On 4 March 1998, the Government of Turkmenistan and UNHCR signed the Cooperation Agreement. The Agreement entitles UNHCR to pursue its primary purpose of safeguarding the rights and well-being of refugees and asylum-seekers and assisting refugees in finding durable solutions. Currently refugee status determination (RSD) is carried out by UNHCR, according to UNHCR’s Statute and the 1951 UN Convention Relating to status of refugees and its 1967 New York Protocol.

Turkmenistan is the only country in Central Asia which acceded to the Stateless Conventions.  In January 2019, the government adopted a National Action Plan (NAP) to End Statelessness (2018-2024) aiming at resolving the existing statelessness cases and putting in place adequate safeguards for stateless prevention, including the establishment of the stateless status determination procedures.  UNHCR provides technical support for the smooth implementation of NAP and initiates dialogue with the relevant authorities to take advantage of the 2022 national census to better understand the real scale of statelessness in the country.

UNHCR builds on the existing practice of annual Emergency Preparedness and Response trainings and widens its dialogue with the authorities to discuss concrete scenarios and contingency planning involving other UN agencies, national Red Crescent Society and possibly civil society organizations.