Topic: Permanent Neutrality
Ashgabat, 29 December 2004 (nCa) --- After Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan has also extended strong support to the Turkmen proposal for setting up a UN regional peace centre – centre for preventive diplomacy – in Ashgabat.
“Taking into account the geostrategic location of Turkmenistan in the region, and also its policy of neutrality and development of friendly relations among the neighbouring countries, I would like to confirm the offer made earlier by the Kazakh side for setting up the centre in Ashgabat,” said President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan in a letter to President Niyazov.
Nazarbayev says in his letter, “I would like to refer to the initiative for creating a regional centre of the United Nations for preventive diplomacy for Central Asia that was put forward during the visit of the Secretary General of UN, Kofi Annan, to Kazakhstan in 2002.”
“The initiative is supported by the Secretary General and the member countries of the United Nations. To the present time the concept of the activity of the centre has been developed and all the organizational questions related to its establishment have practically been solved,” he continues.
Stressing the need to choose the most convenient place for location of the centre, Nazarbayev said, “I think, in the capital of your peaceful country all necessary conditions exist for creation of the centre, the purpose of which is to develop Central Asia into a zone of steady development based on the environment of no-conflict and coexistence among the people.”
“I ask you to consider the offer, which, I think, would be supported by other countries of Central Asia,” concludes the Kazakh president.
President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan has already endorsed the idea during Niyazov’s visit to Bukhara on 19 November 2004. The proposal was incorporated in the treaty of eternal friendship signed between the two countries. The treaty has already been ratified by both sides.
With the credibility of the United Nations at its lowest since inception and the growing feeling among the weaker nations that they have nowhere to turn to for protection, the idea of regional peace centres to prevent conflicts locally could be the last lifeline for the ailing world body.