GENERAL DEBATE OF THE ECOSOC HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS SEGMENT
Thank you for your opening remarks and extend our gratitude to OCHA. I take this opportunity to once again welcome Mr. Stephen O’Brien as the new Under-Secretary General and Emergency Relief Coordinator.
This year’s ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment comes at a time when the world is undergoing an unprecedented level of suffering. The intensity of the suffering of people affected by conflicts and disasters brings along a huge responsibility on humanitarian actors at every level to respond effectively and rapidly. Not only the crises, but also the challenges faced by the humanitarians are unprecedented, too.
The worst part of the picture: The end of the tunnel seems dark. In many crises, the affected people are starting to lose their hopes for a political solution and their dreams of returning home are fading away.
We attach special importance to this year’s Humanitarian Affairs Segment, as it will be the last one before next year’s World Humanitarian Summit.
We consider it very timely that the discussions focus on localization of response and putting affected people at the center of humanitarian action. We firmly believe that the needs of the people affected cannot be assessed better by any other actor and the best response can be shaped only by the affected people themselves.
Another important outcome of the preparatory process of the Summit seems to be: No one size fits all. This discussion should also be oriented into action. We should find ways to shape flexible and where needed, tailor-made response.
When it comes to disasters, we believe that every Government should read the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction very carefully, with a view to implementing it in the best possible way. The best action is the preventive one. We need to invest more in DRR.
The worst humanitarian crisis of the 21st century is ongoing in Syria. Hosting more than 1.8 million Syrians, Turkey has mobilized all its resources with a view to responding to their humanitarian needs. More than 260 thousand of the Syrians are provided shelter in 25 camps along the border. All their needs are met by the Turkish Government. We also take necessary measures with a view to reaching those staying outside the camps.
We are cooperating with OCHA in the implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions providing cross-border assistance into Syria. Our Government acted very rapidly, instructed all relevant institutions to cooperate with OCHA and the UN Monitoring Mechanism with the aim of implementing the first UNSC Resolution to this end. We believe that this Resolution was already very late in reaching the Syrian people trapped in besieged or hard to access areas, but it’s still better than never.
Only in past ten days, more than 23 thousand forcefully displaced Syrians who were fleeing the clashes in Tel Abyad and amassed at the border were permitted to enter into Turkey.
The latest developments once again demonstrate that it is neither possible nor fair to expect from Turkey to face migratory pressures, the risks and threats emanating from Syria, alone.]
Iraq is the other L3 level crisis continuing next to our borders. The situation has worsened since last year with the emerging of DAESH. Turkey has established camps to provide shelter to the internally displaced Iraqis and also, provided in kind humanitarian assistance into Iraq in cooperation with local and national authorities.
Turkey’s helping hand reaches to not only Syrians and Iraqis, but also the people affected by disasters and conflicts in Africa, Myanmar, Yemen, Ukraine and Nepal.
All the new crises and disasters, and also many forgotten crises, mostly in Africa, wait for the attention and the action of the international community. The suffering of people in Ukraine, in the middle of Europe, should always remind us that none of us are purely immune from the effects of humanitarian crises.
We must recognize the need to reform the humanitarian system with a view to conducting the life-saving humanitarian operations in a more effective way, without leaving anyone behind. We should find ways to increase our capacity to respond, to improve preparedness and to build resilience.
Last but not least, I hope that at the next year’s ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment, we will altogether have the chance to discuss the outcomes of the World Humanitarian Summit and ways to take them forward.
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