Statement by Ambassador Tacan İldem, Permanent Representative of Turkey, 2015 Economic and Environmental Dimension Implementation Meeting

Tacan İldem 19.10.2015
Thank you, Mr. Chairperson.

I would like to express my pleasure to take part in the 2015 Economic and Environmental Dimension Implementation Meeting and extend my thanks and appreciation to those who have organized this meeting. This year the meeting provides us an excellent opportunity to discuss and share best practices on combatting corruption, money-laundering and environmental good governance.

The new circumstances of our globalized world compel us to also take non-traditional threats to security into consideration. It is in line with this understanding that economic and environmental matters have always been an integral part of the OSCE agenda, reflecting the Organization’s comprehensive approach to security. In this vein, we consider that the potential of the second dimension should be utilized in a better fashion to address the new challenges to security. We believe that the Economic and Environmental Dimension Implementation Meetings provide a significant opportunity to uncover this potential.

Implications of economic and environmental issues on security requires the reassessment of the role and the position of our Organization on a regular basis. The OSCE can maintain its relevance only if it can continuously adapt and re-adapt itself to ever-changing contemporary challenges and problems. In this regard, we believe that the best response to threats of corruption and money-laundering lies in strong international cooperation on the basis of common and shared responsibility with a cross-dimensional and multi-layered approach.

I would like to thank to the speakers of this opening session for their insightful presentations. I welcome the recommendations and useful proposals made by Mr. Kos in his keynote address. He gave us concrete ideas on how we can utilize our tools.

This is of great importance, as good governance at the international, national and local levels has a significant bearing on security, stability and prosperity in the OSCE region. Deficiency in governance such as ineffective institutions, corruption, weak civil society, lack of transparency and accountability in the public and private sectors will impede sustainable economic, social and environmental development and the relevant country’s capacity to effectively address economic and environmental challenges.

To be a little more specific, I may add that economic and social disparities, lack of the rule of law, weak governance, corruption, high dependency on energy resources, widespread poverty and high unemployment rate have an exacerbating effect on illegal economic activities, from money-laundering to human trafficking.

Turkey believes that OSCE is a relevant regional platform to address this phenomenon. With this understanding, Turkey supports the activities of the OCEEA and the relevant OSCE executive structures and actively participates in the efforts within our Organization to fight against this phenomenon.

We consider the 2012 Dublin Declaration on Strengthening Good Governance and Combatting Corruption, Money-Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism as one of the milestones in OSCE’s work in this area. We commend Dr. Yurdakul Yiğitgüden, the Coordinator of the OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities, and his able team as well as the Field Operations for the support they have towards for the proper implementation of the 2012 Dublin Declaration.

Furthermore, the 2014 Basel Decision on Corruption constituted another important step by tasking the ECC to present a report to the Permanent Council providing options for strengthening the current OSCE capacity on combating and preventing corruption and for enhancing co-ordination among the OSCE executive structures. We regret that the Informal Group of Friends of the ECC Chair on the prevention of corruption that was formed in accordance with the decision on corruption, could not distribute its report.

Globalization has impacted the security environment in ways not seen before, diminishing the traditional role of the state as the chief security actor by, among others, hastening and intensifying the interaction within and between civil society, private sector and the media again at both the national and international levels. The establishment of robust and well-designed cooperation among these actors would bolster our efforts in combating the multifaceted problems relating to security that require long-term political commitment and resolute action at all levels, as well as coordination among different stakeholders.

We believe that the success in the fight against corruption and money-laundering will play a decisive role in further consolidating good governance and sustainable economic growth. Turkey is ready to further contribute to enhancing cooperation and coordination in countering corruption and money-laundering.

I am also pleased that the good governance in the sphere of environment is part of the agenda of this year’s meeting. Environmental governance is an essential part of sustainable development. When environmental governance adheres to the values of rule of law, transparency, accountability and public participation in decision-making, it would be better able to cope with the extraordinarily dynamic challenges of environment and contribute to development. The application of good governance concept in the area of environment is especially important for economically, politically and socially backward sections of the society, whose survival depends on environmental resources, goods and services.

Moreover, the complexity, magnitude and the interconnectedness of environmental change and challenges that transcend political borders requires flexible, responsive, adaptive and collaborative approaches. I believe that the OSCE with the endeavors of its field missions could support the participating states to identify threats at an early stage, develop sound environmental policies, and successfully implement these policies.

Let me conclude by underlining once again the importance of keeping pace with the dynamic rhythm of global change by constantly updating our areas of focus and our toolbox at the OSCE. We would draw also in this area from the distinct advantage of having someone of such caliber as Ambassador Papadakis at the helm of our second dimension Committee.

I look forward to a very successful EEDIM which will prove to be beneficial to bolstering our work and cooperation in the second dimension at a variety of levels.

Thank you.