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Baku GUAM Summit Communiqué Follows
2nd Summit of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development - GUAM in Baku on June 18-19
Special Contribution
Azerbaijan & Ukranian Embassies in Seoul
Second Summit of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development — GUAM — is being held on June 18-19, 2007 in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The Second Summit of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM was held on 18-19 June 2007 in Baku, Azerbaijan, under the motto "GUAM: Bringing Continents Together." The regular meetings of the Council of Heads of State, Ministers of Foreign Affairs, National Coordinators, and GUAM-US, GUAM-Japan and GUAM-Poland meetings as well as joint sessions of the heads of sector ministries and agencies and other events took place in the framework of the Summit.

The Council of Heads of State held its session in an enlarged format with the participation of the Presidents of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Prime Minister of the Republic of Moldova and the special guests - Presidents of Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Vice-President of Bulgaria, Vice-Speaker of Estonia, Minister of Economy of Latvia, high-level representatives of the USA, Japan, OSCE, BSEC, UNESCO, Heads of diplomatic missions accredited to Azerbaijan.

The Council thanked President of Ukraine Mr. Victor Yushenko for the successful chairmanship in the GUAM in the period between the Kyiv and the Baku Summits. The Chairmanship in the Organization was passed to the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The Council took note that the Baku Summit is held in the year of the 10th anniversary of the meeting of four Heads of State in Strasbourg on 10 October 1997, which laid down the foundation of GUAM cooperation and integration.

Ambassador to Seoul Rovshan Jamshidov

The Council underlined a steady growth of international influence and authority of GUAM, which indicates the support by the international community to GUAM and demonstrates that the Organization is on the right path.

The Council signed the Baku Declaration "GUAM: Bringing Continents Together" of the Summit of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development – GUAM, in which it reaffirmed the commonality of interests and approaches of the Member States and their aspiration towards creation of a common space of integration and security in the GUAM region.

At the Summit, the topical issues of the Organization's development and implementation of the decisions of the Kyiv Summit of 2006 were discussed, and the start of activities of the GUAM Secretariat was noted. The Council approved the Programme of Chairmanship of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the GUAM, the plans of interaction in the international organizations, the Calendar of GUAM activities. The GUAM budget for 2007 was approved, the budget proposals for 2008 - 22010 were elaborated, and other decisions necessary for the activity of the Organization were adopted.

As regards the issues of interaction among Member States, the paramount attention was drawn to the use of GUAM transit potential and its role as a connection linking Europe and Asia. It was noted that GUAM provided an important contribution in bringing continents together, finding common grounds and approaches to solution of pressing issues, developing inter-civilizational and inter- cultural dialogue,eliminating stereotypes, which impede international mutual understanding and cooperation. In this context, the importance of expanding the Black Sea and trans-Caspian partnership and cooperation was underlined.

Ukrainian Ambassador to Seoul Yurii Mushka

The Agreement on international multimodal transportation of goods signed within the Summit will contribute to the establishment of effective and flexible system of providing transport communication and transportation, development of transport infrastructures, attraction of investments in these spheres and, in general, building up of solid bridge Europe-Asia.

The Council reaffirmed consistent course of the GUAM Member States towards consolidation of democratic values, the rule of law, formation of civil society and respect for human rights, sustainable development as well as their contribution to the strengthening of international and regional security and stability.

The Summit participants have given in their deliberations a special place to the issues pertaining to security threats and risks, including international terrorism, aggressive separatism and extremism, transnational organized crime. The Heads of State stressed that these threats,including those of unresolved conflicts and illegal presence of foreign troops and armaments on the territories of the GUAM States continued to negatively affect a full-scale democratic transformation and economic development in the region.

There were confirmed the necessity to continue joint active measures on settlement of these conflicts on the basis of respect to the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized borders of States and in accordance with the provisions of the Joint Declaration of the GUAM Heads of State on the issue of conflict settlement, as well as the importance of mobilization of support by the international community to the GUAM position.

In this connection, the Council underlined the concerted efforts by the Member States on promotion of the draft resolution on agenda item 27 of the UN General Assembly entitled "The protracted conflicts in the GUAM area and their implications for the international peace, security and development," and expressed gratitude to the States, which supported this GUAM initiative.

