Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian today assumed the chairmanship of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC) at the 37th sitting of the organization in Kiev. Attending the meeting were representatives from 12 member states, as well as 13 observer and partner countries. Minister Nalbandian’s full statement is provided below:
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to thank the Ukrainian Chairmanship for hosting the Ministerial Council Meeting.
Being committed to the strategic objectives of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, Armenia reiterates its support to the economic-oriented agenda of the Organization aimed at the enhancement of the mutual regional cooperation, which derives from the statutory objectives, and the very essence of the BSEC. It goes without saying that strengthening the effectiveness of BSEC depends on the commitment of its Member States to act in this spirit.
The same approaches should be in the core of the reform processes of the BSEC, which does not mean rewriting the essence of the Organization. It is our conviction that at this stage BSEC needs practical and realistic measures towards carrying out its main mission. We believe that the Organization is able to enhance its effectiveness through strict fulfillment of resolutions and decisions approved by the Council of Ministers. Therefore, during the Chairmanship we will concentrate on the implementation of the commitments and will focus on the substance of our activities.
Persistent attempts by some Member States to politicize the activities of the BSEC not only affect the multilateral economic cooperation in the region but also the very foundations of the Organisation, its basic objectives and question the credibility of the BSEC as an effective regional economic Organization.
Armenia attaches special importance to its chairmanship of the Organisation and within the next six months in the capacity of the Chairman-in-Office will lead the Organization with a focus on enhancement of the economic cooperation in the BSEC region, mainstreaming the project-targeted agenda through the existing structures.
Armenia has a considerable potential in the field of Information Technologies and being a hub for software development, as the Chairman-in-Office and as the coordinator of the BSEC ICT Working Group, will focus its efforts on result-oriented collaboration in the fields of Information and Communication Technologies, Science, Technology and Innovations.
Few days ago Armenia also assumed the chairmanship of the Ministerial Conference of the International Organisation of La Francophonie, which unites 84 countries, including member states of the BSEC and will have the honor of hosting its Summit next October in Yerevan. We intend to organize in its framework a business forum of the Francophone area and would like to draw the attention of the business circles of BSEC to this event. The “Francophonie Numerique” will be one of the main topics of the upcoming Summit in Yerevan.
I would like also to mention that Armenia will host in 2019 the World Congress on Information Technologies.
On November 24th Armenia signed a Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement with the European Union. Being an active member of the Eurasian Economic Union, Armenia develops its relations also with other integration formats. We hope that such pragmatic and result oriented dialogue will be the driving force of the economic cooperation that will make full use of the possibilities provided by the integration frameworks, including in the BSEC region.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are convinced that the productive interaction with the BSEC-related bodies, observers and sectoral dialogue partners is very important.
In this regard I would like to stress that some unreasonable attempts within the BSEC Parliamentary Assembly to engage in activities separate from the Organisation under the cover of reforms are in contradiction to the Organization’s charter, PABSEC objectives and rules of procedure and affect the integrity of the organization. The Parliamentary Assembly has to support the core goals of the Organisation rather than to engage in parallel endeavours independently from the BSEC activities.
I already had an opportunity to highlight that those who misuse this platform to advance their narrow political objectives at the expense of the economic cooperation not just contradict the goals and essence of the Organization but impede inclusive regional economic partnership within the BSEC. This fully applies to Azerbaijan which again abused this Ministerial to voice its groundless allegations in a sheer disrespect to its objectives that have nothing to do with the conflict resolution. We could hardly anticipate any achievements in our cooperation within the BSEC framework if it continues to be exploited for propaganda purposes.
On December 7th at the OSCE Ministerial Council I made a detailed speech on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement process. I outlined reasons, which vividly demonstrate that the uncompromising and maximalist stance of Azerbaijan, its refusal to accept the proposals of the mediator countries, the Co-Chairs of the Minsk Group, hinders the resolution of the conflict and threatens the security, stability and the inclusive economic cooperation of the region.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are convinced that an inclusive regional cooperation remain the main prerequisite for the development of the regional cooperation and economic connectivity.
Armenia will rely during its upcoming Chairmanship on the joint efforts aimed at achieving the results that we all aspire for. I can assure you that Armenia is fully committed to that decent goal.