Antalya Diplomacy Forum (ADF), organized for the second time this year under the auspices of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and hosted by Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, started.
In his opening speech, President Erdoğan said, “If the whole West and the whole world had raised their voices against the invasion of Crimea in 2014, would we be faced with today’s picture? We must establish a world of peace.”
Highlights from President Erdogan’s statements;
I am very happy to host you in our beautiful Antalya, the cradle of civilizations. I wish the Antalya Diplomacy Forum to be beneficial. The fact that the first level of contact took place here yesterday after the Russia and Ukraine crisis shows that the forum has achieved its purpose.
I believe that the Second Antalya Diplomacy Forum will continue on its way as a forum that has come of age.
“WE WITNESSED THIS BAD TRUTH IN YEMEN, SYRIA, AFGHANISTAN, ARAKAN”
As our world prepares to leave behind the first quarter of the 21st century, humanity’s longing for peace is increasing. Despite all the progress, we see that we, as humanity, have not yet resolved our fundamental issues. Terrorism, hot conflict, civil wars, injustice, climate change are at the top of the global agenda. While economies are growing, someone’s wallet is swelling; Unfortunately, children are starving right next to us. The hunger virus causes more deaths than the coronavirus.
Since 2014 alone, the blue waters of the Mediterranean have been the graves of nearly 25 thousand hopeful travelers. In the last 10 years, the number of refugees worldwide has doubled to 85 million. The number of displaced people is expected to increase in the coming days. Each of these numbers shows the injustice we are facing, each of these numbers is a soul. We live in a world where 800 million people cannot reach their basic needs, and peace and tranquility cannot be established in such a world. Today, when the world has turned into a huge village, none of us can say what to me from someone else. We should know that every fire we do not put out, every conflict we cannot stop will eventually affect us and burn us as well. We have witnessed this bitter truth in Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan and Arakan.
“RUSSIAN UKRAINE CONFLICT IS MOST ABOUT US”
History repeats itself for those who do not take a lesson and do not share the story. Turkey is both a Mediterranean and a Black Sea country. Ukraine and Russia are our neighbors and friends from the Black Sea. We are deeply saddened by the hot conflict. The fact that the tension has escalated to this point saddens and worries us the most.
We do not accept the illegitimate steps that disregard the territorial integrity of Ukraine, including the illegal annexation of Crimea. If the whole West and the whole world had raised their voices against the invasion of Crimea in 2014, would we be faced with today’s picture? But those who remained silent about the invasion of Crimea are now saying something. Is justice valid in certain regions and not valid in other regions? The international community did not show the necessary sensitivity. Ukraine was left alone in its just cause. We see the bitter consequences of problems that can be resolved through diplomacy.
“WE MUST BUILD A WORLD OF PEACE”
Together we must build a world of peace, not war. Pouring gasoline on a fire doesn’t help anyone. Fascist approaches to people of Russian origin living in Western countries are unacceptable. Our hope is that moderation and common sense will prevail, and the guns will be silenced as soon as possible. We carried out an intense diplomacy traffic that started before the crisis and continued until today. I met with 25-30 leaders. As in all our meetings, we will share our solution techniques with our interlocutors today and tomorrow. We will continue to do our best.
“WORLD CANNOT BE LEFT AT THE mercy of 5 COUNTRIES”
While focusing on current problems, we should not lose sight of the main reasons behind it, the world cannot be left at the mercy of 5 countries. With the Ukraine crisis, it was revealed that the system was skewed and there were structural problems. When one of the conflicting parties became a permanent member with the right of veto, the coercive role of the UN Security Council was in vain and the system went bankrupt. Since UN resolutions are not binding, a decision to end the war could not be taken. While 141 members vote, no decision can be made because 1 or 2 members do not approve.
In order to establish a more just world, we say that the system should be reformed by saying ‘The world is bigger than 5’. We are not only making a demand for our own country, we are trying to defend the rights and laws of all humanity. With the belief that a more just world is possible, we will increasingly continue our UN reform efforts. Of course, tradition and habits are important in diplomacy, but they are not enough to solve the problems we face. The purpose of diplomacy is to fortify peace and stability and to find solutions before problems sprout.
I greet you to meet in a world where there is peace, not wars.
EXPLANATIONS OF MINISTER ÇAVUŞOĞLU
Highlights of Minister Çavuşoğlu’s opening speech;
Participants from 75 countries are gathered in this hall today. We would like to thank all our guests who are with us today. The principle of ‘Peace at home, peace in the world’ and the doctrine of ‘Let people live so that the state can live’ are always in our minds.
Using force is only the tactic of the strong. The principle of immutability of boundaries is a foundation. The Vienna Document and UN terms provided political confidence. However, conflicts cannot be prevented anymore, conflicts that have started cannot be ended.
“INEQUALITY IN THE WORLD IS DEEPENDING”
Technological progress is full of bridle, but not everyone can benefit from it. Inequality in the world is getting deeper. Increasing stakeholders in diplomacy make new approaches essential. A new language and understanding is needed, to put diplomacy in the service of peace and development, namely humanity. Talking and consulting with each other is an indispensable need, and Antalya Diplomacy Forum serves such a purpose. For this reason, we have determined this year’s title as “Reconstructing Diplomacy”.
“ADF PROVIDES UN ENVIRONMENT”
When you look at the ADF participants and the environment, it seems as if this place offers a UN environment. An environment of united minds is being established in Antalya. We cannot act together without solving our problems and differences in our minds.