|United Nations (UN)
|The Founding of The United Nations
The United Nations (UN) was established after the Second World War with the purpose of preventing the recurrence of the wars of the first half of the twentieth century, which brought great grief to mankind, and to safeguard international peace and security.
The UN Charter was drawn up during meetings which took place between 25 April and 26 June 1945 and was signed by 50 nations, including Turkey, on 26 June 1945 in San Francisco. Poland, which did not participate in the initial conferences, also signed the UN Charter, raising the number of founding nations to 51.
|As foreseen in the Charter, the UN was officially established on 24 October 1945 with the ratification of its founding document by a majority of Member States including the five permanent members of the Security Council.
The UN continues to be the world’s only universal organization. As Montenegro joined the UN in 2006, membership has risen to 192 nations.
Turkey’s Relations with the United Nations
For the purposes stated in UN General Assembly resolutions 1991 (XVIII) of 1963, 2847 (XXVI) of 1971 and 33/138 of 1978, geographical groups have been developed within the UN.
The five geographical groups within the United Nations are i) African States (53), ii) Asian States (53), Eastern European States (21), iv) Latin American and Caribbean States (33) and v) Western European and Other States – WEOG (29). Turkey, while taking part in the proceedings of both the Asian Group and WEOG, participates only in the elections of WEOG.
a) Turkey and the Security Council
As one of the 51 founding members of the United Nations, Turkey strives to defend and advance the purposes and principles set forth in the UN Charter.
Having supported all efforts towards safeguarding peace and security and the socioeconomic advancement of the human race during the half-century of the UN’s existence, Turkey has made important contributions to UN peacekeeping forces and to the activities of the Organization in this field.
Convinced that the key to long-term stability lies in sustainable development and aware of her international responsibilities in this regard, Turkey supplies many countries with humanitarian and technical aid.
As a stability factor in her region, Turkey tries to contribute to the resolution of existing disputes and to the prevention of the emergence of new ones.
Owing to her special geo-strategic position, Turkey is a bridge between East and West as well as North and South, and has historical and cultural ties with Europe, Asia and Africa. Turkey is therefore in a position to share and to reconcile the interests of the different geographical groups in the UN (see e).
Turkey’s Candidature to the Security Council:
Turkey, was a member of the UN Security Council between 1951 and 1952, 1954 and 1955, and finally in 1961, when it had split a term with Poland. It has not served on the Council for the last 46 years.
Turkey has announced its candidature on 21 June 2003 for one of the two non-permanent seats allocated to the Western European and Other States Group (WEOG) in the Security Council for the term 2009-2010, at the elections to be held during the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly in 2008. Austria and Iceland are the other two countries who have so far declared their candidatures for the same term.
An intensive campaign has been launched for Turkey’s Security Council bid within the framework of an action plan.
Turkey’s candidature to the UN Security Council for the term 2009-2010 has been supported by resolutions adopted at 31st, 32nd and 33rd Ministerial Meetings of the Organization of the Islamic Conference held in Istanbul, Baku and Sana between 2004 and 2006.
Please, click the link in order to be forwarded to the web site prepared for Turkey’s candidature to a non-permanent seat on the Security Council.
b) Turkey and the General Assembly
Part of the ongoing discussion about UN reform centers on strengthening the political clout of the General Assembly; having more effective deliberations on agenda items, and streamlining the agenda to include less items with more content. The General Committee responsible for setting the General Assembly’s agenda is also expected to play a more active role in increasing the effectiveness of the General Assembly’s working methods.
Turkey takes an active part in the negotiations on the General Assembly’s reform. In light of the increasing number of General Assembly Special Sessions (concerning the Middle East, Children, Social Development, etc.), Turkey has suggested that the regular agenda of the Assembly be better organized and that the work of the General Assembly, the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council be better coordinated so as to increase the substantial contributions of these organs to each other’s efforts.
The 62nd Session of the UN General Assembly was held in New York between September 19 and October 3, 2007. 192 member states attended the UN General Assembly general meetings, out of which more than 110 were represented at the level of Heads of State or Government, and 80 participated at the Ministerial level. Turkey attended UN General Assembly with a delegation headed by Prime Minister Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Mr. Prime Minister adressed the UN General Assembly on September 28, 2007 and explained our opinions about the international issues.
c) Turkey and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
Owing to the rotation system within the Western Europe and Other States Group as regards the ECOSOC membership, the last time Turkey was a member of this fundamental organ of the UN System was between 1 January 2004 and 31 December 2006. As an ECOSOC member, Turkey had a role in determining the UN’s views and policies in the economic and social fields, and had a vote in elections held under the ECOSOC umbrella.
d) Turkey’s Cooperation with other UN Organs, Memberships and Candidatures
In the post-Cold War era, after the Central Asian Republics and the Caucasus States joined the UN, Turkey’s position and role in the UN gained importance owing to her WEOG and OIC memberships as well as to her historic geo-strategic position.
