Turkmenistan - Neutrality Day
The editor of Diplomatic Insight asked me to write a piece on Turkmenistan’s independence and neutrality day. I am grateful that he did because it inspired me to learn more about this important regional country. It is a well-known fact that Turkmenistan, like many other Central Asian Republic emerged as a sovereign nation states after the dissolution of the former Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War, but few have any idea that it is also a neutral country. As Pakistanis, most of us know about Turkmenistan’s importance in the context of the energy conduit TAPI or the Turkmenistan-AfghanistanPakistan-India. This pipeline has been part of a plan to transport Turkmen gas across Afghanistan to Pakistan and India. This hasn’t materialised so far because of uncertain conditions in Afghanistan. One can only hope that the situation stabilizes in the future to the extent that it allows the pipeline to be constructed and gas piped to energy India. number of countries had expressed neutrality and avoided the horrors of war. Switzerland has famously remained neutral and escaped the two world wars despite being in the heart of Europe. Neutrality of Turkmenistan owes its genesis to UN General Assembly Resolution number 50/80. The Resolution adopted on December 12, 1995 expresses the hope that “the status of permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan will contribute to peace and security in the region.” As per the resolution, the United Nations “recognizes and supports the declared status of permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan.” The resolution calls on UN to respect and maintain the neutrality of Turkmenistan. For its adoption at the session of the UN General Assembly, 185 member states voted for it. This is indeed a unique document and has been adopted for the The Neutrality Day is celebrated across Turkmenistan with mass festivities. An international conference is held in Ashgabat to underscore the importance of the event.