On 11 December 2017, the city of Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, hosted the international conferences, UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia: 10 Years of Cooperation with Central Asia for Peace and Prosperity in the Region and Neutrality Policy and Preventive Diplomacy in International Relations: The Experience of Turkmenistan and its Significance.
The events were organised by the Government of Turkmenistan and the UNRCCA to mark the 10th anniversary of establishing the centre.
The conferences were attended by a delegation from the SCO Secretatriat headed by Deputy SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Potapenko and top officials and experts from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, China, Russia, the US, Malaysia, Pakistan, Romania, and relevant department of the Executive Secretariat of the UNECE, UNAMA, the EU, the OSCE, the CIS Executive Committee.
Greetings by SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov on a national holiday of Turkmenistan — the 22nd anniversary of permanent neutrality status, the first International Day of Neutrality, and the 10th anniversary of the UNRCCA were passed on to the organisers of the high-level events.
Speaking before the conference attendees, Vladimir Potapenko said that "from the moment it was founded the SCO has worked under the assumption that the UN had been and will remain the leading international organisation to maintain global security, and the main venue for resolving inter-state and international issues. The SCO is also in favour of strengthening the central coordinating role of the UN in international affairs. This stance was reaffirmed in the Astana declaration by the heads of the SCO member states in June this year."
The message of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, read by the Head of the UNRCCA, Natalia Gherman, noted that conflict prevention is "one of the priorities of the Secretary-General, and that early warning and early action are the main activities of the UNRCCA and can contribute to the strengthening of security and stability, saving of lives and promoting sustainable development."
The event aimed to promote preventive diplomacy as an innovative tool in preventing conflicts and escalation of tensions, including by highlighting examples of its practical applications on the ground.
The UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia is a special UN political mission established at the initiative of the governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The UNRCCA was founded on 10 December 2007 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.