Statement by H.E. Ambassador Ertuğrul Apakan, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the UN, at the Security Council Meeting on Transnational Threats to International Peace and Security

Ertuğrul Apakan 24.02.2010
Thank you Mr. President,

First, I wish to thank you for organizing this briefing. It is very timely and pertinent for the Security Council to deliberate on transnational threats posed by drug trafficking, organized crime and terrorism to international peace and security.

We also thank the Secretary-General and Mr. Antonio Maria Costa, Executive Director of the UNODC, for their comprehensive and insightful briefings.

We very much appreciate Secretary-General's leadership in raising awareness on this issue, as well as the valuable work carried out by the UNODC in building the capacity of Member States to combat drug trafficking, organized crime and terrorism.

Mr. President,

In this era of globalization, organized crime groups and networks have unfortunately become more diversified and connected. As a result, they have successfully exploited opportunities presented by globalization and created parallel economies of their own living off illicit drug and arms trafficking and money-laundering.

So, today, we are faced with a unique and growing phenomenon that poses important risks and threats for the entire international community. Among others, these transnational threats undermine state authority, fuel corruption, hamper economic development and weaken rule of law.

As such, they do not only adversely affect the economic and social fabric of the countries concerned and erode fundamental values of societies, but also create tension and breed conflict among countries, given their transnational and global character.

In the Security Council, for instance, we have observed this grim reality on many occasions. I will not give any example, but it is evident that these transnational threats pose a significant and particular challenge for countries emerging from conflict.

Thus, they are among the reasons that exacerbate many crises where the United Nations operates and as such undermine peace-keeping, peace-making and peace-building efforts of international community too.

Furthermore, the interconnected nature of terrorism and transnational organized crime has also become more evident and troubling in recent years. Indeed, today, it is a well documented fact that the revenue generated from drug trafficking has become a primary source of terrorist financing, followed by arms smuggling, human trafficking, money- laundering and extortion.

One can increase such examples and linkages where different transnational threats work in tandem with each other to the detriment of international peace and security. Of course the magnitude of the problems they create might be different from one region to another.

But it is obvious that geography can no longer be a shield against these threats which don't recognize any frontiers and thus the fight against this challenge must be based on a comprehensive, global and effective strategy. There is a need for a strong international cooperation on the basis of a common and shared responsibility.

In that regard, there are already well-established institutions and programs within and outside the UN system to combat these threats. Our efforts must first and foremost be aimed at strengthening the cooperation within these frameworks and improving their efficiency.

However, as evident by today's debate, there is also a role and responsibility for the Security Council to fulfill, in monitoring these transnational threats as regards to their impact on international peace and security, in particular on areas and issues that the Council is seized with, and taking the necessary actions as appropriate to help the fight against these scourges.

Turkey is certainly committed to play its role on both accounts. In fact, mindful of the vital importance of an effective international cooperation, Turkey has already signed and ratified all the relevant UN conventions, in particular United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols.

Furthermore, Turkey has also concluded bilateral agreements for cooperation against drug trafficking, terrorism and organized crime with more than 70 countries.

Turkey is also party to many regional cooperation schemes in the fight against organized crime in the Balkans and Black Sea region, such as, Stability Pact, the South East European Cooperative Initiative (SECI), and the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC).

Mr President,

In conclusion, I would like to stress once again that transnational organized crime cannot be prevented by governments acting individually or through traditional forms of international cooperation. Organized crime and its tremendous financial gains necessitate well-designated, coordinated and comprehensive responses by international community. As Mr. Costa emphasized our response must be based on the parallel pillars of development and security backed by justice.

We hope that the renewed commitment by the Security Council to address transnational threats will re-energize international cooperation. The draft Presidential Statement which we fully support does certainly give the right messages in this direction.

Thank you.