Peace at home, peace in the world

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Speech of H.E. Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs at the Conference on “International Development Cooperation: Trends and Emerging Opportunities -Perspectives of the New Actors”, 20 June 2014, Istanbul

Dear UNDP Administrator Clark,
Distinguished colleagues and dear guests,

I welcome you all in Istanbul on the occasion of this international conference, titled "International Development Co-operation: Trends and Emerging Opportunities- Perspectives of the New Actors"

A number of positive results regarding the Millennium Development Goals have been obtained to date. Yet, there are still goals to be achieved. In the developing countries, the number of people living with less than $1.25 per day decreased from %47 of the population in 1990 to %22. Globally, the proportion of people suffering from malnutrition dropped to %15 of the population in 2010 from %23 in 1990. Even with such progress, this means that there are still 1 billion undernourished people.

Goals must not remain on the paper. For this reason, in this conference today, we will have an extensive exchange of views regarding the phase of implementation and its instruments. I congratulate the UNDP and TIKA for having organized this conference.

Distinguished Participants,

Development is the foundation of peace and stability. We consider that enabling sustainable, inclusive and just development, increasing social welfare and eliminating inequalities are conditions for lasting peace and stability. With this understanding, we attach great importance to international development cooperation.

We have eradicated absolute poverty in Turkey through our development thrusts of the last decade. There is no citizen in Turkey with a daily income under 1 dollar or 2 dollars. Our citizens trying to live with a daily income under 4 dollars have decreased to 2.8% of the population. This rate was 30% in 2002.

As a responsible member of the international community, Turkey has increased its official development assistance in order to help reach global targets.

• Our official development assistance (ODA) increased twofold compared with the previous year and reached 2.5 billion US Dollars in 2012.

• Among the OECD countries, Turkey became the country with the highest ODA increase compared to the previous year in 2012.

• The share of Turkey’s official development assistance in national income was 0.33% in 2012.

• In 2013, our development assistance exceeded 3.2 billion Dollars. According to the initial data for 2013, this represents 0.42% of national income.

At this point, I would like to thank the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) – which is responsible for the implementation of our development cooperation policy and which ensures that our aid reaches those in need and operates in 110 countries through 35 Program Coordination offices – for its successful work.

Distinguished Participants,

Our increasing contributions to the UNDP is a sign of the importance we have been attaching to development cooperation.

• We have strengthened our cooperation through the Partnership Framework Agreement we signed with UNDP in 2011.

• We have also increased our voluntary annual contributions to the UNDP core budget.

• We will make a contribution of 3 million dollars for five years, amounting to 15 million dollars in total, in order to implement the UNDP’s Regional Programme for Europe and the CIS. We have just signed an Agreement for this purpose with Mrs. Helen Clark.

• The UNDP Regional Center for Europe and the CIS will move to Istanbul soon.

Distinguished Participants,

In order to reach both Millennium Development Goals and new development goals to be determined for the post-2015 period:

• Donor Countries should abide by their ODA commitments.

• An approach to development cooperation which only depends on the financial support of developed countries is inadequate.

• It is important to coordinate the efforts of “emerging donors", such as Turkey.

• It is also necessary that the private sector is made to be actively involved in development cooperation. The Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development operating in Istanbul with the financial support of Turkey serves this purpose.

• More generous development assistance of philanthropic organizations will serve global peace and stability.

Distinguished Participants,

Turkey broadens its horizons of foreign policy, including towards Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific.

In this framework, Turkey attaches special importance to the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDs) and supports their efforts for development.

• Along with Belgium, Turkey holds the co-chairmanship of the Friends of the LDCs Group under the umbrella of the UN.

At the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries hosted by Turkey in 2011, our Prime Minister announced an Economic and Technical Cooperation Package to provide support to the LDCs. The Package provides for the allocation of 200 million U.S. Dollars annually to LDCs for economic and technical cooperation programs and projects as of 2012.

• Turkey already provides more than this amount of aid for the development of countries on the UN’s LDC list. The total value of projects implemented in 2012 was 350 million.

• We offered to host an International Center for Science, Technology and Innovation in order to ensure LDCs’ access to technology and to enable this center to work as a technology ‘bank’.

• LDCs will also be one of our priority issues during our G-20 Chairmanship in 2015.

• We are also ready to host the LDCs Follow-up Conference in 2015.

Distinguished Participants,

Some of the LDCs are also Small Island Developing States (SIDS). 2014 has been declared the International Year of Small Island Developing States.

We have taken significant steps towards strengthening our relations with these countries as we extended the scope of our foreign policy.

We have always taken into consideration the structural problems they have faced.

• Our assistance to SIDS in the 2010-2012 period has exceeded 10 million dollars.

• We intend to prepare Turkey’s 5-year development assistance programme for SIDS. Within the framework of this programme, we hope to allocate 5 million dollars to various development programmes in the Pacific Islands. We are keeping a close watch on this matter.

• I intend to attend the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States to be held in Samoa in September. This Conference will constitute a turning point.

• Turkey has contributed 500,000 dollars for the preparations of the conference to help ensure its success.

• On 7 June, we have held the Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Turkey and Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDSs) in Istanbul. As I had also mentioned in my speech on that occasion, I think that the SIDSs’ request for determining a stand-alone development goal for Oceans in the Sustainable Development Agenda can be supported, considering the vital impact of the rise in the sea levels as a result of climate change for SIDSs.

I congratulate UNDP and TIKA again and wish the conference success.