Statement by Ambassador Tacan İldem, Permanent Representative of Turkey, in Response to the Report on Progress Made Under the Helsinki+40 Process at the 973rd Permanent Council

Tacan İLDEM 21.11.2013
Madam Chairperson,

I would like to express our thanks and appreciation to the Ukrainian Chairmanship for its efforts in steering the work of the Informal Helsinki+40 Working Group (IWG) during the year. I would also like to extend our thanks to our colleagues from Switzerland and Serbia for what continues to radiate as an excellent cooperation in this endeavor.

We are appreciative of efforts in preparation of the food-for-thought and perception papers in the process throughout the year. Like others, we also welcome the report presented today.

The work carried out during the second part of the year strengthened our mid-term positive assessment of the steps that have been made so far.

The additional two meetings of the Informal Working Group since the PC meeting of 25 July 2013, allowed us to cover new topics that we believe are relevant to the process. We look forward to the last thematic meeting of the year on “achieving progress in resolution of protracted conflicts” to be held on 13 December. We also take note of the information according to which two additional thematic areas (namely the TNTs and the conflict cycle) will be tackled in 2014.

The exchanges held within the IWG constitute a solid basis to build upon during the second phase of the process. In the new phase of our work, we must strive to consolidate our initial exchanges and produce more concrete avenues and possible outcomes. The established framework constitutes a foundation which can allow us to go deeper in our future work in a structured manner in the thematic areas with a view to producing concrete deliverables. Building upon our acquis of commitments and successes and reinforcing them could open new vistas towards our collective goal.

Sustaining and furthering this initial momentum will be an important challenge and task. In this vein, we see merit in using the forthcoming Kyiv Ministerial Council as an occasion for us to put this process in the radar screens of our Ministers again, in order to reaffirm our engagement to the process for the coming two years.

A framework or road map such as the one prepared by next two Chairmanships would allow sustaining a positive agenda and follow a structured and incremental process. It is important that it reflects our sensitivities and still maintains a modicum of flexibility.

Mentioning a landmark document as a goal for the process is also something which can serve as a motivation to develop an even stronger OSCE, better able to fulfill its core tasks and deploy its toolbox along the OSCE commitments.

We remain more convinced than ever of the importance to keep our capitals involved for a practical engagement needed in the process and the usefulness of generating out of the box ideas through “track 2”, academia and civil society. The OSCE PA’s political input will also be highly welcome.

Let me restate that the realization of the vision of a security community cannot be achieved only through the efforts of our organization. Nevertheless, with the Helsinki+40 process, we will be able to identify the value added of our organization in building this security community, by taking stock of our achievements of the past and with a forward looking vision on what this organization can make as a contribution through its cutting edge, with its comprehensive approach to security in three distinct dimensions.

Addressing the deficit of trust among participating States is imperative for our efforts to yield the desired results. This is a unique chance for all of us to take advantage of this process and create a new culture of engagement.

Finally, I would like to reiterate our appreciation to the diligent manner with which the Ukrainian Chairmanship helped us advance during 2013 toward the Helsinki +40 goals. We are confident that the consecutive Swiss and Serbian Chairmanships will spare no effort in order to take the process forward and ensure its ultimate success.

Thank you.