The GUAM Parliamentary Assembly (GUAM PA) and the Baltic Assembly (BA) adopted this Joint Statement at the 11th Session of the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly, held on 28 September 2018 in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

The Members of Parliaments from the Republic of Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and the Baltic States presented an overview on the recent developments in their countries and across respective regions, as well as discussed the current state of cooperation between the GUAM PA and BA. The participants positively assessed the advancements in cooperation between two organizations since their last meeting, held in December 2017 in Tbilisi, Georgia.

The participants reaffirmed their resolve to further strengthen and deepen their cooperation based on common goals, shared values, mutual interests, as well as the commitments emanating from the goals and objectives which are reflected in the statutory documents of both organizations.

The participants also reconfirmed their adherence to the universally recognized norms and principles of 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.

The participants welcomed the progress in the development of cooperation between the EU and the GUAM Member States and agreed to further facilitate European integration of the willing and aspiring GUAM member states. The Assembly also welcomed achievements in the process of visa- liberalization to the EU/Schengen area for the GUAM Member States that bears strong political importance, as well as brings along tangible results for their citizens. While underlining significance of developments in the region, the participants reconfirmed importance of maintaining the target-oriented and tailor-made strong EU assistance. The participants highly appreciated the role and contribution of the Baltic States and, in particular, of the Baltic Assembly to the advancement of cooperation of GUAM Member States with the EU and its Member States.

The participants, while welcoming new initiatives and formats of cooperation in the region to boost the cooperation between the EU and GUAM Member States, highlighted the potential of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM and the GUAM PA to be explored in this context with the aim to foster multifaceted cooperation in the region and thus contributing to shaping this geographic area of ever growing geostrategic significance as the zone of peace, security, stability and sustainable development.

The participants emphasized the strategic partnership and cooperation between the GUAM PA and the BA, which is promoting the inter-regional cooperation, peace, security and prosperity in Europe and not directed against any third party.

The participants underlined the strategic importance of providing interconnectivity in transport and energy in the vast geographic area, stretching from the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea and further to the Baltic Sea, thus contributing to the European transportation and energy security, as well as providing access to new markets in Asia.

The participants expressed their deep concerns over the protracted armed conflicts in the territories of the GUAM Member States which undermine regional and international peace, security and stability.

The participants also condemned the continuing acts of armed aggression against the GUAM Member States and in this regard the systematic and serious violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms, arbitrary detentions, hostage-taking, large-scale displacement, ethnic cleansing and other unlawful acts in the occupied territories leading to further escalation of situation in the region.

The participants reiterated their firm support for independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized borders of the GUAM Member States and for peaceful settlement of the aforementioned conflicts on the basis of these principles. In this regard, the participants also reiterated the importance of keeping the issues of protracted conflicts in the territories of the GUAM Member States and countering external interference into electoral processes high on the international agenda.

The participants underlined the importance to facilitate the project-based and result-oriented inter-sectoral cooperation to enhance interconnectivity in transport and energy sectors, as well as to promote trade, investments and business-to-business contacts. In this respect, the participants hailed the implementation of the GUAM flagship initiatives – the Concept of the GUAM Transport Corridor (GUAM TC) and the Agreement on the Establishment of Free Trade Zone (GUAM FTZ) among the GUAM Member States aiming at enhancing the attractiveness of the region for transit, trade and investments in the interests and for the benefit of the GUAM Member States and wider international community.

The participants also underlined the importance of enhancing cooperation in cultural and humanitarian spheres and to promote people-to-people contacts, with special consideration to the youth’s involvement. Particular attention shall be given to such areas as education, cultural exchange, sports and tourism, science and innovation.

The participants, given the evolving security environment, stressed the importance of developing cooperation in countering terrorism, violent extremism and separatism, combating transnational organized crime, illicit trafficking in drugs and human beings, and in cyber security.

The participants agreed to further facilitate international partnerships and cooperation with regional and international organizations.

In this respect, the participants expressed their high appreciation of the staunch stance of the Baltic States in their support of the GUAM Member States and invaluable role the BA is playing in facilitating cooperation of the GUAM PA with the Benelux Assembly, the Nordic Council and the Visegrad Group. They also acknowledged the added value of this interaction and positive impact in the context of maintaining peace, security, stability and encouraging economic progress in the region.

In view of the forthcoming 10th Anniversary of the establishment of cooperation between the GUAM PA and the BA, the participants agreed to consider commemorating this Jubilee occasion in an appropriate format in 2019.

The participants expressed their sincere gratitude to the Parliament of Moldova for the excellent organization of this meeting and the warm hospitality extended to the delegations during their stay in Chisinau.

28 September 2018, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.