UNDP opened an "excellence"center in Istanbul

01 Apr 2011

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Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Helen Clark has paid a visit to Turkey in March. Helen Clark, who had meetings in Ankara and Istanbul, inaugurated “UNDP Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development” and also launched a regional report entitled “Business Solutions to Poverty” in Istanbul. The UNDP Administrator also visited culture tourism projects implemented in Kars.

New Horizons - The head of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Helen Clark, paid an official visit to Turkey from March 10 -14, 2011.

Helen Clark, who had meetings in Ankara, Istanbul, and Kars during her visit, was accompanied by the Director of the Regional Bureau of UNDP for Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States Ms. Kori Udovicki and UNDP Resident Representative in Turkey Mr. Shahid Najam.

Helen Clark met Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoğlu and Minister of State Cevdet Yılmaz in Ankara.

Ms. Clark and Mr. Davutoğlu also signed a partnership agreement to support global poverty reduction.

New UN centers in Istanbul

After the signing ceremony, Mr. Davotoğlu made a statement to the press;

“The important project of ours I discussed with the UNDP Administrator and the UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon is to transform Istanbul into a regional center of the UN. We established a regional research center in Istanbul. We are thinking of establishing a center related to women studies in Istanbul. We would also like to create a center within the UN in Istanbul through peace and mediation intiatives. We would like to become a center for several peace-related, social, cultural activities of the UN.”

Mr. Davutoğlu, who mentioned that he gave a briefing to Ms. Clark regarding Turkey’s official development assistance, stated that one of the most important works with regards to this issue was Least Developed Counties Summit in May, in Istanbul.

In the meantime, UNDP Administrator, Ms. Helen Clark addressed the agreement signed by Turkey would start a new era in relations of UNDP and Turkey.

"Business Solutions to Poverty"

On 11 March, the second day of the four-day visit to the country, the Administrator inaugurated “UNDP Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development” that aims to encourage the private sector to take a greater role in anti-poverty efforts and create more jobs.

The International Center for Private Sector in Development will support the development of inclusive and competitive markets and inclusive business models that engage poor people into value chains as producers, employees, consumers and entrepreneurs, with the end goal of economic development.

Another purpose of the centre is to encourage private sector network to work for supporting the achievement of Millennium Development Goals and other globally accepted development goals.

Clark, in her inauguration speech, underlined the global importance of inclusive and sustainable growth and development. Ms. Clark also launched the regional report entitled “Business Solutions to Poverty” in Istanbul.

Meeting with the PM

Helen Clark, who also met women entrepreneurs and had discussions with Turkey’s leaders of industry and business in Istanbul, paid a two-day visit to Kars on 12 and 13 March.

Helen Clark


Ms Clark observed the projects implemented under “UN Joint Programme on Alliances for Culture Tourism in Eastern Anatolia” being implemented in association with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and in cooperation with UNESCO, UNICEF, UN World Tourism Organization in addition to the UNDP, promoting culture tourism in Kars.

The Administrator, in her last day in Turkey visit, also made a speech in the Leaders of Change Summit in Istanbul.

During the summit, Ms. Clark had a special meeting with the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for 45 minutes.

The two leaders discussed bilateral relations between the UNDP and Turkey during the interview.

Who is Ms. Helen Clark?

Helen Clark became the Administrator of the UNDP in April 2009, and is the first woman to lead the organization. She is also the chair of the UN Development Group, consisting of the heads of all UN funds, programmes and departments working on development. Prior to her appointment with UNDP, Helen Clark served for nine years as Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1999 - 2008.

Related links:

UNDP Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development: http://iicpsd.org

Business Solutions to Poverty (Full Report)

Business Solutions to Poverty (Executive Summary)

Helen Clark’s speech in the Leaders of Change Summit in Istanbul

For other photos from the visit, please click here