On 6 December 2004, the Eighth Meeting of the Council of Ministers for Foreign Affairs (CMFA) of the GUUAM States was held in Sofia (Bulgaria) within the framework of the 12th Ministerial Council of the OSCE. Representatives of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine took part in the meeting. The Representatives of the United States also attended the meeting.
The Ministers exchanged their views on the activities of the OSCE and Agenda of the 12th Ministerial Council of the OSCE. They underlined the importance of GUUAM collaboration with the OSCE for stable and secure development of the GUUAM countries and the region as a whole.
The Ministers emphasized the necessity to further implement the decisions mentioned in the Declaration on Common Efforts to Ensure Stability and Security in the Region, adopted by the Heads of the States of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine on 20 July 2002 in Yalta.
The Ministers recalled the valuable contribution of the OSCE to the development of the GUUAM of Free Trade Area (FTA) and called upon the WTO and regional trade groupings, in particular CEFTA and EFTA, to further assist GUUAM in the implementation of the Projects.
The Council recalled the decisions taken at the Seventh Meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of GUUAM, held on 23 September 2004 in New-York and noted with satisfaction the progress achieved in their implementation as well as in realization of the GUUAM Action Programme for 2004.
The Ministers stressed the necessity for GUUAM to fully benefit from cooperation with other International organizations and, in particular, from realization of the Observer Status in the United Nations General Assembly.
The Council noted with satisfaction the results of the First GUUAM Economic Forum and the meeting of the GUUAM Business Council, held on 17 November 2004 in Kyiv, and expressed Its view that the outcomes of these events, reflected in the resolution of the Forum, will substantially contribute to the further strengthening of economic and trade cooperation of the GUUAM Participating States.
The Council encouraged the Business Council to undertake active steps required for the implementation of the FTA Agreement and the Trade and Transport Facilitation (TTF) Project.
The Ministers welcomed the outcome of the meetings of the GUUAM Working Groups on Information Technologies (Chisinau, 7-9 October 2004), Tourism (Chisinau, 9-10 October 2004) and Transport (Tbilisi, 4-5 November 2004) and instructed the Working Groups to proceed with the decisions taken. Furthermore, the Council underlined the importance of development of other fields of cooperation.
The Council approved the decision of the GUUAM Working Group on Transport to hold a meeting of transport experts in Baky in the beginning of 2005 with a view to preparing a project on the establishment of competitive, secure and effectively functioning transport corridor through the territories of the GUUAM Participating States.
The Council urged the Participating States to speed up the process of setting up National Bodies responsible for the implementation of the GUUAM projects on Trade and Transport Facilitation (TTF) and on the creation of the GUUAM Virtual Center and the Interstate Information Management System (VC/IMS).
The Council noted the significance of a Training-Seminar for the IT Specialists and Programmers of the GUUAM Participating States, held in Baku on 15 November — 2 December 2004 with practical assistance of American experts, as a real step towards creation of the GUUAM Virtual Center and the Interstate Information Management System (VC/IMS).
The Council welcomed inauguration of the National Information Management Center in the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The Ministers noted the high level of cooperation of the GUUAM Participating States in the UN, OSCE and other international organizations.
Having considered the implementation of the Action Plan of cooperation in the United Nations in 2004 the Ministers instructed the Committee of National Coordinators to make necessary arrangements for the presentation of GUUAM in the UN headquarters in New-York, as well as to finalize the request to the Counter-Terrorism Committee, established pursuant to the UN Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001), for its advice and support in finding technical and financial assistance in implementation of the GUUAM Project on the Virtual Center and the Interstate Management System (VC/IMS).
Furthermore, the Ministers decided to instruct Missions of their States to the UN and other international organizations to elaborate draft Action Plan of the GUUAM cooperation within the respective international organizations for the year 2005.
The Ministers reiterated the importance of close cooperation with the USA in implementation of the GUUAM-USA Framework program projects, appreciated the active support of the Government of the USA rendered to the GUUAM initiatives and expressed its willingness to proceed with the dialogue within the format of the GUUAM-EU, the GUUAM-USA and the GUUAM-EU-USA.
The Ministers reiterated the commitment of their countries to support the GUUAM Information Office in Kyiv with personal and budget. They also expressed their hope that the USA will assist to the activities of the Information Office through logistical and financial support as well as through providing for advisors for the implementation of projects.
The Council urged the Republic of Moldova to complete the necessary internal procedures required for the entry into force of the Temporary Regulation on Information Office in Kyiv. The Ministers assigned to the Committee of National Coordinators (CNC) of the appointment, at its next meeting, of candidates to the posts of the Information office to be nominated by the Participating States to the GUUAM Information Office in Kyiv in order to make it fully functioning.
The Council also instructed the committee of National Coordinators to elaborate a GUUAM Programme of Work for 2005.
The Ministers welcomed the proposal of the Republic of Moldova to host the next GUUAM Summit in Chisinau in April 2005.
The Council took a decision to hold its next meeting of the Council of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the GUUAM States within the framework of GUUAM Summit.
Sofia, 7 December 2004