Subprogramme: Economic Cooperation and Integration
Promoting Good Governance in Public-Private Partnerships
Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) for infrastructure development are special contractual arrangements between public and private entities that share risk and provide services over a period of often 30 to 40 years. They can provide Governments with resources, new technology and innovative management. If suitably used, they can greatly improve the quality and quantity of public services. However, they require a strong public sector that performs a new role with new skills, and specialized institutions that set out procedures and processes by which the public and private sectors can develop partnerships. In short, they require good governance.
Weak governance has often resulted in poorly constructed projects and a lack of transparency and accountability. This, in turn, has generated a backlash against the whole PPP concept.
To address this problem and strengthen the governance of PPPs, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe has published a Guidebook on Promoting Good Governance in Public-Private Partnerships. The book sets out seven principles of good governance and shows how to apply them. Based on the book, a number of Governments have begun to develop their own PPP training programmes.
Using the Guidebook and training modules, in the Russian Federation the PPP Centre of the Vneschneconombank and the Moscow State University Higher School of Economics are developing certified training programmes for public administrations in PPPs.
The Regional School of Public Administration is also using the book in a PPP curriculum in South-East Europe.
Role of Turkmenistan in the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia: from neutrality to active participation
Since the comprehensive reform of the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) in 2005, most of its member countries have shown great interest in steering the Programme through the Governing Council, in the strategic discussions of the SPECA Economic Forum as well as in the activities of the Project Working Groups. Turkmenistan had been an exception: it shunned practically from all activities in the framework of the Programme. Involving Turkmenistan in SPECA activities was a strategic objective of UNECE and UNESCAP in recent years.
Turkmenistan’s increasing contribution to the energy security of Asia and Europe, its central location for the North-South and East-West transport corridors leading through Central Asia and its potential role in the reconstruction and stabilization of Afghanistan, among others through the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline, make it an irreplaceable player in regional cooperation. The UNECE has undertaken a series of consultations with the Government of Turkmenistan, including visits by the Executive Secretaries to Ashgabat as well as expert missions, urging it to actively participate in SPECA. These consultations increased the awareness of the Government of Turkmenistan about UNECE legal instruments which offer solid legal frameworks for strengthening cooperation with its neighbors in the management of shared water resources and in addressing transboundary environmental challenges.
As a result, Turkmenistan had expressed its interest to assume the Chairmanship of SPECA. The Chairmanship of Turkmenistan (2010-2012) was marked by its increased participation in the activities of the governing bodies of the Programme. Turkmenistan hosted two Economic Forum meetings held in Ashgabat in 2011: the one dealing with regional cooperation with Afghanistan and the other one summarizing the successes and challenges of 20 years of economic cooperation in Central Asia. As a result of the dynamic leadership by Turkmenistan, the Programme is making further progress in addressing strategic issues of regional cooperation and strengthening collaboration with donors and partner organizations.