13th Session of the General Conference of UNIDO (8 December 2009)
STATEMENT BY H.E. AMBASSADOR TOMUR BAYER PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY
13th SESSION OF THE GENERAL CONFERENCE OF UNIDO
(8 December 2009)
Mr. Director General,
Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, I would like to join other speakers in congratulating you Mr. President, on your election as the President of the General Conference. We are confident that under your able leadership the Conference will come to a successful conclusion. I assure you of my delegation's full support.
Let me also congratulate Dr Yumkella for his re-election as the Director General of UNIDO. With him at the helm, this Organization has made a significant leap towards accomplishing its mandate. We are confident that he will continue steering the Organization towards higher successes. Turkey will keep on extending every possible support to the Director General.
Turkey associates itself with the statement made by Sweden on behalf of the European Union. I, therefore, would like to briefly underline certain points which are of special importance to Turkey.
Industrial development remains to be the most relevant tool in addressing such problems as poverty, unemployment and lack of productivity. UNIDO's role has been and will be pivotal in this process. The global financial and economic crisis proved this fact with increasing demand to the advisory and technical cooperation activities of UNIDO. We believe that UNIDO will continue to play its useful role whenever such circumstances occur.
We commend Director General Yumkella and his staff for their efforts which yielded increasing levels of technical cooperation delivery capacity and available funds. We genuinely believe that, owing to these efforts, the Organization has so far contributed a lot, to the endeavor of achieving Millennium Development Goals, particularly in eradicating poverty around the globe. Yet, as the target date of 2015 looms, we are still far from the goals set in the year 2000. We believe that if we apply more vigorous policies and dedicate adequate financial and technical support we can truly hope to fill in the gap.
Achieving sustainable development requires a comprehensive approach which, along with traditional elements, has to deal with environment and energy related issues. We can no more think of any attempt of industrialization without its environmental effects and energy dimension. Therefore we consider it appropriate and timely that the overarching thematic focus of this General Conference is green industries and the opportunities they offer for developing countries in the current economic circumstances. We are also pleased to have on our agenda, this year, an item on this subject matter.
Indeed UNIDO in the last few years engaged in valuable efforts in the fields of protection of environment, energy efficiency and renewable energy, in the context of industrial development. However given increased importance of and attention to environment and energy issues globally, we believe that it is high time now for UNIDO to accelerate its activities on these issues, with particular emphasis on their effects to the development efforts of countries and UNIDO's role in this regard. We are confident that UNIDO is the body to take the lead in approaching these issues on a global basis.
Indeed, it has already proven to be so. Director General of UNIDO Dr. Yumkella leads UN-Energy group. Moreover, an Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change was established by the UN Secretary General under the chairmanship of the Director General. Furthermore, UNIDO and UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA) have been tasked by the UN to serve as co-conveners of a UN working group on climate-change related technology development and transfer.
We believe that UNIDO's valuable efforts in this context and its Green Industry Strategy will be instrumental in coping with the environmental and developmental challenges that we all face.
We are also confident that the draft resolution entitled "Energy and Environment" will provide the Director General and UNIDO staff with a new impetus in their efforts towards dealing with environment and energy related issues within UNIDO's mandate.
Small and Medium Enterprises form the nucleus of industrialization processes in many countries. In particular, in the developing world, SMEs comprise over 90 percent of enterprises and account for 60 percent of employment. Therefore, making SMEs more competitive while at the same vein enhancing their productive capacity pose significant challenges to many developing countries. This issue has become all the more important in the face of the global economic recession. We appreciate UNIDO's efforts towards this end. We believe that the focus should be kept on this issue in particular on development of clusters and networks.
We support development of ongoing and prospective regional integration initiatives and UNIDO's activities in this area. In this context, we attach high importance to South-South cooperation. It is a welcome development that South-South trade became the fastest growing component of the world trade. This momentum should be maintained. We believe that, UNIDO's South-South Cooperation Strategy will provide a useful basis and pave the way for developing countries to make further use of their comparative advantages.
Concerning relationship between Turkey and UNIDO, I am happy to express that in recent years there have been numerous developments. If you allow me I will cite a few of them.
The UNIDO-International Center for Hydrogen Energy Technologies (ICHET) in Istanbul, is one of the significant pillars of our cooperation with UNIDO. It was established in 2004 with the mission of demonstrating viable implementations of hydrogen energy technologies and facilitating their use in developing countries, through pilot projects, applied research, training and education programs and advisory services. It aims to be an instrument of transferring hydrogen technologies available in the world, to the developing countries. As we are all aware, hydrogen is an alternative fuel which is renewable, abundant, efficient and produces no emissions.
