Erdogan says UN Security Council is paralyzed
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that he sees the United Nations Security Council as a "paralyzed" structure which cannot contribute to world peace due to its ideological approaches to certain problems Today`s Zaman reported.
Erdogan, in renewed criticism of the structure of the council on Wednesday, targeted the deadlock in the UNSC, saying that justice cannot be achieved through decisions made by only five countries, meaning the five permanent members of the council.
"Honestly, I see the UNSC as paralyzed. ... There should be a change in this. As long as there is no change, one cannot expect justice from [the council]. When one country votes "no," everything [all efforts] comes to an end. What kind of a world is this?" asked the prime minister during a meeting on Wednesday. In different occasions in the past, government officials have criticized the deadlock in the Security Council, particularly after the UNSC failed to agree on a resolution that would impose sanctions on the Syrian regime due to the veto from Russia and China.
The prime minister also added that nonpermanent members of the UN Security Council have no value in terms of affecting its decisions, saying that decisions are in the hands of the five permanent members.
Erdogan called on the UN, the UNSC and other international groups which have a say on world issues to undergo reforms.
Erdogan also had things to say about the increasing number of terrorist attacks around the world, particularly those by radical groups. Citing a recent attack on a Nigerian school by the radical Boko Haram terrorist group, Erdogan said attacks against innocent civilians, children and women have no place in any ideology.
"Any group that is killing innocents and children is no different than [Syrian President Bashar] al-Assad. They call themselves 'Muslims.' No, there cannot be terrorists in Islam. We are condemning all of these [attacks]. Islam is a religion of peace," said Erdogan.
Davutoglu says new wave of refugees should be prevented
While Erdogan highlighted the humanitarian situation in Syria on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu spoke about his recent talks in Geneva about the situation of Syrian refugees being hosted in neighboring countries.
Speaking to reporters after a reception on Tuesday night, Davutoglu gave details of the high-level Geneva meeting he attended last weekend titled "Solidarity and Burden-Sharing with Countries hosting Syrian Refugees."
Davutoglu welcomed the expansion of international aid for countries hosting Syrian refugees, while warning that new waves of refugees should be prevented.
"Burden sharing [with countries hosting refugees] is important, but in the meantime, the creation of a new wave [of refugees] should be prevented. This can only be possible through a political process. There should either be a political process for the resolution of the ongoing crisis in Syria or there should be certain guarantees for [the international community] to be able to deliver humanitarian aid inside Syria," Davutoglu told reporters.
During the Geneva meeting of the UN refugee agency, attended by top government officials from Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan, Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Egypt, member states of the refugee agency called on the international community to provide direct aid to the governments of countries which are hosting Syrian refugees and help share the burden.
Referring to the recent UN Security Council resolution on the Syrian crisis, Davutoglu said the resolution did not include a solution for the humanitarian crisis in the country. Earlier, Davutoglu had noted that at the meetings he had had with his counterparts in New York two weeks ago, he was told that there would be a new decision about refugees. He said Turkey is awaiting a new decision from the UNSC on the humanitarian side of the crisis.
The UN resolution demands that Syria give up its chemical arms but falls short of requiring military force against the Syrian regime if it fails to comply. The council will need to adopt another resolution to impose sanctions under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which gives permission for military and non-military action to promote peace and security if the regime does not comply.
An advance group of international inspectors arrived in Syria on Tuesday to begin the task of overseeing the destruction of Assad's chemical weapons program. Twenty inspectors from a Netherlands-based chemical weapons watchdog crossed into Syria from neighboring Lebanon on their way to Damascus to begin their complex mission of finding, dismantling and ultimately destroying an estimated 1,000-ton chemical arsenal.
On Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Levent Gümrükçü said in response to a question during a press briefing that it was possible that Syria's chemical weapons could be transferred to Russia, to be destroyed there, using the Turkish Straits. He said the possibility of the straits being used as part of chemical weapons program will be clarified once the inspectors complete their task.