STATEMENT BY H.E. Mr. BAKİ İLKİN, HEAD OF DELEGATION, AMBASSADOR, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF TURKEY TO THE UNITED NATIONS AT THE HIGH-LEVEL SEGMENT OF THE 15TH SESSION OF THE COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Baki İlkin 10.05.2007
Mr. Chairman,
Excellencies,
Distinguished Delegates,

Allow me to congratulate you Mr. Chairman, and the members of the Bureau for the excellent work you have done in preparing and organizing this important policy session of the Commission on Sustainable Development.

Mr. Chairman,

The themes that we have been discussing at this policy session are closely interlinked. Addressing these issues in an integrated manner can provide an opportunity to utilize cleaner and more energy-efficient industrial technologies as well as addressing the cross-cutting issues such as poverty eradication, health and gender equality. We sincerely hope that the outcome of this session would contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and to the promotion of sustainable development at the global level.

We believe that energy is vital for achieving three pillars of sustainable development (namely economic growth, protection of environment and social welfare). Turkey, which has introduced the sustainable development concept into its national planning processes since 1990's, believes that the most important issue is to integrate these 3 pillars of sustainable development into sectoral policies and to ensure internal coherence among them.

Sustainable development can only be achieved if a secure, uninterrupted, reliable and affordable energy supply is ensured. It becomes more evident that cooperation in the field of energy has a positive effect on international security. Turkey, with its geo-political location between energy rich regions and the energy-demanding world markets, will continue to play its role in enhancing global security of energy supplies as an energy hub and a transit country.

Mr. Chairman,

Turkey also believes that development and wide-spread adoption of cleaner, efficient and renewable energy technologies help to reduce air pollution and to mitigate the effects of climate change. In line with our JPOI (Johannesburg Plan of Implementation) commitments, we have enacted necessary legislation in the area of renewable energy. We have been implementing policies in order to increase energy efficiency and the share of renewables, particularly hydro, geothermal, wind and solar in the energy mix.

Turkey is also advocating the use of cleaner energy sources for sustainable development. In this context, we attach importance to cleaner fuels and switching from traditional biomass fuels. Use of cleaner and improved technologies for national energy resources is also very important to improve air quality, particularly in urban areas. In line with this policy, we have also established an International Center for Hydrogen Energy (ICHET) in İstanbul, in collaboration with UNIDO. It serves as a center of excellence on hydrogen energy technologies related R&D. Turkey has made a commitment of 40 million US Dollars for this project. The Center has been implementing a number of pilot projects in various developing countries.

Mr. Chairman,

I would like to conclude by emphasizing that the challenges that we face are huge. What we need is global action. We must act together. We must give priority to the challenges of the most vulnerable countries, namely SIDS (Small Island Developing States) and LDCs (Least Developed Countries). We must increase our efforts in addressing the sustainable development challenges relating to all the issues under consideration through supporting the effort of the developing countries, particularly in the areas of capacity building and financial assistance.

Thank you Mr. Chairman