The Council expressed conviction in the solution of conflicts by means of reintegration of the affected territories into political, legal and social and economic system of state, their full rehabilitation, return of displaced persons to the places of their permanent residence, restoration of transport communications and ensuring the peaceful co-existence and cooperation between the communities in these territories as having no alternative and being just and lasting.

The Council welcomed the increased interaction of the GUAM states representatives in other states and international organizations, including the UN, OSCE, Council of Europe, EU, NATO, UNESCO.

The Council took note of the joint session of the sector working groups on the economic issues at the level of heads of agencies and of the regular meeting of the GUAM Business Council held in the framework of the Summit. The issues of functioning of the GUAM Free Trade Area were discussed and the prospects of achieving the new levels of cooperation were reviewed. The Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs was instructed to explore the possibility of establishing GUAM Common Market.

The Council positively assessed the high level of cooperation in the field of fight against terrorism, organized crime, drug circulation and other dangerous crimes. The Council welcomed the conduct in the framework of the Summit of the joint session of the sector working groups on cooperation in law-enforcement and security spheres at the level of the heads of agencies.

The Council identified the prospects of development of cooperation in the humanitarian sphere, including culture, education, healthcare, youth exchanges, tourism and sport. In this regard, the Council welcomed the conduct in the framework of the Summit of the joint session of the sector working groups on humanitarian cooperation and took note of the signing of the Protocol on cooperation in the field of culture for 2007-2010.

Having discussed the development of economic, law-enforcement, security and humanitarian cooperation, the Council adopted the GUAM Strategy of the development of sector cooperation to give an impetus to the efficient interaction of the GUAM States in the respective directions.

Taking note of the GUAM contribution to the maintenance of the regional and international security the Council welcomed the conclusion of the Memorandum on cooperation and mutual assistance on the issues of nuclear and radiation security in the framework of the Summit.

The Council took a good note of the successful implementation of the Trade and Transport Facilitation Project (TTF) and the Project on establishment of the Virtual Center for combating terrorism and the Interstate Information Management System (VC/IIMS), and expressed gratitude to the US Government for continuation of effective assistance in implementation of these and other cooperation programs.

The Council welcomed adoption in the framework of the Summit of the Joint GUAM-US Statement, in which the basic directions and further prospects of cooperation are identified.

Within the Summit, the first GUAM-Japan meeting took place and in accordance with its results a Statement was adopted, which creates a basis for active development of mutually beneficial contacts, first of all, in the transport, energy and ecological fields.

The Council of the Heads of State met with the President of Poland, who expressed interest in developing cooperation with GUAM. The sides identified the prospects of interaction, firstly in the fields of transport, energy, tourism, and paid special attention to the development of the GUAM transit corridor connecting Europe to Asia.

The importance of mutually beneficial contacts between GUAM and the European Union as well as regional organizations, processes and initiatives was emphasized.

The Council took note of the high level of cooperation in the framework of the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly and called upon it to actively contribute to the institutional consolidation of the Organization.

The Council welcomed the conduct in Baku on 19 June 2007 of the academic conference entitled "GUAM in the region and in the world," and stressed the necessity to regularly hold such events with participation of the GUAM and third countries' experts with a view to promote the Organization's activities, what will be especially important in the year of the GUAM's 10-thanniversary.

The Summit participants expressed gratitude to the Azerbaijani side for the good organization of the Baku Summit and extended best wishes for a successful chairmanship.

The Council decided to hold its next regular session in Tbilisi, Georgia, in June 2008.

GUAM: Organization for Democracy & Economic Development

1. Overview

GUAM is a regional grouping of four states which includes the Republic of Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, founded as a political, economic and strategic alliance aimed at overcoming common risks and threats and strengthening their independence and sovereignty.

During the years of cooperation GUAM became an important structure based upon common values of recognition of norms and principles of international law, including respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence, non-interference to internal affairs and inadmissibility of foreign military presence on the territory of other states, cooperation and mutually beneficial partnership, mutual interests and ties with each other, solidarity in approaching and coordinating efforts with a view of overcoming threats to its security.

Cooperation among delegations of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine started in 1996 in Vienna, Austria, at the CFE Treaty Conference, where four states issued joint statements and proposed common initiatives.

