Mr. Chairman,
Honorable Heads of Delegations,
Distinguished participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen

I’m honored to be invited to and to address the 18th Mid-term Ministerial meeting of the NAM on behalf of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development-GUAM, a regional initiative of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine.

The initiative of the GUAM was conceived in 1997 by four newly independent countries to jointly address security challenges emanating from the proliferation of arms, drugs and crime, posing threats to national and regional security and stability.

In 2006 the initiative has evolved into a full-fledged international organization with the Headquarters hosting the International Secretariat based in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Since its establishment the Organizations’ activities have been aimed at fostering stability and regional cooperation in the Black Sea – Caspian Sea region by promoting democracy, trade and economic development, energy and transport links, tourism and culture, as well as combating organized crime and counter terrorism in close cooperation among the GUAM member states and their partners.

Currently our countries are embarked on the implementation of its two flagship initiatives, – the development of GUAM Transport Corridor and the establishment of Free Trade Area among the GUAM member states that will further enhance a pivotal role of the region in global connectivity, since important transportation, energy and digital communication infrastructure crisscrossing the region, connecting East with West and South with North. All this underpins crucial role of the region for international peace, security and development.

The role of GUAM as an observer organization and its place in the network of regional cooperation has been acknowledged through the respective United Nations General Assembly biannual resolutions on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM.

Mr. Chairman,

Advancements in the fields of major activities of the Organization are significantly shadowed by the unresolved conflicts in the GUAM area which erode the international system of security and stability.

The existing conflicts on the territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine undermine their sovereignty and territorial integrity and have adverse implications on peace, security and cooperation at both regional and wider international levels. These conflicts have affected the lives of millions of people in the GUAM countries, which are in need of protection, assistance and support, whether being forcefully displaced, unable to return to their places of residence or residing in conflict-affected territories.

The GUAM member states strongly believe that the resolution of the conflicts on their territories should be exclusively on the basis of the norms and principles of international law, which are the respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the internationally recognized borders of States. This is vital and imperative for sustainable peace and stability in the region.

Meanwhile, the international community should be vocal and united in restoring territorial integrity of the GUAM member states, de-occupation of the temporary occupied territories, as well as safeguarding the fundamental right of IDPs and refugees to safe and dignified return to their places of residence, as durable solution for the forcefully displaced persons remains a key challenge to be addressed across the GUAM area.

Mr. Chairman,

In the face of daunting obstacles, the United Nations remains as an indispensable forum for addressing ever-complex challenges we are facing. For us is very important to obtain the support for GUAM initiatives under the UN General Assembly agenda item on «Protracted conflicts in the GUAM area and their implications for international peace, security and development».

Last year I addressed the UN SC with the request for support. Today, I would like to use this opportunity to appeal to the UN NAM constituency to render its support to our joint initiative and to co-sponsor the named Resolution at the forthcoming UN GA.

As was forcefully stressed in the deliberations during the last two days, there can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development. Therefore, resolving armed conflicts should be a principled prerequisite for the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Mr. Chairman,

Sharing the goals and objectives, values and principles of the NAM, the GUAM can be a reliable regional partner for promoting peace, security and development.

Using this opportunity, I would like to wish every success to the acceding Chairmanship of the Republic of Azerbaijan in steering the NAM towards its goals and objectives and are looking forward to cooperation.

I thank you for kind attention.