MEDICAL DIPLOMACY OF TURKMENISTAN

During the opening ceremony of innovative facilities of medical infrastructure on the Day of Health Prevention and Medical Industry Personnel of Turkmenistan, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has noted that medical diplomacy, which is support activation of fruitful international cooperation and exchange of practice in this important sphere, receives special currency these days.

Working closely with the World Health Organization and other specialized structures of the UN Turkmenistan has accumulated rich practice in the sphere of medical diplomacy – in promotion of practical contacts of medical personnel, development of effective measures in solution of issues of health protection of people, scientific and informational exchange in prevention and combating of dangerous diseases.

Turkmenistan was one of the first countries that started taking integrated measures against entering of COVID-19 to its territory, having managed to avoid strict quarantine, which has made negative impact on the economy and wellbeing of people in many countries of the world.

At the same time, understanding the danger of new global threat, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has proposed number of international initiatives aimed at consolidation of efforts in development of joint and agreed solutions in combating coronavirus infection. The government of the country has taken range of specific measures in this direction in the region.

The President of Turkmenistan has paid special attention on the subject of coronavirus pandemic in the telephone conversation with the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres in April.

Turkmen leader highlighted that this dangerous situation enhance the role of the United Nations Organization as the only universal international structure, which is able to consolidate the efforts of the world community in combating new threat.

Being a state, which neutral status has been recognized by the UN, Turkmenistan invariably stands for unity of the countries, consolidation of their efforts in combating modern threats including those related to COVID-19.

Reviewing this problems in regional scale, the Head of the State has informed the UN Secretary General that about experience of Turkmenistan in joint work with neighboring states in prevention of spread of infectious diseases. It was mention that coordinated work is carried out with Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan for provision of efficient sanitary and quarantine activities on common borders.

Neighboring countries provide mutual humanitarian support to each other under regional consolidation of efforts in combating new virus infection. Thus, Turkmenistan has sent humanitarian aid to neighboring Iran and continues working actively on implementation of economic and social projects in Afghanistan. Together with Uzbek and Kazakh neighbors, number of measures has been taken for establishment of favorable conditions for staying of citizens of our countries on the territory of other states.

During the conversation, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has also expressed confidence that combating the pandemic has to be followed by the search for new forms and methods of work, which allow all countries of the world supporting activity of national financial and economic systems as well as global economy in general.

The Head of Turkmenistan has highlighted that it is necessary to provide high level of consolidation in international community, develop and introduce new models of cooperation between the countries, regions and continents for this purpose.

In this purpose, the President expressed gratitude to the UN Secretary General for his initiative for development of National Coronavirus Infection Readiness and Response Plans.

Fully supporting the initiative as well as two special Resolutions and three Plans in the sphere of international cooperation and solidarity in combating COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Turkmenistan together with the United Nations Permanent Coordinator in our country and the UN country agencies has developed National Acute Infectious Disease Readiness and Response Plan.

Social and Economic Operation Plan has been also developed and approved for combating coronavirus pandemic.

According to National Plan, which also specifies the order and mechanisms of cooperation with WHO and other partners, it is planned to take proper measures in number of directions. It includes the provision of high level and modernization of equipment and resource base of health protection system for combating infectious diseases; regular renewal of relative equipment and resources on scientific and methodological base; implementation of advanced international practice.

The Plan is also aimed at provision of readiness of profile national personnel, their professional improvement taking into account the trends of development of the world medical science, enhancement of work quality of doctors specialized in the most required fields following the situation in the world, in particular virologists and immunologists.

In this context, the Resolution on provision of increment of salary wage of medical personnel engaged in prevention of entry and spread of virus infection in the country, which was signed by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, is very important.

In addition, the document provides the improvement of scientific, methodological and legal base of health protection sphere based on international practice and following recommendation of the WHO. Special attention is paid to development of priority spheres of national medical science and promotion of medical diplomacy.

