On March 15-16, 2016, the 37th meeting of the GUAM Council of National Coordinators (CNC) took place in Baku.

This event was attended by the following officials: Head of the Regional Security Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. T. Musaev (who chaired the meeting); Deputy Director of the Department for European Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia, Mrs. I. Lomidze; Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Moldova to the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. G. Leuka; Head of the Department of Economic Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, Mr. A. Danileyko; and Secretary General of GUAM, Mr. A. Efendiev.

During the meeting, in particular, the CNC considered the Programme for Azerbaijan’s Chairmanship of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM for 2016, which was presented by Azerbaijan’s representative. The CNC considered issues related to political interaction within the GUAM format, and also exchanged views regarding issues related to regional security. In addition, participants discussed issues regarding inter-parliamentary cooperation at the meeting.

The meeting also addressed in detail issues concerning GUAM sectoral cooperation, in particular, in such areas as economy and trade, transport, combating corruption and money laundering, and cyber security. The CNC recommended that countries take measures in order to complete the harmonization and adoption of key agreements within the GUAM framework, particularly with respect to the development of GUAM Free Trade Zone, the GUAM transport and transit corridor, as well as combating organised crime and improving regional security.

The CNC also discussed issues related to GUAM’s international cooperation, including the deepening of cooperation within the GUAM+ format and expanding cooperation with other interested countries and international organisations. In particular, they discussed the results of the Workshop on Environment and Waste Management, which took place in Japan on February 21-29, 2016. Following this discussion, the CNC recommended continuing cooperation in this regard and other areas of cooperation within the GUAM-Japan format. The CNC also noted the Secretariat’s information on the measures being taken to establishing cooperation with the World Tourism Organization (WTO).

In addition, the Parties exchanged views related to organising and holding events dedicated to the 10th anniversary of the Organization’s establishment, and the 20th anniversary of the GUAM initiative.