Istanbul Declaration on Promoting Cooperation Between Turkey and The Pacific Island States, Istanbul, Turkey 9 April 2008

We, the Ministers and Heads of Delegations of the Republic of Turkey, Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Fiji Islands, Republic of Kiribati, Republic of Nauru, New Zealand, Republic of Palau, Independent State of Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands, Independent State of Samoa, Solomon Islands, Kingdom of Tonga, Tuvalu, Republic of Vanuatu, having gathered upon invitation of the Government of Turkey, between 9-11 April 2008, in Istanbul, Turkey;

Recognizing that rapid changes are taking place around the world which have a direct impact on all of us and that at the outset of the 21st century, there still exist serious destabilizing factors in the world;

Affirming that peace and stability in all parts of the world are indispensable for economic development and prosperity and that the search for peace and sustainable development is our common objective;

Realizing that while the ongoing process of globalization and interdependence is potentially a powerful and dynamic force that can contribute to growth, poverty eradication and sustainable development, a vast gap of welfare among states persists and that this is having an adverse effect on peace and development;

Noting in particular that the developing countries, including some of the Pacific Island States, face special difficulties in responding to the challenges of globalization, as well as other problems of our time such as preservation of bio-diversity, access to sustainable energy and climate change;

Affirming the need for robust cooperative efforts to be able to benefit more and equitably from globalization and stressing within this context the importance of achievement in full of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as defined by the United Nations by the year 2015;

Recognizing, that the Pacific Island States have made considerable progress in promoting democracy, human rights, the rule of law and accountability, as well as in undertaking macroeconomic reforms;

Welcoming the substantial achievements of the Pacific Islands Forum and its associated agencies over the last 37 years since it first met in Wellington in 1971;

Affirming our resolve to further promote the socio-economic well-being of the peoples of the Pacific region in line with national, sub-regional, regional and international frameworks, including, in particular, through enhanced cooperation between Turkey and PIF Member States;

Appreciating Turkey’s several efforts, including the organization of the Least Developed Countries(LDC) Ministerial Conference in Istanbul in July 2007, inter alia, to advance its relations with the countries of the Pacific Region with a view to fully realizing the existing potential for a mutually beneficial partnership and thus contributing to the peace and prosperity in their respective regions;

Have adopted the following Declaration:

1. We reaffirm that regional and international cooperation is an important tool for promoting stability, security and social and economic development and that interregional cooperation processes should continue to grow to the benefit of the peoples living in all parts of the world.

2. While reiterating that trade and investment are important means for achieving sustained economic growth, sustainable development and poverty eradication; we stress the need for a fair globalization and open, equitable, rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory multilateral trading and financial systems that benefit all countries in pursuit of sustainable development.

3. We appreciate the determination of the Government of Turkey to assist the Pacific Island States in their efforts to achieve sustainable economic growth, development and poverty eradication.

4. We agree that the Turkish-Pacific Cooperation Initiative presents a suitable framework for a comprehensive and action-oriented dialogue between Turkey and the Pacific countries on the basis of equality, common interests and mutual benefit.

5. Appreciating the already existing broad web of diplomatic relations between Turkey and Australia, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Fiji Islands, Republic of Nauru, New Zealand, Republic of Palau, Independent State of Papua New Guinea, Independent State of Samoa, Solomon Islands, Kingdom of Tonga, Tuvalu and Republic of Vanuatu, we welcome the signing of the Joint Communiqués on the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Turkey and the Cook Islands and the Republic of the Marshall Islands respectively and regard this as an additional positive step forward towards deepening and strengthening the relations between the hosting country and the PIF member countries.

6. We reaffirm our resolve to deepen and expand the scope of cooperation between Turkey and the Pacific Island States in areas such as technical and development assistance, environment, energy, trade and investment, capacity building, tourism, health, as well as science and technology, with special emphasis on the acquisition, development and transfer of technology and know-how between Turkey and the PIF Member States.

7. We urge all participating countries as well as the Forum Secretariat to identify, within this context, innovative and concrete areas of cooperation.

8. Appreciating the value of our cooperation to achieve sustained economic growth, sustainable development and poverty eradication towards the realization of MDGs and other agreed international development programs, we welcome the decision of the Government of Turkey to allocate a fund of 5 million US Dollars specifically for the Pacific Island States, which is designed for the implementation of small and medium scale development projects in the Pacific Island States through the Turkish International Cooperation Agency.

9. We welcome Turkey’s intention to strengthen its cooperation with the region, including through high level dialogue, and Turkey’s interest in becoming a Post-Forum Dialogue Partner. We underline the importance of frfurther consultations between the Pacific Islands Forum members and Turkey to identify practical cooperative initiatives to promote shared regional objectives, and, in this regard, encourage the Republic of Turkey to participate in the annual Pacific Island Countries and Development Partners meetings.

10. We also agree to take opportunities to hold consultations at ministerial level, including, as appropriate, during the UN General Assembly high level meetings in New York.

11. We, the Republic of Turkey and the Pacific Island Developing States, agree to establish a standing follow-up mechanism comprising our respective Permanent Representatives to the UN, as part of the exchange of views and enhanced cooperation at international level.

12. We are resolved that our meeting today will constitute a further significant step in forging a sustained and close working relationship.

13. We are convinced that our efforts towards advancing cooperation among our countries will also contribute positively to peace, stability and prosperity in the world.