PIONEER OF THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS: ATATÜRK
An International Two-Day Conference - April 19-20, 2013
Organized and Presented by: The Light Millennium and
Stevens Institute of Technology
Dated: May 18-19, 2013
REPORT On the Day-One - April 19, 2013
PIONEER OF THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS: ATATÜRK
A Two-Day International Conference
“Mankind is a single body and each nation a part of that body. We must never say ‘What does it matter to me if some part of the world is ailing?’ If there is such an illness, we must concern ourselves with it as though we were having that illness.”
“There is no deliverance for any people on this earth or for all the people of this earth except through truth and non-violence in every walk of life without any exceptions.”
|From left to right:
Susan Bilello, Senior Communications and Liaison Officer for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO);
Bircan Ünver, Permanent Representative to the Department of Public Information of the United Nations, and Founding President of The Light Millennium;
H.E. Ambassador Halit Çevik, H.E. Ambassador Halit Çevik, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations;
H.E. Pajo Avirovikj’s, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Macedonia to the United Nations;
Stephen Kinzer, keynote speaker, author and professor of International Relations of Boston University;
H.E. Carlos E. Garcia Gonzales, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of El Salvador;
Mr. Akan Rakhmetullin, Deputy Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations.
REPORT BY: The Light Millennium
The Light Millennium and the College of Arts and Letters at the Stevens Institute of Technology jointly presented an international conference on the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations and their relation to ideals advanced by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (1881-1938), founder and the first president of Republic of Turkey. The two-day conference was entitled Pioneer of the Millennium Development Goals: Atatürk and, The conference was held on the campus of Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ, on Friday, April 19, and Saturday, April 20, 2013.
Co-chair of the conference, Prof. Edward Foster of the College of Arts and Letters, opened the Inaugural Session of the conference by inviting Dr. Nariman Farvardin, president of Stevens Institute of Technology, for his welcoming remarks. The dean of College of Arts and Letters, Dr. Lisa Dolling, followed Dr. Farvardin with her own welcoming remarks. She articulated the importance of Ataturk’s dedication to art and science education and the need to imprint ethical responsibilities on students. Then Prof. Foster invited his co-chair Bircan Ünver for her own concept that led to the conference.
Prof. Foster then briefly thanked the Inaugural Session participants for their time, involvement, and support. He mentioned that he has had an enduring fondness and relationship with Turkey over the years and has tried to strengthen ties among Turkish Universities and Stevens Institute of Technology.
Prof. Foster’s introductory comments were followed by the session’s chair Ms. Suzanne Bilello, Senior Communications and Liaison Officer for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). She invited H.E. Ambassador Halit Çevik, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations, for his opening remarks. Following his speech, Mr. Akan Rakhmetullin, Deputy Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations presented H.E. Ms. Bryganym Aitimova’s (Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations) statement. This was followed by Then H.E. Pajo Avirovikj’s, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Macedonia to the United Nations; keynote speaker Stephen Kinzer, author and professor of International Relations of Boston University, and
H.E. Carlos E. Garcia Gonzales, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of El Salvador to the United Nations. Ms. Bilello made a comprehensive presentation about UNESCO and its role and visions within the context of the MDGs.
SUMMARY OF THE STATEMENTS – PRESENTATIONS:
CONCEPT: Why can’t we achieve the MDGS?
Co-chair of the conference Bircan Ünver told the audience about her concept. She indicated that it evolved from the annual UN-General Assembly gatherings of which she has been an NGO representative through the Department of Public Information of the United Nations since 2006. This led her to compare the era of Atatürk and the MDGS. She asked “Why can’t we accomplish the Millennium Development Goals in this decade of the 21st century? She referred to the era of Atatürk and invited the attendees to compare Ataturk’s Turkey in and the MDGS. She went on to describe the fact that over 3 billion of the world’s population remain illiterate and that developing countries might be able to improve these statistics if they were to consider Ataturk’s approach to the development agenda for Turkey after its devastation following WWI.
The conference’s High Level Inaugural Panel on Friday evening was dedicated to Millennium Development Goal #8, “Global Partnerships and International Peace”, and was chaired by Suzanne Bilello, Senior Communications and Liaison Officer for UNESCO at the United Nations.
HIGH LEVEL INAUGURAL PANEL
“Turkey aims to become a member of the G10 by 2013.”
