On June 8, 2017, at the invitation of the Austrian Chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Altai Efendiev, Secretary General of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM, took part and spoke at OSCE Permanent Council.

In the course of his speech, Secretary General told of the Organization, priority directions of activity within the GUAM and outlined the main fields of GUAM–OSCE cooperation. The main attention was paid to the implementation of the most important initiatives within GUAM – Agreement on Establishment of Free Trade Area among the Participating States and Concept of Development GUAM Transport Corridor and their importance for ensuring international stability, security and sustainable regional development. Among the promising areas of cooperation were also called the combating crime, terrorism and interaction in the field of cyber security.

At the same time, the attention of high representatives of the OSCE Member States was drawn to the escalation of tension and the worsening situation in the GUAM Member States and in the whole region as a result of armed conflicts.

It was noted that these conflicts not only hamper the development of countries and the implementation of democratic reforms but also pose a serious threat to European and international stability and security. In this regard, GUAM Secretary General called on the OSCE and the Organization’s Member States to more actively and purposefully assist in resolving conflicts in the territory of GUAM Member States on the basis of universally recognized norms and principles of international law and in restoring the territorial integrity and sovereignty of GUAM Member States within the internationally recognized borders.

In response, the representatives of Malta (as EU Presidency), Georgia, the USA, Turkey, Ukraine, Moldova and Azerbaijan welcomed the speech of GUAM Secretary General at the OSCE Permanent Council, expressed support for GUAM initiatives and interest in cooperation and noted the important role of GUAM in the development of a strategically important region.

During the visit, the meetings and talks of GUAM Secretary General with Ambassador C. Koja, Permanent Representative of Austria to the OSCE; Ambassador V. Žugić, Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities; Ms R. Ostrauskaite, Co-ordinator of OSCE Prevention of Transboundary Threats; Ambassador A. Azzoni, Permanent Representative of Italy to the OSCE (representative of the OSCE Chairman in 2018). Prospective directions of cooperation and possible joint initiatives were discussed.

On behalf of the Austrian OSCE Chairmanship, Ambassador C. Koja gave a dinner in honor of GUAM Secretary General attended by the ambassadors of the GUAM Member States, as well as the EU, Malta, Germany, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria and OSCE staff.