PRESS RELEASE ON THE 16TH MEETING OF THE FOREIGN MINISTERS OF THE CENTRAL ASIA-REPUBLIC OF KOREA COOPERATION FORUM
On November 1, 2023, a meeting of the Foreign ministers took place in Ashgabat within the framework of the “Central Asia-Republic of Korea” cooperation format.
The current meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Central Asian countries and the Republic of Korea was devoted to the topic “Cooperation through the realization of the enormous potential of youth in shaping a sustainable future in Central Asia and the Republic of Korea”. This formulation is reflected in the joint efforts of the participating countries of the Forum to develop an agenda that determines the key areas of further partnership for the coming years, where the role of youth and its potential, which are being formed today, will be of decisive importance.
During the meeting, participants spoke out on current regional issues, issues of implementation of youth policy in each of the countries participating in the Forum, and also presented specific measures and steps taken within the framework of national plans and programs. The parties put forward a number of important ideas and initiatives to join forces in further expanding and strengthening international cooperation, including through youth interaction aimed at achieving sustainable development goals in general.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan R.Meredov, speaking at the meeting, emphasized that 2023 in Turkmenistan has been declared the Year of youth and this is very symbolic from the point of view of the implementation of the concept of Turkmen chairmanship at the current meeting of the “Central Asia-Republic of Korea” Cooperation Forum.
The conviction was expressed that the potential of young people in the process of forming sustainable development should be realized by intensifying their participation both in the implementation of national plans and programs, and by expanding international cooperation in this area. At the same time, the importance of the global initiatives “Youth 2030”, “Generation Without Borders”, “World Heritage Volunteers”, and the Global Youth Community was noted.
In this context, the Turkmen side marked expediency in the near future to focus joint activities on strengthening ties on the youth format and to formulate a Strategy for international cooperation between the youth of the Central Asian states and the Republic of Korea, the main components of which should be concentrated on such key areas as education and science, sports and culture. In this regard, it was proposed to consider the possibilities of joint training of personnel in “double degree” programs, expanding digital knowledge among young people, creating an International Student Center and an Institute for supporting the development and introduction of innovative ideas of youth, developing the “Young talents” program, preparing a Roadmap for Intercultural Exchanges for 2025-2030, holding international youth sports games of Central Asian countries and the Republic of Korea, etc.
During the speech of the delegation of Turkmenistan, the opinion was also expressed that when carrying out activities in the abovementioned and other areas of youth cooperation, close interaction with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the Korea Foundation (KF), the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), as well as national and international partners is necessary.
There was also a constructive exchange of views on key issues on the regional and international agenda and a common view was expressed on the commitment to maintaining solidarity and joint efforts to ensure global long-term peace, security and stability. The ministers emphasized the importance of the Forum’s activities as a regular multilateral consultative platform and its contribution to strengthening practical cooperation between the states of Central Asia and the Republic of Korea.
Speaking about the relevance and prospects of parliamentary diplomacy as an effective tool for global interaction in ensuring peace, security and stability, the ministers highly appreciated the results of the first meeting of the Chairmen of the Parliaments of the countries of Central Asia and the Republic of Korea, which took place in September this year in the Republic of Korea. The heads of delegations welcomed the decision to hold the second meeting of this format in 2024 in Ashgabat.
One of the priority objectives of the “CA-RK” cooperation format is partnership in the economic sphere. In this context, it was emphasized that the presence of Korean business in Central Asia and the implementation of joint projects in various fields can significantly and positively influence the development of the region and provide new prospects for a broad and mutually beneficial international partnership.
The participants expressed a common opinion on the need and importance of concentrating efforts on promising areas of interaction in the “Central Asia-Republic of Korea” cooperation format, ensuring synergy and using existing objective advantages and resources. Along with this, emphasis is placed on deep historical and cultural ties, the similarity of basic values and moral guidelines of the peoples of the region.
As the participants noted, the Ashgabat Forum demonstrated that the consistent strengthening of ties, increasing the economic potential of cooperation, logistics opportunities, the formation of effective cooperation schemes in science, education, medicine, tourism, in the field of environmental protection, joint development of projects in the field of industry, agriculture, textile industry, high-tech industry, digitalization, cultural and humanitarian interaction meets the genuine interests of the peoples of Central Asia and the Republic of Korea, serves the goals of economic and social growth.
Following the results of the 16th Cooperation Forum “Central Asia-Republic of Korea”, a Joint Statement of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs was adopted, and the Work Plan of the Secretariat of “the Central Asia-Republic of Korea” Cooperation Forum for 2024 was approved.
The next meeting of the Forum in this format is scheduled for 2024 in the Republic of Korea.