Sürdürülebilir Turizm Destek Fonu Açılış Toplantısı

21.Şub.2013

Shahid Najam,
UNDP Resident Representative

Distinguished Representatives of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism,
Respected Altuğ Bey, Chief Executive Officer of Efes Turkey,
Esteemed members of the Media,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is truly a great honor and pleasure for me to be among such a versatile gathering of our long standing project partners, experts, highly motivated and committed individuals and above our friends from media to participate in this landmark event signifying the inauguration of the Sustainable Tourism Support Fund. First and foremost, I wish to extend our sincere commendations and gratitude to Efes Turkey and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism for having befittingly organized this launch event and more importantly, initiated yet another process to contribute to the much needed sustainable human development. Indeed people centered sustainable development constitutes the kernel and core of the mandate of the organization which I have the privilege to represent: the United Nations Development Programme. We believe that this paradigm is the only way forward to emancipate the humanity from the scourges of abject poverty and hunger, inequality and ignorance and discrimination and disempowerment and to be all bequeath to our posterity a world of order and equality, peace and harmony and dignity and well being of all irrespective of gender and age, color and creed and social standing or economic status.

And this is why we highly value our longstanding partnership with Efes and Ministry of Culture and Tourism which over the years has become exemplary- exemplary for, first it focuses on a critically important sector for sustainable development, tourism and second it brings together, horizontally integrates and demonstrates how government, private sector and the UN could pool their resources and expertise and create an enhanced development impact on the lives of marginalized and vulnerable segments of the society.

The Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development recognized the potential for and emphasized the amalgamation of economic, social and environmental dimensions through design, management and implementation of sustainable tourism strategies. Being one of the world’s largest economic sectors, tourism is especially well-placed to promote environmental sustainability, stimulate green growth and combat the adversities posed by the rapidity and severity of the impact of climate change.

For Turkey, sustainable tourism has special significance and goes much beyond addressing merely the CC adversity. Despite tremendous achievements and economic gains, the country continues to face daunting challenges as evidenced by inequalities and disparities across the regions and urban-rural settlements and gender-based differentials. Sustainable and community based tourism provides the necessary recipe and comprehensive solution to combat these challenges. We are pleased to note that role of sustainable community based tourism is being increasingly recognized and incorporated in government's policies, plans and programs.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The primary objective of the Sustainable Tourism Support Fund is to create societal and sectoral awareness; support propagation of creative, innovative and scale able good examples; and promote networking for sustainable and community based tourism all through capacity development and skills enrichment.

Global experience amplifies that well planned and competently executed tourism strategies and programmes invariably lead to pro-poor and inclusive sustainable development. The factors of remoteness and spatial isolation of a region can be converted into wealth of assets in terms of cultural preserves, flora and fauna, wildlife plentitude and unspoiled unexplored bounties of scenic natural beauties to attract the tourists. Secondly, tourism offers enormous the opportunities to generate employment and enhance income because the focus on small scale, labor-intensive activities. It is precisely for these reasons that this initiative of establishing the Support Fund is very relevant and timely.

Allow me also to briefly dwell upon UNDP's engagement with the private sector in development, for, our partnership with Efes presents an eloquent testimony of our modus operandi and focus for maximizing the development impact on the poor.

Through   “growing inclusive markets” approach, we encourage companies to explore and pursue business models which contribute to poverty eradication and integration of poor in the supply chains. Corporate Social Responsibility is another facet which we promote for businesses and corporations' to foster sustainable development across all dimensions. Evidence suggests that Companies which pursue inclusive business models fully achieve their corporate goals, make efficiency gains, attain cost savings, inspire public trust, popularize their brands, create market niche and also promote employees welfare.

Conversely, the companies which do not engage in corporate social responsibility may suffer reputational risks and marketing deficits in the wake of increasing awareness of the importance of corporate good citizenship at home and abroad.

In brief, we in UNDP seek to build broader and more strategic alliances with the private sector and other partners around key development challenges such as job creation,   green growth with equity and respect for human dignity and rights. Meeting these challenges not only advances development, but also helps to unlock the potential of unrealized markets at the bottom of the economic ladder.

In conclusion, it is indeed a genuine pleasure for us to continue with and strengthen yet another important partnership in Turkey in the critically important tourism sector to promote inclusive, people-centered and pro-poor sustainable development. Turkey abounds and excels in history and heritage, culture and cuisine, ecosystems and biodiversity, flora and fauna, art and architecture and has over the millennia contributed enormously to the development of human civilization. The warmth and cordiality of its people coupled with strong tradition of blending different systems of ideas and beliefs, not to speak of bridging the continents gives Turkey unique pre eminence and prominence. This huge treasure and reservoir of wealth needs to be fully harnessed- community based sustainable tourism holds the keys to successfully harnessing this treasure and we in UNDP feel enormously privileged to be a part of the effort together with Efes and MOCT.

Thank you very much.

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