H.E. Mr. Halit Çevik, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations, made the opening remarks of the Inaugural Session. H.E. Çevik stressed the point that Ataturk left his mark, and is remembered with pride and inspiration both in Turkey and internationally. He indicated it was Ataturk’s goal to reach the best state of civil society and enacted concrete reforms providing a path to achieve that goal. Those reforms included the empowerment of woman, such as the right to vote, and access mandatory education for all members of Turkey’s emerging society. He described the significant progress towards these goals that occurred between 1923 and 1938 when the literacy rate more than quadrupled. Ambassador Çevik said that National Sovereignty and Children’s Day is celebrated on the 23rd of April to highlight the achievement of these reforms and encourage their continued application. He also indicated that the progress made by Turkey after WWI helped Turkey grow to become a member of the world’s present-day G20 economies, and that Turkey aims to become a member of the G10 by 2023. He stressed that this would not have been possible without progress in gender equality and education first fostered by Ataturk. He indicated that the Millennium Development Goals were first proposed in 1998 and included the effort to eradicate extreme poverty, and that Turkey can help point the way to development, gender equality, and education thanks to the vision and force-of-will exhibited by Ataturk.
“Kazakhstan has been a global leader in “nuclear test ban”.
“If my neighbor is poor, I’m poor too…”
On behalf of H.E. Ms. Byrganym Aitimova, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations, Hon. Akan Rakhmetullin, Minister Counsellor, Deputy Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the United Nations, presented her speech. Hon. Rakhmetullin mentioned that Kazakhstan as a landlocked country focused on MDG 8, the building of global partnerships for development. He also stressed that Kazakhstan has been a global leader in the nuclear test ban” and “nuclear weapons disarmament,” a fundamental key for global partnership and international peace. Hon. Rakhmetullin indicated the importance of building an economic system in which youth has the opportunity for decent and productive work. Hon. Rakhmetullin also indicated that the availability of new technological systems and the benefits of IT/IS were critical aspects of economic development. He emphasized the correspondence between gender equality and real development. He drew parallels between Ataturk’s belief in science for social progress and the Goal#8. He said that we must build partnerships globally and locally to overcome poverty. “If my neighbor is poor, I’m poor too…”
Macedonia aims to foster self and mutual respect for the maintenance of peace.
H.E. Mr. Pajo Avirovikj, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Macedonia to the United Nations, reiterated the notion suggested by Ataturk, ‘Peace at home, peace in the world.” He stated that, Atatürk’s impact and importance in his country is also due to the fact that Atatürk had study in Macedonia. He stressed that peace and development are highly interconnected and interdependent and drew analogies to the Balkans’ own trials and tribulations over the last 30 years. He noted Macedonia’s leadership in achieving an independent state through peaceful means and the need to foster self and mutual respect for the maintenance of peace. He also indicated that education for all and equality for woman showed Ataturk was well ahead of his time. H.E. took the concept further and made a personnel opinion, which follows: “Though in my opinion, everyone else has just been behind the times for thousands of years.” He said that, they are advancing their own educational systems by providing laptops to all high schools and attempting to integrate the Roma people into all facets of daily Macedonian life. These efforts are congruent with Ataturk’s development ideals, he emphasized.
[Atatürk’s] “Six Arrows were an attempt at an organizing principle for society.”
Or “Ataturk believed in reason, science and progress—a true child of the Enlightenment”
The keynote speaker, Stephen Kinzer, author of “Crescent & Star: Turkey Between in Two Worlds,” and professor of International Relations at Boston University, presented paper, “Changing the World: From Ataturk's 'Six Arrows' to the Eight 'Millennium Development Goals,” with a great enthusiasm and passion. Prof. Kinzer opened his keynote indicating that Ataturk was unique and astonishing because he had a “force-of-mind that could achieve what others would consider unachievable.” He was able to use that force-of-mind to transform a backwards nation into a modern day Turkey.
Prof. Kinzer’s keynote presentation was built on the following question: “A central question for society is: how can we organize to provide happiness and prosperity for our citizens?”
The talking points of Prof. Kinzer were as follows:
It is not enough to have good intentions—a framework or organizing principle is necessary.
In the chaos of the early 20th century, democracies proved unable to tame turbulent societies and search for new ideologies. Authoritarianism, Bolshevism, fascism, and Nazism emerged around the same time as Kemalism. They have collapsed after causing untold suffering. Why did Kemalism survive and lead to a successful society in Turkey?
The Six Arrows responded to the needs of that era.
Cumhuriyetçilik (Republicanism): Rule of law replaces Ottoman absolutism; laws should be based on people’s actual needs, not divine revelation.
Halkçılık (Populism): Rule on behalf of ordinary people; women’s rights; pride in citizenship.
Laiklik (Secularism): End religious influence on the state; freedom of thought; Diyanet (Directorate of Religious Affairs).
