Statement by the Delegation of Turkey on Agenda Item 56 (a) at the Second Committee of the 61ST General Assembly

-- 14.11.2006
Madame Chair,

We would like to thank the Secretary-General for his reports submitted under agenda items 56 (a) and (b). We also thank Under-Secretary General Mr. Chowdhury for his comprehensive introduction. Turkey aligned itself with the statement made by the Representative of Finland on behalf of the European Union.

Madam Chair,

We consider the high level meeting of the General Assembly on Mid-Term Comprehensive Global Review of the BPOA as a significant achievement. We welcomed the contribution made by the LDCs and their development partners, the UN System, and other intergovernmental organizations as well as the non-governmental organizations to the process and to its outcome.

Turkey is fully committed to the implementation of the BPOA and its objectives, goals and targets which constitute a fundamental framework for a strong global partnership to advance development in the LDCs.

We are particularly pleased to note that considerable progress has been achieved since the initiation of the Programme.

We commend the governments of the LDCs in their efforts to strengthen their policies for developing their productive capacities, to improve governance, together with their macro-economic performances and for their achievement through structural reforms, trade liberalization and privatization.

We also congratulate governments of the LDCs for their initiative to formulate the Cotonou Strategy for further implementation of the BPOA.

Despite these noteworthy efforts of the LDCs and the increased assistance by their development partners, much remains to be done particularly in the field of poverty reduction. Extreme poverty appears to be increasing in many and life expectancy is declining in several LDCs. Most of them are affected by HIV/AIDS and some by civil strife. This ordeal is for us morally unacceptable.

The promotion of economic growth, sustainable development, building human and institutional capacities, poverty eradication and good governance are essential for the improvement of living conditions of over 600 million people living in 50 LDCs.

We sincerely believe that additional efforts are needed to help LDCs for meeting the goals and targets of the Programme. In this context, full, effective and timely implementation of all related documents is vital to address the special needs of the LDCs.

Madam Chair,

Turkey, as a donor country for the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility, is strongly committed to do her share to help LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS.

We also actively participate in the international efforts for the eradication of poverty. The Official Development Assistance (ODA) provided by Turkey in 2004 amounted to 340 million US Dollars, and exceeded 600 million US Dollars in 2005, which corresponds to 0,17 per cent of Turkey's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This does not include private sector contributions.

Turkey's humanitarian assistance has also increased considerably in 2005 and during the first half of 2006. During that period, Turkey has reached out to 17 African countries, mainly through the World Food Program (WFP).

We are proud to be referred to as being one of the major donors in the efforts to resolve the food crisis in Africa by the WFP authorities. We are determined to continue our assistance in the future.

The Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TICA) will be the major channel to extend Turkey's humanitarian and development assistance to the LDCs, as certified by the participation of its President to the Ministerial Meeting of LDCs, held last June in Benin. A number of projects are now being implemented by TICA.

As international trade is vital for the development of LDCs, Turkey attaches importance to the development of bilateral commercial relations with these countries. We are ready to extend assistance and to cooperate in the fields of agriculture, health, environment and good-governance. Attracting Turkish investors to the LDCs is also an important component of our policy. Furthermore, we promote the idea of establishing joint business councils or chambers of commerce.

Madam Chair,

Turkey, in line with its determined policy to support LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS, also closely cooperates with the UN Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing States and Small Island Developing States by making voluntary contribution to the Trust Fund as well as supporting various projects of the Office.

I would like to conclude by reiterating that this support will continue in the coming years.

Thank you Madam Chair