Statement by H.E. Ambassador Baki İlkin, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the UN, at the High Level Segment of the Fourteenth Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development

Baki İlkin 12.05.2006
Mr. Chairman,
Distinguished Delegates,

At the outset, 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 session of the Commission on Sustainable Development.

Mr. Chairman, Turkey associates itself with the statement made by the distinguished representative of Austria on behalf of the European Union. Hence, I will briefly touch upon a few points.

The World Summit on Sustainable Development was a benchmark event, placing sustainable development at the forefront of the international agenda. In line with the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation commitments, important responsibility falls upon governments to reduce poverty through providing their citizens with basic services.

In this context, energy is critical for achieving three pillars of sustainable development - namely, economic growth, protection of environment and social welfare. Sustainable development can only be achieved if a secure, uninterrupted, reliable and affordable energy supply is ensured. Energy is indeed a strong tool in fighting poverty.

Different dimensions of sustainable development and the themes that we are discussing are strongly interlinked. Economic growth requires energy supply security but it is sustainable only if it does not threaten the environment or social welfare. This is where we face major challenges.

The framework for a more sustainable energy future is not decided yet. In any case it should not be static. It must be continuously redefined and rebalanced with revised forecasts, reassessment of progress, identification of new bottle-necks and the development of new technical solutions and technologies.

In this context, Governments need to develop policies to address the projected 60% increase in the fossil-fuel based global energy demand over the next 30 years. They also need to develop new or supplementary policies to reverse the upward trends in greenhouse gas emissions.

In order to fulfill its responsibilities, Turkey has been pursuing policies in the areas of energy efficiency and environmentally sound technologies as well as industrial pollution control. To achieve sustainable energy development and energy efficiency, the Turkish Government has been trying to strengthen its efforts for development and use of safe technologies; promotion of R&D concerning appropriate methodologies; public awareness-raising; and environmental impact assessment (EIA). In line with this the energy sector is working to integrate environmental considerations in their projects.

In conclusion Mr. Chairman, I wish to underline that in order to accelerate and sustain progress in these interlinked themes, we must address the issues of financial assistance, capacity building and technology transfer at the international level. Even though each country has the primary responsibility for its own sustainable development and poverty eradication policies, we sincerely believe that without coordinated action at the global, regional and national level, we cannot find solutions to sustainable development challenges.

Thank you Mr. Chairman.