Relations between Azerbaijan and the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development (GUAM)


History of the establishment of GUAM: Organization for Democracy and Economic Development - GUAM is an international regional organization established by Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. On October 10, 1997, heads of the aforementioned states laid the foundations of GUAM as an advisory forum by signing the Strasbourg Declaration. In the Strasbourg Declaration member countries expressed the need to establish such an organization to promote each other's political and economic cooperation and joint participation in the process of integration into the global community. Presidents stressed the importance of developing quadrilateral cooperation to strengthen European stability and security based on the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, inviolability of borders, the rule of democracy, law and respect for human rights. This structure is also engaged in the development and effective use of transportation and communication lines and related infrastructure located at the territories of these countries, in accordance with the interests of these countries. GUAM pays special attention to the relations on scientific, cultural and humanitarian spheres. In connection with the entry of Uzbekistan to the organization, it was renamed GUUAM.
However, in 2005, Uzbekistan withdrew from the ranks of the organization. With the release of Uzbekistan, former acronym has been restored. In December 2003, GUAM received observer status at UN General Assembly. Headquarter of the organization is located in Kiev, the secretary general is elected for five years.

Role of National Leader of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev in the history of the GUAM: The merits of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev in the establishment and development of GUAM are inimitable. Heydar Aliyev personally participated in Washington Summit, which was held on April 24, 1999, considered to be the essential event in the history of the GUAM. Heydar Aliyev also participated in Yalta Summits, which were held in 2001 and 2002.

After the Washington Summit, held on April 24, 1999, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Chairman of the GUAM Heydar Aliyev made a statement to the media. In his statement he welcomed the entry of Uzbekistan into GUAM, the President said: "... We discussed the activities of our organization over the past period and made sure that this time it has demonstrated its need and viability. The organization, is primarily based on geographical principles, and serves the purpose of economic cooperation of its member countries, and most of all cooperation by the Transcaucasian highway. "
On May 4, 2001, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev received the heads of Chambers of Commerce of GUUAM member countries and other countries. At the reception, Heydar Aliyev said: "... I am glad that the GUUAM countries and other countries in Eastern Europe and the Baltic countries decided to meet at the level of heads of Chambers of Commerce to exchange views, discuss problems, explore opportunities for further expansion of relations….... "

On June 7, 2001, in Yalta, Ukraine hosted another summit of GUUAM. The summit adopted an appeal to the United Nations for official registration of the GUUAM as an organization. During the summit, the presidents of the member countries signed the Yalta Charter. The document contains provisions on the status, functional system of organizations, including the question of the presidency. They also discussed the development, performance and safety of passing through the territory of member countries of transport communications, including the Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia (TRACECA). The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev made a speech at the Yalta Summit. Assessing the processes taking place in the world as complex ones, President Heydar Aliyev said: "... If at the time we were suffering from the cold war, the totalitarian Soviet regime, now there are many other things that plunge the country and the people in no less trouble and difficulties. Of course, from this point of view armed conflicts in various regions are more dangerous ...".

In September 2001, Baku hosted the first women's forum for cooperation of member countries of GUUAM. The forum participants were received by President Heydar Aliyev. Talking about the importance of the forum, Heydar Aliyev wished them success in their work.

On July 20, 2002, there was a regular summit of GUUAM in Yalta. This meeting marked the signing of the Agreement on the "establishment free trade zone " between the Member States of the GUUAM and" Agreement between the Governments of the Member States of the GUUAM on fighting against terrorism, organized crime and other dangerous crimes. "

At the Yalta meeting, Heydar Aliyev made a speech. Referring to a number of international issues, the President said: "... Continuation of violation the sovereignty, territorial integrity and internationally recognized borders of independent states will lead to more troubles. Apart from the fact that we are looking forward to a peaceful settlement on the international community in order to counter these threats and create the condition for conflict resolution, we must unite our efforts in the framework of GUUAM ...".

