Statement by Turkey on "The situation in the Middle East, Including the Palestinian Question" at the Security Council

M. Başak Yalçın 24.07.2018
Mr. President,
The Middle East faces a number of challenges, including civil wars, humanitarian crises, terrorism and sectarianism.
But these problems are not inherent in the history nor in the culture of the region.
We can overcome them. And we have reasons to be optimistic.
The defeat of DEASH in Iraq was a promising development.
Turkey’s operations against DEASH and PKK/PYD/YPG were important steps in our common fight against terrorism.
Now the international community must be united to build upon these achievements on the basis of international law.
Mr. President,
What the Palestinians have been witnessing in the last months is a total disregard of all the values we have vowed to uphold since the establishment of the UN system and a clear violation of the international law.
On June 1st, this Council once again failed to shoulder its responsibility of maintaining international peace and security.
The Security Council resolution on the Protection of the Palestinian civilians could have been a small step to overcome the deep sense of injustice and resentment in the Middle East.
It was a call to alleviate human suffering, a call to look for peaceful means to deter and prevent attacks on civilians.
Upon the failure of the Council to act, the General Assembly had to take action on June 13th. With the adoption of this resolution, the General Assembly restored the credibility of the UN.
It proved that the Palestinian people are not alone in the face of grave violations of their fundamental rights.
Now, the international community should closely monitor the implementation of the resolution which calls on the UN Secretary General to submit his recommendations, including on the international protection mechanism.
Last week we saw yet another provocative development.
The Jewish Nation-State Law adopted by the Israeli parliament disregards universal principles of international law and fundamental rights of the Palestinian citizens of Israel.
It aims to disguise the ongoing occupation and to discard the vision for the two state solution. The international community should react to this law.
Mr President,
I will not elaborate on the reference of the Representative of Israel on my country. It is an attempt to cover up İsrael’s illegal practices and actions and it aims at creating a distraction.
We should never forget that the historical injustice against the Palestinian people fuels hatred, alienation and radicalism in the region and beyond.
It is time for the international community to renew its engagement into the solution of the problem.
Turkey will continue to support efforts to find a just, comprehensive and lasting solution to the conflict and establishment of a sovereign and independent Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Mr. President,
While we maintain our hopes for a political solution, we cannot ignore the humanitarian consequences of the Israeli occupation.
As of July 1st, Turkey assumed the Chairmanship of UNRWA Advisory Commission.
This vital Agency is faced with a serious budget shortfall.
Turkey’s focus, during its AdCom Chairmanship, will be on placing the Agency on a sufficient, sustainable and predictable footing.
Bringing to life the Endowment Fund of the World Bank and the Waqf Fund of the Islamic Development Bank will create crucial new avenues for the sustainable financing of the Agency.
Mr President,
I will not go into the details of the the references made by the Representative of the US on my country. Let me briefly note for the record that we are not a nation known to publicize or self-praise ourselves for our humanitarian or development assistance. And what we do for Palestine and Palestine refugees are not limited to our contributions to and through UNRWA. We will be pleased to share details of our assistance with those interested privately but at this meeting let me just remind that according to Global Humanitarian Assistance Programme of “Development Initiatives” Turkey is the leading country with 8.7 billion USD worth of humanitarian assistance. This represents a 0.85% ratio between our national income and humanitarian assistance globally and makes us the most generous country in the world.
Mr. President,
In Syria, the regime continues to seek a military solution. Needles to say, this approach is doomed to fail and only serves to increase the plight of the Syrian people.
Despite this situation, there has been some progress towards the establishment of the Constitutional Committee.
Almost two weeks ago, the Opposition submitted its updated list of candidates for the Constitutional Committee to the UN Special Envoy De Mistura.
Astana guarantors will continue their discussions on the Committee with Mr. De Mistura in Geneva in the coming weeks and at their next Astana meeting to be held at the end of this month.
UN-led Geneva Process remains the main venue to find a lasting political solution to the Syrian conflict, in line with the Resolution 2254 and the Geneva Communiqué.
Mr. President,
I would like to touch upon the Law No.10 enacted by the Syrian regime, which seeks to confiscate the properties of millions of displaced Syrians.
Law No.10, if implemented, threatens to expropriate the private property of millions of displaced Syrians, depriving them of their homes and land.
It clearly contradicts and grossly undermines UN-led efforts to find a political solution, jeopardizes future reconciliation and flagrantly defies fundamental principles of international law.
Two weeks ago, in a joint letter addressed to the President of the Security Council and the Secretary General, signed by 40 countries including Turkey and Germany, we urged the international community to oppose the implementation of this Law.
Mr. President,
Face to the grim developments on the ground, our determination to address the plight of the Palestinian and Syrian people and our trust in their resilience remain strong.

Thank you.