Statement by Turkey at the 57th Session of the Commission For Social Development (Under Agenda Item 3 (A) – (B) General Discussion – Priority Theme)

Feridun H. Sinirlioğlu 11.02.2019
Mr. Chair,

With the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we have embarked on a bold and transformative path with a pledge to leave no one behind.

The 2030 Agenda recognise that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. Inclusive social protection policies are fundamental tools for eradication of poverty. Full and productive employment for all is an important pathway for inclusive growth and therefore, sustainable development.

“Leaving no one behind” requires us to embrace holistic approaches: Men, women, persons with disabilities of all ages, older persons, young people, should be duly integrated into the global development efforts.

Social development will remain incomplete without women’s empowerment and ensuring gender equality. We must support female labour participation and promote equal pay for equal work.

Ensuring access of disabled persons and the elderly to basic services and social and legal support are of vital importance. We must address the disadvantages that older people and persons with disabilities face in life.

Mr. Chair,

Particular attention must be given to Africa and the least developed countries in our path towards the goal of eradicating global poverty.

As Secretary-General underlines in his report, inclusive structural transformation offers Africa the best path to prosperity. This lies at the heart of policy to solve Africa’s unemployment problem, as well as decent work deficits and low incomes.

African countries should strenghten their strategies to promote structural economic transformation, inclusive, equitable, sustained and sustainable growth, and employment creation and social protection.

As a reliable partner for Africa’s development, Turkey will continue to support the implementation of Africa’s development priorities both in the 2030 Agenda and Agenda 2063. We will actively engage in raising awareness in the international community and contributing to the efforts for finding solutions to the pressing problems of the LDCs. It is our collective and shared responsibility.

All people have the right to benefit from global wealth and prosperity.

Increasing the productive capacity of LDCs through science, research and innovation as well as transfer and use of technology remain crucial for the development of these countries. The recently-established Technology Bank in Turkey plays an important role for filling the technology gap and accelerating structural transformation.

The Bank is a milestone in the implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action and also represents the achievement of the SDG target 17.8.


Social assistance and enhanced fiscal policies are the main instruments in reduction of poverty in Turkey. Principal beneficiaries of these policies are the vulnerable stratas of society. We lean on inclusive education and health policies for breaking the cycles of poverty.

Turkey made steady economic progress since the early 2000s, accompanied by an unprecedented reduction in poverty. This economic performance was made possible by sound macroeconomic management and structural reforms that paved the way for a shift of employment out of agriculture into industry and services. The government ownership of the reform agenda is strong and long-standing.

Active labor market policies, including flexible work arrangements and reforms, positively affect youth and female employment and increased supply of childcare has a positive effect on female labor force participation in Turkey. We also provide assistance to pregnant women who are not covered by any social security scheme.


The devastating impact of the conflicts in our region has spread beyond borders. Turkey is hosting the largest refugee population in the world, with more than 3 million refugees. Those in temporary protection in Turkey, particularly children and elderly, are provided with food, non-food items, health care, education, social services, vocational training and psychological support

Over time, Turkey has adapted to the changing nature of the crisis and the needs of these people, through increasing focus on longer-term and more development-oriented support.

In 2016, recognizing the increasing informality of Syrian workers in the Turkish labor market, we also enabled Syrians under temporary protection to obtain work permits, thus enabling them to move out of the informal economy and into the formal labor market.

Mr. Chair,

As I conclude, once again, I would like to reiterate Turkey’s readiness to implement the 2030 Agenda and work together with all related stakeholders in achieving sustainable development goals for shared wealth and prosperity.

Thank you.