Secretary-General of BSEC stressed the importance of better connectivity and welcomed the Armenian “Crossroads of peace”

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Secretary-General of BSEC stressed the importance of better connectivity and welcomed the Armenian “Crossroads of peace”

YEREVAN, MAY 10, ARMENPRESS. The Secretary General of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) Lazăr Comănescu emphasized the importance of improving cooperation among the member countries of the organization, welcoming the Armenian initiative "Crossroads of Peace" in this context.

In the interview with Armenpress the Secretary General of BSEC paid attention to the circumstance that the Armenian “Crossroads of Peace” initiative deserves to be carefully examined.

The interview has addressed the activity of BSEC which has been running for more than 30 years, the successes of the organization, the organization and efficiency of cooperation between member states within its framework, the attitude towards the "Crossroads of Peace" initiative published by the RA Government, and other issues.

- BSEC has been running for more than 30 years. To what extent has the Organization succeeded in deepening and expanding the interaction of Member States, especially in fostering their economic cooperation?

-BSEC is the oldest, largest and the only full-fledged inter-governmental Organization in the Black Sea region, that serves the interest of and aiming at fostering interaction and harmony among its thirteen Member States through further developing their bilateral and multilateral cooperation. It deals with major topics, such as trade and development, agriculture, energy, ITC, science and technology, tourism, transport, environment, etc., providing the Member States a diverse platform for cooperation. I would add, in this context, that the mere fact of gathering around the same table on a regular basis, countries, some of which having even serious sensitivities to each other, and encouraging them to join multilateral projects and/or conclude agreements, is a strong proof of BSEC ‘s important role in deepening and expanding the interaction among its Member States.

- How is the sectoral cooperation developing in the framework of the BSEC Organization? Are there any success stories that you can present to the people in the wider Black Sea region?

-In its more than three decades of existence, BSEC achieved many projects, concluded several agreements and Memoranda among its Member States, as well as with other regional and international actors or organizations. Some achievements worth mentioning would be the establishment of the BSEC Green Energy Network, the BSEC Regional Cooperation Centre for Sustainable Food Systems, the Network of Liaison Officers on Combating Crime, the Network of Liaison Officers on Emergency Assistance, the adoption of the BSEC Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for the Black Sea, Memoranda of Understanding in the fields of education, culture, science and technology, tourism, etc. Furthermore, BSEC approved in December 2023, its new “road map” for the coming years namely the updated “BSEC Economic Agenda -Towards a sustainable future of the wider Black Sea area”. You may access the text here.

- Last December you participated in the Ministerial Meeting of Landlocked Developing Countries in Yerevan. As you may know, the international community will gather in Kigali for the Third UN conference for Landlocked Developing countries. Several landlocked countries are also members of BSEC, and the Organization is actually actively cooperating with the UN regional commissions in the field of transport connectivity. In this regard, what is the role that this Organization can play in addressing the needs of the Landlocked Developing Countries, especially in promotion of a better, more inclusive, equitable and non-discriminatory regional connectivity?

-As an organization the membership of which includes land locked countries, BSEC has been actively cooperating with the UN relevant bodies particularly in the area of transport and connectivity with a view to promoting concrete solutions.

The BSEC Organization highly appreciates the International Community’s efforts to address some of the most pressing concerns of the Landlocked Developing Countries. While attaching great importance to the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we have actively participated in important International Meetings dedicated to landlocked developing countries such as the UNECE Inland Transport Committee (ITC) held in Geneva and the Conference “International Road Transport: Driving Resilience and Prosperity”, organized in Tashkent by the Association of International Road Carriers of Uzbekistan (AIRCUZ) and the International Road Transport Union (IRU). And last but not least in the Ministerial Meeting of Landlocked Developing Countries held in Yerevan last December.

- Realizing the importance of regional and cross-border connectivity for lasting peace and stability in the South Caucasus region and beyond, the Government of Armenia has developed and announced its “Crossroads of Peace” initiative, which aims at developing communications between Armenia and neighboring countries, on the basis of sovereignty and national jurisdiction, as well as principles of equality and reciprocity, thus potentially linking the Gulf, the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, bringing enormous trade benefits to all countries of our region. What is your assessment of this ambitious project?

-For BSEC it is obvious that there is no real alternative to “Cooperation”, both economic, cultural and political as a means to coping with the various challenges of the region. Experience so far had clearly shown that strong economic relations and cooperation, be it bilateral or multilateral, has not only been beneficial in terms of economic development but it has also helped promoting stability, mutual understanding and good neighborly relations, i.e., security. These were the principles laid down at the foundations of BSEC. Furthermore “Better Connectivity” in its wider sense is one of BSECs top priorities. “Economic Cooperation”, which is the very raison d’кtre of this Organization, both in economic and political terms cannot be really achieved without establishing effective connectivity between its Member States. It goes by itself that any initiative that is in line with the above, respectively with the common interest of the Member States should be welcomed. So is the case with the Armenian “Crossroads of Peace” initiative which deserves to be carefully examined. The forthcoming Armenian CiO of BSEC may offer a good opportunity in this respect.

- Armenia will take over the Chairmanship of this Organization in a few months. What are your expectations from the incoming Armenian Chairmanship in Office?

-Let me first express my high appreciation for the cooperation with Armenia which, since the very beginning, has been one of the most active Member States of BSEC. My appreciation as well for the activity of its Permanent Mission to our Organization.

I trust that the forthcoming Armenian BSEC Chairmanship will be a productive and successful one and will bring up new dynamism and efficiency to the activity of the Organization and to its project and result oriented drive.


Armenia, Yerevan, 0002, Martiros Saryan 22


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