Our desire to develop institutional relations with CELAC was conveyed to the CELAC Coordinatorship of the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs with a Note in 2013. Upon the positive reception of our request, the 1st Meeting of the Turkey-CELAC Extended Troika was held in New York in September 2013 during the UN 68th General Assembly with the participation of the then Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ahmet Davutoğlu.

Joint Declaration on the Establishment of a Permanent Mechanism of Cooperation Between the Republic of Turkey and CELAC

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey gathered in İstanbul on April 21st , 2017.

Expressing their strong commitment to the objectives and principles of international law enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations,

Taking into consideration the policy of outreach towards Latin America and the Caribbean pursued by Turkey and the desire of CELAC countries to diversify and solidify their international ties,

Bearing in mind the intention expressed by both parties, on different occasions, including during the Turkey-CELAC Troika Meeting and the Turkey-CELAC Quartet Meeting that were held within the margins of the 68th, 70th and 71st UN General Assemblies, respectively, to broaden and intensify their cooperation in global and regional matters of mutual concern,

Convinced of the necessity to institutionalize the existing cooperation between the parties by means of a permanent mechanism,

Have decided to establish the Turkey-CELAC Political Dialogue and Cooperation Mechanism in order to increase dialogue and deepen relations between Turkey and CELAC on areas of common interest.

The Parties agree to engage in enhanced dialogue and cooperation in the following areas:

Bilateral Relations:

1. To work together to bring the trade volume between Turkey and CELAC member countries to a level that corresponds to their economic potential. In this respect, to accelerate the completion of the economic legal framework between Turkey and CELAC countries, by concluding bilateral and multilateral agreements, such as Agreements on Avoidance of Double Taxation and Trade Agreements.

2. To work together more closely to increase mutual investments through encouraging cooperation between their respective investment promotion agencies, coordinating investment efforts, the timely sharing of investment opportunities and removing hurdles to investments by the conclusion of Agreements on the Protection and Promotion of Investments between Turkey and individual CELAC member countries.

3. Bearing in mind the important touristic potential that the Parties possess, to exchange experience and best practices in this field.

4. To mobilize the necessary resources to increase the number of direct flights between Turkey and CELAC countries in order to enhance contacts among peoples.

5. In order to increase contacts between businessmen, to explore the possibility to establish new business mechanisms such as a Turkey-CELAC CEO’s Forum.

6. To establish cooperation between Small and Medium Size Enterprises (SME’s) through encouraging relevant institutions on both side to establish joint programs.

7. To explore possibilities of cooperation in the field of energy, including joint exploration of mineral and geothermal resources and promoting projects in the area of renewable energy.

8. To support Turkey’s membership to the ECLAC which will be an important partner for the realization of the mentioned objectives.

Global Issues:

1. Bearing in mind the need of encouraginginternational cooperation in matters of fight against terrorism, and violent extremism, to promote the exchange of information, best practices and policies on prevention and fight against radicalization, including strengthening cyber-security measures in order to prevent and contain online radicalization and the misuse of internet for criminal purposes, in full compliance with international law, in particular international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law.

To provide integral joint training programs to prevent and address transnational organized crime and illicit drug trafficking through reciprocal agencies such as the Turkish International Academy against Drugs and Organized Crime (TADOC).

2. Highlighting the importance of intercultural and interreligious dialogue in tackling the rising challenges of extremism, that can be conducive to terrorism, racism, intolerance, islamophobia and discrimination in all its forms and commending the valuable contribution of the “United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC)” initiative, launched jointly by Turkey and Spain to attain greater cross-cultural understanding and atmosphere of mutual respect, they agree on working closely towards achieving the goals of the UNAOC, including the UNAOC Regional Strategy for Latin America.

3. Conscious of the fact that educational and cultural exchanges are the best investments for the future, to enhance cooperation in the fields of culture, education and science through universities and other academic institutions as well as scientific agencies by means of increasing exchange programs, joint researches and scholarships.

To explore possibilities of developing closer cooperation between the Diplomatic Academies of the parties with a view to encouraging participation of junior diplomats from CELAC member countries and Turkey in the training programs that could be offered by these Academies for foreign diplomats.

4. Bearing in mind that climate change is one of the greatest challenges the world is facing today and concerned that the fight against climate change and its adverse effects is a complex task, requiring effective coordination, to strengthen the cooperation in environmental issues such as climatology, deforestation, desertification and the prevention and care of heavy rains and drought, under a gender and human rights approach.

5. To expand and deepen cooperation with a view to advancing decisively in the development priorities of CELAC member countries and Turkey, including the implementation of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals.

In order to advance in these objectives, Turkey and CELAC member countries agree to convene annually the Political Dialogue and Cooperation Mechanism at the level of Ministers of Foreign Affairs at dates and in venues to be determined through diplomatic channels.

Adopted in Istanbul this day, April 21st of the year 2017, in the Turkish, Spanish and English languages. In case of any divergence of implementation, interpretation or application, the English text shall prevail.