H.E. Dr. Cevdet Yılmaz, Minister of Development of the Republic of Turkey, paid a courtesy visit to SESRIC on 24th January 2014. H.E. the Minister was accompanied by Mr. Ahmet Yaman, Deputy Undersecretary of the Ministry of Development, and Mr. Metin Eker, Director General of the COMCEC Coordination Office. H.E. the Minister was welcomed by the Director General of the Centre, Prof. Savaş Alpay, where he expressed his gratitude to the Minister for designating his valuable time for this honourable visit to SESRIC.
Following the welcoming, H.E. the Minister was briefed by the heads of the technical departments at the Centre on the activities of their respective departments. The presentations on the activities of the Centre were made by Mr. Hüseyin Hakan Eryetli, Director of Statistics and Information Department, Mr. Nabil M. Dabour, Director of Economic and Social Research Department, and Mr. Mehmet F. Serenli, Director of Training and Technical Cooperation Department. Following the presentations on the activities of the three technical departments of the Centre, a presentation titled “Critical Perspectives on the Socio-Economic Development and Transformation in the Islamic World” has been made, which provides a SWOT profile on OIC Member Countries as a group in terms of some critical examples regarding their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats in a comparative manner with the group of other developing countries, developed countries, as well as the world average.
Following the presentations, H.E. Dr. Cevdet Yılmaz, expressed his appreciation to the Director General of the Centre, Prof. Savaş Alpay, and the SESRIC staff and lauded them for the volume and high quality of the work that has been accomplished in the three areas of the Centre’s mandate: statistics, research and training. H.E. the Minister also commended and encouraged the Centre’s efforts in building constructive and close relations with the relevant national institutions in Turkey, the host country of the Centre, with a view to facilitate and increase the quality of the activities of the Centre for more benefit to the member countries. In particular, he drew attention to the effective cooperation between the Centre and Turkish Statistical Institute (TURKSTAT) in organizing statistical capacity building programmes for the benefit of the National Statistical Organizations (NSOs) of the Member Countries, as well as the cooperation between the Centre and COMCEC Coordination Office, particularly the involvement of the Centre in the implementation mechanism of the new COMCEC Strategy through the participation in the Working Groups and the Project Cycle Management mechanism of the Strategy.
H.E. Dr. Cevdet Yılmaz, provided valuable views and proposed and emphasised specific issues to be taken into consideration by the Centre in the implementation of its various activities in the areas of statistics, research and training. Among others, he emphasised the importance of enhancing the capacities and quality of human resources in OIC Member Countries through appropriate investing, particularly in the young population, and drew attention to the importance of SESRIC’s ongoing OIC Vocational Education and Training Programme (OIC-VET) in this regard. He mentioned that research priority should be given to critical and important social issues. He emphasised the need to conducting policy-oriented research on social issues of interest and challenging the OIC Member Countries. H.E. the Minister also highlighted the importance of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs or post 2015 Agenda) and the challenges facing the member countries and international organizations in setting up and monitoring the measurable objectives of these goals. Moreover, he highlighted the importance of research and development in terms of developing the human capital in the OIC Member Countries. In this respect, he emphasized the significance of the cooperation among the think-tank institutions in OIC Member Countries.