Statement by H.E. Ambassador Baki İlkin, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the UN, Informal Thematic Consultations of the General Assembly on the Report of the Secretary-General in Larger Freedom: Towards Development, Security and Human Rights for All Cluster II: Freedom From Fear

Baki İlkin 22.04.2005
Mr. President,

At the outset, let me express our appreciation for the opportunity of a timely and in-depth discussion of clusters. I hope our exchange of views will allow the distinguished facilitators to draw concrete conclusions at the end of the day.

As Turkey aligned itself to the statement made yesterday by Luxembourg, on behalf of the European Union, I would like to briefly elaborate my country's views on certain aspects of the Cluster II with regard to "Freedom from Fear".

Turkey fully acknowledges the need for a new security consensus and shares the collective security vision of the Secretary-General. Without peace and stability, global prosperity will be impossible to attain. Similarly, without providing for the essential needs of people around the world, global peace and stability will remain a distant goal.

Globalization has rendered states more vulnerable to asymmetric threats, in particular terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. We recognize the sense of urgency to effectively and collectively address those challenges.

Turkey is a party to all international instruments in the field of disarmament and non-proliferation and supports the call for wider adhesion to and implementation of these instruments.

In this context, Turkey agrees with the Secretary-General on full compliance with Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) and the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). We also support the specific proposals of the Secretary General with regard to the early conclusion of negotiations on a fissile-material cut off treaty; the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty; the adoption of the Model Additional Protocol as the universal norm for verification; the alternatives to the nuclear facilities, the furthering of BTWC and the timely destruction of chemical-weapon stockpiles.

NPT should continue to have a vital role to play in addressing new security challenges in the nuclear field. We believe non-proliferation and disarmament are mutually reinforcing and merit equal attention.

Mr. President,

As a country which had to endure a first-hand experience of the evil of terrorism, Turkey welcomes the recommendations of the Secretary-General which have clearly portrayed the scale of this menace and the enormity of the tasks before the international community to combat it.

Turkey has always called for enhanced cooperation in the fight against terrorism and fully supports the comprehensive strategy that was recently unveiled in Madrid by the Secretary-General. We believe that the adoption of the existing international legal instruments and their implementation by all Member States would further bolster the collective stance against this universal threat.

The recent adoption of the "International Convention on the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism" is a significant progress in this global effort. Furthermore, the adoption of the "Draft Comprehensive Convention on Terrorism" by consensus would certainly be of immense value to such efforts.

Turkey also believes that while combating this menace, one should also be cognizant of the dangers of unjustly profiling and associating certain peoples and cultures with terror. An atmosphere of tolerance, dialogue and common understanding, based on universal values shared among peoples of different faiths and cultures should prevail while determining and implementing comprehensive strategy to eradicate terror.

Another dimension which is also relevant in our collective efforts against terrorism is the accumulation and uncontrolled spread of small arms and light weapons. Turkey strongly supports the adoption of international instruments on the marking, tracing and brokering of small arms and light weapons, which should contain all of the elements needed to guarantee their effective implementation. This can be achieved if our efforts lead up to an instrument which is legally binding and comprehensive, covering all kinds of such weapons, including their ammunition.

Mr. President,

On the issue of the use of force, let me make the following points and observations.

The premise that "Article 51 of the UN Charter covers imminent attack and that the right of self-defence can be evoked accordingly" is not a universally accepted interpretation in international law. Therefore, in reaffirming this Article, we should be careful and avoid introducing a new and broad interpretation which might lead to certain complications. Having said this, Turkey believes that the central role of the Security Council in the area of peace and security should be reinforced without in any way undermining the role of the General Assembly. In this context, we welcome the set of principles proposed by the Secretary General to guide the Security Council in authorizing or mandating the use of force. Yet Turkey believes that a broad understanding should be sought on those principles, if their designed outcome is to make the Security Council more effective and responsive in the future.

Turkey also supports the idea that the Security Council should not remain indifferent to crimes against humanity such as genocide and ethnic cleansing in accordance with the proposed concept of "the responsibility to protect". Yet we have to acknowledge that there is a strong divergence of views on this concept among the UN members. One way to allay these hesitations and concerns on this newly emerging concept could be to make a clear distinction between crimes against humanity and other human rights violations.

Mr. President,

As to peacekeeping, Turkey fully recognizes the need for the strengthening of UN peacekeeping and crisis management capabilities and welcomes the proposals of the Secretary General, including the establishment of the Peacebuilding Commission, along the lines suggested in his report and his most recent explanatory note.

In the context of peacekeeping operations, I cannot refrain myself from referring once again to the need to take into account the contributions of member states to UN mandated but non-UN led peace keeping operations. Since peace and security are indivisible, Article 23 of the Charter should be given a broad interpretation to accommodate all contributions of member states.

Mr. President,

Before concluding my remarks, I would also like to say a few words on sanctions which we believe should be assessed in all its aspects. We should not focus only on one dimension of the issue, namely enhancing and ensuring the effectiveness of sanctions. We have to address the needs and difficulties of third States implementing sanctions. It is a fact that Article 50 of the UN Charter cannot be easily invoked by third States incurring losses. Turkey's experience in the aftermath of the Iraq-Kuwait conflict is a case in point. Therefore, we welcome the Secretary-General's clear reference to this shortcoming in his report. We hope that this serious shortcoming is remedied by the adoption of an all-encompassing approach on sanctions.

Thank you