Statement by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Turkey, H.E. Mr. Y. Halit Çevik, Special Political and Decolonization Committee

Halit Çevik 07.10.2014
Mr. Chairman,
Let me first to congratulate you on your election as the Chairman of this Committee for the 69th session of the General Assembly and wish you success in your endeavors. I would also like to reiterate my delegations’ full support to you.

Mr. Chairman,
The process of decolonization has been one of the core objectives of the United Nations since its foundation. The provisions of the UN Charter as well as the principles set forth in relevant General Assembly resolutions are important testimonies of this.

The Special Political and Decolonization Committee, since its inception in 1961, has been a crucial body, which facilitated the decolonization of over 80 territories.

The work of the Special Committee is still relevant and valuable in this century, as there are still 17 “non-self-governing territories” under the purview of the General Assembly. Their existence compromises our efforts to ensure universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Mr. Chairman, Dear Colleagues,
Turkey, as a founding member of the United Nations, views the eradication of colonialism as one of the prominent principals of its foreign policy. Turkey has always been and continues to be a dedicated supporter of the aspirations of the people living under colonial rule to exercise their right to self-determination and independence in accordance with the General Assembly Resolution 1514 (XV) of December 1960.

Turkey also believes that any effort towards self-determination in non-self-governing territories must be originated from within and must reflect the will of people living in those territories. These elements are fundamental for the legitimacy of any decision concerning self-determination.

Turkey also believes that the administrating powers should safeguard the inalienable rights of the peoples of the non-self-governing territories to economic and social development, until they acquire their independence.

We have shared our economic and social development experience that we have acquired over the years, with the Least Developed Countries. We also stand ready to contribute to the economic and social development of the non-self-governing territories through all possible means.

Mr. Chairman,

In conclusion, I would like to reaffirm our commitment to support the right of self-determination in colonial territories and call upon the UN and the international community to continue to contribute to this objective in accordance with the Article 73 of the UN Charter.

Thank you for your kind attention.