Turkey, a founding member of the United Nations (U.N.), is an ardent defender of the principles and goals enshrined in the U.N. Charter, supporting resolution of international disputes through multilateral cooperation.
Within this framework, Turkey plays a constructive role regarding all issues on the U.N. agenda and, therefore, attaches special importance to undertaking active duties and responsibilities within the U.N. system and other international organizations.
Turkey is accordingly determined to increase its contributions to international peace, security, stability and prosperity, as well as to further its efforts towards strengthening of fundamental principles and values such as human rights, democracy and rule of law. Thus, Turkey is announcing its candidacy for non-permanent membership in the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) for the period 2015-2016.
The main reason for announcing our candidacy once again, not long after our non-permanent membership in the UNSC for 2009-2010, emanates from our belief that Turkey will provide significant added value to global peace and security in an era of critical and rapid change in international affairs.
The Middle East and the Mediterranean basins are undergoing a political change and transformation process that is likely to mark the upcoming decades. These developments have further increased Turkey’s responsibilities regarding international peace, stability and security, thereby influencing the preference on the term for its next candidacy for non-permanent membership.
Throughout the course of history, Turkey has constantly been at the crossroads of international, political, economic and cultural interactions. This strategic location has endowed Turkey with outstanding heritage, allowing it to take a wide and unifying view on issues without making East-West, or, North-South distinctions. When the search for a new and inclusive world order has gained momentum, Turkey stands out as being more meaningful and significant.
Turkey is located at the center of the Afro-Eurasian geopolitical scene, where perhaps all risks and opportunities in international affairs are most intense. In addition, by virtue of its dynamic, visionary and multi-dimensional foreign policy practices, as well as its impressive economic performance, Turkey plays a pioneering and special role in turning risks into opportunities, and producing cooperative solutions.
Turkey has made substantial contributions to traditional global security efforts. Moreover, it has been a catalyst for expansion of good governance based on sustainable economic development, human rights and the rule of law, which together constitute an inseparable dimension of contemporary security.
In fact, the active approach followed by Turkey in the Security Council during 2009-2010, to which we were elected after 48 years, was to find comprehensive and lasting solutions to the current issues through dialogue with all parties. This demonstrated our constructive potential and added value for accomplishing global peace and security.
Our policy of “zero problems with neighbors” and our efforts to encourage international cooperation and dialogue are also among the primary elements of our vision for creating a harmonious and prosperous climate which will render lasting peace and security.
Turkey does not limit these endeavors to its immediate neighborhood. On the basis of the principle of indivisibility of peace, security and prosperity, Turkey initiates and implements mutually beneficial projects across a wide geography from the Caribbean to the Pacific islands.
Our increasing assistance to developing countries is the result of a conscious approach to strengthen the strategic link between security and development, thereby placing global security on firm footing.
Turkey is well known for its security-focused approaches to U.N. issues, and subsequent military and police force contributions to the U.N. operations. Turkey is now taking important steps in peace building, which requires a multi-dimensional and long-term effort. On this score, the meetings we convened during our membership to the UNSC took an integrated and determined posture towards these issues.
Indeed, Turkey organized a session entitled ‘peacekeeping’ in 2009, which was later carried forward through a Security Council ‘retreat’ in Istanbul. In light of the discussions pursued in these two meetings, Turkey held the sixth summit meeting of the Security Council during its term presidency in September 2010. This initiative was crowned by a Presidency Statement, which encompassed the Council’s entire efforts towards establishing peace and security within a single framework.
Turkey, during its UNSC membership, was also active in sharing its experiences in combating terrorism. Turkey took a leading role in the efforts to effectively combat terrorism, addressing its root causes, as well as building capacity to this end.
Turkey will remain engaged in these efforts in the future. The ‘Mediation for Peace’ initiative we launched together with Finland in the UN refers to a topic occupying an important section in the Presidency Statement. This stands in testimony to our sustained engagement in this field.
Turkey’s growing economy will constitute a major source of power in our future strides. Thanks to its sound and resilient economic and financial fundamentals, Turkey is among the least affected from the global economic downturn, and it currently ranks as the 16th largest global economy.
By virtue of this fact, Turkey also actively contributes to the work of the G-20, where it is a member, and constantly strengthens and diversifies its assistance programs towards the developing countries. In this framework, the technical and humanitarian assistance provided to all corners of the world primarily through the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), already an internationally known name, has increased significantly in recent years.
Turkey hosted the 4th U.N. Conference on the Least Developed Countries in Istanbul in May 2011 and assumed an active role in the implementation of the road map, which will provide guidance over the next decade. The road map adopted during this conference constituted yet another indication of Turkey’s will to deploy her economic resources in the service of global security and development.
Simultaneously, Turkey has been emerging as a center for international organizations in recent years, including the U.N. Turkey currently hosts the U.N. Population and Development Fund’s regional office, Secretariats of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, and the Turkish Cooperation Council.
Hosting important conferences and events, Turkey plays a key role in the conclusion of fundamental documents and agreements that guide the proceedings of concerned international organizations. Among such conferences recently held in Turkey are summit meetings of OSCE, NATO, UN-HABITAT, ECSC, ECO, Alliance of Civilizations and World Water Forum.
In addition, the meeting held in Istanbul in May 2011 of the Council of Europe Ministerial Committee (CEMC) which Turkey chaired for 6 months focused on steps to reform the CEMC and to nurture peaceful coexistence of diverse cultures in Europe.
It is worth noting that Turkey harbors a rich and deep-rooted heritage in peace and harmony, takes a globally leading role in inter-cultural dialogue, and promotes the Alliance of Civilizations initiative, as one of the two co-sponsors, an endeavor that has become the most effective and expansive initiative within the U. N. frame.
All of these factors underscore that Turkey, when elected to the UNSC, will significantly contribute to the UNSC proceedings as a country that holds diverse perspectives towards contemporary challenges.
Turkey’s overarching foreign policy vision also defines its views on the prospective Security Council membership. This vision aims to:
- act along the lines of a modern approach that upholds respect for human rights with a view to balance security and freedoms,
- enhance respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, democracy, rule of law and gender equality around the world,
- achieve peace, security, stability and prosperity in its region and beyond through cooperation based on political dialogue, economic interdependence and cultural harmony,
- take multi-faceted steps to establish a holistic, lasting peace over the long term and engage in efforts for peaceful resolution of conflicts and protection of peace,
- ensure that preventive diplomacy and mediation remain high priorities, and matching resources are allocated for dispute settlement,
- urge expediency in international efforts while combating terrorism and organized crimes,
- actively support efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, also bearing in mind the correlation between development and security,
- ensure international technical and humanitarian assistance remain unimpeded,
- bolster endeavors in the fields of inter-civilization and inter-cultural dialogue,
- advocate reform efforts geared towards furnishing the U.N. with a more effective and democratic structure.
Through this vision and desire to serve humanity and contribute to the world peace and security, we decided to announce Turkey’s candidacy for the U.N. Security Council membership for the period 2015-2016.
Taking this opportunity, we wish success to Spain and New Zealand, two friendly countries with which we enjoy immaculate bilateral relations, which also announced their respective candidacies for Security Council membership for the same term.
Thus, while announcing its candidacy with a desire to serve in the U.N. Security Council for a second time over a period of fifty years, Turkey has thoroughly assessed the best term suitable in offering its contributions to international peace, stability and security, and has taken her decision in light of this appraisal.