The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) opened a new regional office in İstanbul on Tuesday with the participation of UN officials and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu.
Speaking during the opening ceremony of the Eastern Europe and Central Asia Regional Office of the UNFPA, Davutoğlu thanked the UN for deciding to open a regional office in Turkey. “We want the UN flag to always be in İstanbul. We want İstanbul to become a global city that contributes to the establishment of peace," Davutoğlu said.
UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin also delivered a speech during the ceremony and said Turkey is a very strategic country connecting the East with the West. "I hope that we carry the headquarters of the UN to İstanbul one day," Osotimehin said. "We will work so as to eradicate poverty in the world," Osotimehin added.
The UNFPA is an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity.
İstanbul was chosen to host the regional office of the UNFPA in June 2010, eliminating three other bidders -- Geneva, Copenhagen and Vienna. The agreement to open the office was signed in New York by Turkey's Permanent Representative at the United Nations Ambassador Ertuğrul Apakan and then-UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Obaid.
The UNFPA's İstanbul office will enable the fund to work more efficiently in the Caucasus, Central Asia and Eastern European countries.