At the outset, I would like to express sincere gratitude to the OSCE for the invitation to attend participate in the 18th Meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council. OSCE represents the only all-European regional platform, and provides unique chance for countries and international organizations to generate new initiatives and elaborate new approaches to face common challenges.
GUAM CMFA in its recent Warsaw Statement on the prospects for cooperation and European integration on 29 September assessed GUAM cooperation process and endorsed respective guidance for future interaction.
“Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova held GUAM CMFA meeting in Warsaw to discuss issues of regional cooperation in the Caspian-Black Sea region and the contribution of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM (hereinafter referred to as GUAM) in implementing the European aspirations of our States.
It is significant that this GUAM Council of Ministers for Foreign Affairs is taking place on the platform of the Warsaw Summit of the “Eastern Partnership” initiative. We are unanimous in the opinion that our Organization, as an effective and prospective format for cooperation, is ready to take on a more active role in implementing programmes and projects aimed at the further adoption of European values, principles and standards within our region. GUAM intends to make a concerted effort in aims of making effective use of the “Eastern Partnership” to promote the continued success of its member countries on the path of rapprochement and integration with the European Union, according to national foreign policy priorities.
We emphasise the complementarity of initiatives within the framework of GUAM and EU policy with regard to our countries. We welcome the progress that has been made in negotiations with GUAM member countries and the European Union’s intention to sign an Association Agreement with them. In this regard, it is with particular satisfaction that we note the expected completion of the negotiation process regarding an Association agreement between Ukraine and the European Union, Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement being an integral part of it, as well as start of negotiations with Georgia and Republic of Moldova till the end of current year on establishment of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement. In this context we welcome address of Mr. Jerzi Pomjanowski, MFA State Secretary of the Republic of Poland to our meeting.
We are pleased to ascertain the high level of sectoral cooperation that has been achieved between our countries within the framework of GUAM. In particular, we note the successful implementation of an agreement for a GUAM Free Trade Zone, reconcilement of the concept of a GUAM transit corridor, interaction to promote joint tourism product of GUAM, the advancement of cooperation between law enforcement agencies, including capacity of GUAM Virtual Centre of combating terrorism, organised crime and other dangerous crimes.
Thanks to our cooperation, among other factors, the GUAM countries have successfully managed to overcome the effects of the global financial crisis, in 2010 once again reaching the pre-crisis level in terms of mutual trade. Taking into consideration economic development forecast and assessments put forward by international organisations, and based on the prospects of strengthening sectoral cooperation, especially in the transport and energy spheres, we aim to double the volume of mutual trade over the next five years.
We reiterate our intention to continue to develop active cooperation in the GUAM area based on the principle of “four freedoms”. In this relation, particular attention will be paid to ongoing work in order to achieve full freedom of movement of people across the European space. GUAM member states will contribute to each other in implementing the relevant agreements with the EU in regards to simplifying the visa regime with a view to its eventual elimination.
GUAM is interested in intensifying cooperation with the EU focusing on strengthening energy security and the implementation of precise projects in the field of energy saving, the production and transportation of energy resources, the diversification of energy sources including development of the Southern Corridor.
We attach great importance to the deepening of cooperation between business circles of the GUAM region, which is intended to ensure the full functioning of the GUAM Free Trade Zone, increased investment and innovation activities, and, in relation to this, support holding the GUAM Business Forum in December of this year in Georgia.
With the purpose of giving impetus to the implementation of concrete programmes and projects, we are adopting a GUAM Plan of Action on further intensification of sectoral cooperation, to be evaluated at our next meetings.
We call on the Parliamentary Assembly of GUAM to contribute to the strengthening of our cooperation, primarily through the development of common legislative initiatives and model legal instruments, aimed at creating a cooperation area in accordance with European norms and standards.
We welcome the European Union’s support of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our states and for its sustained efforts for bringing about a peaceful settlement of conflicts in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Moldova on the basis of universally recognized norms and principles of international law. We will further interact to achieve peaceful settlement of the conflicts in accordance with the principles and approaches articulated in the Joint Declaration of the Heads of States of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM on the issue of conflict settlement, dated May 23, 2006.
We are grateful to our traditional partners – Poland, the USA, Japan, the Czech Republic, the OSCE, the OECD and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the Baltic Assembly, the Visegrad Group, the International Road Transport Union (IRU), and the International Centre for Democratic Transition (ICDT) – for the assistance they have provided in terms of implementing cooperation programmes and projects. We invite other interested countries and international organizations to cooperate with us in the “GUAM+” format. In this regard, we welcome Ukraine’s forthcoming chairmanship in the Central European Initiative in 2012.”
Respective sectoral cooperation priorities were approved in economy and trade, transport, tourism, culture, science, education, energy, fighting crime and terrorism, ensuring the security of the GUAM transportation corridor, emergency/ disaster response, information technology.
For those who are interested in GUAM to I invite to visit our web-site – www.guam-organization.org in order to find more information about our organization – both basic and operational.