Turkey at UNSC faced busy diplomacy traffic in 2009

Turkey began 2009 as the non-permanent member of UN Security Council after 48 years.

Turkey at UNSC faced busy diplomacy traffic in 2009

Turkey began 2009 as the non-permanent member of UN Security Council after 48 years.

Turkey won 151 votes of 192 members of UN Security Council in October 2008 and became a non-permanent member of the Security Council for the period of 2009-2010.

Baki Ilkin represented Turkey at the UN Security Council in the first half of 2009. After Ilkin retired from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ertugrul Apakan represented Turkey at the Council in the second of half.

Israeli deadly Gaza attack became an important agenda item of UNSC in January. The then Foreign Minister of Ali Babacan represented Turkey at meetings on resolutions aiming at ending offensive in Gaza.

During his talks with foreign ministers of several countries, Babacan gave the message that there must be cease-fire in Gaza. Delivering a speech at the Council, Babacan said the situation in Gaza was human tragedy and military attacks of Israel must be stopped immediately.

On January 8, UNSC accepted the resolution no: 1860, calling for an immediate truce in Gaza leading to a full Israeli withdrawal. 14 of 15 council members including Turkey voted in favor of the resolution.

After voting, Babacan told the A.A correspondent that Turkey had a special position. "Turkey has contacts with everyone, with Arab countries and also with Israel. UNSC countries and foreign ministers of Arab countries thanked Turkey for its contributions," he said.

After end of war in Gaza, Turkey attached a great importance to Middle East meetings held in the UNSC. Ahmet Davutoglu became the foreign minister of Turkey on May 1 and attended a meeting on the Middle East chaired by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on May 11. Delivering a speech at the meeting, Davutoglu said problems in the Middle East should be approached within the scope of comprehensive peace vision.

Davutoglu said Palestine issue and Arab-Israeli conflict topped the agenda of international community and Turkey. "Palestine issue and especially the situation in Gaza cannot be ignored," he said.

Davutoglu told reporters that Turkey would make active contributions to all issues concerning the UNSC. Davutoglu had a comprehensive meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and they discussed Cyprus, Iraq, Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan in their meeting. Officials said Ban thanked Davutoglu for Turkey's contributions to Alliance of Civilizations, global and regional peace.

"UNSC term presidency"

Turkey took over UNSC term presidency on June 1, 2009 and conducted the presidency for one month. The then Turkey's Permanent Representative to UN Ilkin said Turkey had a non-permanent seat for the first time since 1961.

Turkey took up several issues on the agenda of the Council in June 2009. Iraq, Middle East, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Georgia, Iran, Africa, North Korea, fight against terrorism, the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and former Yugoslavia.

Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu chaired a meeting on the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and former Yugoslavia on June 4. Delivering a speech, Davutoglu said he considered UNSC the basic instrument in securing global peace and security. Turkey would keep assuming constructive, impartial and active role in the region, Davutoglu said.

Turkish FM Davutoglu also chaired UNSC's meeting on Iraq on June 18 and underlined the importance of territorial integrity of Iraq.

Ambassador Ilkin, who retired from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and left the office of permanent representative to UN, chaired the Council meeting on June 30 for the last time. In an interview with the A.A correspondent, Ilkin said Turkey conducted UNSC term presidency successfully.

"Busy diplomacy traffic"

There was busy diplomacy traffic in the second six months period of Turkey's first year in the UNSC.

Turkey's new permanent representative to UN, Ertugrul Apakan, presented his letter of credence to UN Secretary General Ban on August 27.

The delegation headed by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan represented Turkey at the 64th session meeting of UN General Assembly held between September 22 and 29. State Minister Ali Babacan, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, State Minister and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis and Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek held talks and attended several meetings which took place on the sidelines of the 64th session.

Erdogan also participated in a summit on climate change hosted by UN secretary general on September 22. Erdogan had talks with UN Secretary General Ban at UN HQ and also at the 40th anniversary of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) in New York. Erdogan and Ban discussed Cyprus issue, climate change, Turkey-Armenia relations, Afghanistan, Middle East peace process and Gaza in their meetings.

Turkey was represented at the level of premier in a summit on "nuclear disarmament" on September 24 for the first time. 15 members of UNSC accepted a resolution prepared by the United States against nuclear disarmament in the summit chaired by U.S. President Barack Obama. Delivering a speech in the summit, Prime Minister Erdogan said Turkey supported all steps for settlement of nuclear weapons free zones.

Addressing the UN General Assembly the same day, Erdogan made a comprehensive speech on Turkey's views about international agenda. Touching on the Cyprus issue, Erdogan said, "the two parties could not reach agreements on some issues and we believe that UN secretary general should get involved in the process."

Turkish FM Davutoglu held more than 60 bilateral talks on the sidelines of UN meetings. Davutoglu told reporters that his counterparts approved Turkey's rising diplomatic power.

"As council member"

Bilateral talks between the two leaders in Cyprus under the auspices of UN were also included in the agenda of the Council in 2009. Turkey having a non-permanent seat at UN Security Council participated in the meetings on Cyprus of the UNSC for the first time. Turkey voted against the resolution proposing the extension of the mandate of the UN Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser for Cyprus Alexander Downer informed the Council members on the negotiations regarding the Cyprus issue. Replying to questions of reporters, Downer said he was "cautiously optimistic" that an agreement could be reached, noting that the leaders were acting in good faith and working hard to reach solutions. Downer said the negotiation process could not last forever.

UN SG Ban urged the two parties in the island to speed up the negotiations said in his report in May and gave message that a solution must be reached in a reasonable period of time.

On May 29, Turkey voted against the resolution proposing the extension of the mandate of the UNFICYP for another six months. Other 14 members of the Council voted in favor of the resolution. Ambassador Ilkin said Turkey did not approve UN resolutions mentioning the Greek Cypriot administration as "Cyprus government and Cyprus republic".

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus's (TRNC) representative in New York Kemal Gokeri said, "Turkish Cypriots have more willingness for a solution than Greek Cypriots."

UN Secretary General Ban had a meeting with TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat in New York on September 28. A statement by the UN said UN SG was pleased with Talat's stance regarding a solution to the Cyprus issue. The unique opportunity must be seized by both sides, the statement said. TRNC President Talat said he invited SG Ban to Cyprus. Talat called on Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias to comply with UN parameters and said that the negotiation process was the last chance.

Downer and UN Special Representative to Cyprus, Taye Brook Zerihoun briefed UNSC on the negotiation process and UNFICYP on December 9. Downer told a news conference that the parties were making solid progress.
"Goldstone report"

The Goldstone report, discussed in the UN, called on both Israel and the Palestinians to investigate within three months accusations of human-rights violations during the 22-day conflict in December and January.

Israeli forces deliberately attacked civilians, failed to take
precautions to minimize loss of civilian life and cited strong evidence Israeli forces committed "grave breaches" of the Geneva Convention, the 575-page report noted.

In a meeting of the Council on October 14, Apakan said that Turkey considered the report a comprehensive document shedding light to Gaza issue. "We think that recommendations in this report should be taken up seriously," he said.



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