On November 28-29, 2011 in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, the 23rd Meeting of the Council of GUAM National Coordinators (CNC) took place with the participation of the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova, Mr. A. Popov who chaired the event. The meeting also involved several other dignitaries, as follows: Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Republic of Moldova, Mr. N. Aliyev; First Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Mr. N. Vashakidze; Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Mr. P. Klimkin, and Secretary General of GUAM, Mr. V. Chechelashvili.
Participants in the CNC considered numerous issues and agreed on projects in relation to the respective documents from the 16th Meeting of the CMFA (held in Vilnius, Lithuania on December 6-7, 2011).
The CNC considered issues regarding political interaction between the GUAM member states inter alia within the framework of the UN, the OSCE and other international organisations. In particular, they considered preparations for the UN General Assembly’ projects “Protracted conflicts in the GUAM area and their implications for international peace, security and development” and “Cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM”.
The CNC welcomed the fact that the Bureau of the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly (PA) will take place at the GUAM Secretariat in Kyiv on November 24, 2011. He further noted that the formation of PA Committees and their future work will improve parliamentary cooperation between GUAM and the GUAM PA, as well as cooperation with the parliamentary authorities of other international organisations, including those of the Baltic Assembly and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Benelux as well.
The CNC discussed issues regarding GUAM sectoral cooperation and asked GUAM Working Groups to accelerate their work on the implementation of the “GUAM Plan of Action for Facilitating Sectoral Cooperation”, which was adopted during the 15th Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs (held in Warsaw, Poland on September 29, 2011).
The CNC welcomed the decision taken by the Working Group on Tourism to organise a press tour for interested representatives of the Japanese media, to take place on April 4-17, 2012. Participants also positively estimated the Working Group’s intention to develop new projects in view of the experience of GUAM-Japan joint tourism products aimed at the USA, Canada and South Korea markets.
The CNC deemed that it is necessary to stimulate cooperation in the field of energy and they noted that it is necessary of holding the meeting of the Working Group on Energy before the end of the year.
The Council of GUAM National Coordinators noted its positive assessment of the fact that cooperation in the area of law enforcement and anti-terrorism operations has become more active and also appreciated the activity of the respective working bodies of GUAM.
CNC representatives noted that there is progress in the implementation of the ongoing US-funded project on creating secure communication channels within the GUAM framework. They also discussed the direction that should be taken in expanding the GUAM Virtual Centre for Combating Terrorism, Organised Crime, Drug Trafficking and Other Dangerous Crimes.
Participants considered the preparation of the project for combating money laundering and the project for fighting against corruption, which are carried out with the UNODC and the OECD respectively, with financial support from the U.S. They also discussed proposals to associate GUAM with the UNODC global project for studying the routes used for Afghan opiates.
The CNC positively evaluated the work that has been done to date in promoting cooperation between GUAM and the South-Eastern European Law Enforcement Centre – SELEC.
The CNC noted the importance of the launch of the Sub-Working Group on Legal Statistics (WSG-STAT).
CNC participants outlined the practical direction of the work being carried out by the Working Group on Emergencies, including the mutual exchange of experience and best practices with respect to preventing and responding to natural and man-made disasters, preparing for events with mass gatherings, and initiating the development of joint projects with international partners.
CNC participants discussed issues surrounding the cooperation between GUAM member states, partner countries and other international organisations inter alia the organisation of future GUAM-US and GUAM-Japan meetings and the coordination of relevant documents on partnership.
The CNC also noted the necessity to continue coordinated action on the part of GUAM member states within the framework of their participation in the “flagmanship” initiatives of the Eastern Partnership: namely, “Integrated Border Management” and “Prevention, preparedness and response to natural and man-made disasters”.
The location and date of the CNC next meeting will be agreed upon and announced through diplomatic channels.