The Delegation of Ukraine warmly welcomes the Secretary General of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM H.E. Mr. Altai Efendiev to the Permanent Council and thanks him for his presentation.

Ukraine has always been an active supporter of strengthening cooperation between the GUAM Member States, its partners and other regional and international organisations. In this context we see the visit of the GUAM Secretary General to the OSCE as an ample opportunity for enhancing dialogue and fostering cooperation between the two organizations as they are both rooted in full respect for the principles of national sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized borders as well as seek collective solutions to strengthen political stability and economic development. In the last three years Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has led to tectonic changes in the security environment and emergence of serious challenges which can only be addressed through firm joint rejection of blatant violations of basic rules of the European security order.

Strengthening of the economic component of the GUAM’s activity remains a key priority for Ukraine. We strongly support the GUAM’s focus on economy and trade, transport and energy, in particular energy security, – the issues which are also high on the OSCE economic and environmental agenda as part of its comprehensive approach to security.

Of particular practical benefit are the GUAM’s initiative on establishment of free trade area among the GUAM Member States as well as development of the GUAM transport corridor designed to increase competitiveness of the economies, safety and security of transit transportation routes, ensure interconnections from Europe into the Central Asia.

We wish to underscore that the transport corridor initiative is of a comprehensive and inclusive nature and provides not only for development of the transport routes, but also supports institutional reforms in transport sector, harmonization of legislation and regulatory frameworks, market competition, facilitation of integration into European and global transport systems, harmonisation of standards, tariffs and border-crossing procedures. The combination of these reforms is consistent with the OSCE’s idea of connectivity and lays good ground for respective cooperation between the two organizations.

In nearly twenty years since its establishment the GUAM significantly increased its institutional capacity of regional cooperation in combating trans-border organized crime on the basis of treaties concluded between the GUAM Member States. Faced with increasing transnational threats we would encourage the development of closer contacts between the OSCE and the GUAM in this area, including sharing experience and good practices through mutual participation in respective events.

We would welcome intensification of the GUAM-OSCE dialogue, development of joint projects serving the interests of peace, security and cooperation.

In conclusion, we again thank the Secretary General for the presentation and wish him and his team every success in their endeavours.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Vienna, June 8, 2017