, the rising tensions in the international system, the process of multipolarity and the possibility of nuclear war that should not be ignored.
This global turbulence forces states to take sides and this process deepens and expands the chaos and threatens regional-global peace and security. Therefore, the issue of neutrality of states is much more difficult than yesterday, and it is of great importance for the present and future of the international order.
In this chaotic process that threatens world peace and security, the permanent neutrality status of Turkmenistan, which is eager to contribute to global peace and stability, is very important. Because Turkmenistan foresaw these developments in the international arena in the post-Cold War period and became the only state to pursue a proactive, cooperative, constructive, active neutrality diplomacy.
This step, which is a result of Turkmenistan’s deep and strong historical background and diplomacy understanding based on universal peace, is a concrete indication that the international conjuncture and geopolitical reality are analyzed very well. Therefore, the strategic mind and experience of Turkmenistan during the independence process reflects a voluntary choice based on peace and security at the regional and global level and showed the whole world the need for states to show a strong will.
Although this choice is one-sided, it is especially important to focus on the reasons that pushed Turkmenistan to this choice and to understand its regional-global peace, stability and security background. Because the reasons that push Turkmenistan to the status of neutrality are still valid today and are of greater importance. The most important of these are the uncertainty in the international system, international crisis at the regional and global levels, the Eurasian-centered geopolitical competition and power struggle, the highly delicate situation of the post-Soviet geography and the fragile transition process.
The wise choices of Ashgabat since its independence and its neutral foreign policy, which is far from alliance formations, has made Turkmenistan a “island of peace” against many crises in its region. Turkmenistan’s permanent status of neutrality has been the assurance of regional and global “peace” and “security”.
The neutrality status of certain countries in the world is much more important than others in terms of regional-global peace, stability, and security. At this point, the geopolitical and strategic importance of the country that has neutral status has a decisive role.
Turkmenistan has chosen to pursue a peaceful and humanitarian policy based on cooperation, instead of pursuing a balance policy that can affect the global power struggle, create a widening and deepening effect on this struggle through its energy resources. It should not be forgotten that “peace” and “security” will bring along “development” and “prosperity”. This issue also lies at the basis of Turkmenistan’s understanding of permanent neutrality status.
On the other hand, the neutrality status is not limited to the responsibilities of the neutral country or the role it can play in international relations. In other words, Turkmenistan’s permanent neutrality status imposes responsibilities on the international community.
To underline, “guarantee” is one of the most fundamental elements of permanent neutrality. Here, “collective will” comes into play. In this context, strengthened regional-global institutional cooperation based on peace and security, the establishment of legal grounds aimed at preserving, maintaining, and strengthening this cooperation are of greater importance.
Turkmenistan’s permanent neutrality policy is in line with the main purposes of the United Nations such as to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation. Therefore, “active” and “positive” neutrality policy shows that Turkmenistan is not neutral in ensuring regional and global “peace” and “security”.
The steps that “confirm”, “reinforce” and “guarantee” Turkmenistan’s permanent neutrality are the most concrete indication that Ashgabat’s policy is accepted and supported all over the world.
In this context, UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia was established in December 2007 in Ashgabat, UN General Assembly adopted a second resolution with the same title “Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan” in 2015, the General Assembly decided to declare 12 December the International Day of Neutrality by Turkmenistan’s initiative in 2017. These developments point out that Turkmenistan will become the center and capital of global peace. Because the contribution of the status of “neutrality” to “security” and “peace” has been proved very concretely in the case of Turkmenistan and gained significance.
On this occasion, I congratulate the year of “Turkmenistan-Home of Neutrality” and present my respects and greetings from Ankara.