Statement by Mr. Kerim Uras, Minister Councellor Deputy Permanent Representative of the Permanent Mission of Turkey to the United Nations, at the General Assembly on Cooperation Between the United Nations and the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (Item 108 d)
Turkey strongly believes that the strengthening of cooperation between the United Nations and regional and other organizations contributes to the promotion of the purposes and principles of the United Nations. In this context, we welcome the Secretary General's report on agenda item 108, entitled "Cooperation between the United Nations and regional and other organizations".
The Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC) was established in 1992 at a time when the world in general and Europe in particular, were being shaken by great political changes. It was founded as a unique and promising model of multilateral economic initiative, aimed at fostering interaction and harmony among the Member States, as well as to ensure peace, stability and prosperity by encouraging friendly and good-neighbourly relations in the Black Sea region. Since then it has developed into a full fledged international organization with the entry into force of its Charter in 1999.
Turkey, as the host country of its headquarters, is pleased to note that during the fourteen years of its existence, BSEC has been instrumental in its own way, to help efforts to inject more stability into the region, through deepened economic cooperation.
BSEC covers a geography which encompasses the territories of the Black Sea littoral States, the Balkans and the Caucasus, with an area of nearly 20 million square kilometers. It represents a region of some 350 million people with a foreign trade capacity of over USD 300 billion annually. After the Persian Gulf region, it is the second-largest source of oil and natural gas, along with its rich proven reserves of minerals and metals. It is rapidly becoming Europe's major transport and energy transfer corridor.
Even though it covers a complicated geographic and geo-strategic area, with its well established legal, institutional as well as procedural framework, the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization set the pace for cooperation among its members.
Following the mandate given to the Organization by the BSEC Summit in 2002, it has expanded its activities beyond the traditional areas of regional economic cooperation. With its new mechanisms and instruments, such as the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank and the Project Development Fund, the Organization has been supporting significant progress in such areas of cooperation as trade, banking and finance, transport, energy and electricity networks, science, statistical data, combating organized crime and simplification of cross border and custom procedures.
We support the Secretary General's recommendations contained in the report, A/61/256 on BSEC. We share the view that the United Nations, the specialized agencies and other organizations and programmes of the UN System should continue to cooperate and hold consultations with BSEC and formulate and implement joint programmes pertaining to the fields of common interests, including the implementation of cooperative agreements.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals requires also enhanced cooperation and result oriented collaboration between international and regional organizations. With this understanding, Turkey has been encouraging deepening the relations between the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization and the United Nations system, as well as with other relevant international and regional organizations, particularly international financial institutions. We firmly believe that further cooperation with the United Nations undoubtedly will help BSEC in reaching its goals.
I thank you Madam President.