Statement by Ambassador Tacan İldem, Permanent Representative of Turkey, in Response to the Address by Ranko Krivokapic, President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, at the 969th Meeting of the Permanent Council

Tacan İLDEM 31.10.2013
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson,

I join the previous speakers in warmly welcoming President Krivokapic to the Permanent Council and thank him for his thought-provoking presentation. As this is his first address to the Council after assuming this important responsibility, I would like to wish him the best of success during his tenure as President of OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. Turkey greatly values the work of the Assembly. It not only provides an effective platform for our legislative bodies to exchange views on OSCE-related matters, but also plays a vital role in ensuring that the concerns of our citizens are addressed. It was a privilege for the Turkish Grand National Assembly to host the twenty-second Annual Session of the Parliamentary Assembly in Istanbul this summer, and we are pleased to see two Turkish parliamentarians in the Bureau of the Parliamentary Assembly.

The convening of this year’s Annual Session with the theme “Helsinki +40” was undoubtedly a welcome development for all of us around this table. We appreciate the Parliamentary Assembly’s support for the relevant Ministerial Council decision adopted in Dublin last year. As we continue our deliberations on the future of the OSCE in our decision-making bodies, as stated by my distinguished Swiss colleague as well, the parliamentary input and support offered by the Assembly can be utilized to strengthen our efforts and to reinforce the ownership of our forward-looking approach. Last February during the Winter Session in Vienna I was pleased to address the PA’s General Committee on Political Affairs and Security as Chair of the Security Committee and to share my views on the “Helsinki +40” process.

The Annual Session in Istanbul was also an encouraging demonstration of the Assembly’s solidarity with Turkey’s concerns vis-à-vis the developments taking place in its region. The OSCE PA once again responded to Turkey’s appeals to the international community to raise its collective voice in the face of the humanitarian crisis in Syria and the situation in the Middle East.

Providing security with a cross-dimensional approach is a perennial focus of attention for the OSCE. In this respect, we believe the main impediments to the comprehensive security concept are the frozen conflicts, which should be resolved peacefully through established mechanisms. In this context the bridge-building role of parliamentarians will be significant.

As regards our work in the second dimension, we welcome the Parliamentary Assembly resolutions on important issues such as energy security and the effects of energy-related activities within the OSCE region.

In the human dimension, we highly appreciate the Parliamentary Assembly’s valuable contributions to combating the threat posed by rising levels of racism, xenophobia, intolerance and discrimination across the OSCE area. The Assembly’s concerns were most recently voiced in the relevant resolution adopted during the Annual Session, which stressed the importance of education in countering these deplorable developments. We believe that the OSCE’s value added in this field can be further increased through the enhanced cooperation between the intergovernmental and inter-parliamentary dimensions of our Organization. One way in which the Assembly could further contribute to the strengthening of intercultural contacts within diverse societies could be by hosting interreligious dialogue meetings.

I would also like to express our satisfaction with the reinstated cooperation between the Parliamentary Assembly and ODIHR in the field of election observation. Both institutions are complementary and their cooperation is needed in order to retain the OSCE’s high standard in election observation. Taking this opportunity, I wish to underline once again the importance of calibrating the presentation of technical findings and conclusions so as to encourage cooperation and constructive engagement.

In conclusion, I would like to renew our best wishes for President Krivokapic in his new assignment. We look forward to continuing our cooperation with OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.

Thank you.