Security Council Open Debate Maintenance of International Peace and Security Addressing Complex Contemporary Challenges to International Peace and Security Statement by Permanent Representative Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioğlu of the Republic of Turkey

Feridun H. Sinirlioğlu 20.12.2017
Mr. President,

We wish to thank the Japanese presidency for organising this timely and important debate.

Today, in every pillar of United Nations action there exist tremendous challenges.

We welcome the constructive exchange of ideas that is taking place in this open debate today. We share the concern expressed by many on the gravity of the threats and risks entailed. We wish to contribute to the discussion by highlighting the following points that in our opinion deserve special attention:

In the face of the complexity of the contemporary challenges we are facing, no single state possesses the capacity to take on these challenges alone. As the Secretary General has put it, [quote] “the interconnected nature of today’s crises requires us to connect our own efforts for peace and security, sustainable development and human rights not just in words but in practice”[end of quote].

On the issue of concerted action, the United Nations is in an acute need of substantial reform to increase its capacity in addressing the challenges we face. It needs to enhance its effectiveness and live up to its place as the primary platform in dealing with international peace and security. Hence, we commend the Secretary General for acknowledging this need, and support him in his efforts.

We welcome the adoption of the General Assembly resolution that declares support to him to continue to work on restructuring the United Nations peace and security pillar.
Since the HIPPO report, a primary objective is to increase the effectiveness of UN peacekeeping operations while prioritising political solutions to crises. The prevention of crises before they scale up to open conflicts is essential in this regard. So is preventing the relapse of these crises in post-conflict recovery processes.

The Secretary General’s "surge in peace diplomacy initiative" and his subsequent reform proposal of the peace and security pillar have underscored the importance of prevention and the role of mediation, which Turkey, together with Finland, is devoting special attention and effort to as the co-chair of the Group of Friends of Mediation.

The Security Council, in view of its purpose and responsibility to maintain international peace and security, also needs to be reformed so that it can address complex contemporary challenges in that realm.

As a member of the Uniting for Consensus Group, Turkey’s views on the substance of Security Council reform are well known.

The Security Council has on many occasions failed to show timely and adequate responses to emerging and prevailing crisis. Most of the time inaction results from the threat or, as we witnessed this week, the use of veto. This is the biggest roadblock in front of the Security Council. Veto disables the Security Council’s functioning. And whatever the motivation, the outcome is a sustained or aggravated crisis and a UN whose credibility is undermined each and every time.

We would also like to underline here the importance of more Security Council interaction with non-Council members and different UN agencies and bodies. Also important is UN’s cooperation with other organizations”.

We also subscribe to the idea that we should take a comprehensive and holistic/integrated approach to the increasingly complex contemporary challenges.

As a final point, we need to pay more attention to tackling the root causes or driving factors of conflicts. WMD use and proliferation, terrorism, territorial/ethnic/religious/cultural disputes or the driving factors such as climate change, water, famine, pandemic disease, transnational organized crime, human and drug trafficking and others pose a challenge to the international community as a whole.

As quoted in the concept paper prepared by the Japanese presidency, the Council has aimed to discuss the relationship between many of these factors and security in many open debates and briefings. We support this approach. Because no crisis can be addressed sufficiently without paying due attention to these factors in a comprehensive and collective approach.

Turkey, as was the case so far, stands ready to join its efforts with the rest of the nations in increasing our joint capacity to address these complex contemporary challenges.

Thank you.