Attempts to abuse and politicize BSEC platform negatively affect multilateral economic cooperation, Armenian FM says at Yerevan ministerial meeting

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Attempts to abuse and politicize BSEC platform negatively affect multilateral economic cooperation, Armenian FM says at Yerevan ministerial meeting

YEREVAN, JUNE 27, ARMENPRESS. Armenia’s minister of foreign affairs Zohrab Mnatsakanyan has delivered remarks at the 38th Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), the foreign ministry said.

Below is the full transcript of the minister’s speech, as provided by the MFA:


Secretary General,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I warmly welcome you in Yerevan at the 38th Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs [of BSEC]. This is Armenia’s 5th chairmanship of the Organisation since its inception. What makes this one special is that we have the privilege of the chairmanship while we celebrate the 20th anniversary of the signing of our BSEC Charter. This anniversary is a pertinent reminder of our commitment to the guiding principles and objectives of our Organisation. I reiterate the commitment of the new Government of Armenia to the full use of the potential of the BSEC for the promotion of regional economic and commercial co-operation and advancing the effective implementation of the statutory objectives of our organisation.

These objectives were also at the heart of our chairmanship. Over the past six months we held two meetings of the Committee of Senior Officials, 14 meetings of working groups and two Ministerial Meetings on Education and Tourism. The Green Energy Strategy was finally adopted, following the nearly six years of deliberations. The Steering Committee of the Black Sea Project Promotion Facility adopted a project proposed by Armenia on Information and Communication Technologies and the Small and Medium Enterprises.

As a Country-Coordinator of the BSEC Working Group on Information and Communication Technologies and with considerable capacity for ICTs and software development, Armenia has been consistently promoting result-oriented cooperation among the member states in this field. In 2019 Armenia will host the World Congress on Information Technologies. We invite the BSEC member states to make use of the opportunity to share and mutually benefit from our collective experiences and further advance robust regional cooperation in this field.

The sustainable tourism development bears considerable potential for co-operation in the BSEC area. Armenia has initiated the “Silk Road Wine Trail” project and promotes its implementation also through the BSEC-UNWTO cooperation framework. The project already enjoys the support of some BSEC member states. We encourage others to join.

Within the entrepreneurial dimension of cooperation, Armenia attaches importance to the stronger engagement, promotion and support to small and medium-sized enterprises in business interactions within the BSEC economic community.

We also believe that the BSEC economic agenda 2012 needs to be reviewed and adapted to the present global economic trends. In this regard, the BSEC institutional potential needs realistic assessment. As an international organization, BSEC is not unique in undergoing reforms. We all need a more effective and streamlined organization. Yet, the reform process does not mean rewriting the core objectives of the Organization. We believe that in order to improve the efficiency of BSEC we need to undertake result oriented, practical and realistic measures in order to achieve the strategies as stipulated in the latest Summit Declaration and to deliver tangible benefits for the BSEC community as a whole.

Persistent attempts by some Member States to abuse and politicize the BSEC platform not only negatively affect the multilateral economic cooperation in the region, but also the core foundations of the Organization. Such attempts undermine the credibility of the BSEC as an effective regional economic Organization. We should resolutely prevent such dangerous trends, including within the BSEC Parliamentary Assembly, which has to support the core goals of the Organization rather than to engage in parallel activities independently from the rest of the BSEC. Furthermore, open borders, depoliticised, unconstrained, free and inclusive regional economic cooperation as the key objectives of this organisation, are also important requisites for the promotion of regional stability and peace.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Economic cooperation within the framework of BSEC will further benefit from interactions with other regional organizations and integration platforms. Armenia is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, which opens a customs free access to a strong market of over 180 million consumers. Armenia also enjoys strong and extensive co-operation with the European Union with the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement as its legal foundation. This October Armenia will host the 17th Summit of the International Organization of La Francophonie. Within the framework of the summit we will host a Francophone Business Forum to provide a solid platform for regional and global business actors, government and civil society representatives from over 80 countries. Needless to say, we would look forward to welcome our BSEC partners and their business communities at this forum.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Once again, I welcome you in Yerevan and congratulate all of us on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the signing of the BSEC Charter. Now with great pleasure I give the floor to the Secretary General of the BSEC Permanent International Secretariat.

Thank you.”

Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan


Armenia, Yerevan, 0002, Martiros Saryan 22


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