Statement by Republic of Turkey on the occasion of 65th Anniversary of International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Mr. Director General,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, we congratulate you Mr. Chairman on your election and express our gratitude to your distinguished predecessor for his valuable guidance during the year. We are confident that we will also achieve a substantial progress in our efforts under your wise leadership.
We are pleased to welcome the Kingdom of Tonga as a new member of the Organization.
We also congratulate IOM on the occasion of its 65th
Anniversary. The Organization achieved a lot since its foundation. IOM’s global significance and universality have been enhanced by its 166 member countries as of today and its related agency status at the UN. Taking this opportunity, let me thank to Director General Swing for conducting open, transparent and inclusive discussions during the process of joining the UN system.
It is up to all of the stakeholders to work together to promote the mutually beneficial outcomes of migration. Therefore, we should refrain from the language that demonizes migrants and refugees as separate groups. In this regard, we would like to commend the IOM’s “I am a migrant” campaign and UN Secretary General’s initiative “Together: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All”.
Our efforts, Mr Chairman, have paved the way for migration to become a full-fledged agenda item of UN meetings at different levels. The Summit for Refugees and Migrants of 19 September produced the New York Declaration as a concrete driving force in addressing our commitments towards refugees and migrants. We are pleased that the follow-up of the New York Declaration has been launched without delay. We are also content that the process leading to the adoption of a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration continues in a transparent and inclusive manner.
Turkey, given her wide experience about refugees and migrants can bring added-value to the negotiations. As the previous Chair of the GFMD, the current Chair of the Budapest Process and the host of the World Humanitarian Summit, we are ready to take part actively in the process.
Within this framework, we attach importance to the IOM’s role in this process as the leading organization in the field of migration. We believe that IOM’s achievements and operational responsiveness are very valuable.
We would like to thank the Director General for his comprehensive report and reiterate our support to the work and efforts of IOM under his able leadership.
Furthermore, as the Chair of the Budapest Process, we commend IOM’s contribution to this platform, as well as its efforts as an effective member of the Global Migration Group in order to create synergy among different platforms and actors. We also thank IOM for its valuable contribution to the GFMD during our Chairmanship and the World Humanitarian Summit we hosted last May which produced many multi-stakeholder outcomes, many of which seek solutions to the funding gap. We are closely following these processes and look forward to their implementation.
We would also like to commend the IOM’s work in addressing natural or man-made disasters and its efforts in the fields of preparedness, response and recovery. Moreover, we welcome IOM’s engagement with private sector and diaspora. We reiterate our support to IOM’s work on migrant health. We would also like to underline the importance of the International Dialogue on Migration and commend the success of the two workshops on migration and SDGs, organized this year.
Let me also underscore the close and effective cooperation between Turkey and IOM on various areas spanning from migration management to countering trafficking and migrant smuggling, from integration to humanitarian assistance. In this vein, we welcome the establishment of the IOM sub-office in Gaziantep, Turkey.
Today, Turkey ranks as the third largest donor world-wide and also is home to the world’s largest refugee community.
260.000 Syrians in the camps are provided with food, non-food items, health and education services as well as psychosocial assistance and vocational training.Nearly 2.5 million Syrians who live outside the camps are also under our protection regime, benefiting from free medical services.
We believe that the international responsibility for refugees stems not from geographical proximity that translates into a burden, but from humanitarian values which are a manifestation of our collective conscience.
It is the responsibility of each and every individual, as well as countries, to extend a helping hand to the people in need. We should work together to protect the lives and dignity of the migrants. Thus, we can prevent them taking dangerous journeys most of which cost their lives and stop smugglers to profit from the vulnerabilities of helpless people.
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