New York, 28 March 2008 — Turkey today announced an additional US$50 million for the financing of development projects in African countries over the next five years. Making the announcement, Kenan Tepedelen, Coordinator for Turkey’s Relations with the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) told a meeting at UN Headquarters in New York today that the world cannot be a safe place to live unless equitable and sustainable development for all was ensured.

“One part of the globe cannot advance and benefit from globalization, when the other parts are suffering from its consequences”, Mr. Tepedelen told the special follow-up meeting to the Ministerial Conference on “Making Globalisation Work for the Least Developed Countries” that was held in Istanbul, Turkey from 9 to 11 July 2007.

He said that meeting the formidable challenges facing the LDCs in particular and enabling them to enjoy sustainable development become a collective responsibility for the entire international community. It is with this conviction, he explained, that Turkey has decided to pursue an active and robust foreign policy geared towards developing its relations with the LDCs, including through exploring and putting in place mutually beneficial projects of cooperation. With a particular focus on the LDCs, Turkey had already established a fund of US15 million for the implementation of projects in the LDCs, Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs) and Small Island Developing States, (SIDS). Furthermore, during the Istanbul Conference of last year, the country had also earmarked another US$5 million in order to provide financing for small and medium scale regional development projects solely in the LDCs.

Later on in September last year, Turkey pledged US$1 million at the Stockholm International Donor’s Conference for “Enhanced Integrated Framework Fund” which was set up to support efforts to improve the trade capacities of the LDCs. Mr. Tepedelen told the meeting that this very recent funding and the decision to couple it with the opening of new diplomatic missions will allow Turkey to have a more balanced allocation of its LDC-focused assistance, given that a greater number of the LDCs are from the African continent.

He said it is the Turkish government’s firm intention to continue its assistance programmes by funding further development projects of the developing countries beyond Africa. Similarly, Turkey is also committed to increase the number of its diplomatic missions in the LDCs and is hoping to announce decisions to that effect in the near future.

Addressing the same meeting earlier, Cheick Sidi Diarra, Under-Secretary-General, Special Adviser on Africa and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, lauded Turkey’s recognition of the plight of the world’s poorest countries and said the presence at today’s meeting of a team of senior officials from the Turkish Government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including Hasan Gögüs, Director-General for Multilateral Political Organizations, Kenan Tepedelen, LDC Coordinator, and Musa Kulaklikaya, President of the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) was further testimony to the Turkey’s commitment and support of continuing cooperation with LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS.

Mr. Diarra said the purpose of the special meeting today, organized by UN-OHRLLS in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Permanent Mission of Turkey to the UN, was to share the outcome of the Istanbul Conference with a broader audience as well as to brief you on the Government of Turkey’s cooperation with LDCs, LLDCs and SIDS, particularly on the Trust Funds for the three groups of countries announced by the government during last July’s conference.

Also present at the meeting were Baki İlkin, the Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations, Ismat Jahan, the Chair of the LDC Group and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh to the United Nations and UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis who also launched the publication “Making Globalization Work for LDCs” which illustrates the results of the 2007 Istanbul conference.

*******

For further information, please contact Derrick Ed Bwalya, Information Officer, Office of the Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS). Tel: +1-917-367-2471. E-mail: ohrlls-unhq@un.org Website: www.un.org/ohrlls/