Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, speaking at a United Nations forum in İstanbul on Sunday, said civil society organizations have a key role to play in the development of the Least Developed Countries (LDC), urging states to embrace these organizations to ensure further modernization.
Davutoğlu lauded the significant role civil society organizations undertake in development during the Civil Society Forum in İstanbul ahead of the 4th UN Conference on the LDCs, adding that these organizations are the biggest partners of the least developed countries in working towards advancement.
Noting that Turkey is on the same page as those who prepared a report that was presented to the forum regarding the shift in the development paradigm, Davutoğlu claimed there has been no sufficient cooperation in partnership thus far.
Pointing to the fact that civil society organizations, regardless of their operating language or the faith of those who run them, are the biggest tools for increasing the prosperity and stability of all countries, Davutoğlu praised Turkey's role in contributing to UN activities in this regard.
Claiming that civil society organizations are also good for environmentally friendly development, Davutoğlu said it is not realistic to achieve development goals without the contributions of these organizations. The foreign minister said civil society organizations reach places governments cannot, lend a hand to people who are excluded from society, try to maintain equality in every sense, and represent and defend people's rights.
He said civil society organizations are an integral part of international relations and that they improve civil society. Noting that Turkey attaches importance to civil society organizations both inside the country and within the UN, Davutoğlu said Turkey believes strong civil society can only grow through heavy [state] support. “This is why we strongly support civil society organizations participating in international affairs,” Davutoğlu said.