Assessments and proposals presented by the President of Turkmenistan during video conference session with General Directors of the World Health Organization Tedros Ghebreyesus in August were another step in promotion of medical diplomacy.

Informing the Head of the WHO on integrated measures undertaken in the country for prevention of COVID-19, Turkmen leader has noted the uncertainty of many aspects related to the coronavirus and expressed an idea about development of special program of the World Health Organization on study of the genome of coronavirus in order to find out root causes of appearance of new viruses, having consolidated the efforts of scientists from different countries of the world.

The President has also highlighted the necessity of consolidation of efforts of the states under patronage of the World Health Organization for correct diagnostic of this disease, having offered the WHO European Regional Bureau to think over the development of the method of treatment of pneumonia.

Having noted special importance of improvement of treatment methods of new infections diseases and their prevention, Turkmen leader expressed hope for support of the World Health Organization in this direction and suggested to review the subject on establishment of methodological center of treatment and prevention of acute infectious disease in the structure of the WHO.

Therefore, institutional, treatment and diagnostic spheres of consolidation of efforts, which have to provide success in combating against global coronavirus pandemic, have been covered.

Having expressed gratitude to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for presented information and proposals, General Director of the World Health Organization Tedros Ghebreyesus noted the importance of initiatives of the Head of the State, which are significant for entire humankind and expressed willingness of the WHO to carry out joint activity.

Initiatives of the President of Turkmenistan related to promotion of medical diplomacy for efficient combating against COVID-19 pandemic have been presented in full and systematic format in video conference speech of the Head of the State at the 75th session of the UN General Assembly.

Reviewing COVID-19 pandemic in wider context as negative factor affecting not only health and social wealth of the population but also global economy and fulfilment of the Sustainable Development Goals, Turkmen leader Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has made special mention of the relation between new threats and ecological problems.

The coronavirus pandemic has affected the majority of the world countries to certain extent. However, it presents greater danger to ecologically disadvantaged regions. In this regard, the President of Turkmenistan has highlighted the problem of the Aral Sea crisis, which is big current issue for the nations and states of Central Asia.

In this regard, integrated systematic approach, relative documentary and legal provision as separate direction of work of the United Nations have been proposed.

Implementation of Turkmenistan’s initiative on development of the UN Special Program for Aral Sea basin may be based on the Resolution of the UN General Assembly on Cooperation between the United Nations Organization and International Fund for Saving of Aral Sea adopted in April 2018 and May 2019, which acts as the platform for consolidation of joint efforts in Aral direction today.

Actively developing medical diplomacy of Turkmenistan is another contribution of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to solution of globally important modern issues and to multidimensional concept of diplomacy.

Pursuing the diplomacy in its classical understanding as activity for implementation of goals and objectives of foreign policy of the state as well as for protection of national interests, Turkmenistan pays special attention to specialization and differential promotion of diplomatic efforts for the most current directions of international agenda.

It includes energy, transport, water, scientific, cultural, sport, people and other diplomacies, which develop and enrich the functions and methods of traditional diplomacy.

For example, e-diplomacy (electronic or digital diplomacy), which is related with use of capabilities of internet network, information and communication technologies for solution of foreign objectives, was able to appear only in our digital century.

New media resources, social networks, blogs and similar media platforms of the global network are used under digital diplomacy. The main goals of e-diplomacy are to promote foreign interests, informational propaganda aimed at public perception and political establishment through the websites, internet TV, social networks and mobile applications.

The efficiency of diplomacy, in particular its medical direction, has been visually demonstrated by recent event related to the opening of new medical centers in Ashgabat, which importance was highlighted by participation of Head of the State Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

One of the guests has noted that implementation and use of high-technology medical equipment allows health protection system of Turkmenistan making colossal steps forward and receive maximum effect in treatment and rehabilitation of patients.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of new centers, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has made special mention of the efficiency of beneficial cooperation with the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children and Population funds, the UN Development Program and other competent international structures as the main channels of promotion of medical diplomacy.