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Peace at home, peace in the world

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Remarks by Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey at the meeting entitled “LDC Graduation: The Way Towards MDG Acceleration, Sustainable Development and Structural Transformation”, 27 September 2013, New York

Distinguished Ministers,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to welcome you to the Turkish House.

Thank you for joining us in this event on “LDC Graduation: The Way Towards MDG Acceleration, Sustainable Development and Structural Transformation”

I am delighted to chair this meeting together with my distinguished colleague, H.E. Mr. Jean-Pascal Labille, Minister for Development Cooperation of Belgium.

My special thanks go to H.E. Mr. Helen Clark, Administrator of the UNDP, for being with us.

I should also like to thank H.E. Mr. Gyan Chandra Acharya, Under- Secretary General, and his able team, for their efforts for the organization of today’s event.

Excellencies,

The Istanbul Conference in May 2011 was a landmark in drawing global attention to the LDCs. We must deliver on our commitments stipulated in the Istanbul Programme of Action timely and effectively.

The global economic crisis and austerity measures should not be put forward as excuses to waver from our joint commitment to help the most vulnerable among us.

As a member of the G-20 and an emerging donor country, Turkey is committed to implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action and supports the development endeavors of LDCs in the context of South-South Cooperation.

We believe that the Economic and Technical Cooperation Package of Turkey towards the LDCs will have a substantial impact on the ground, in line with our proven successful record in providing demand-driven and need-based assistance.

Our total spending on the projects implemented in LDCs in 2012 is estimated around 260 million US Dollars.

For Somalia alone, the Turkish people collected over 300 million US Dollars last year in voluntary donation campaigns conducted in the framework of the humanitarian crisis caused by drought, hunger and famine in the country.

We are providing many scholarships to the students from the LDCs. Turkey stands ready to host Science, Technology and Innovation Center/Technology Bank dedicated to the LDCs. The International Agricultural Center in İzmir is already working with the LDCs, mainly through training programmes.

Turkey’s current investments in the LDCs have exceeded 2 billion USD. We aim to increase this amount to 10 billion USD by 2020. The Turkish private sector is being facilitated through various support measures such as increased credit lines for LDC-related projects and programs.

Furthermore, the Turkish civil society organizations are conducting training and education programmes, building hospitals and schools, extending financial aid, providing health services and donating equipment in many LDCs.

The goal of enabling half of the LDCs to graduate from this category within this decade may seem ambitious. However, it is our firm belief that this is achievable provided that the necessary political will is demonstrated on the part of development partners. New thinking and sustained efforts are required to this effect. We cannot continue with the “business-as-usual” approach in the international aid and development architecture.

There exists a need for a smooth transition process for the graduating LDCs. They should not feel uncomfortable and left behind after graduation. In this regard, the donor community and the UN system should continue their assistance to those countries. It is highly important to craft their smooth transition process in line with their specific needs and ongoing vulnerabilities. Otherwise, we cannot encourage the LDCs, especially those approaching to fulfill the graduation criteria, to graduate.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As we continue our work to define sustainable development goals and establish the post-2015 development agenda, we must pay special attention and due care to the particular conditions of the LDCs. The Member States and the UN system should consider and adopt effective safeguards for countries in the LDC category in the context of the deliberations on the post-2015 development agenda.

Turkey will assume the Chairmanship of the G-20 in 2015. LDCs will be one of the priorities of our G-20 Chairmanship and we will be in close consultation with our counterparts in the LDCs to obtain concrete results on the ground and make some LDCs to graduate.

Finally, I would like to reiterate that Turkey already offered to host the Midterm Review Conference of the Istanbul Programme of Action in 2015 as well.

I thank you once again for your participation.