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Turkey's month at helm of UN security council to focus on peacekeeping

Turkey's month at helm of UN security council to focus on peacekeeping

As of tomorrow, Turkey is set to take over the one-month rotating term presidency of the United Nations Security Council from Russia. Turkey holds a non-permanent seat on the 15-member Council, and this will be Turkey's second turn at the helm. During its presidency, Turkey is planning to hold a session on the deficiencies of UN peacekeeping forces, as well as a Security Council Summit on peacekeeping. Besides other issues of global concern, Turkey is also expected to push the Council to address the issue of terrorism. The UN General Assembly is also set to convene this month with the attendance of representatives from 192 countries. A summit on Millennium Development Goals is scheduled for Sept. 20-22. In mid-September, a high-level Turkish delegation led by President Abdullah Gul and including Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will attend the General Assembly. During their stay in New York, Gul and Davutoglu are also expected to hold bilateral and multilateral talks with their international counterparts. Gul will preside over the opening of the 65th session of the UN General Assembly and hold a reception for the leaders of the Security Council's 15 members. Speaking to Germany's Deutsche Welle on Turkey's turn at the Council helm, Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcul Unal said Turkey chose peacekeeping as the Council's top item for September. "During its campaign to be elected as a non-permanent member of the Security Council, Turkey made commitments " he explained. "One of those commitments was transparency, and another was to bring an important issue such as peacekeeping to the Security Council as a responsible member of the international community." Stating that UN peacekeeping forces face various problems, Unal said the Council summit is set to seek solutions to those problems. Asked whether Turkey will make a push to solve the Iranian nuclear issue at the Council, Unal declined to respond directly, only saying that Turkey believes no country in the region should have nuclear weapons, but supports the peaceful use of nuclear power.

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