Statement by H.E. Ertuğrul Apakan Permanent Representative of the Republic of Turkey to the United Nations at the UNDP Segment of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board Meeting

Ertuğrul Apakan 13.06.2011
Madame President,

At the outset, I would like to thank the Administrator, Ms. Helen Clark, for her comprehensive report to the Executive Board and insightful statement. We believe that she has brought to the UNDP a wealth of experience and knowledge. Under her able guidance and committed leadership, UNDP continues to pioneer the global development process and to assist the developing countries on their path to sustainable development. We commend her vision and leadership, as the coordinator of the UN development system, for a stronger and more effective UNDP in responding to the global development challenges of our times.

UNDP has been a valuable development partner for Turkey. We have made significant progress in social and economic development, in particular towards the achievement of the MDGs, thanks to our close cooperation with the UNDP. We have implemented programs across the country in various areas such as capacity building, good governance, gender equality and women’s empowerment, support for entrepreneurship, and environmental sustainability.

We believe that Turkey, as a G-20 member, a growing economy and an emerging donor, would soon graduate from UNDP’s list of program countries. Turkey is now an active partner in international development cooperation efforts. We are ready to share our experience in development with other developing countries in our region and beyond.

In this context, we have become a reliable partner for the least developed countries, which are exposed to the impacts of global challenges in a disproportionate manner. During the Fourth UN Conference on the LDCs last month in Istanbul, we have announced an economic and technical cooperation package for the LDCs for the next decade. This development assistance package mainly focuses on improving productive capacity as well as institutional and human capacity in the LDCs. It covers a wide range of areas, from trade to agriculture and forestry, from technology to tourism, and from energy, water and climate change to education. We count on UNDP’s continuing support and cooperation in the implementation of this package for concrete development results in the LDCs.

Madame President,

We are pleased to see that Turkey’s growing role in international development cooperation brings new opportunities to further develop our partnership with the UNDP in a mutually rewarding manner. The visit of the Administrator to Turkey in March this year, paved the way to instigate strategic thinking on how to define and adapt our cooperation in light of the emerging realities of the day . In line with this understanding, Turkey and UNDP have recently signed a framework agreement for strategic partnership to support efforts at the global level for poverty reduction. This agreement clearly reflects the changing nature of our relationship with the UNDP. We believe that this agreement will give further impetus to our efforts as a contributor to international development cooperation.

The official opening of the UNDP International Center for Private Sector in Development during the LDC4 marks yet another milestone in our flourishing relationship with the UNDP. This Center will be a source of expertise in promoting domestic entrepreneurship and developing feasible business models for private sector-led growth and development. We are ready to work with the UNDP in this framework, in particular to develop capacity building programs for SMEs in the LDCs, thus supporting the emergence of a vibrant business community which is critical for sustained economic growth and sustainable development.

In the coming months, we will be discussing with the UNDP on the ways and means to expand our cooperation to the area of disaster risk reduction, in which Turkey has considerable experience.

In concluding, Madame President, I would like to extend our sincere thanks to the Administrator, Ms. Clark for her vision and leadership, as well as Ms. Kori Udovicki, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS for her dedicated efforts in giving fresh impetus to our cooperation with the UNDP. Turkey will remain committed to the UNDP’s mandate and will continue to contribute to the advancement of the international development agenda.

Thank you.