Statement by Mr. Memduh Aslan Akçay Director General Foreign Economic Relations Undersecretariat of Treasury at the Third High-Level Dialogue on Financing for Development

Memduh Aslan Akçay 24.10.2007
Mr. President,
Distinguished Delegates,

My Delegation has aligned itself with the statement delivered by the distinguished Representative of Portugal on behalf of the European Union. This being so, I would like to expound on a few points, out of many important issues, regarding the Financing for Development.

This meeting coincides with the most opportune time. We are at the halfway of achieving the MDGs and closing in on "the conference on the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus", which will be held in Doha at the end of next year. The Doha Conference will provide a good opportunity to re-evaluate the needs and the actions in our global response to confront the challenges of Financing for Development. I would like to share with you some of our experiences, implementations and efforts for reaching a fully inclusive and equitable global economic system based with the aim of poverty reducing growth.

The Monterrey Consensus, ushering a new compact between developing and developed countries by stressing their mutual responsibilities in the development efforts, constitutes a quantum leap forward in realizing this aim. Since 2002, there is tangible progress in fulfilling the commitments set out at the Consensus document, especially in the fields of creating domestic governance structures conducive to investment, mobilizing FDI, external debt and ODA. However we, as the global community, are aware that there remains much to be done.

Development aid, debt relief and free trade are generally viewed as essential components of development. However, as the experience has taught us, sole reliance on development aid does not bring about a sustainable development in the long term. In this respect, in the short term, the efforts of both developed and developing countries should focus on fulfilling the commitments related to aid. Keeping the development engine running by making concrete contributions to capacity building has utmost importance. In the long run, consolidating the existing efforts toward a more representative system of global economic architecture and creating a more accessible international trade regime will gain significance. Yet, in each of our steps we should pay due respect to mutual accountability and transparency.

Mr. President,

We actively participate in international efforts aiming at the eradication of poverty. We consider official development assistance as one of the main tools in reinforcing development efforts of developing countries. As a developing country itself, the Official Development Assistance provided by Turkey in this regard, has been steadily increasing over the recent years. The ODA that we provided reached the level of 601 million USD in 2005. Last year it has risen to 750 million USD, which stood at the 0.18 % of our GNP. It is worthwhile to note that Turkey has become an "emerging donor" in Africa. Moreover, we exert every effort to contribute to social development in the fields of human rights, children's issues and the promotion of the status of women.

Presently, Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TİKA) is carrying out hundreds of projects in partner countries spanning from Central Asia to the Balkans, from Middle East to Africa, and from Asia-Pacific to Latin America and the Caribbean. With 22 field offices, it contributes to the development of many countries in various regions. These projects have already started to make a positive impact. For this reason, a fund of 15 million US Dollars was allocated for the implementation of projects through TİKA in the LDCs, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States.

Please allow me to inform you about our efforts with regard to international development issues. Being party to the Millennium Declaration, the Monterrey Consensus, and Paris Declaration, we have been active in concrete policy actions in financing for development. In this vein, it is great pleasure for me to state that Turkey is now a global provider of significant humanitarian and technical aid. For instance, in 2005, we provided funds and assistance in kind amounting to more than 232 million USD to 25 countries in various continents. This figure does not include the aid provided by Turkish NGOs.

Distinguished Delegates,

Economic outlook of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) carries special importance in terms of achieving internationally agreed development goals. We have to bear in mind that improving the living conditions of over 600 million people residing in the LDCs presents us a litmus test in "making poverty history". In line with this conviction we appreciate and support the efforts exerted by the LDCs and the development partners, including the international organizations. Nevertheless, we are well aware that there is still room to do more.

As a manifestation of our contribution in global development efforts especially for the LDCs, we hosted the annual Ministerial Conference on "Making Globalization Work for the Least Developed Countries" between 9-11th of July, 2007. At the Conference we pledged an additional 5 million USD to finance small and medium scale regional development projects in the LDCs.

On the other hand, by being fully cognizant of the fact that international trade is vital for the development of LDCs, we are attributing great importance to the development of bilateral commercial relations with these countries. We are willing to provide assistance and to cooperate in the fields of agriculture, health, environment and good governance. Funneling the Turkish investment to the LDCs constitutes another aspect of our policy. Furthermore, we promote the establishment of joint business councils or chambers of commerce.

Mr. President,

The United Nations has been established to ensure global peace and security. In reaching the lofty goals which the United Nations stands for, economic growth and development play a significant role. Turkey, as a country generating peace, stability and welfare in her region and beyond, is an active supporter of activities of the UN in all spheres.

In concluding, I would like to avail myself, on behalf of my country, of this opportunity to praise the President of the General Assembly Mr. Srgjan Kerim, and the Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon, whose able leadership and wisdom successfully guided the members in organizing this event. This event is a significant step in reaching the overarching goal of "making poverty history".

Thank you for your kind attention.