Since 1957, UNDP and Turkey have had a long-standing partnership in development cooperation. In recent years, Turkey has consistently demonstrated its commitment to multilateral development, especially to cooperation with the UN system and UNDP in particular, in a number of areas of mutual priority. Turkey has also shown strong interest in supporting and sharing its development experience and knowledge with partner countries regionally and globally, including through technical and financial assistance, giving special attention to the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), in the form of South-South and trilateral cooperation.

Turkey and UNDP share a mutual interest to facilitate exchange of development knowledge and expertise across regions. Turkey’s strategic location at the crossroads of different continents enables the country to take a more prominent role on the international arena. Its active presence and engagement in international and regional organizations allows Turkey to advocate for and advance the global development agendas, including, importantly, the Agenda 2030 or Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Turkey has a significant potential to influence debates on the multilateral arena also having hosted several major development cooperation events in Istanbul and Antalya in 2016, including the World Humanitarian Summit and the mid-term review of the LDC-IV Conference and SSC Expo in 2017.

In 2011, the partnership between UNDP and Turkey reached a new level, with the signature of the 2011 Partnership Framework Agreement (PFA). The PFA created a flexible framework for the evolving and dynamic cooperation, premised on Turkey’s interest in contributing to development across the regions and UNDP’s global network of offices coupled with a strong understanding of local realities.

The PFA reflects Turkey’s increasing role in global development, its geopolitical importance, and its role as a significant provider of Official Development Assistance (ODA) as OECD’s fastest growing donor and one of the top providers of humanitarian assistance globally. Turkey’s ODA in 2015 was $3.9 billion, of which $3.2 billion was delivered as humanitarian assistance (including assistance to Syrian refugees but also to Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan). The preliminary figures for 2016 ODA of Turkey is $ 6.2 billion with a significant increase.

With the adoption of Partnership Framework Agreement, cooperation between Turkey and UNDP is defined in three layers:

  • Local level: working together to address Turkey’s own development challenges
  • Regional level: working jointly to implement the regional programme and support the work of Istanbul Regional Hub
  • Global level: Contribute to global development challenges through supporting global platforms and events, as well as Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development


Content and Objectives

This side event will bring together Government of Turkey and UNDP to provide insights on partnership in support of South-South Cooperation through various modalities. The panel will be an opportunity to present a wide range of South-South cooperation modalities including knowledge management, triangular cooperation and will also be an opportunity to announce next generation support schemes under Turkey-UNDP Partnership.


Event Format

The 1-hour side event will be carried out by complementary presentations by the panelists below. Relevant visual documentation will be available during the side event as well as in the relevant Expo booth.



1) Moderator: Ms. Berna Bayazıt Baran, Partnerships Specialist, Istanbul Regional Hub, UNDP

2) Amb. Murat Yavuz Ateş, Deputy Undersecretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey (tbc)

Amb. Ateş will provide an overview of Turkey’s international cooperation strategy linking with its strategic priorities and SDGs. He will also make a brief assessment of the partnership with UNDP and in connection to Turkey’s positioning as a regional UN hub. He will also be announcing some highlights from future of this cooperation.

3) Mr. Emin Sadık Aydın, General Director of DG Social Sectors and Coordination, Ministry of Development of the Republic of Turkey

Mr. Aydın will make a comprehensive review of cooperation with UNDP including the local, regional and global level. He will make an assessment of the partnership including the Turkey-UNDP Partnership for Development Programme, which was designed and implemented as a pilot triangular cooperation modality.

4) Mr. Rastislav Vrbensky, Deputy Regional Director, Regional Bureau of Europe and CIS, UNDP

Mr. Vrbensky will present the key results of the current regional programme supported by Turkey, highlighting the priorities of the next regional programme, which will continue to be funded by Turkey as the main donor.

5) Mr. Claudio Tomasi, Country Director, UNDP Turkey

Mr. Tomasi will present the highlights and evolution of a partnership of 60 years in support of Turkey’s journey as a high human development country.



Organizers: Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub

Contact Information: Ms. Berna Bayazıt Baran, UNDP IRH (