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Peace at home, peace in the world

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Speech by H.E. Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, at the 22nd OSCE Ministerial Council Meeting, 3 December 2015, Belgrade

I should first thank our Serbian hosts and particularly my colleague Minister Daçiç, for the excellent organization. I would also like to commend the Serbian Chairmanship for having so skillfully steered the OSCE in a very challenging year.

Our meeting takes place at a time when security throughout Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian regions is facing crucial tests.

Nevertheless, we must continue to focus our efforts to find political solutions to the ongoing crises in Ukraine. Turkey looks forward to a settlement respecting Ukraine’s independence, political unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity, including Crimea.

In Syria, the five years of conflict has generated a multitude of problems for the entire region and beyond.

Terrorist threats have increased with new proportions. Bombings in Ankara, multiple terrorist attacks in Paris and the downing of a Russian passenger plane in Egypt claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians. These attacks have also changed our perceptions of security in a fundamental way.

I should also add that the incident on 24 November about the violation of Turkish national airspace should not be confused with our combat against common enemy of DEASH terrorism and should not be abused for political objectives.

Foreign terrorist fighters, violent extremism and radicalization are just few of the issues we now need to address.

Furthermore, with more people fleeing warfare in their homelands, massive influx of migrants and refugees have become another important issue at the top of our agenda.

While this may be a new development for some countries, Turkey has been coping with this issue for almost five years.

Since 2011, we opened our doors to over 2 million refugees and spent more than 8 billion Dollars.

Migration will remain a global issue, requiring close international cooperation. We need a strategy that includes burden-sharing, conflict resolution and more effective development and humanitarian assistance programs.

The issue has also significant security implications. We have to cover a range of areas, including information sharing, security cooperation and military strikes against terrorist strongholds. Turkey is fully carrying out its share in this regard.

Dear colleagues,

Terrorism, violent extremism and radicalization leading to terrorism and the influx of migrants and refugees are all interlinked.

To address these challenges, we need to deepen our dialogue with our Partners for Cooperation and relevant international organizations. We are obliged to rise to these challenges simultaneously, through a holistic, comprehensive, and coherent strategy. Addressing the root causes of all problems is also necessary.

We believe that the OSCE, with its comprehensive and indivisible security concept and operational flexibility, is an important asset at our disposal.

Mr. Chairman,

Adherence to our commitments in the politico-military field and preserving our fundamental principles remain critical in the current security environment.

The Vienna Document, the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe and the Treaty on Open Skies constitute the main pillars of the European security architecture. While complementary, each has its own merits and is no substitute for one another.

The economic and environmental dimension is another integral part of our comprehensive security concept, where the OSCE’s potential is far from being sufficiently utilized.

Human dimension is yet another distinctive part of our work. Our agenda in this dimension should not be approached selectively.

Fundamental rights and freedoms on the one hand, and tolerance and non-discrimination on the other, constitute two sides of the same coin and one cannot go without the other.

Mr. Chairman,

We are facing numerous challenges and problems. But there are areas of promise as well. We believe that the OSCE Group of Friends of Mediation, which we are Co-Chairing along with Finland and Switzerland, presents a suitable opportunity to this end. The Helsinki + 40 Process has also offered us a valuable tool to develop a new culture of engagement.

We believe it is crucial to continue this informal dialogue beyond 2015 in a result-oriented manner. We simply need to get together, think together and act together.

Dear colleagues,

Finally, I would like to draw your attention to the World Humanitarian Summit to be held in Istanbul on 23-24 May 2016.

We believe that the Summit will play a crucial role in addressing the current challenges of the system, given the increasing increasing complexity of today’s humanitarian crises. Formal invitations will be sent out in due time.