Statement By Ambassador Tacan İldem, Permanent Representatıve Of Turkey, At The Fırst Preparatory Meetıng Of The 21st Economıc And Envıronmental Forum

Tacan İLDEM 04.02.2013
I would like to join the previous speakers in welcoming the participants who will take part in the First Preparatory Meeting of the 21st Economic and Environmental Forum (EEF). We hope that this year’s EEF cycle that will kick off today and will be followed by the meetings to be held in Kyiv and Prague will pave the way for generating concrete deliverables in advancing the role of our Organization in the field of energy and environmental security both of which are of increasing concern for each and all of us.

I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome you Mr. Coordinator in our midst after assumption of your new important duties. We are confident that with your impressive background and vast experience you will carry out an excellent leadership during your tenure and bring significant contribution to the activities of second dimension and continue improving the profile of the OSCE in this sphere.

Mr. Chairman,

Over the past years, energy security has come out to be considered as an essential factor in the general security perspective of the countries and remains at the top of the global, political and economic agenda for consumer, producer as well as transit countries. This situation mainly emanates from the rapid increase in demand for energy as a result of high rates of economic growth in particular countries whereas primary energy resources are concentrated in a rather limited geography.

On the other hand, environmental sustainability is another significant aspect of the energy security. The use of hydrocarbon resources at ongoing rates is not sustainable owing to their negative implications on climate and nature and pushes us to develop alternative energy sources to maintain reliable and renewable energy flow and implement sustainable environmental policies.

Turkey, with its considerable growth rate every year and imports over 90 percent of its natural gas and oil consumption, attaches utmost priority to safe, secure, sustainable and affordable energy for its socio-economic development. With a growing population and a rapidly expanding economy, Turkey’s dependence on fossil fuel resources from external suppliers presents a substantial challenge to its energy security. For this very reason, Turkey identifies the primary objective of its energy strategy as to ensure its own energy security by

- developing its own national resources;
- diversifying its energy composition with an increase in the share of renewable resources,
- and diversifying its suppliers and transportation routes.

Placing great store on the environmental aspect of the energy issue, Turkey initiated a number of projects in order to utilize its major potential of renewable energy sources and attributed particular significance to increase the share of the renewable energy sources among the overall supplies. Turkey aims at further increasing its use of hydro, wind and solar energy resources and envisages producing 30% of its electricity need from the renewable resources by the year 2023 that is the 100th anniversary of the foundation of our republic.

Mr. Chairman,

Energy security and its environmental repercussions have crucial influence on the strengthening of international cooperation which requires the involvement of our Organization. Natural resource scarcity, contamination, man-made disasters and climate change are potential risks that could exacerbate existing tensions and threat international peace, stability and security. Acknowledging the interdependence of peace, security and sustainable development and the importance of regional cooperation in overcoming setbacks, we believe that shared natural resources, environmental challenges and energy security can be perceived and promoted as prospective bases for enhanced cooperation, dialogue and confidence building for greater solidarity among the participating States.

With this understanding, as a unique platform for political dialogue with its comprehensive approach to security, we reckon that the OSCE has a lot to offer to complement the efforts of other international organizations specialized on the energy issues through its comparative advantages and mainly via its field offices and other tools and mechanisms at its disposal. We sincerely believe that this year’s discussions in the second dimension starting with today’s meeting will provide an ample ground to assess the best ways and practices to maximize the added value of the OSCE in this field.

Mr. Chairman,

In conclusion, I would like to thank Ukrainian Chairmanship and the OSCE Coordinator for Economic and Environmental Activities for organizing this first preparatory meeting and wish all participants success for the days ahead.

Thank you.