Statement by H.E. Mr. Seyfullah Hacımüftüoğlu, Deputy Endersecretary of the Prime Ministry of Turkey, at the High Level Conference on the Central Emergency Response Fund

Seyfullah Hacımüftüoğlu 13.12.2007
Mr. President,

In recent years, natural disasters have claimed more victims and caused more devastation than man made crises. This year, 15 flash appeals have been made so far which indicate a three fold rise compared to last year. Statistics suggest that the number of people threatened by natural disasters has increased by three times over the last 30 years.

This picture dictates to take an early action to reduce loss of life, provide effective response to time-critical requirements and strengthen core elements of humanitarian response in the face of disasters.

Central Emergency Response Fund, within a short period since its launch in March 2006, has proven to be a highly effective instrument in meeting these crucial challenges. Having actively taken part in the process leading to the General Assembly Resolution 60/124 of December 2005 and co-sponsored it, we particularly take pride in the achievements of the Fund.

I'm here to reaffirm that Turkey's strong support to CERF will continue. As a nation, situated in a disaster-prone geography and having a strong tradition of responding to those in need, Turkey believes in and committed to active solidarity in humanitarian issues.

With this understanding, we are pleased to see that the number of contributing countries has risen to 76 and the Fund is well on its way to reach the goal of 500 million Dollars by 2008.

For our part, in addition to 600.000 Dollars we have contributed in total last year, we hereby pledge 300.000 Dollars for the year 2008.

Before concluding, I wish to extend our appreciation to Mr. John Holmes, Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator for his able leadership, as well as his colleagues in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs who are the very people behind the successful operation of the Fund.

CERF deserves full attention and staunch support of the international community. We hope more countries join us in this effort to make the Fund ever more functional and useful.

Thank you.