The 8th Ambassadors Conference
The 8th Ambassadors Conference

The Eighth Ambassadors Conference was held on 10-16 January 2016 in Ankara and Gaziantep with the participation of Turkey’s Ambassadors serving at home and abroad.

The theme of this year’s Conference was entitled “Crisis Management: Humanitarian Solutions” with a view to setting the stage for the upcoming UN World Humanitarian Summit, which will be hosted by Turkey on 23-24 May 2016. On the occasion of the Eighth Ambassadors Conference, a comprehensive assessment of Turkish Foreign Policy was carried out. The Conference was useful and meaningful to discuss the pressing humanitarian issues such as migration and refugees, development and foreign aid, prior to the World Humanitarian Summit. It was also an opportunity to highlight the efforts of Turkey which is a primary and remarkable actor in the field of humanitarian diplomacy in recent years.Within the scope of the Conference our Deputy Undersecretaries and Ambassadors gathered in regional sessions and held a detailed discussion on the foreign policy agenda.

Ankara part of the 8th Ambassadors Conference started with the visit paid to Martyrs’ Cemetery of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Atatürk’s Mausoleum and the address given by the Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu. In Ankara part of the Conference, Deputy Prime Ministers Numan Kurtulmuş and Yalçın Akdoğan, Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Binali Yıldırım, Minister of Education Nabi Avcı, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak and Culture and Tourism Minister Mahir Ünal addressed the Ambassadors.

Within the framework of the Conference, Deputy Prime Minister Tuğrul Türkeş and former Foreign Minister and current Negotiator of TRNC Özdil Nami participated in the session on Cyprus and addressed the Ambassadors. Also a reform action group meeting was held with the participation of Deputy Prime Minister Lütfi Elvan, Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdağ, Minister of EU Affairs Volkan Bozkır and Minister of Home Affairs Efkan Ala. Another panel meeting titled “Crisis Management: Humanitarian Solutions” was chaired by Deputy Foreign Minister Naci Koru with the participation of President of AFAD (Disaster and Emergency Management Authority) Fuat Oktay, President of TİKA (Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency) Serdar Çam, President of the YTB (Turks Abroad and Related Communities) Kudret Bülbül and Director General of Foundations Adnan Ertem.

In Ankara part of the Conference, our Ambassadors were received by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Speaker of the Grand National Assembly İsmail Kahraman and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and were hosted at lunch.

This year Foreign Ministers of Norway, Chile, Kenya and the UK as well as First Vice-President of the EU Commission joined in our Ambassadors’ gathering. UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator also participated in the Conference and addressed the Ambassadors.

For the first time in the Conference history, panel meetings were held with the participation of experts with worldwide prominence and world-renowned academics. Dean of the Kennedy School of Governance Prof. Lant Pintchett, Rector of the Kadir Has University Prof. Mustafa Aydın, Prof. Malik Mufti from Tufts University and the Director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute Prof. Rafael Flor participated in the panel titled “Humanitarian Issues: Root Causes and Possible Solutions”. A panel titled “Humanitarian Issues: A Comprehensive Overview” was held in which UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O’Brien, Columbia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs and Oxford University Professor Margaret MacMillan participated as panel members.

Within the scope of the Conference, four Ambassadors chatted with some university students, shared memories and experiences related to their professional careers. The Ambassadors also answered the questions of the youth on our Ministry and working as a carrier diplomat at the Ministry.

Ankara part of the Conference concluded with the press conference held by Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu. Turkish Foreign Minister also held a joint press conference with the UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond.

A province outside of Ankara as in the previous years was visited this year as the tradition of the Conference. On the last day of the Conference, Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu and the Ambassadors visited Gaziantep. In Gaziantep, Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu, together with a delegation of Ambassadors paid a visit to Governor Ali Yerlikaya, Mayor Fatma Şahin and Rector of Gaziantep University Prof. Dr. Mehmet Yavuz Coşkun. Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu then gave a conference at the said university on Turkish foreign policy.

Within the framework of Gaziantep visit, fifth office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was officially inaugurated in Gaziantep. Having opened the Gaziantep Office, Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu, together with some Ambassadors visited the temporary protection shelter in Nizip and a group of Ambassadors headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Naci Koru visited the Bülbülzade Foundation and Empati Association. Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek attended the lunch hosted by Gaziantep Chamber of Industry and addressed the Ambassadors. Within the scope of the Conference, Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu and the Ambassadors visited the Zeugma Mosaic Museum where a fashion show event for the promotion of kutnu fabric was held.

During the 8th Ambassadors Conference which was of considerable importance in terms of evaluating every aspect of Turkey’s multifaceted foreign policy aimed at making peace and stability prevail in its region, as well as for ensuring a more effective coordination among national/international organizations on global issues, social media was actively used to inform the public of the flow of the Conference. During the Conference, the public was daily informed about the events held within the framework of the Conference via Twitter and Facebook accounts of our Ministry. By providing a live stream of the Conference on Youtube, a wider public was kept informed about the issues discussed within the scope of the Conference.

For the photo album of the 8th Ambassadors Conference: click the page.