Workshop on the Organizational Administration Structure of the Judiciary in Turkey

13 Mar 2008

Remarks from

Dr. Mahmood A. Ayub

UNDP Resident Representative/ UN Resident Coordinator

 

Mr. Undersecretary Fahri Kasırga,
Distinguished Judges and Prosecutors,
Ladies and Gentlemen

It is a great honor and pleasure for me to address you all today at this Workshop on the Organizational Administration Structure of the Judiciary in Turkey.

Freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance, respect for nature and shared responsibility are some of the fundamental values of international relations in the twenty-first century.

These values have been highlighted in the UN Millenium Declaration, which was signed by 189 countries in the year 2000. Under this Millenium Declaration, freedom is defined as the right of men and women to live their lives and raise their children in dignity, free from hunger, and free from the fear of violence, oppression or injustice. It is also universally accepted that democratic and participatory governance based on the will of the people are the best instruments to assure these rights.

It has long been recognized that there are strong links between establishing democratic governance, securing human rights and having access to justice for all. This recognition contributes to the acceleration of judicial reforms, which, in turn, are accepted as an essential condition of sustainable human development.

Not surprisingly, judicial reform is a high priority for the Government of Turkey. In the context of the EU accession, the Government has been undertaking comprehensive constitutional and legal reforms. And Turkey’s strong commitment to judicial reform is expressed in various national policy framework documents in which the Government has clearly emphasized the need and the commitment to continue the judicial reforms.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen

As an organization working in 170 countries, UNDP is one of the leading actors in the field of access to justice for all. Currently our organization is working in 90 countries in the field of access to justice. For UNDP, access to justice is the ability of people to seek and obtain a remedy through formal or informal institutions of justice, and in conformity with human rights standards. UN presence in the field ranges over a broad spectrum of activities: from normative protection to capacity to provide justice, through enhanced institutional capacities, through legal empowerment, legal awareness, legal aid and counsel. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment, Guidelines on the Role of Prosecutors, Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power, United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for Non-custodial Measures (The Tokyo Rules), United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (The Beijing Rules)—these are some of the UN standards related to access to justice.

Given our comparative advantage in this important area, it is not surprising that we are excited—UNDP Turkey as well as UNDP Bratislava Regional Center-- about the possibility of contributing to the ongoing groundbreaking endeavors in the field of judiciary reform in Turkey. We are more than willing to continue to contribute to these reform efforts in the country and hopeful that all those responsible for justice will continue to find us a reliable and committed partner.

Thank you for your attention, and my best wishes for a very successful Workshop.