Statement by H.E. Mustafa Çetin, Deputy Under Secretary Prime Ministry of the Republic of Turkey, at the High Level Conference on the Centeral Emergency Response Fund

Mustafa Çetin 07.12.2006
Mr. Secretary-General,
Mr. Under-Secretary General,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to participate in this High Level Conference in support of the Central Emergency Response Fund.

It has been only nine months since we have formally launched the Fund. However, even within this short period it has proven its utility and efficacy. As such, it deserves our continued support and contributions. The convening of such a high-level meeting today is thus most timely and significant.

In this regard, let me start by thanking H.E. Kofi Annan for his guidance and support for the reform process in general, and in the establishment of the Central Emergency Response Fund in particular. I would also like to recognize and express our appreciation for the diligent work undertaken by Mr. Jan Egeland, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, as well as his distinguished colleagues in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in raising awareness for the Fund. Their able management and promotion of the Fund in cooperation with humanitarian agencies and coordinators in the field are highly commendable.

Distinguished Colleagues,

My country, having long suffered from devastating natural disasters, has been at the forefront in calling for increased attention to humanitarian issues within the United Nations.

Bearing this in mind, Turkey has actively followed and contributed to the preparations of the General Assembly Resolution 60/124 of 15 December 2005 which called for, among others, upgrading of the Central Emergency Revolving Fund to the Central Emergency Response Fund.

As one of the co-sponsors of this Resolution, we greatly welcome the first concrete outcome; that is, the Fund becoming operational as of March 2006. Indeed, given the increased vulnerability of humankind to natural disasters, we believe that the Fund will address vital requirements of the victims. It will bring immediate relief to them. Since its inception the CERF has already proven to be an efficient tool. The Fund has contributed to the forgotten and new emergencies and has shown its utility in providing assistance to a number of emergencies, especially those in Africa. Thus the sustainability of the fund is a must for its success.

For her part, Turkey has already made a contribution of 300.000 US Dollars to the Fund on June 2006. And recently, we have decided to donate an additional 300.000 US Dollars as a token of the importance we attach to the effective operation of the Fund. Our interest in and support for the fund will continue unabated.

In conclusion, I would only reiterate our appeal to the international community to extend strong and continuous support to the Fund. It certainly deserves it.

Thank you.