Statement by Turkey at the UN Security Council on ‘‘Peace and security in Africa: strengthening peacekeeping operations in Africa’’

Bilge Koçyiğit Grba 20.11.2018
Mr. President,

Allow me at the outset to pay tribute to the United Nations peacekeepers who put their lives at risk in the line of duty and express my deepest sympathy for those who paid the ultimate price for the noble cause of peace, most recently in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Central African Republic.

Peacekeeping is the flagship activity of the UN, aiming to assist host countries in the difficult transition from war to peace.

The intensification and sophistication of asymmetric threats by terrorist and extremist groups is a serious challenge to UN peacekeeping both in terms of force protection and implementation of the mandate. In this context, peacekeeping missions should be supported logistically to be well equipped, trained and prepared to meet the challenges. We need to have in place, predictable, professional and flexible logistic support systems, as well as tools and means for increasing the performance of our troops and police.

Peacekeeping is constantly evolving and being tailored to meet new challenges. The UN has come a long way in this endeavour and its peacekeeping capabilities have progressed considerably over time. We welcome the efforts of the Secretary General and his initiative “Action for Peacekeeping”, which we fully endorse.

The diversity of challenges associated with peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts requires the contribution of a myriad of actors, including regional and sub-regional organizations, civil society and private sector.

As the dimensions of conflicts and crises are now outpacing the UN response capacity, we should adapt our approaches to respond to present and future crises.

Various regional organizations, such as the African Union have become established actors in peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts and the UN should be able to support and make use of the capabilities of these organizations.

In this regard, we value the partnership between the UN and the African Union and other regional and sub-regional bodies in the continent. Turkey encourages the expansion of the UN-AU partnership so as to include the areas of institutional capacity building, security sector reform, protection of civilians, human rights, gender mainstreaming and combatting organized crime.

We have to take stock of the positive efforts of the international community to reform peacekeeping missions to fully restore peace and tranquility throughout the continent.

Mr. President,

The ultimate objective for our missions in Africa needs to be generating success stories of African ownership and responsiveness, in cooperation with the international community and national authorities, consistent with the concept of “African solutions to African problems’’.
Somalia is a textbook example of the partnership and collaboration of the UN, African Union and the EU. We greatly appreciate the noble endeavor of AMISOM in the pursuit of bringing peace and stability throughout Somalia. In this sense, a special debt of gratitude should be extended for the sacrifices made by the troop contributor countries.

With this notion in our mind, we also maintain our support to Somalia in numerous fields through bilateral means. We are specifically focusing on capacity building for Somali institutions in terms of military and policing in cooperation with our international partners.

Mr. President,

Peace and security constitute important pillars of our approach towards Africa.

Turkey has allocated resources to the East African Standby Force (EASF) activities from its annual contributions to the African Union for the years of 2015 and 2016. We are also working on providing further support to the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crises (ACIRC).

Turkish peacekeepers continue to serve in various UN, NATO and EU missions across the globe, including in Afghanistan, Africa, the Balkans and the Middle East, where they contribute to the training of security personnel, the capacity- and institution-building of military and security forces, and provide technical assistance and strengthen civilian and law enforcement institutions.

We will maintain our support and also look forward to contributing to upcoming debates on responding to the multitude of challenges faced by international peacekeeping today.

Thank you.