OSCE and Organization for Democracy and Economic Development–GUAM share common interests, Secretary General Chechelashvili tells OSCE Permanent Council

Today’s challenges today require collective efforts and the OSCE is uniquely placed to restore trust through its inclusive approach to security, Secretary General of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development–GUAM Valeri Chechelashvili told the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna today.

Referring to developments in GUAM member states – Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova -, Chechelashvili said that the activities of the Organization are based on the solidarity among the four member-states, co-operation, as well as the common challenges they are facing. These challenges have become a source of wider anxiety due to the crisis in and around Ukraine, he noted.

“All our member-states suffer from unresolved conflicts, some of which have lasted for decades. We are at the epicentre of problems, which is why our opinion should matter. These conflicts, triggered from outside and accompanied by foreign military interference, undermine peace, security and co-operation at both the regional and European levels,” said Chechelashvili. “These conflicts could find peaceful resolution exclusively on the basis of the generally accepted norms and principles of international law, particularly those related to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states concerned within their internationally-recognized borders. Strong and consistent support of the international community is critical to this end.”

Chechelashvili said that GUAM’s activities are streamlined to establish a space of stability and integration in the Black and Caspian Sea regions through the implementation of co-operation projects and programmes undertaken by its member states and with the support of external partners.

“GUAM’s main principle is to establish a space for partnership in the Black and Caspian Sea regions based on the norms and principles of international law, as well as best practice in terms of regional co-operation,” he said.

Trade, transport, energy and combatting organized crime were identified as priority areas, while he emphasized the importance of the relationship between the OSCE and regional organizations in contributing to better understanding.

“GUAM is looking towards extending cooperation with the OSCE in our spheres of common interest. Based on the benefits gained from our previous interaction, I’m confident that we can develop joint programmess of co-operation,” he said.

VIENNA, 30 April 2015