Ankara pulling out all the stops for UNSC bid

Following almost half a century without holding a seat, Ankara now wishes to put its assets and experience at the service of the world community by becoming a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.

Ankara pulling out all the stops for UNSC bid
Despite having already gained sufficient support, Turkish officials have been conducting continuous talks with their counterparts abroad for the country's bid for a temporary seat on the UN Security Council for 2009-2010, taking into consideration the fact the UN General Assembly will hold the related election by secret ballot.

Ankara has been running for one of the non-permanent seats allocated to the Western European and Others Group on the UN Security Council for the 2009-2010 term. Austria and Iceland have declared that they are also running for the same seat. Turkey, which has undertaken many UN missions in the 62 years since it became a founding member of the body, already gained support from at least two-thirds of the UN General Assembly's 192 members for the elections on Oct. 7 during the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly.

"Turkey has never been closer to succeeding with its bid when compared to its earlier candidacies for the same seat," diplomatic sources said yesterday, in an apparent reference to Ankara's candidacies for the terms 1993-1994, 1997-1998 and 2001-2002.

Its candidacy for each of these terms was withdrawn before elections for various reasons. The candidacy for 2002-2002 was pulled due to the 1999 İzmit earthquake -- a 7.6 magnitude quake that struck northwestern Turkey, and leaving approximately half a million people homeless.

"Nevertheless, our efforts will continue until the very last minute because we are aware of the strength of our competitors as well. The fact that we have gained sufficient support either via verbal and written mutual support agreements or unilateral support doesn't mean that the election outcome is assured. At the end of the day, it is a secret ballot," the same diplomatic sources, who requested anonymity, emphasized.

As part of its intense efforts for the bid, 10 Turkish special envoys have visited 67 countries in Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region, some of whose areas do not have any Turkish diplomatic missions, since January 2006 and increased its visibility with international organizations by sending representatives to international gatherings and also hosting international gatherings. These efforts will continue until the very last moment, with leaders conducting telephone diplomacy in the last 20 days before the voting date.

Ankara had announced its candidacy back in July 2003. It had previously held a non-permanent seat in 1951-1952 and 1954-1955. Most recently, it shared a non-permanent seat with Poland in 1961.

Following almost half a century without holding a seat, Ankara now wishes to put its assets and experience at the service of the world community by becoming a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.

"Bridging continents and cultures for peace, prosperity and justice," is one of the key mottos of Turkey's campaign for its bid. This motto also reflects Turkey's dedication to making significant contributions to intercultural dialogue as it is an active sponsor of the UN-led Alliance of Civilizations initiative.

"Whatever the outcome of the election is, it will be positive for Turkey's multidimensional foreign policy stance," the diplomatic sources said, bringing to mind the fact that due to frenzied diplomatic efforts for the UN bid, Ankara recently met with visiting leaders of countries that were not previously very well known by the public. Turkey's plans for deepening its relations with African countries via almost two dozen new diplomatic missions in the latter are also expected to increase its chances for gaining a temporary seat on the UN Security Council.

Ankara believes that becoming a temporary member of the UN Security Council will position Turkey to better inform the international community of its stance on many controversial issues, particularly its position on the divided island of Cyprus.

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Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Haziran 2008, 12:17
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