Distinguished Mister Chairman,
Distinguished members of the CODEXTER,
The Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM (in 2010, Ukraine presides in the Organization) conducts the activity in combating terrorism, organized crime, drug trafficking, and other dangerous types of crime; securing border and customs control; preventing emergency situations and eliminating their effects.
As regards the fight against terrorism, the 3rd meeting of the GUAM Working Sub-Group on Combating Terrorism (its coordinating country is the Republic of Azerbaijan) held in Baku on 5 October 2009. The GUAM member states developed initial proposals for a new Framework GUAM – USA Program’s project entitled “Combating Terrorism: Regional Interaction and Security” (currently these proposals are considered by the U.S. side). The next regular meeting of this Working Sub-Group is planned for the end of April – mid of May in the GUAM Secretariat in Kyiv.
Usually, the most attention within the activity of the GUAM working bodies devotes to practical aspects of interaction among the member states’ law-enforcement agencies. Meanwhile, in recent time the necessity of deepening cooperation between the GUAM member states in agreeing their positions on legal aspects of the European and other international conventions and treaties is realizing more often.
Extremely important for both interaction between GUAM member states’ law-enforcement agencies as well as the respect for human rights and provision of confidentiality of personal data is actual implementation of the Framework GUAM – USA Program’s projects on modernization of the National Information Analytical Centers (NIACs) of the GUAM member states and encryption protection of information within the channels of the GUAM Interstate Information Management System (IIMS), which is a means for operative exchange of information within the GUAM Virtual [Law Enforcement] Centre (VLEC) for Combating Terrorism, Organized Crime, Drug Trafficking and Other Dangerous Types of Crime. Both projects are planned to fulfil during the 2nd and 3rd quarters of this year.
The installation of encryption equipment for the GUAM VLEC provides not just a reliable protection of [classified law-enforcement] data critical to the conduct of the GUAM joint law-enforcement operations, strengthens institutional capabilities of the GUAM member states’ law-enforcement agencies and harmonizes GUAM’s standards with those of the Euro-Atlantic area, but also brings GUAM to a principally new level of international cooperation in sphere of combating terrorism and international crime.
It worthwhile to mention also that the implementation of these projects is based upon the Protocol to the Agreement on Cooperation among the Governments of the GUUAM Participating States in the Field of Combat Against Terrorism, Organized Crime and Other Dangerous Types of Crimes of 20 July 2002, which was concluded between the GUAM member states in Helsinki on 4 December 2008. In 2009, the Protocol was ratified or confirmed by Georgia (on April 7), the Republic of Moldova (on July 22), and the Republic of Azerbaijan (on September 30). On 1 February 2010, the relevant draft Decree on the confirmation of the Protocol was presented also for the consideration of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. The Protocol shall enter into force on the date of deposit to the Depositary (the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine) of the third notification. Earlier their legal instruments transmitted to the Depositary the Republic of Moldova and the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Georgia transmitted it on 18 March 2010.
GUAM develops cooperation in sphere of combating terrorism also with other international organizations.
On 22-23 July 2009 and 15-16 February 2010 года correspondingly, the GUAM Secretariat together with the Terrorism Prevention Branch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC/TPB) organized jointly and carried out successfully in the GUAM Secretariat in Kyiv two sub-regional workshops for the GUAM member states on preventing nuclear terrorism and on enhancing international legal cooperation related to terrorism, including the drafting of request for extradition and mutual legal assistance. But of the representatives law-enforcement, judicial and other competent authorities of the GUAM member states, the national experts from Bosnia and Herzegovina, the United States, Germany, France as well as the international experts from the Council of Europe Committee of experts on terrorism (namely, distinguished Mrs. Gertraude Kabelka, former Chair and the member of the CODEXTER), Eurojust, IAEA, INTERPOL, OSCE/ODIHR, and UNODC/TPB participated in the workshops.
The representatives of the GUAM member states and the GUAM Secretariat participated also in the International Workshop of National Counter Terrorism Focal Points “Better linking national and global counter-terrorism efforts”, which took place in the UN Headquarters Vienna on 12 and 13 October 2009.
I would like to mention also general intensification of GUAM’s activities in spheres of law-enforcement, border and customs control, prevention of the emergencies and elimination of their effects.
During 2009-2010, there were carried out more than a dozen of regular meetings and other planned activities by the GUAM Working Group on Combating Terrorism, Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking (WGCTOC) and its four working sub-groups on combating illicit drug trafficking (WGS-DT), trade in persons and illegal migration (WGS-TIP), terrorism (WGS-TER), corruption and money laundering (WGS-CML), by the Meeting of Representatives of Border Guard Services (BG), the Steering Committee of the GUAM Trade and Transportation Facilitation Project (TTF), and by the GUAM Working Group on Emergency Situations (WGEMRG) (see Annex).
The WGS-DT and WGS-TIP developed and carried out regular joint operations of the GUAM member states law-enforcement agencies operation on combating illicit drug trafficking under the nickname “Narcostop-2009” (22-26 June 2009) and on combating trade in persons and illegal migration under the nickname “Perekhvat [Interception]-2009” (9-13 November 2009). In general, annually the GUAM member states law-enforcement agencies conducts dozens of joint operations and joint measures.
The relevant GUAM working bodies elaborated proposals for implementing technical assistance projects in spheres of combating drug trafficking, trade in persons and illegal migration, terrorism, corruption and money laundering, which are planned to realise within the framework of the above mentioned Framework GUAM – USA Program as well as in cooperation of GUAM with OECD Anti-Corruption Network for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ACN), UNODC, and other international organizations.
New projects in sphere of border control (in particular, on its improvement with the purpose of securing the GUAM transport corridor, on checking vehicles at the border cross points, on checking of travel and other documents, and on risk analysis) are planned to implement with the engagement of the resources of GUAM, USA, OSCE Conflict Prevention Centre, and Eastern partnership Flagship initiative “Integrated Border Management”.
The GUAM Working Group on Emergency Situations at its regular meeting, which took place in the GUAM Secretariat in Kyiv on 30 March 2010, developed and adopted the Plan of Joint Activities for 2010-2011, the Procedure on the exchange of information in case of emergencies, and the Plan of cooperation in the field of education and training of personnel and had the intention to continue discussion on a possibility of interaction among the GUAM member states within the Eastern partnership Flagship initiative “Prevention of, preparedness for, and response to natural and man-made disasters”.
Framework GUAM – USA Program on Facilitation of Trade and Transportation, Securing Border and Customs Control and Combating Terrorism, Organized Crime and Drug Trafficking was adopted by the Council of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the then GUUAM Association in Porto, Portugal, on 6 December 2002.