Statement by H.E. Ambassador Ertuğrul Apakan, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the UN at the High Level Dialogue on Financing for Development

Ertuğrul Apakan 23.03.2010
Mr. President,
Excellencies,
Distinguished Colleagues,

Turkey aligns itself with the statement by the distinguished representative of the European Union. I now would like to make some brief remarks in our national capacity.

The High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development convenes at a critical juncture today, as 2010 marks an important year in the development agenda of the United Nations. We stand only five years away from our target date for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, while the repercussions of the multiple crises are still heavily felt in the developing world, particularly in the Least Developed Countries. Although substantial progress has been made towards the achievement of the MDGs over the past ten years, it is evident that progress has been uneven across goals and within the countries themselves. The high-level meeting of the General Assembly in September this year will provide us with the opportunity to comprehensively review the MDG process and would be an opportune moment to accelerate and enhance required efforts and concrete action for the achievement of MDGs by 2015.

In an environment marked by major crises which risk undermining the progress made so far in terms of the MDGs, it is now evident that "business as usual" policies are not sufficient for the timely achievement of these goals and that we need innovative ways and means of tackling the challenges of sustainable development. In this regard, commitments under the Monterrey Consensus remain valid and crucial, first and foremost in terms of the eradication of poverty.

The Monterrey Consensus has brought about a new compact between the developing and developed countries by emphasizing joint responsibilities and global partnership in international development efforts. This spirit of global partnership, involving developing countries, donor countries and other developing partners must be preserved and furthermore must be transformed into concerted action to accelerate progress towards the MDGs.

In moving the developing countries, in particular the LDCs, on a path towards sustainable development and growth with the primary objective of poverty eradication, we need to focus primarily on the development of their productive capacities, diversification of their export base and market opportunities, as well as enhancing their capacities in services trade.

In view of the importance of trade as an engine of growth, the revival and subsequently the successful completion of the Doha Round Negotiations will promote the integration of developing countries into the world economy. It is vital that all key actors in the negotiations show a spirit of compromise and constructiveness for an equitable and development-oriented outcome which will help the developing countries overcome the traumatic effects of the global crisis.

Initiatives such as Enhanced Integrated Framework and Aid for Trade could contribute to the reduction of constraints which impede supply capacities, including weak trade-related infrastructure.

In addition to enhancing trade capacities of developing countries, scaling up and improving the quality of development aid, in particular Official Development Assistance, is also of paramount importance. Turkey supports the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and has endorsed policies for the realization of commitments made in the Accra Agenda for Action. Predictable and better-targeted aid which responds to the needs of developing countries and their specific challenges is necessary. Mobilizing aid to build the necessary human and institutional capacities, and to increase productive capacities would be instrumental in overcoming structural weaknesses faced by developing countries.

We believe that development assistance should be geared towards employment generating activities to enhance sustainability of livelihoods. Mobilization of funds to finance the activities of small and medium sized enterprises deserves particular attention in this regard.

In light of the importance of remittances for developing countries, further international support measures are necessary to channel these funds towards productive investment schemes.

The role of foreign direct investments cannot be emphasized enough in funding infrastructure projects which are necessary for long-term growth and development efforts. Therefore, we need to work on ways and means to enhance the ability of developing countries to attract multinational investments to further boost the development process at the national level.

National ownership of development programs is the crucial element for success in this regard. In fact, we can speak from our own experience as an emerging donor country, that the demand-driven approach has been particularly successful in our development assistance efforts. National ownership allows development cooperation to go beyond a mere transfer of financial resources by addressing specific needs and increasing effectiveness of development aid and assistance. The contributions of civil society organizations and the private sector are also complementary need to all national, regional and international efforts.

In the framework of global partnership, we believe that South-South cooperation is an important strategy in dealing with transnational development challenges. This type of cooperation strengthens vulnerable economies not only through mobilizing financial assistance but also through increasing their capacities on the ground, by extensive economic and technical cooperation on a demand-driven basis and by sharing experiences. Triangular cooperation complements this dynamic process.

Excellencies,

Our experience so far shows that MDGs are in fact achievable with the right policies and effective implementation. I am confident that our deliberations during this high-level dialogue would facilitate the preparations in the coming months for the high-level meeting on the MDGs and enhance our efforts for the timely achievement of these goals.

Thank you.