UNFPA Regional Director Alanna Armitage made an official visit to Turkmenistan to discuss priorities of partnership
Alanna Armitage, UNFPA Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia made an official visit to Turkmenistan from 24 – 27 November 2016 to participate at the Global Sustainable Transport Conference and reconfirm the UNFPA’s commitment to support the Government reforms in the areas of women and adolescent reproductive health and rights, gender equality and population and development. UNFPA Regional Director was accompanied by Ms. Mieko Yabuta, UNFPA Country Director for Turkmenistan.
UNFPA Regional Director participated at the government-hosted Conference, opening of the new United Nations building, and held bilateral meetings with H.E. Ms. Akja Nurberdiyeva, Chairperson of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan, Mr. Nurmuhammet Amannepesov, Minister of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan, Mr. Purli Agamuradov, Minister of Education, Ms. Ayna Orayeva, Chairperson of the State Statistics Committee of Turkmenistan, and Mr. Vepa Hajiyev, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan.
During the meeting at the Mejlis of Turkmenistan, the Chairperson of Mejlis acknowledged the trustful cooperation established between the Mejlis of Turkmenistan and UNFPA in the areas of youth policy, gender equality in legislation, population and development issues. Ms. Armitage congratulated the Chairperson for the Mejlis’ important role and efforts in advancement of gender equality and reproductive rights and empowerment of young people in Turkmenistan, and highlighted the important role of the Mejlis in advancing International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) agenda in Turkmenistan. UNFPA Regional Director commended the adoption of the Youth Policy Law and National Action Plan on Gender Equality for Turkmenistan in efforts to advance gender equality and well-being of young people and women, and reiterated UNFPA’s readiness to support the Government in implementation and measuring progress of the laws and policies.
At the meeting with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, the extensive discussion was focused around the issues of bilateral cooperation between Turkmenistan and UNFPA. The sides discussed the future ways for UNFPA to support the country in advancing the principles of the ICPD, specifically in the context associated with a status of Turkmenistan as an upper-middle-income country, the effective implementation of the Country Programme Action Plan 2016-2020, and the approval and nationalization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Turkmenistan.
UNFPA Regional Director congratulated the Minister of Health and Medical Industry of Turkmenistan on the well-rounded reforms in the healthcare sector, particularly the strengthening of the reproductive health system. The country now begins to implement a total market approach in making contraceptives and family planning services available to the population, and Ms. Armitage expressed readiness of UNFPA in working with the Government to ensure that the needs of vulnerable women are met in their access to family planning services.
The sides further discussed the continued partnership of the Government and UNFPA in the areas of prevention and treatment of cervical cancer, integrating reproductive health services on primary healthcare level, and expanding youth-friendly services in Turkmenistan. UNFPA Regional Director commended the steps taken by the Government towards enhancing the national ownership of its health development programmes and reaffirmed UNFPA’s readiness to continue expert support in the Government’s goal to expand the opportunities of women and young people to lead healthy lives.
During the meeting with the Minister of Education, Ms. Alanna Armitage congratulated the Minister on the investments made in young people’s development and education and invited to strengthen cooperation in improving the quality of adolescents’ reproductive health education. Besides schools, alternative source of reliable health information for youth serve the youth centers in the capital and region, established by the Youth Organization of Turkmenistan and UNFPA, where specially trained young volunteers promote healthy lifestyle and conduct edutainment activities on reproductive health among their peers at the center, summer camps and secondary schools. UNFPA Regional Director noted the effectiveness of peer-to-peer education and expressed readiness to expand partnership with the Ministry in integration of informal youth-led peer education into the Ministry’s pedagogical framework.
Ms. Armitage met with the Chairperson of the State Statistics Committee and commended the government’s socio-economic progress, and reinforced UNFPA’s commitment to provide expert support on population data analysis and forecasting. UNFPA Regional Director also congratulated the Chairperson with the approval of the SDGs and informed that UNFPA stands ready in supporting the integration of the ICPD related SDG targets and indicators into the national development programmes and strategies, and sectoral plan of SSC, as well as in establishing systems to measure progress in implementation of actions towards the SDGs.
During her visit, Ms. Armitage also supported the “16 Days of Activism against gender based violence” campaign, initiated by UNFPA and Y-PEER volunteers at the United Nations building, where the UNFPA Regional Director, along with the staff and guests of the building, was offered to wear an orange ribbon and take a selfie with the important messages to stop violence against women and girls.
Interaction with the high level policy-makers, mass media, development partners and representatives from UN agencies and UN member states continued at the Global Sustainable Transport Conference, the first-ever global conference on sustainable transport, held in Ashgabat. UNFPA Regional Director then participated in the flag-raising and opening ceremony of the new building of the United Nations mission in Ashgabat, which was opened by the President of Turkmenistan and the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
UNFPA Regional Director’s bio
For additional information, please contact
Bayramgul Garabayeva, UNFPA Assistant Representative
Ene Tuyliyeva, Advocacy Communication Associate
Web: turkmenistan.unfpa.org, tm.one.un.org