H.E. MR. ABDULLAH GUL, PRESIDENT
General Assembly of the United Nations
Sept 24 2013
24 September 2013
Statement Summary: ABDULLAH GUL, President of Turkey, recalled that,
at the dawn of the twenty-first century, there was every reason
to be optimistic about the future, as the world’s “moral balance”
had shifted towards the pursuit of peace. States had understood the
imperative of working together for a stable world order and, in a
spirit of cooperation, developed effective international responses to
the scourge of terrorism. Yet, the most profound crises were emerging
from internal conflicts, which were on the rise and driven largely
by the problem of political legitimacy.
“Leaders without political legitimacy share a common delusion,”
he said. “Instead of reading the future and leading transformation,
they believe they can buy time with irresponsible actions against
their own people.” Domestic conflicts escalated into civil wars, such
as in Syria, and the actions of those leaders carried implications for
peace and security beyond their borders. Domestic peace was the key to
regional and international peace — a challenge all nations would face.
The world needed a strong, credible United Nations able to force
perpetrators of brutal actions to submit to justice and the rule of
law. He called for a Security Council that was democratic, effective
Focusing on Syria, he firmly supported the United States-Russian
Federation agreement to eliminate that country’s chemical weapons
arsenal, stressing that the accord must now translate into a tangible
Security Council resolution. Turkey would welcome the complete and
verifiable destruction of those weapons, especially as they had been
used against Syrian civilians just a month ago. The perpetrators
of that crime against humanity must be brought to justice and the
agreement on Syrian chemical weapons provided an opportunity to
do so, which he hoped would be a first step in creating a security
architecture that ensured their total elimination in the Middle East.
“This conflict neither began with the use of chemical weapons, nor
will it end with an agreement to eliminate them,” he said, rejecting
as immoral any position that was not troubled by the killing of
innocent people. It was a disgrace that the Council had failed to
uphold its primary responsibility in that case, and further, that
“balance-of-power politics” had prevailed over the imperative to end
that tragedy. “I cannot emphasize this enough,” he said. “Agreement on
chemical weapons must not be allowed to substitute for a comprehensive
political strategy to address the situation in Syria.”
Further, he said, once extremists took root in a State, they formed
autonomous structures and threatened security at home and abroad.
He also argued for a sound strategy with well-defined, well-calculated
objectives for a peaceful solution, which aimed to end the civil
war and ensure a stable transition. “We cannot and shall not leave
the Syrian people to their fate,” he said, urging the creation and
enforcement of a political strategy, led by the “P5” and neighbouring
countries. Turning to the broader Middle East, he said advances in
the region, including in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, were irreversible,
but the world should not expect emerging political systems to transform
into mature democracies overnight.
On the Palestinian question, he said denial of Palestinians’ right to
a State of their own could not be justified, with illegal settlements
on Palestinian land undermining the prospects for a two-State
solution. Strongly supporting talks initiated by the United States,
he said their success depended on Israel’s acceptance of the creation
of a viable Palestinian State, as well as a unified Palestinian front.
More broadly, he said Turkey was fully committed to finding a just
and negotiated settlement to the Cyprus question, and expected the
international community to urge Greek Cypriots to reciprocate by
engaging in result-oriented and time-framed negotiations.
He strongly urged peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh
conflict and achievement of sustainable peace in the Caucasus
based on territorial integrity. Turkey had proposed a strategy for
regional economic cooperation and development, combined with the
gradual withdrawal from occupied territories, which could provide a
solid basis for regional peace. In the Balkans, Turkey had worked to
build strong ties with all Balkan nations. On Afghanistan, he had led
efforts to establish the Trilateral Summit Process among Afghanistan,
Pakistan and Turkey.
Finally, he said terrorism could be defeated only when States stopped
making “my terrorist/your terrorist” distinctions. Islamophobia sought
to make an imaginary enemy of the millions of peace-loving Muslims.
Rather, a balance must be struck between freedom of expression and
respect for faith. He also discussed Turkey’s assistance and direct
investment package to least developed countries. If elected to the
Security Council for 2015-2016, Turkey would bring an independent
voice to that body. In sum, he believed democracy, rule of law,
respect for human rights and global welfare would continue to expand
in the new millennium.
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress