The United Nations Organization and Turkey, 24.03.2016
The Unites Nations is an international organization established in 1945 in the aftermath of World War II under the leadership of the US, Soviet Union, Britain, France and China. The aim of the organization, when it was first established, was to prevent the recurrence of the wars of the first half of the 20th century as well as the conflicts which posed a threat to global peace and security.
The UN Charter, which is the founding treaty of the United Nations, was signed in San Francisco on 26 June 1945 by the representatives of fifty countries, including Turkey. The number of founding members rose to fifty-one upon the signing of the Charter by Poland, which was not represented at the San Francisco Conference. The organization officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, when the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and the majority of the member states ratified the UN Charter, as the charter itself stipulates. Since then, October 24 has been celebrated each year as United Nations Day.
The main bodies of United Nations are the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the Trusteeship Council, the International Court of Justice and the UN secretariat.
In recent years, Turkey has adopted a more proactive approach towards the UN. Closely following the UN’s agenda, Turkey strives to engage in the work of the General Assembly and its subsidiary bodies to the extent possible. In doing so, Turkey benefits from its membership to different groups as well as regional and international organizations, and makes every effort to play a constructive and reconciliatory role on current issues.
Turkey has also been taking an interest in global issues which are prominent in the UN’s agenda, even though they do not necessarily fall within the traditional domain of Turkish foreign policy.
Within this framework, the progress achieved in terms of economic growth and development in recent years, new outreach policies towards the African and Latin American countries, flourishing relations with those countries in remote geographies preceding and during Turkey’s membership to the UN Security Council, the accession process to the European Union, membership to the G-20 as well as Turkey’s increasing official development aid to those countries in need have all provided significant opportunities to further enhance Turkey’s contributions to the UN development agenda. Consequently, the 4th UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries held between 9 and 13 May 2011 in Istanbul enabled Turkey to clearly demonstrate its support and contributions to international development cooperation. As the host of this Conference, Turkey has assumed the responsibility to draw the attention of the international community to the challenges faced by the LDCs in the next decade, as an advocate for the LDCs.
Turkey is emerging as a center for international organizations, including the UN. The Regional Bureau of Eastern Europe and Central Asia of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) was recently inaugurated in Istanbul. In line with the strategic partnership developed between Turkey and the UNDP, Istanbul also hosts now the UN International Center for Private Sector in Development.
Turkey’s membership to UN Security Council, the most important forum to achieve and maintain international peace and security, during the term 2009-2010 provided new and further opportunities in the international arena and the UN. Turkey has always been one of the most prominent defenders of the principles and goals stipulated in the UN Charter, and supported the resolution of international disputes through multilateral cooperation. Throughout this term of membership in the Security Council, which came after nearly half a century, Turkey participated in the work of the Council and made its contributions on a multitude of issues most of which are already on its own foreign policy agenda, enriched both in depth and scope in recent years.
Turkey is determined to support the UN in every possible way and wishes to enhance its contributions to international peace, security and stability as well as to further its efforts towards the strengthening of fundamental principles and values such as human rights, democracy and the rule of law.