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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06ASHGABAT623 2006-06-12 13:00:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Ashgabat
Cable title:  

COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF CHILDREN TO ISSUE STERN

Tags:   PREL PHUM TX 
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VZCZCXYZ0021
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHAH #0623/01 1631300
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 121300Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT
TO RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0360
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 1174
RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ASHGABAT 000623 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR SCA (FRESE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/09/2016
TAGS: PREL PHUM TX
SUBJECT: COMMITTEE ON THE RIGHTS OF CHILDREN TO ISSUE STERN
REPORT ON TURKMENISTAN'S POOR COMPLIANCE REPORT

ASHGABAT 00000623 001.2 OF 002


Classified By: Ambassador Tracey Ann Jacobson, for reasons 1.4 (b) and
(d)


Summary
-------



1. (C) Twelve years after ratifying the Convention on the Rights of
the Child, Turkmenistan's compliance record is "a failure," according
to a UNICEF official briefing select members of the Ashgabat diplomat
corps prior to publication of the official report of the Committee on
the Rights of Children (CRC). UNICEF is looking for broad-based
diplomatic support for urging Turkmenistan to take steps to comply with
the convention. CRC plans to give wide coverage of the report on
Turkmenistan. DCM urged UNICEF to state explicitly where
Turkmenistan's noncompliance lay in comparison to other state parties
in whatever press announcement it issued. She noted that Turkmenistan
only would comply under intense diplomatic pressure and urged UNICEF to
encourage EU support in this effort. End Summary.

Turkmenistan in Non-Compliance of International Treaty Obligation -
Again


--------------------------



--------------------------





2. (C) UN Resident Coordinator Richard Young and UNICEF Representative
Mahboob Shareef called in select members of the diplomatic corps
(United States, UK, OSCE, TACIS, Germany and France -- though the
latter two did not attend) on June 7 to deliver a pre-brief on the
findings of the CRC vis-a-vis Turkmenistan's compliance with the
Convention on the Rights of the Child. Young prefaced Shareef's
presentation saying the small group was convened in order to develop a
strategy for urging Turkmenistan to comply with its treaty obligations.
According to Shareef, Turkmenistan ratified the Convention in 1994 and
was required to submit an implementation report in two years - by 1996.
Turkmenistan instead submitted its first report at the beginning of
2006, 10 years late and 12 years after ratification. CRC reviewed the
report earlier this year, found pervasive inadequacies and called for a
"high level delegation" to visit Geneva to review the report. Instead
Turkmenistan sent a low level delegation which during
the review was unable to address the areas of non-compliance.
Therefore, CRC was planning to publish a stern review detailing
Turkmenistan's failure to comply. Because the report was so stern,
however, the UN Office in Turkmenistan wanted to develop a multilateral
strategy before the report's release in order to urge the government to
undertake appropriate steps. The report also points out Turkmenistan's
noncompliance is particularly concerning given its ample wealth.



4. (U) The lengthy list of "Main Areas of Concern" include lack of:

-- Implementing legislation,

-- A comprehensive National Plan of Action,

-- National independent human rights institutions;

-- Equitable distribution of wealth,

-- Adequate budget allocations for children,

-- Verifiable socio-economic data,

-- Civil society,

-- Cooperation with international organizations,

-- National and ethnic group rights, including Russians, Uzbeks,
Kazakhs, Turks, Kurds, Beludzhi and Germans,

-- Access to information and material from a diversity of national and
internal sources, including the Internet,

-- Adequate health care, including HIV/AIDS detection and treatment,
and

-- Religious freedom.



5. (U) The report also highlights deteriorating education standards;
forced resettlement; widespread torture and ill-treatment of detainees,
including children; and over-institutionalization of the disabled. The
report concludes by inviting Turkmenistan to comply with its
recommendations by 2010.

Focus on Education


--------------------------





6. (U) The group congratulated Shareef and the CRC on a hard-hitting
accurate accounting of the abysmal prospects for children in
Turkmenistan and agreed to cooperate with the UN on urging Turkmenistan
to comply. The group also agreed that the deteriorating educational

ASHGABAT 00000623 002.2 OF 002


system was the most critical finding of the report and that
international efforts should focus on improving educational standards,
specifically increasing the number of years of required education,
increasing the number of teaching days per school year and improving
the curriculum. (Note: The Ruhnama earned a mention in a footnote of
the report. End Note.)

Publicize the Report by Putting Turkmenistan's Non-Compliance in Stark
Perspective


--------------------------



--------------------------





7. (C) DCM urged Shareef to encourage the CRC to put the findings on
Turkmenistan in perspective, i.e., was Turkmenistan's non-compliance
among the ten worst? Was it the worst in Central Asia? What kind of
company was Turkmenistan keeping? Was it in Myanmar's and DPRK's
league? DCM noted the USG's perspective that only intensive
international pressure could force action from the Goverment of
Turkmenistan/President Niyazov.

United States no Longer the Lone Voice


--------------------------





8. (C) DCM also urged Shareef to concentrate on soliciting strong EU
support, not just in Geneva and New York, but on the ground in
Ashgabad. She noted her growing impression that instead of focusing
their criticism on Niyazov and the government, some European embassies
instead were trying to convince the United States that we were
exaggerating the gross and systematic violation of human rights in
Turkmenistan.

Comment


--------------------------





9. (C) The CRC report is a depressing, yet welcome, confirmation of
USG reporting on human rights in Turkmenistan. Embassy hopes the CRC
can be encouraged to put Turkmenistan's record in perspective vis-a-vis
the performance of other state parties. The government may respond --
though with the bare minimum -- when faced with the prospect of being
included on yet one more "ten worst" list. In particular embassy
welcomes the focus on the deteriorating educational system here and
will work with other local embassies/international organizations to
develop a strategy for lobbying the government to reverse this slide.
End Comment.
JACOBSEN