Mithat RENDE 30.11.2014
Distinguished Participants,

I thank you for giving me the opportunity for making this statement.

I am pleased to inform you that Turkey assumed the G-20 Presidency as of today for a period of one year.

Deputy Prime Minister H.E. Mr. Ali Babacan held a press conference this morning in Ankara during which he shared Turkey’s priorities with the media.

During our Presidency, our focus will be on strong inclusive and sustainable growth. Problems of vulnerable groups including migrants will be dealt within the context of inclusiveness.

Investment for infrastructure, production and trade is another priority. The Deputy Prime Minister underlined the importance of narrowing the investment gap resulting from the financial and economic crisis of 2008, as well as addressing unemployment.

Given the fact that the global share of income of the workforce in the overall GDP is decreasing, the Deputy Prime Minister also underlined the importance of job creation and quality jobs.

Mr. Chairman,

Migration has the potential to have serious economic and social implications on countries and their societies.

As one of the megatrends that is projected to have serious effect on the global economy, the issue of migration must be addressed in a holistic manner. Turkey is located on a major historical migration route and has traditionally been a transit and source country for migration. Due to its impressive economic growth and social development, particularly in recent years, it has also emerged as an attractive target country for migrants.

Therefore it is safe to say that we have accumulated a wealth of experience on the challenges and opportunities posed by migration and are committed to addressing common issues on migration management.

In this context, on 1 July 2014 Turkey assumed the Chairmanship of Global Forum for Migration and Development (GFMD) for a period of 18 months. We will host the 8th GFMD Forum Meeting in Istanbul in October 2015.

Turkey’s GFMD Chairmanship was launched by H.E. Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, in New York on 22 September 2014, in the margins of UN General Assembly with the participation of high level representatives of UN Member States and UN Agencies.

We place importance to strengthening the influence of the GFMD process within the UN system and will work to build on the Declaration of last year’s High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development, which acknowledged that the United Nations system can benefit from the discussions and outcomes of the GFMD. As was pointed out by the Turkish Foreign Minister, Turkey will spare no effort to strengthen the role of the GFMD as an arena in which policies to enhance the development benefits of migration can be generated, discussed and shared.

Mr Chairman,
Dear Participants,

International cooperation and solidarity on matters that have implications beyond national borders is of great importance. In this respect we will remain committed to strengthening international cooperation with a view to better managing migration and protecting human lives.

To this end, we intend to gather all relevant actors engaged in migration and development in an inclusive and transformative dialogue. In this regard, the Turkish Chairmanship work plan will be implemented under the overarching theme, “Strengthening Partnerships: Human Mobility for Sustainable Development.”

This theme signals recognition that international migration cannot be managed effectively by any country alone, or by states without the cooperation of other stakeholders—including international organizations, the civil society, private sector and the migrants themselves. It also aims to put emphasis on the fact that human mobility within the right policy framework is a positive factor for development.

Let me elaborate further on the objectives by which Turkey will be guided during its Chairmanship of the GFMD.

First, we believe in the importance of protecting the human and labor rights of migrants –now a universal principle, thanks in large part to GFMD discussions. However, there is still room to improve the well-being of migrants. To this end, we would like to bring to light pragmatic partnerships between countries of origin and countries of destination as well as transit countries where appropriate. Non-governmental partners will also be included in this partnership to ensure respect for migrants' rights and reduce the human and financial costs of migration.

Second, we would like to further explore the development impact of migration on public policies, particularly at the sectorial level, both in countries of origin and destination. We hope the global community will recognize migration as a real and tangible factor of development. To this end, we aim to examine ways on how to make migration work beyond the Post-2015 process.

Third, we would like to strengthen the linkages between migration and development by taking the results of the GFMD into other regional and international agenda-setting processes in which Turkey is playing a key role. In addition to the G-20 Presidency in 2015, Turkey will host the first World Humanitarian Summit in 2016. Additionally, in 2015, we will join other UN member states to negotiate the final shape of the post-2015 development agenda.

In this respect we look forward to working with all of you with a view to enhancing cooperation on all issues relating to migration.

Thank you.


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