Statement by the Delegation of Turkey on Agenda Item 60 at the Second Committee of the 62nd General Assembly

-- 13.11.2007
We would like to extend our congratulations to Mr Carlos Lopes on his assumption of duty as the Executive Director of the UNITAR and thank him for the introduction of the Secretary-General's report contained in document A/62/377.

We welcome the Secretary-General's report which compiles the training activities of UNITAR in a more structured approach. It is encouraging that more and more participants benefit from UNITAR activities through workshops, seminars, fellowships and field based capacity building. We believe that with the employment of distance learning and e-learning programs, the Institute now reaches out to increased number of beneficiaries. It is also welcoming that all the programs are self-funded.

Madame Chair,

For complementing the Institute's wide-ranging field-based training activities, we also notice that UNITAR has continued to work closely with the DPKO. Students from 129 countries participated in self-paced distance courses on different topical areas within the peacekeeping. We see this as a positive development. That said, I wish to remind that last year my delegation stated its serious concern about the content of some of the UNITAR's course materials when the agenda item on training and research was debated in the Second Committee. Upon our request, some changes have been made in the course material. However, we still feel that they are insufficient to elevate the material in question to the level of an objective, accurate, unbiased and scientific text.

Madame Chair,

On a more general note, my delegation is obliged to underline once again that there is a pressing need for a better screening of the content of all course materials used by the Institute. We strongly believe that the Institute should uphold the principles of objectivity and credibility in its activities. Our Office in Geneva is already in touch with UNITAR and will be closely following the issue.

Thank you Madame Chair.