The International Conference of the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly and Baltic Assembly “GUAM and Baltic Countries – Partners for the Safe and Prosperous Regions” took place in Batumi, Georgia on 26-28 June 2013.
The Conference held its session in an enlarged format with the participation of Mr. Zurab Abashidze, Chairman of the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia, Mr. Raimonds Vejonis, President of the Baltic Assembly, Chairman of the Latvian Delegation in the Baltic Assembly; Mr. Elton Mammadov, Head of the Permanent Delegation of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the GUAM PA; Mr. Oleg Bodrug, Deputy Chairman of the Parliament, Member of the Permanent Delegation of the Republic of Moldova to the GUAM PA; Mr. Rustam Raupov, Deputy Head of the Permanent Delegation of Ukraine to the GUAM PA; Mr. Giedre Purvaneckiene, Vice President of the BA, Chairperson of the Lithuanian Delegation to the BA; Mr. Aadu Must, Vice Chairmen of the Estonian Delegation to the BA; Mr. Valeri Chechelashvili, Secretary General of GUAM. The Conference was also attended by the honourable guests, the representatives of the Parliament of the Republic of Poland and Parliamentary Assembly of the Turkish Speaking Countries.
The Participants outlined with satisfaction, that it has become a good tradition to organise joint Baltic Assembly – GUAM Parliamentary Assembly events on the different levels and formats. The Participants have discussed the wide range of issues of regional and international importance during the Batumi Conference. Particularly, the Panel Sessions of the Conference included discussions and presentations on the following topics: Political interaction and Euro-Atlantic Integration; Mutual cooperation in the fields of energy and energy-security; Proactive and intelligence led approach towards the fight against the organised crime; Investing in the regional success – towards competitive and attractive GUAM and Baltic regions; Prospects for the enlarged cooperation between GUAM PA and Baltic Assembly.
The Participants reconfirmed their support towards the goals and principles enshrined in adopted so far joint Documents of Baltic Assembly and GUAM Parliamentary Assembly.
The Baltic Assembly welcomed the progress that has been made in terms of EU rapprochement and integration of the GUAM member states according to their national foreign political priorities. The Participants particularly underlined the significant progress achieved in the processes related to the conclusion of the Association Agreements, cooperation with the EU on visa liberalization and facilitation, including the implementation of the visa liberalization action plans, mobility, etc. in respective GUAM member states. The Participants reiterated the importance of these processes that will move the relations between the EU and GUAM member states to a qualitatively new level.
In this regard, the GUAM member states marked their expectations of upcoming EaP Vilnius Summit and stressed that it should become a turning point for GUAM countries by opening the EU perspective. They particularly outlined the importance of sharing the experience of Baltic Countries on the issues of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration. The Baltic Assembly .Representatives therefore praised the efforts of GUAM Parliamentary Assembly to promote integration between the European Union and GUAM member states and emphasized, that the complementarity of the goals and objectives of GUAM Parliamentary Assembly and the Baltic Assembly provides solid platform for common activities to materialize European aspirations and European integration prospects of GUAM member states. In this light, the Baltic Assembly supported efforts of the GUAM Countries to establish the space of partnership in the Black Sea – Caspian Sea region, based on European values and spirit of cooperation.
The Participants were unanimous in the vision that the essence of the regional cooperation is to promote better trust and understanding by implementing regional projects and programmes, ultimately paving the way for the regional integration and stability, based on European values, traditions of cooperation and the principles and norms of international law. In this regard, they expressed the satisfaction that, since its establishment the Baltic Assembly – GUAM Parliamentary Assembly format of cooperation proved its effectiveness and opened new horizons of cooperation between Baltic and GUAM regions.
The Participants expressed their deep regret that the conflicts in the territories of the GUAM member states remain unresolved and undermine peace, security and cooperation at both, regional and European levels. They reaffirmed their respect to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of GUAM member states and their sustained efforts to achieve a peaceful settlement of conflicts in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova on the basis of the universally recognised principles and norms of the international law, especially the principles of respect of the sovereignty and territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized borders of States. In this light, the Participants condemned illegal foreign military presence on the territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Georgia and the Republic of Moldova.
The Participants are sharing the vision that GUAM region represents an integral part of Europe and encouraged the efforts of GUAM Parliamentary Assembly to assert European values and spirit of cooperation in Eastern Europe beyond existing EU borders.
Emphasising the high level of the interparliamentary cooperation, the Participants invited the Governments of Baltic and GUAM member states to actively cooperate in the process of generation, elaboration and implementation of the regional and intraregional projects and programs in various spheres of mutual interest, like transport, energy, tourism, combating organised crime etc. The Participants invited the Committees of the GUAM PA and Baltic Assembly to identify the fields of common interest and avenues of future cooperation. To this end, the GUAM PA and Baltic Assembly Representatives outlined the importance of using the capacities of GUAM and Baltic Assembly Secretariats and considered expediency of establishment of the framework of consultations between the two Secretariats in order to identify common areas of further interaction of two regional organizations.
The Participants expressed sincere gratitude to Georgian hosts for the excellent organization of the Conference and agreed to communicate upon the dates and venue of the next interparliamentary joint session through the diplomatic channels.
Done on 27 June 2013, in Batumi, Georgia.