Yıldırım calls on world to follow Turkey's lead in humanitarian aid

Published 13.12.2018 01:18
Updated 13.12.2018 08:00

Parliament Speaker Binali Yıldırım said yesterday the international community should move beyond expressing mere appreciation for Turkey's role in tackling humanitarian crises and follow the good example the country has set with its intervention in humanitarian crises and assistance projects.

"Countries that drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights should first uphold the declaration. It is not enough for our allies to thank or appreciate [Turkey], they need to be a part of the responsibility," Yıldırım said in the Turkish Parliamentary-United Nations joint symposium organized on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Pointing out that Turkey hosts the largest refugee population in the world, Yıldırım underscored he expects the same sensitivity from developed counties that avoid doing even half of what Ankara has done despite having economies 20 times bigger than Turkey.

Turkey was also the most charitable nation in 2017 with nearly $8.1 billion spent on humanitarian aid, the Development Initiative's (DI) Global Humanitarian Assistance Report revealed in June, surpassing the U.N.'s target of allocating 0.7 percent of the national dividend to aid funds, by dedicating 0.95 percent. Almost 30 percent of all international humanitarian aid, $27.3 billion, came from Turkey. The U.S., Germany and the U.K. followed Turkey with $6.68 billion, $2.98 billion and $2.52 billion, respectively.

Criticizing some Western countries for shutting the doors to the face of refugees and picking them based on their education level, he stated that the crisis will not be resolved by such policies, but it will be resolved if the actors take more responsibility on the basis of a moral compass.

According to the report of U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, 70 million people who fled from their countries due to war, violence and natural disasters are in need of finding asylum in other countries. However, the EU only hosts 2.75 million refugees despite having more than $27,000 GDP per capita, while Turkey shelters 3.6 million refugees with its $10,597 GDP per capita.

Touching upon the failure of international institutions to answer humanitarian disasters, Yıldırım highlighted that there is no effective mechanism to tackle crises despite the overwhelming need for it. He added that U.N. Security Council has been a disappointment to divert such crisis and it should be reformed in line with current humanitarian needs and challenges, reiterating President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's motto that "the world is bigger than five," which refers to the permanent members of the Security Council.

The unconditional veto possessed by China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States has been seen as the most undemocratic character of the U.N., as if any one of the five permanent members cast a negative vote, the decision is not approved. Due to the veto power of permanent members the Security Council has failed numerous times to keep its promise of promoting peace and security around the world, including in Syria, Palestine, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Rwanda.

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