Statement by Ambassador Tacan İldem, Permanent Representative of Turkey, Working Session I: Early Warning, Conflict Prevention, Crisis Management, Conflict Resolution and Post-Conflict Rehabilitation: Lessons Learned and the Way Ahead, Annual Security Review Conference
At the outset I would like to extend my thanks and appreciation for your opening remarks and for the insightful presentations of the keynote speakers.
The ultimate goal of the OSCE is to create an area of stability, cooperation and prosperity, through its unique concept of comprehensive security. The most important challenge to achieving this goal is prevention and settlement of the protracted conflicts in the OSCE area.
It is essential to note how the persistence of these conflicts not only impacts the parties, but also poisons the atmosphere of confidence, which should prevail within the Organization. This, in turn, hampers the realization of the true potential for cooperation. It tarnishes the OSCE’s image, raising questions about its credibility.
With this understanding, we believe that strengthening and fully vitalizing OSCE’s capacity to address all phases of the conflict cycle must, therefore, remain a priority for the Organization. We also support all efforts to resolve the protracted conflicts that our Organization was tasked to deal with and attach importance to the format of negotiations that were created for the settlement of the protracted conflicts. We all have a responsibility to tackle these conflicts resolutely, without falling into the false comfort that they are at least contained. Such a sense of false comfort is dangerous given that these conflicts may flare up into outright hostilities instantly.
In this respect, we need to look into the future with concrete steps that would lead to peaceful settlement of the conflicts and normalization of relations between the parties, aiming at achieving a “win-win” situation for all.
I will not dwell on all of these conflicts that the OSCE was tasked to deal with but I would like to briefly touch upon the settlement process of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, in view of the fact that Turkey is a member of the Minsk Group tasked to deal with it.
The conflagration along the Line of Contact and Armenian-Azerbaijani border last year and in the first four months of this year caused serious concerns. The record number of incidents and casualties in this period clearly showed the conflict’s destructive potential and confirmed once more how the status-quo in this conflict is neither sustainable nor acceptable.
Within the Minsk Group, Turkey remains committed to supporting all efforts to find a just, viable and lasting solution to the conflict through peaceful means. Turkey continues to value the OSCE Minsk Group process as the appropriate platform to find a solution to the conflict and believes that the work of the Group needs to be energized with fresh ideas to bring new impetus to the process. This includes the fullest possible use of the Minsk Group as a way of supporting the efforts of the Co-Chairs. A new visionary perspective for all peoples of the region including the parties to the conflict may trigger the most needed political will to resolve the conflict.
OSCE’s broad acquis, means and capabilities as well as its comprehensive approach to security provide the most suitable framework where conflicts can be addressed comprehensively and in a cross dimensional manner. The OSCE’s response to the crisis in Ukraine has demonstrated the Organization’s capacity to provide quick and comprehensive crisis response based on its large, flexible and diversified toolbox. At the same time, the crisis has also underlined that room for improvement still exists.
Preventive diplomacy is the most effective and economic method of dispute settlement. If potential conflicts cannot be averted through the timely detection of their core reasons, the emerging crisis is likely to necessitate more costly and long-term measures. As you have already alluded to in your introductory remarks Madam Moderator, mediation is a key component of preventive diplomacy. Therefore we encourage the increased use of mediation and dialogue facilitation in crisis situations in order to enable effective crisis response across the conflict cycle. In this context, we believe that OSCE’s network of field operations have significant contributions to make to reducing tensions and facilitating dialogue.
Last but not least, the equal and effective participation and the full involvement of women at all levels, at all stages and in all aspects of the peaceful settlement of disputes, conflict prevention and resolution are crucial. The UNSC Resolution 1325 and follow-up resolutions are guiding documents also in this sense.