The 15th session of the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly chaired by the Head of the delegation of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova to the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly was held on November 28, 2022, by videoconference in an atmosphere of cooperation and mutual understanding.

The session was attended by parliamentary delegations of all GUAM Member States, as well as the Baltic Assembly as a guest.

The national delegations of the Parliamentary Assembly welcomed the holding of its Fifteenth Session and confirmed the importance that parliamentarians of the GUAM Member States attach to interaction within the Organization as a reliable platform for inter-parliamentary collaboration based on adherence to universally recognized norms and principles of international law, strategic interests and importance of economic cooperation and political interaction.

The Parliamentary Assembly reaffirmed its commitment to the Charter and other foundational documents of the GUAM with a view to strengthening the democratic values, the rule of law, human rights and freedoms, stability, and security, combating international terrorism, aggressive separatism, extremism, and transnational organized crime and achievement of sustainable development and well-being of the peoples of the GUAM Member States.

The Parliamentary Assembly stated that the GUAM initiative proved successful and inspiring, so it expanded its institutional setup by adding business (GUAM Business Council) and parliamentary (GUAM Parliamentary Assembly) dimensions in 2001 and 2004 respectively that laid a basis for its transformation into a full-fledged regional organization.

Against the backdrop of current challenges, the Parliamentary Assembly underlined that coordinated cooperation within the GUAM Member States bears even greater significance as they all share common aspiration towards promoting peace and stability in the region.

The Parliamentary Assembly reaffirmed full support for the independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognized borders. Fully understanding the gravity of the war, GUAM Member States demonstrated full solidarity to its strategic partner in political, diplomatic steps within international fora as well as humanitarian assistance from the very beginning of the war.

The Parliamentary Assembly declared that the illegal so-called referendums held from 23 to 27 September 2022 in parts of the Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine have no validity under international law and do not form the basis for any alteration of the status of these regions of Ukraine, and agreed to refrain from any action or dealing that might be interpreted as recognizing any such altered status.

The Parliamentary Assembly noted the organization of the First Parliamentary Summit of the International Crimea Platform, that took place on 24-25 October 2022, in Zagreb, as an international instrument for the peaceful restoration of the territorial integrity of Ukraine and the participation of the Chairmen of national parliaments of Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine in this high-level event.

The Parliamentary Assembly was informed by Azerbaijan of steps taken regarding post-conflict rehabilitation and reconstruction of its conflict-affected territories, and expressed its support to Azerbaijan’s position regarding inter-state normalization between Armenia and Azerbaijan on the basis of mutual recognition and respect for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity within their internationally recognized borders, including through the signing of a peace treaty.

The Parliamentary Assembly was informed by Georgia of its particular concern over Russia’s continuous occupation of Georgia’s indivisible regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia and took note of the aggravated security, humanitarian and human rights situation in the occupied regions due to Russia’s violations of the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement and continuous provocations, including accelerated attempts of de-facto annexation of both occupied regions, increased illegal militarization, the illegal process of erecting barbed-wire fences and artificial barriers along the occupation line, as well as arbitrary detentions and kidnappings and ethnic discrimination of Georgian citizens, and the importance of implementation of its international obligations by the Russian Federation inter alia undertaken with the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement and underscored the right of the IDPs and refugees to return to their homes.

The Parliamentary Assembly was informed by the Republic of Moldova that being abided by the constitutional neutral status, the country focuses primarily its efforts on assistance to refugees, delivery of humanitarian aid and support to international community in condemning the Russian aggression against Ukraine, and its concern over Russia’s aggressive actions against Republic of Moldova, such as energy blockade, by drastically reducing the gas flows to the respective country, and the blatant violation of Moldova’s airspace by three recent Russian missiles that were headed to Ukraine.

The Parliamentary Assembly was informed by Ukraine that given the persistent terrorist attacks on civic infrastructure, deliberately aimed at creation of humanitarian crisis, no negotiations would be considered implying alternative options to restoration territorial integrity within the internationally recognized borders, including Donbas and Crimea, and the importance with this respect of the UN Resolution “Territorial integrity of Ukraine: defending the principles of the UN Charter”, UN Resolution “Furtherance of remedy and reparation for aggression against Ukraine” as well as the G20 declaration of 16 November 2022 as a sign of international solidarity and condemnation of aggression.

The Parliamentary Assembly stressed the importance of international support for ensuring sustainable, resilient and stable development of the GUAM Member States, which would lay the foundation for the implementation of regional and global transport and energy connectivity projects.

The Parliamentary Assembly emphasized their importance for the implementation of key economic projects of GUAM – the creation of FTA and TC. Taking into account the EU’s experience in the development of the TEN-T network, the provisions of bilateral agreements with the GUAM Member States, the Assembly called on the European side to cooperate in preparing a feasibility study of the GUAM transport corridor in order to accelerate the development of the project and ensure EU standards in its further implementation.

The Parliamentary Assembly stressed the importance of the work begun within the framework of the Organization to develop a map of new routes for the supply of goods and services, as well as prompt resolution of emerging issues related to the delivery of humanitarian cargo to Ukraine. The Assembly noted the importance of using digital and innovative technologies in the formation of the GUAM Transport Corridor in order to increase its attractiveness and competitiveness.

In this respect, the Parliamentary Assembly welcomed the decision of the Council of the Ministers of the Foreign Affairs of GUAM at its 39th session, to address to the High-Level EC officials with a letter on prospects of cooperation with the EU in the development of the GUAM TC.

The Parliamentary Assembly welcomed the signing of the Protocol on rules for determining the country of origin of goods to the agreement on establishment of Free Trade Area between the GUAM Participating States (September 20, 2022 in New York), which completed the process of forming the legal framework for the functioning Free Trade Area. The Assembly noted the need to speed up internal procedures for entry into force of this Protocol, which will create conditions for the development of trade and economic cooperation based on mutual benefit within the framework of GUAM.

At the same time, the Parliamentary Assembly welcomed the signing of the GUAM Convention on Mutual Assistance in Consular Matters (September 20, 2022 in New York), which aimed the development of the framework for supporting citizens who need consular assistance in the GUAM Member States, and noted the need to speed up internal procedures for its entry into force.

The Parliamentary Assembly, stressing the paramount importance of the accelerated implementation of key projects supported initiatives aimed at digital transformation and the introduction of innovative technologies, particularly on utilization of blockchain technologies and mutual recognition of authorized economic operators, as well as development of the GUAM digital transport corridor.

The Parliamentary Assembly reaffirmed its intention to make efforts to deepen inter-parliamentary cooperation in order to strengthen and expand partnerships in efforts to secure and security in the region, developing trade, transport and infrastructure, science and technology, customs and border services, law enforcement, disaster and emergency response, culture, education, tourism, youth and sports, highlighting the tasks of fulfilling the agreed priorities of cooperation with the Baltic Assembly for 2020-2023.

The Parliamentary Assembly took note of the results of the meetings of the profile committees of the GUAM PA and reports on their work.

The Parliamentary Assembly expressed its gratitude to the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova and the Secretariat of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM for assistance in holding the session of the Parliamentary Assembly.

The Parliamentary Assembly decided to transfer the Chairmanship of the GUAM PA to Ukraine.

The dates and venue of the Sixteenth Session of the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly in 2023 will be agreed in due course through communication via diplomatic channels.

Adopted on 28 November 2022.