On December 14-15, 2016, in Baku, the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Ninth Session of the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly was held chaired by Mr Azer Kerimli, the Head of the Delegation of the Milli Mejlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly.

Heads and members of parliamentary delegations of the GUAM Member States took part in the work of the Ninth GUAM PA Session.

The Parliamentary Assembly welcomed the holding of the Ninth Session of the Assembly at a high level and with the participation of representatives of partner organizations and high-level guests, reflecting the growing role and importance of the GUAM PA in the system of European inter-parliamentary cooperation.

The Parliamentary Assembly confirmed that it continues to be a reliable platform for cooperation both between parliamentarians of the GUAM Member States and on a European and global scale, in order to promote international peace, security and sustainable development.

In this regard, the Parliamentary Assembly reaffirmed its determination to further promote the development of inter-parliamentary cooperation and contacts in the GUAM region in order to ensure coordination of actions of national parliaments in implementing the tasks of sustainable economic development, strengthening democracy, resolving social, cultural and humanitarian issues, as well as strengthening security in the region.

The Parliamentary Assembly emphasized the stable nature of cooperation between the parliaments of four states, which has developed in recent years, the development of which is of particular importance in the context of growing international tension, characterized by the violation of fundamental norms and principles of international law.

In this regard, the Assembly noted that the Parliamentary Assembly has proved its effectiveness in strengthening the interaction and solidarity of parliamentarians of the GUAM Member States, their readiness to consistently and decisively defend common interests, guided by the principle of mutual support both within the Organization and on the international arena. The continuation and further development of this interaction remain the most important task of the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly in the future.

The Parliamentary Assembly reaffirmed its adherence to the generally recognized norms and principles of international law, the tasks and goals enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, the Charter of GUAM and the provisions of the fundamental documents of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

The Parliamentary Assembly also reiterated its extreme concern over the ongoing conflicts in the GUAM region, requiring their urgent resolution on the basis of universally recognized norms and principles of international law, primarily concerning the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized borders of states. The Parliamentary Assembly reiterated its firm belief that the peaceful settlement of conflicts in the GUAM area should be carried out exclusively on the basis of the above principles. The PA reaffirmed its principled position that the territory of a state cannot be the object of capture or military occupation or annexation resulting from the threat or use of force, in violation of relevant international law.

The Parliamentary Assembly also reaffirmed that no state should recognize as lawful the situation resulting from the use of force against the political independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of other states, as well as the situation in the occupied territories, and not any state should support the continuation of the occupation.

The Parliamentary Assembly noted with concern that the unresolved conflicts in the territories of the member states hinder the economic development of the conflict-affected territories of these states and the realization of the right of involuntarily displaced persons and refugees for a dignified and safe return to their places of origin.

In this regard, the Parliamentary Assembly reaffirmed the relevance of the issue of increased interaction of the Organization’s member states in order to facilitate the process of resolving conflicts based on the principles formulated in the Joint Declaration of the Heads of State of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM of May 23, 2006.

Over the past period, the Parliamentary Assembly has done significant work aimed at implementing the tasks and achieving the goals of regional cooperation in the rulemaking sphere, with the active assistance of four profile committees of the GUAM PA. In this regard, the Parliamentary Assembly pointed out the need to continue focusing efforts on the initiation and implementation of specific projects and programs of GUAM cooperation, as well as consideration of legislative initiatives and assistance to the process of ratification of the relevant GUAM documents.

The Parliamentary Assembly expressed its firm conviction that in the current situation the development and strengthening of trust and partnership with the Baltic Assembly, the Benelux Parliament, the Nordic Council, the Visegrad Group, the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries and other international and regional inter-parliamentary associations is the most important task of the Organization in order to ensure the protection and promotion of the interests of the GUAM member states. The Parliamentary Assembly will continue to develop and implement comprehensive international cooperation to attract consolidated parliamentary support for GUAM’s position in the international arena.

The Parliamentary Assembly expressed gratitude to the election observation mission for the Parliamentary elections in Georgia (October 8, 2016), as well as the Secretariat of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM for assistance in the implementation of this mission.

The Parliamentary Assembly thanked the Milli Mejlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan for ensuring the fruitful work of the Assembly and the active position of the Chairmanship, which guaranteed the development of GUAM inter-parliamentary cooperation in all spheres and directions, as well as for the excellent preparation and holding of the Parliamentary Assembly, warm hospitality rendered to the delegations of the GUAM Member States in Baku.

The dates and venue of the Tenth Session of the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly in 2017 will be agreed through diplomatic channels.