Establishment of GUAM consultative forum consisting of four states (Azerbaijan, Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine) took place on October 10, 1997 in Strasbourg in the course of the Council of Europe Summit, during which a Joint Communique of the Presidents of Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Moldova was adopted. In this document the Presidents stressed the necessity of developing quadrilateral cooperation for promoting stability and strengthening security in Europe on the basis of principles of respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, inviolability of the state frontiers, democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights.

The meeting of the Presidents of GUAM member states and Uzbekistan took place on April 24, 1999 in Washington within the framework of the summit meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, where Uzbekistan joined the abovementioned group of states, which began to be called GUUAM. According to the results of the GUUAM meeting Washington Declaration was adopted, where the Presidents noted that cooperation within the GUUAM is not directed against third countries or a group of countries and membership is open to any country which subscribes to the fundamental principles and goals of the GUUAM.

On September 6, 2000 the meeting of the Presidents of GUUAM member states in the new format took place in New York in connection with the UN Millennium Summit during the fifty-fifth session of the UN General Assembly. At that meeting they adopted New York Memorandum that envisages intensifying cooperation within GUUAM by giving it multilevel character. To this aim, it was deemed expedient to convene regular summits at the level of Heads of States at least once a year, and meetings at the level of Ministers for Foreign Affairs at least twice a year. The Committee of National Coordinators (CNC) shall hold regular sessions on a quarterly basis. Creation of conditions for interagency and direct contacts between corresponding state bodies of GUUAM countries was defined as the main task of cooperation. Effective functioning of Europe-Caucasus-Asia transport corridor and development of its infrastructure was recognized as a top priority.

On June 7, 2001 in Yalta the Summit of the GUUAM Presidents took place. It became a crucial event in formation and institutionalization of this regional organization as an international structure. Yalta Charter of GUUAM, signed by the Presidents in the course of the Summit, determines purposes, principles and directions of cooperation of the member states of the Organization. Grounds of the organizational structure of GUUAM laid down in the Charter have, in fact, fixed the existing mechanism of cooperation of the member states, efficiency of which was proved in practice. According to Yalta Charter, GUUAM presidency is carried out by the member states in alphabetical order during a period between the meetings of the Heads of States.

The next meeting of the Heads of States of GUUAM members took place on July 20, 2002 in Yalta, where the Presidents decided to strengthen the GUUAM organizational legal basis and further develop interaction with the purpose of coming out to a qualitatively new, practical level of cooperation. The Heads of States signed the Declaration on Common Efforts to Ensure Stability and Security in the Region, in which they stated determination of their countries to provide political, legal and organizational basis for overcoming the challenges of international terrorism, separatism, intolerance and extremism. Signing of the Agreement on Cooperation among the Governments of GUUAM Participating States in the Field of Combat Against Terrorism, Organized Crime and Other Dangerous Types of Crimes has become an important step in this direction.

During following GUUAM Yalta Summit on 4 July 2003 the participants of the meeting marked with satisfaction that for the last year cooperation in GUUAM framework has left to the stage of realization of concrete projects and programs in priority directions with attraction of the third states and international organizations. The special attention has been given to questions of ensuring effective and secure functioning of transport corridors, fight against terrorism, organized crime, arms and drug trafficking and illegal migration. At that meeting along with other important documents the Agreement on Establishment of the GUUAM Virtual Center for combating terrorism, organized crime, drug trafficking and other dangerous types of crimes and GUUAM Interstate Information Management System (IIMS) as well as Memorandum on Understanding among the GUUAM Participating States on Trade and Transport Facilitation (TTF) were signed.

In 2002, Uzbekistan however announced that it planned to withdraw from the organization.

On April 22, 2005 the next summit of GUUAM took place in Chişinău, Moldova. The presidents of Romania, Traian Băsescu, and of Lithuania, Valdas Adamkus, both participated as observers, as did the US Department of State special representative for Eurasian conflicts, Steven Mann, and the OSCE Secretary General Ján Kubiš. Ilham Aliyev, the president of the Republic of Azerbaijan, said after the summit: "Our organization is emerging as a powerful force, participating in resolving problems in the Caspian-Black Sea region" while the president of Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, said that a new page had been written in the history of the organization.

On May 24, 2005 Uzbekistan gave an official notice of withdrawal from the organization to the Moldovan presidency, thus changing the group's name back to GUAM.

On April 21, 2005, the GUAM countries found a common ground on several issues in the CIS Foreign Ministers Council that was held at that time in Moscow. The four GUAM countries made a proposal to discuss the "frozen conflicts" of Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Lastly the other three GUAM nations supported Ukraine's proposal to condemn the Holodomor, the 1930s famine in Ukraine, as a genocide.

