The GUAM Parliamentary Assembly and the Baltic Assembly adopted this Joint Statement at the 10th Session of the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly, held on 18 December 2017 in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Members of Parliaments from the Republic of Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and the Baltic States positively assessed the enhancement of cooperation between the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly and the Baltic Assembly.

The participants underlined the importance of upholding further development of strong cooperation, considering that the member states of these regional organizations are bound together by the shared history, common values, mutual interests and commitments.

The participants appraised the strategic dimension of the partnership between the GUAM PA and the Baltic Assembly as a key element for achieving peace, security and prosperity based on democracy and economic development by promoting shared goals and principles.

The participants reconfirmed their adherence to the universally recognized norms and principles of the international law, purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, the provisions of the fundamental documents of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the provisions of the statutory documents of the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly and the Baltic Assembly. In this respect, the participants particularly appreciated the valuable assistance of the Baltic Assembly in expanding cooperation opportunities with the European Union and its member states. They welcomed the Baltic Assembly address to the Heads of State and Government of the Eastern Partnership Summit published on 10 October 2017, which shares the Assembly’s vision on strategic and determined approach towards the Eastern Partnership countries manifested in stronger political support and practical assistance.

The participants expressed their deep concern over the protracted conflicts on the territories of the GUAM Member States, undermining international peace, security and stability. They reiterated their firm support for independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of international borders of the GUAM Member States and for peaceful solution of the aforementioned conflicts on the basis of these principles. They underlined the importance of keeping the issues of the protracted conflicts on the territories of the GUAM Member States high on the international agenda, since its offset to the political sideline will inevitably cause further protraction of the process of the peaceful conflicts resolution.

The participants highly appreciated of the unwavering support rendered to the GUAM countries by the Baltic Assembly in different international formats and events, and underlined the need for provision of political support from the European perspective. Building a strong partnership between the European regional organizations including, in particular the Baltic Assembly, the Benelux Parliament, the Nordic Council, the Visegrad countries and the GUAM PA is one of the most important elements of the shared policy aimed at achieving peace, security, stability and economic progress in the neighborhood.

Emphasizing the necessity to respond strategically to the actual and potential geopolitical challenges and security threats in the region, the participants agreed to pay particular attention to strengthening national and regional security, as well as exploring ways to deepen cooperation in the areas, such as combating terrorism, separatism and extremism, enhancing cyber security, and preventing the organized crime.

The participants underscored the role of parliaments in enabling the partner organizations to achieve sustainable results by expanding active cooperation and contacts among parliamentarians. In this context, they also underlined a paramount significance of setting up joint projects and result-oriented programs of cooperation between the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly and the Baltic Assembly. The participants emphasized that particular attention shall be given to developing interconnections in the trade, energy, transport, and tourism sectors, through encouraging and expanding business links, as well as creating and promoting investment climate. Sustainable economic development, diversified and secure supply of energy resources, competitive transport links, enhanced tourism flows, and environment protection are the priority goals that will promote better quality of life for the people living in both regions.

The participants asserted that these common goals are achievable through sharing experience and expertise in relevant fields, exchanging best practices in terms of operation of public institutions, consistently stimulating business-to-business and people-to-people contacts, as well as making youth, educational and cultural exchange programs more accessible.

Underscoring the importance of the 25th anniversary of the Baltic Assembly and the 20th anniversary of the GUAM, the participants reconfirmed their support for the goals and principles enshrined in the joint documents of the Baltic Assembly and the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly.

The participants expressed their sincere gratitude to the Parliament of Georgia for the excellent organization of this meeting and the warm hospitality extended to the delegations throughout their stay in Tbilisi.

18 December 2017, Tbilisi, Georgia.