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Peace at home, peace in the world

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Ministerial Meeting of the Friends of Democtaric Pakistan, Opening Speech by H.E. Ahmet Davutoğlu Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, 25 August 2009, İstanbul

Dear Ministers,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my distinct pleasure to welcome you in Istanbul as the co-host of the Ministerial Meeting of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan.

The FoDP is a comprehensive process led by Pakistan that is uniquely tailored to address the needs of Pakistan. It should also be regarded as a long term effort which however must deliver concretely also in the shortest run.

The FoDP is also a unique process launched at a critical juncture for Pakistan, the wider region and indeed our world.

The circumstances surrounding the launch of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan group demonstrates the continuing importance of our endeavors:

First of all, the elections of 18th February 2008 demonstrated the strong commitment of the people of Pakistan in democracy, a choice that we have since been happy to support;

Secondly, Pakistan is a key country in a critically important region which on its part is going through a significant period;

And thirdly, Pakistan has been facing serious challenges simultaneously on several fronts and it is incumbent on us to bring our cooperation and assistance to Pakistan’s democratically elected Government.

All the countries represented in this room are facing challenges at home of one kind or another. Pakistan’s challenges are testing both in terms of their scope and nature. The recent situation regarding the Internally Displaced Persons affects millions of people awaiting urgent relief. The challenges posed by extremism and terrorism by their nature have ramifications across borders.

The FoDP is thus a cooperative platform that mobilizes the international community around the Government of Pakistan. Our purpose is to support Pakistan in its quest to realize its potential and achieve a bright future. We are engaged as friends and as countries which have concerns of stability for the region. But, our engagement is also because it is a good investment for the future.

Our starting point is the inspirational potential that Pakistan embodies. Pakistan has a large, young and dynamic population. Itself a thriving market and a potential massive production base, Pakistan is located at the crossroads of significant markets.

We deeply appreciate the resolve of the Government and people of Pakistan in this process. The support that the Government of Pakistan has enjoyed from a united front, ranging from the most prominent political figures to the civil society, has been truly impressive.

From a regional point of view we are also impressed with the efforts of the Government of Pakistan to increase dialogue and cooperation with its immediate neighbors, namely Afghanistan and India.

Pakistan’s own stances have reinforced the enthusiasm of the international community to provide support to the realization of the peaceful and democratic future genuinely desired and deserved by the people of Pakistan. As Pakistan launched economic reforms and reached an agreement with the IMF, the Friends of Democratic Pakistan gathered momentum thanks to the Ministerial meeting held in Tokyo alongside the Donors Conference.

There has been considerable progress in the work of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan group since its formation eleven months ago. However, this is a dynamic process involving dynamic actors and much more needs to be done in both the short and the longer terms.

Yesterday, the Senior Level representatives have held a very useful meeting in which a significant convergence was achieved for the future of the FoDP process.

Several keywords were underscored with broad support, including the importance of the energy sector; geographical spread of projects; aid effectiveness and coordination; concrete implementation; and the need for public diplomacy and outreach to win public support both in Pakistan and in the FoDP countries.

I am convinced that the solutions developed by the people of Pakistan merit particular support. Local ownership is essential for the productability and sustainability of our efforts.

The Malakand Pilot Project is a comprehensive strategy and a model for the entire country. It is locally devised and it should be owned by the people of Pakistan. This is a good start and it should be replicated elsewhere in Pakistan. We need to make sure that this project will be beneficial for the neighboring Mohmand and Bajaur Agencies, as well. Its implementation should begin as soon as possible, so that visible effects can be seen on the ground.

The other key topic discussed yesterday both by our Senior Officials and our private sector representatives was “Public - Private Partnership.”

On a larger scale, the injection of the private sector’s innate dynamism into the efforts of the Government of Pakistan and of the international community will add impetus to the ongoing efforts.

A prolific public-private partnership would promise the dynamism, vitality and long term sustainability of our concrete projects and endeavours.

In order to support this goal, a businesspersons meeting was held yesterday to discuss their possible contributions to the FoDP process. Such a meeting was organized for the first time in the framework of the FoDP.

A specific contribution to the FoDP process of our meeting today may well be a strong future emphasis on developing public-private partnerships across the full spectrum of developmental activities.

In hosting this meeting Turkey has demonstrated her full confidence that in due course the Pakistani Government and people shall overcome the challenges that they face today. We have faith in the institutional capabilities of Pakistan. Turkey will continue to extend her support wherever necessary.

I am hopeful that the Istanbul Meetings will help carry the FoDP process forward in a robust, concerted and concrete manner so that tangible results can be achieved to the benefit of the people of Pakistan.

Turkey will be happy to provide an assessment in this regard at the next FoDP Summit meeting. 

With these thoughts, in opening our Ministerial meeting, I wish our group every success. 

Thank you.