Istanbul should be the center of the United Nations, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said in a written statement on the 71st year of its foundation.
After consistently increasing its contributions to the U.N. budget over recent years, Turkey has also been exerting strenuous efforts to turn Istanbul, which is located at the intersection of continents and civilizations, into a U.N. center, Erdoğan said, adding that Istanbul would accomplish the “U.N.’s mission and goals,” reported Hurriyet Daily News.
“We believe that Istanbul, with its ancient history, cultural richness, strategic location and natural beauties, will provide critical contributions to the U.N.’s mission and goals as a center of the organization,” he said.
Repeating the phrase he often uses, Erdoğan said that “the world is bigger than five.”
“In line with our call that ‘the world is bigger than five,’ which I often stress, we will continue, on every platform, our support for a comprehensive reform of the U.N. that will ensure a fairer representation as well as a more democratic, transparent, effective and accountable functioning of the U.N. Security Council,” he said.
Noting Turkey had been “one of the staunchest advocates of the U.N. and the values it represents,” Erdoğan said the country “has assumed critical roles.”
“Turkey, which has been one of the staunchest advocates of the U.N. and the values it represents since the organization came into being, has assumed very critical roles on issues of vital importance such as the maintenance of global peace and security, mediation, development, humanitarian aid, environment, the alliance of civilizations and the like,” he said.
In his message, Erdoğan also commented on the issue of Syrian refugees that Turkey has been accepting.
“With the hospitality it has been showing toward 3 million refugees in the face of the humanitarian crises in Syria and Iraq, Turkey has become a voice of the global conscience. The first-ever World Humanitarian Summit hosted by Turkey on May 23-24 this year is a sign of our sensitivity regarding humanitarian tragedies. Coming together for the first time in the history in Istanbul, all the stakeholders of the humanitarian aid system took very important decisions during the summit. Our country is closely monitoring the results of this summit so as to ensure the implementation of the commitments made during the summit,” he also said.
“I hope that the works of the U.N. help bring peace and prosperity to our world, and mark U.N. Day with my most sincere feelings,” he said.