Statement by H.E. Ambassador Baki İlkin, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the UN at the Informal Meeting of General Assembly Plenary to Continue an Exchange of Views on Recommendations Contained in the Report of the High level Panel on Threats

Baki İlkin 27.01.2005
Mr. President,

I would like to once again thank the Secretary-General for appointing the High Level Panel, thus taking the initiative for the reform of the UN, and for trying to build an international consensus around a new concept of collective security. My warmest thanks go to the distinguished members of the Panel for having prepared such a comprehensive and thought provoking document. Last but not least, I would like to express my deep appreciation for the efforts of the President of the General Assembly who is guiding us to reach concrete results in the reform process.

Mr. President,

Indeed, we think that the Report merits and requires serious and thorough evaluation. Turkey fully engaged itself in this process. In today's multi-faceted global security environment, stability and security in our region and beyond are issues of vital importance for Turkey: We live in a part of the world where some of the threats mentioned in the report are very real.

While evaluating the Report at hand, we must also take into account a number of important documents which preceded it. The Report of the Secretary-General on the Revitalization of the General Assembly; The Report on UN Relations with Civil Society; The Brahimi Report; The International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty Report; The Rule of Law report to name a few should all be kept in mind while assessing the High Level Panel Report. With all these documents we have now reached ample accumulation of knowledge which enables us to reach an international consensus on a fair and durable approach to collective security.

Mr. President,

It is quite timely to have this debate here today, before Secretary-General Kofi Annan finalizes and submits his own report. It will enable him to take into consideration the views and approaches of various groups and Member States while drafting his own.

The debate also enables us, the Member Countries, to acquaint ourselves with the views of one and other. We would very much like to see the continuation of these informal meetings.

It is yet early for me to go into detail as to our views on the Panel Report. Turkey is in the process of evaluating it and finalizing its position related to a number of ideas and proposals defined in this document. The complex and inter-related nature of the recommendations requires a lot of coordination and input and we hope to have a clearer picture quite soon.

Having said this, I would also like to underline that in principle we share the views and suggestions expressed on behalf of the European Union, which will make a substantial contribution to the formulation of Turkey's position on various aspects of the reform process. Naturally, all the views and ideas expressed here today by distinguished representatives will also contribute to our thinking.

Mr. President,

We have limited time ahead till the Summit and we should make the best use of it.

We must see and evaluate the reform package as a whole, as much as possible. Thus we should refrain from focusing only on a limited number of elements of the package. At the same time we must try to get our priorities right. Because, "the best and the ideal could indeed be the enemy of good". And for this, above all, we all need to be realistic and pragmatic.

Thank you.