Turkish gov't to submit Paris climate agreement to parliament next month, Erdoğan tells UN

The Turkish government will submit the Paris climate agreement to parliament for ratification next month, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 21. Erdoğan also said that Turkey "has neither means nor patience to meet new migration waves" as the events in Afghanistan have fuelled worries of a repeat of a refugee crisis.

Erdoğan addresses the participants at the 76th session of United Nations General Assembly in New York on Sept 21.

Duvar English - Reuters 

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sept. 21 that the Paris climate agreement would be presented to the Turkish parliament for approval next month, which would make it the last G20 country to ratify the deal.

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly, Erdoğan said Turkey had not ratified the deal due to injustices regarding responsibilities.

"Following the distance covered in this framework, I want to announce the decision we have taken to the world from here," he said.

"We plan to present the Paris climate agreement to our parliament's approval next month in line with constructive steps that will be taken," Erdoğan said.

He added that Turkey aims to complete the approval process before the UN climate conference in November.

Some of the worst wildfires in Turkey's history killed eight people and devastated tens of thousands of hectares of forest in the southwest this summer. The fires were followed closely by floods that killed at least 77 people in the north. 

'Vaccine nationalism is shameful on behalf of humanity'

Erdoğan also spoke about COVID-19 vaccines, deeming vaccine nationalism as being "shameful on behalf of humanity." Vaccine nationalism is a country's stockpiling of vaccines to prioritize rapid access to its citizens. 

"At a period when millions of people are in the grip of the virus, it is shameful on behalf of humanity that vaccine nationalism still continues. I would like to announce that we will present our locally made vaccine TURKOVAC for the benefit of the whole humanity as well as our nation," Erdoğan said. 

The inactive TURKOVAC vaccine candidate was jointly developed by the Turkish Health Ministry, Health Institutes of Turkey and Erciyes University (ERU).

Turkey began administering its national coronavirus vaccine candidate to volunteers at the end of August as part of Phase 3 studies.

'Turkey has neither means nor patience to meet new refugee waves'

Erdoğan also touched upon the Syrian conflict, saying the international community cannot let the crisis drag on for another 10 years.

"We need to show a stronger will to find a political solution to the problem, based on United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254, and in a way that will meet the expectations of the Syrian people," Erdoğan said. 

"As a country that saved the dignity of humankind in the Syria crisis, we neither have the means nor patience to meet new migration waves," Erdoğan said. 

"It has been lastly seen in Afghanistan, and in a very painful way, that a solution cannot be produced with patronizing methods that do not take reality and social fabric into account. The Afghan people have been left alone with the results of the instability and conflicts that have been going on for the last 40 years," Erdoğan said. 

“Independent of the political process, Afghanistan needs the help and solidarity of the international community.”

Turkey has been saying for months that it cannot take the burden of a new migrant wave from Afghanistan. 

Many EU member states are worried that the developments in Afghanistan could trigger a replay of Europe's migration crisis in 2015 when more than a million people, most of them Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis, arrived in Europe seeking refuge.