The ECOSOC Committees and Commissions as well as the Governing Councils of other bodies, funds and programs affiliated with the UN of which Turkey is currently a member are the following:
• NGO Committee,
• Commission on the Status of Women,
• Commission on Social Development,
• International Narcotic Control Board,
• Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice
• Commission on Narcotic Drugs,
• Commission on Science and Technology for Development
• International Telecommunications Union Council
• International Maritime Organization Council
• Executive Council of the World Tourism Organization
• Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
• Industrial Development Board of the UN Industrial Development Organization
• Programme and Budget Committee of the UN Industrial Development Organization
• Governing Council of the UN Environment Programme
• Intergovernmental Council of the International Hydrological Programme
Prof. Yakın Ertürk has been serving as the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on Violence Against Women since July 2003.
e) Turkey’s Contribution and Approach to UN Peacekeeping Operations
Ever since the Korean War, Turkey has been actively contributing to the UN’s peacekeeping efforts.
Turkey fully supports the lead role of the United Nations in peacekeeping missions and is firmly committed to UN activities in this field. Concrete examples of Turkey’s active policy in this field have been its contributions to the second peacekeeping mission sent to Somalia in 1993 – 1994 (UNOSOM-II), to UNPROFOR (UN Protection Force) in the former Yugoslavia in 1995 and subsequently to NATO operations SFOR and KFOR with a battalion in each case.
Turkey currently takes part in ten UN peacekeeping operations around the world. Its participation extends not only to those UN missions operating in its immediate vicinity, but also to distant missions such as in Haiti, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Burundi, Timor-Leste, Sudan and Cote d’Ivoire.
As of November 2007, Turkey is taking part in various UN peacekeeping operations around the world with 225 civilian police officers, 9 military observers and 750 troops.
Turkey stands at the 10th position among the police contributing countries, with officers serving in eight UN missions.
In addition to those UN operations, Turkey is substantially contributing to UN mandated peace missions conducted within the framework of NATO, the European Union and the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in different parts of the world. Around 5800 troops, civilian police officers and gendarmerie from Turkey are taking part in such operations.
Particularly in Afghanistan, Turkey has been one of the leading force contributors since the inception of ISAF, where it recently assumed the command of the Capital (Kabul) Region once again. As a country which attaches importance to the establishment of peace and security in Afghanistan, Turkey will also continue its contributions to NATO-led ISAF.
Training of peacekeepers is an indispensable component of conducting a successful peace operation. Bearing this in mind, Turkey established a Partnership for Peace Training Center in Ankara in 1998. This Center has organized 236 courses and 9 seminars and provided training to almost seven thousand peacekeepers from 65 different countries. The Center cooperates with the Training and Evaluation Service of the UN Secretariat and continues to align its programs with the UN standard training modules. Turkey is committed to cooperating with the UN Secretariat for the training of UN peacekeepers in this Center.
Turkey’s contributions to the UN peacekeeping operations as of November 2007, are as follows:
UNIFIL (UN Interim Force in Lebanon) Troops 746
MONUC (United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) Civilian Police Officers 2
UNMIK (UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo) Civilian Police Officers 131
UNMIT (UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste) Civilian Police Officers 3
UNOMIG (UN Observer Mission in Georgia) Military Observers 5
UNOCI (UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire) Civilian Police Officers 6
UNMIL (UN Mission in Liberia) Civilian Police Officers 31
MINUSTAH (UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti) Civilian Police Officers 28
BINUB (United Nations Integrated Office in Burundi) Civilian Police Officers 2
UNAMIS (UN Advanced Mission in Sudan) Civilian Police Officer 20
UNMIS (UN Mission in Sudan) Military Observers 4
UNAMID (United Nations-African Union Hybrid Mission in Darfur) Civilian Police Officer 1
UNIOSIL (United Nations Integrated Office in Sierra Leone) Civilian Police Officer 1
Furthermore, Turkey makes considerable financial contributions to the UN peacekeeping operations and reconstruction activities. It has allocated financial resources to the reconstruction projects in Kosovo and Afghanistan.
f) Turkey’s contribution to the UN Standby Arrangements System
A UN Standby Arrangements System is now being established in order to provide the UN with instant peacekeeper deployment ability in case of a threat to international peace and security.
Turkey agreed to provide a battalion to this System in March 1997. Turkey also informed the UN Secretariat that the Turkish Ministry of the Interior would in addition assign a contingent of 100 personnel.
Turkey, in line with its approach to the UN peacekeeping operations, has signed a Joint Declaration of Intent with the UN on 14 June 2000, thus institutionalizing thus, Turkey’s position within the UN Standby Arrangements System. Turkey is the 33rd country participating in this system. The Joint Declaration of Intent has entered into force for Turkey as of 29 March 2004.
With the said Declaration, Turkey has undertaken, in accordance with the UN Charter, to provide the UN peacekeeping forces with a thousand personnel consisting of troops and civilian police officers within 14 to 30 days. It is up to Turkey to decide whether to send the personnel or to meet the demand by the UN for peacekeeping forces.