By Ayse Humeyra Atilgan and Burcu Arik
The UN should step up its counter-terrorism role, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Wednesday.
In a speech to the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) in Istanbul, Yildirim also urged the UN to play a greater role in tackling the root causes of terrorism.
“While fighting terrorism, we also expect that the reasons for this terrorism should be carefully examined by all countries and that the UN should take a more active role in this issue,” he said.
“If the United Nations cannot take an active role while people are being killed, then it's not just the people that are dying, humanity is dying too.”
Turkey takes the presidency of the APA, which represents lawmakers from 42 Asian states, this year.
“While continuing its work on development and prosperity, Turkey also works closely with other countries in order to produce permanent solutions to the crises and problems that have existed for a long time in our region,” Yildirim told delegates.
Highlighting conflicts in Syria and Myanmar, the prime minister said: “To live in peace and stability, to end the conflicts in countries and to contribute to regional and global peace is our most important duty and responsibility.
“In this sense, I would like to express once again the importance of the assembly of Asian parliamentarians.”
In Syria, more than 400,000 people have been killed since March 2011 and more than 10 million displaced while more than 620,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh since August to escape a military crackdown.
Referring to the last meeting of the assembly, Yildirim welcomed the decision of all 42 member states to declare the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) a terrorist group.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen organized last year attempted coup in Turkey that resulted in 250 deaths.
The three-day summit will end on Thursday with the adoption of the Istanbul Declaration that will focus on sustaining peace and development in Asia.