On June 19, 2007, presidents of Lithuania, Poland and Romania joined the leaders of GUAM member states at the GUAM summit in Baku. Participating at the summit were also the Vice-President of Bulgaria, Vice-Speaker of Estonian parliament, Minister of Economy of Latvia, and the high-level representatives of the United States, Japan, OSCE, BSEC, UNESCO, and heads of diplomatic missions accredited in Azerbaijan.

Current members:
Azerbaijan (1997)
Georgia (1997)
Moldova (1997)
Ukraine (1997)

Former members:
Uzbekistan (1999; withdrawn 2005)

Observers:
Turkey
Latvia

2. Fields of Cooperation

Political cooperation

GUAM countries agreed to strengthen and improve the mechanisms of consultations and coordination of actions within the framework of international organizations such as UN, OSCE, CE, NATO and EU and to promote actively the practice of joint initiatives and statements at various levels.

Cooperation in the field of providing security of transport corridors

GUAM countries attach great importance to the issue of security and effective functioning of its transport corridors. The corridors of GUAM states play a crucial role in strengthening their sovereignty and independence, providing for their sustainable development and tightening links between these countries and western community. In the light of the aforesaid, GUAM has launched cooperation with some non-member states and organizations. As a result the joint "GUAM-US Framework Program on trade and transportation facilitation, ensuring border and customs control, combating terrorism, organized crime and drugs proliferation" has been concluded. Nowadays, in the scope of this Framework Program the two major projects are at the stage of implementation: 1) GUAM Trade and Transport Facilitation project and 2) project on establishment of the GUAM Virtual Center on combating terrorism, organized crime, drug trafficking and other dangerous types of crime (VC) and Interstate Information Management System (IIMS).

Cooperation in the field of fight against terrorism and organized crime

The fight against terrorism and other illegal activities as well as security of energy and transport corridors remain the major issues on GUAM agenda. These days GUAM efforts are underway to build an effective mechanism for counter-terrorism cooperation and coordination based on common values and interests. Its two main projects, implemented under the above-mentioned GUAM-US Framework Program, are the "Project on Establishment of the GUAM Virtual Center for combating terrorism, organized crime, drug trafficking and other dangerous types of crimes" and the "Project on Creation of the GUAM Interstate Information Management System (IIMS)." It should be noted that Azerbaijan's success in counter-terrorism activities has brought to its role as a coordinator of the GUAM Working Group on Fight against terrorism, organized crime and drug trafficking.

2.2. Economic cooperation

The four states confirmed their commitment to the continuation of economic reforms aimed at developing democratic societies, free markets and the active integration of their countries into the global economy. Nowadays, the GUAM states cooperate on creating of the Free Trade Area based on equality and mutual benefits for its participating states and implementation of the GUAM Trade and Transport Facilitation project.

2.3. Cultural cooperation

Taking into consideration the vast cultural heritage of the GUAM countries, their input into the world civilization and wide prospects of the GUAM initiative for creation of the Europe-Caucasus-Asia cultural corridor, the GUAM states have signed Protocol on Cooperation in the Field of Culture within the Framework of GUAM for 2002-2005. Moreover international conference "East-West Inter-cultural dialogue among the states of GUAM: creation of Europe-Caucasus-Asia cultural corridor" took place in Baku on 9-10 June 2003. In joint declaration adopted according to the results of the meeting, the conference participants stressed the need for the development of multilateral cultural cooperation through implementation of concrete projects.

3. Organizational structure

The supreme body of GUAM is the annual meeting of the Presidents of GUAM member states.

The executive body of GUAM is the Council of Ministers for Foreign Affairs of GUAM states.

The working body of GUAM is the Committee of National Coordinators (CNC) of GUAM consisting of coordinators, one from each GUAM member state.

The Information Office of GUAM in Kyiv is charged with carrying out functions of informational support of the National Coordinators of GUAM, state and non-state structures of GUAM Participating States in realization of cooperation in different spheres.

Coordination of cooperation between GUAM countries on the branch level is laid upon seven Working Groups, that is for energy; transport; trade and economics; information technology; culture, science and education; tourism; fight against terrorism, organized crime and drug trafficking.




 

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