Devrimcilik (Revolutionism): Far-reaching reform rather than small changes; Ataturk’s grand vision for Turkey; its effect beyond Turkey.
Milliyetçilik (Nationalism): Build a coherent modern state on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire; Turkey was the first Republic in a Muslim country; “Ne mutlu Türküm diyene.”
Devletçilik (Statism): Government would actively develop the country; no one else had enough capital or vision.
These principles created the success of modern Turkey. But before Ataturk died, he said, “I am leaving behind no sermon, no dogma, nor am I leaving as my legacy any commandment that is frozen in time or cast in stone.”
Also: “For everything in this world—for civilization, for life, for success—the truest guide is knowledge and science.”
Above all, Ataturk believed in reason, science, and progress—a true child of the Enlightenment. As the world changed after his death, the United Nations emerged and adopted a new framework for achieving globally the goals Ataturk sought for Turks.
That framework is the Millennium Development Goals: eradicate hunger and extreme poverty; universal primary education; gender equality; reduce child mortality; maternal health; fight HIV/AIDS; environmental sustainability; global partnership for development.
These are the Six Arrows of the modern age. They show that Ataturk’s vision lives through the UN.
At the end of his life, Ataturk did what few authoritarian leaders do: retire from power. In his last years, he complained that he was bored and did not have enough to do. If he were alive today, there would be an ideal job for him: director of the UN Millennium Development Goal program.
Prof. Kinzer illustrated Atatürk’s revolutionary and forceful vision: “I am leaving no sermon no dogma nor am I leaving as my legacy any commandment that is frozen in time or cast in stone.”
Prof. Kinzer stressed that Ataturk demonstrated the need to structure goals in order to better execute them overall. This is very similar to the structure of the UN’s MDGs. He held that Ataturk wanted to anchor people in the “real world” of knowledge and sciences and withdrew from power after a fixed amount of time.
Some countries are now following culture-sensitive approaches in their development strategies.
Chair of the Inaugural Session as well as a panelist Ms. Suzanne Bilello, Senior Communications and Liaison Officer for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) highlighted the strong connection between sustainable development and culture. Ms. Bilello stressed that UNESCO acknowledges and promotes a respect for cultural diversity within human rights. She added that understanding culture this way makes development more sustainable. Underlining culture’s potential as a socio-economic resource, Ms. Bilello emphasized that the integration of culture into sustainable development strategies and policies advances development and can be a significant factor in achieving MDGs beyond 2015. Stressing the significance of increasing the influence of cultural concerns in the UN, she mentioned that the post-2015 agenda should include the specific contribution that culture has made towards achieving MDGs, especially in environmental sustainability and social inclusion. However, she also stated that culture was mentioned in less than 30% in the UN development agenda 5 years ago. Currently, this has been greatly improved that it is now mentioned at least 70% of the time. Moreover, Ms. Bilello said that some countries are now following culture-sensitive approaches in their development strategies. She described UNESCO’s efforts in a variety of ways but mainly in policy. She concluded her speech by expressing UNESCO’s concerns over Syria and Mali, and how her institution wants to take an active role in the reconstruction of these countries, and sustaining social cohesion. She ended by mentioning that UNESCO is also working with governments, like the Nigerian government, to collaborate on how to prevent conflict in the country through eliminating the perception of cultural differences as a negative factor.
Cuidad Mujer (City of Women) and Pool of Hope
The last speaker of the Inaugural Panel was H.E. Ambassador Carlos E. Garcia Gonzales, Permanent Representative of El Salvador to the United Nations, who brought both a successful model for Global Partnership and International Peace.
H.E. Garcia emphasized the need for MDGS in El Salvador and his neighboring brother and sister countries in parts of South and Central America. He emphasized that women are 52% of his country that his government has focused on MDG#3 Women Empowerment through The Cudiad Mujer (City of Women) project that sets up criteria and solutions for women as well as a model for solutions in the world. Ambassador Garcia also stressed about how poverty used to recruiting children/teens by crime oriented groups and drug dealers. Then he has presented a program entitled “Pool of Hope”, which is an Olympic size pool in one of the poorest areas in Salvador as well as the only pool in the public schools. This project implemented through an international cooperation that has helped the country to transform it to a safe environment as well as fun for children and teens. This first pool in the poorest area in El Salvador clearly indicated the great amount drop down gang-violence and drug related crimes.
H.E. Garcia highlighted El Salvador’s accomplishments within the context of MDGS, and in particular, MDG#8 as follows:
· The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) projects benefited approximately 900,000 people.
· 84% of beneficiaries are first-time farmers of fruits and vegetables.