2009 has been a year in which ICHET has developed various projects: An agreement was signed in India in March to develop and produce 15 hydrogen powered three-wheelers that will be ready by October 2010 for the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. The significance of this pilot project is that it will demonstrate a low cost emissions free clean solution for the notoriously polluting three-wheelers.
Another milestone event is the recently approved ICHET designed project for the Cook Islands, to be funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) for USD 3 million. This project is based on an ICHET project on Bozcaada Island in Turkey producing hydrogen from renewables (wind and solar PVCs) through electrolysis.
Other important demonstration projects completed this year include a fuel cell powered fork lift and a hydrogen powered mobile house, both of which can be viewed on posters in the green industry display outside. The mobile house has the potential to be used in disaster relief operations.
ICHET, being budget wise, one of the biggest projects of UNIDO, is funded by Turkey through a trust fund agreement amounting to 40 million US Dollars. The agreement is valid till the end of 2010. Since 2004, ICHET has consolidated its structure, but still has a long way to go to be a successful international center on hydrogen technologies for the benefit of developing countries. Therefore we are in the process of evaluating, in cooperation with UNIDO, future course of action to achieve this target. We are particularly thankful to Director General Yumkella for his continued interest in this process and in ICHET in general. In this context I also request all interested partners to extend their support to this significant UNIDO project which serves well to the aim of establishing green industries.
Turkey will continue to offer its contributions through all means at its disposal to UNIDO's activities in various parts of the world. As a remarkable development in this regard is the Cooperation Agreement between Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TİKA), and UNIDO that was signed during the visit of Director General Yumkella to Turkey in June 2008.
This agreement will allow UNIDO and TIKA join their forces in reaching out to the regions of interest both to Turkey and to UNIDO. In particular, we believe that the agreement will help UNIDO utilize TİKA's vast experience in performing various technical assistance projects in Central Asia, the Caucasus and Africa. The Agreement underlines Turkey's location as a hub for the technical cooperation projects directed to those regions. We are also confident that UNIDO Center for Regional Cooperation in Ankara, with its newly appointed Director will actively serve this purpose.
In terms of areas of technical cooperation between UNIDO and Turkey I can mention nano technology, agro-industry, textile/leather industries and issues
related to energy and environment. In this context, many technical projects and seminars were held, directed especially to countries of Central Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa.
We stand ready to enhance and further diversify our bilateral relationship with UNIDO to the benefit of Turkey, UNIDO and our partners.
Before concluding my remarks, I would like to share with you some of our ideas to make this organization a better one that could cope with the challenges ahead. In this context we are of the opinion that Director General's inititative of "change management", which is expected to increase technical cooperation delivery capacity and reduce costs, is useful and timely. There are some concerns regarding its budgetary implications and financing. But I think we all share the view that this is a necessary step we need to take to increase efficiency of the organization to the interest of all of us.
Turkey in principle supports the idea that the change management process, along with the establishment of a fund for technical cooperation activities, be financed by "unutilized balances". However we also acknowledge the concerns and difficulties of some member states. We stand ready to join a consensus that could emerge on this issue. We appeal to all stakeholders to try and find a common stand that will help move this Organization forward.
Second, while appreciating efforts towards realization of technical cooperation activities, we see that there is still sufficient room for improvement of the follow-up and evaluation processes. Focusing more on these areas will not only allow us to see the direct impacts of the projects but also learn lessons for the future endeavors. In this context, we think that UNIDO should develop a mechanism for continued interaction with the stakeholders that are involved in the technical cooperation projects, in such a way that would cover the period after their final completion. This could be also in the form of on-line networking.
The last point that I wish to practices it undertook in this regard. Nonetheless, we are of the opinion that UNIDO, being the center for accumulation of information and experiences on industriunderline is the importance of dissemination of information. We commend UNIDO Secretariat for the good al development activities, could do more in terms of making more information available to all relevant parties. As a practical suggestion we think that UNIDO could build up a library of its training materials, manuals, guidelines and publications that can be accessed freely.
UNIDO's activities are significant because they result in real and positive changes in people's daily lives through projects on poverty reduction, trade capacity building or energy and environment. Given the challenges that our world now faces, UNIDO's mandate will remain relevant for the foreseeable future. We believe that what is incumbent upon all of us is to make an extra effort in rendering our support to this Organization and equipping it with relevant tools in fulfilling its noble duties. We say yes to a green economy that would ensure sustainable development, we will support all efforts to this end.
I thank you for your kind attention.
Pazartesi - Cuma
09:00 - 13:00 / 14:30 - 18:00
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