· 4,400 livestock farmers received technical assistance and technology, resulting in about $94 million in sales.
· The first compound gave access to public services like water and electricity to many communities.
· Approximately $57 million worth of new private investments were attracted to the area. The Northern Highway, a transportation project valued at $278 million, covered a distance of 138 miles, from the city of Metapán in the Northwest to Anamorós in the Eastern end of El Salvador. Prior the building of this highway, the northern territories were excluded from the development policies of El Salvador.
Further, he emphasized that his government has been able to achieve these things with international collaboration. He alluded to the fact that knowledge of the complexities of certain regions in addition to courage and commitment to change are also essential to see the MDGS achieved in the near future. His presentation included a success story ivolving the MDG#8 from Latin America.
After the main addresses the panelists were made brief closing remarks, and the floor was opened to questions.
The first question asked the panel was,” Where are leaders like Ataturk today, especially given the challenges facing developing nations?” Kinzer highlighted the rarity of personalities like Ataturk to address this question, while H.A. Garcia of El Salvador indicated we could consider a leader like Hugo Chavez of Venezuela as Ataturk for the people of Venezuela but alluded to the fact that in the United States or other wealthy, northern developed countries, he is often perceived much differently and that makes it difficult to make this comparison into full effect. H.E. Garcia indicated he believes there are Ataturks today.
The event concluded after the panelists answered the questions.
CONCLUSION (of the first day)
The High Level Inaugural Panel of the Pioneer of the Millennium Development Goals: Atatürk – International Conference, is delivered in full, and achieved its overall goal and vision that has brought in a rich spectrum and diverse ambassadorial level statements along with the UNESCO that each and everyone of the panelist’s of the session presented statement --not only—tremendously contributed into concept of the conference also the proposed thesis of the conference is nailed it down on the global as well as academic level. The Inaugural Session also achieved successfully presenting its dedication theme “Global Partnership and International Peace” effectively that also demonstrated both concerns and reasons that why the MDG#8 is left behind as well as exhibited four successful “developing” countries from the highest country based representative levels at the United Nations, who are already achieved the MDG#8 target prior 2015.
CONTRIBUTERS IN THIS REPORT:
Liz Lennon, Hande Subasilar, Prof. Stephen Kinzer, H.E. Ambassador Carlos E. Garcia Gonzales (El Salvador), Prof. Edward Foster, and Erman H. Sener.
This REPORT may be reproduced under the following conditions only:
1. A paragraph or Introductory section or only one section of the report could be reproduced with permission and should included full credit is as follow: “This REPORT of the PIONEER OF THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS: ATATÜRK” International Conference was originally e-published by The Light Millennium”
2) Below hyper link to the actual REPORT should be included:
3) As the full Report, please refer to its original link or not permitted for re-production. It also will be part of the planned BOOK publication.
4) Summary of the Conference may be fully re-produced with its full credits.
5)The conference’s video-recording for a mini television series (4+1 Highlights) or 6+1 parts) NEEDS to be edited in order to be scheduled on QPTV.Org, MNN.Org, and on the web in Fall/Winter 2013. To that end, The Light Millennium (with tax-exempt 501c3 status) seeks for sponsorships/funders for its post-production. If you are interested to be one of the mini-television series sponsors, please email to: LMTV@lightmillennium.org. Thank You.
6) Timeline of the Book Publishing: Depending on availability of sponsorship, in Fall/Winter 2013 or Spring 2014.
7) ALL the presented PAPERS during the conference will be available on The Light Millennium's website.
Compiled NEWS, Announcements/URLS about the PIONNER OF THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS: ATATÜRK
http://www.lightmillennium.org/ataturk/2013/media-conf-links-4-24-13.pdf (Google research April 24-26, 2013)
http://www.lightmillennium.org/ataturk/2013/media-links.pdf (as of March 20, 2013)
Concept Related links:
1921 Constitution http://www.bilkent.edu.tr/~genckaya/1921C.html
1924 The (First) New Constitution of Turkey
Resolution adopted by the General Assembly [without reference to a Main Committee (A/55/L.2)]
55/2. United Nations Millennium Declaration
2000 Millennium Development Declaration of the United Nations General Assembly: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/bkgd.shtml
Millennium Development Goals for 2015: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/
BEYOND 2015: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/beyond2015.shtml
34th Session of the General Assembly – Official Document – 19 December 1979
UNESCO - Turkey, Profile of Education:
UNESCO Centenary of Ataturk’s birth - The Executive Board http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0003/000370/037018e.pdf (Page: 21) November1979
The Unesco COURIER - November 1981
- Updated on May 27, 2013.