The programs are funded by international financial organizations within the framework of GUUAM, which supports the strategy of further acceleration of cooperation among the member countries. Thus, according to the regional program of TACIS Strengthening the organization serve as a project aimed at future development of the Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia (TRACECA) project of the Virtual Center and Interstate Information Management System (VC / IIMS). The first project aims to expand and intensify relations between the member countries of the GUUAM in the field of trade and transport. The project VC / IIMS gives guarantee to the realization of information sharing and other measures of operational development of trade and transportation, their efficient and safe operation.

On December 23, 2002, there was signed the statement on cooperation between the Government of the United States and GUAM. The document envisages improvement of border infrastructure of member countries, including conducting the necessary civil works, procurement of equipment for the checkpoints, training staff and preparing proposals for the purchase of concessional loans from the World Bank.

Policy of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev regarding to GUAM: On July 4, 2004, Memorandum on the implementation of the project of trade and transport facilitation was signed in Yalta. This document determined the objectives and implementation arrangements of declaration on cooperation signed in 2002 between the Government of the United States and GUAM.

On May 22, 2005, at a summit in Chi┼činaú, the heads of the organization of Member States demonstrated a joint position regarding the need to establish on the basis of GUAM as an international organization. For this regards, it was decided to establish the Council of Foreign Ministers of GUAM. In accordance with this decision, on May 22-23, 2006, at the Kiev summit of GUAM the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development - GUAM was established. At the Kiev Summit, the presidents adopted Charter of the GUAM. The Kiev Declaration on the establishment of the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development - GUAM determined the principles such as democracy, protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms, economic development, security and stability of nations, strengthening of linkages through economic growth, protecting social harmony and environment for the sustainable development of GUAM member countries and other principles. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev made a speech at the summit.

On October 10, 2007, there was an anniversary ceremony of GUAM in Vilnius. The Vilnius Declaration was adopted with the participation of Heads of States in Vilnius. It was once again stated in Vilnius Declaration that "frozen conflicts" in the territories of Member States were of serious obstacles to the development of these countries and organizations. The document outlines the need to resolve these conflicts within the territorial integrity and sovereignty of states and internationally recognized borders. The presidents held their own appeal against aggressive nationalism, armed separatism, noted their desire in connection with the resolution of conflicts through peaceful means, called on all nations of the world to evaluate and support these efforts of the GUAM countries.

In recent years, at the summits held in the framework of GUAM, key questions are also aimed at coordinating efforts to resolve regional conflicts and energy security.

GUAM Member States take several measures to address conflicts on their territories. So, GUAM member states have reached an agreement on the statement among the UN and other organizations to have a unified position and a focus of activity. There was adopted a plan of the Permanent Missions of the GUAM member-states to international organizations. As a result of the works done in this direction, the agenda of the 61st session of the UN accepted a paragraph 42nd , entitled "Protracted conflicts in the GUAM countries and their impact on peace, security and development throughout the world."

On December 5, 2007, the UN General Assembly officially distributed the document as a sub-project of the same named resolution.

The chairmanship of Azerbaijan in GUAM, began on July 19, 2007, at Baku summit and lasted until the Batumi summit, which began on July 1, 2008.

Baku summit, held under the motto "GUAM: Bringing Continents Together", has identified the long-term development priorities of the organization, strengthened it with an institutional point of view, and demonstrated the advantages of cooperation with partner countries in the format of GUAM +. These strategic directions, as reflected in the Programme of the Republic of Azerbaijan, formed the basis of activities of the organization for 2007-2008. Along with the heads of member countries in the Baku summit there were also attended by the Presidents of Lithuania, Romania, Poland, Vice-President of Bulgaria, the delegation of the United States, Japan, Lithuania, Estonia. Evaluating this very fact as an indicator Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, in his speech at the summit said: Chairmanship of Azerbaijan remembered as a result of coordinated efforts by member countries and the Secretariat, strengthening the position of the GUAM, as well as making it qualitatively new developing organization.

On July 1, 2008, the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev visited Georgian town of Batumi to attend a summit of the GUAM. In Batumi, Georgia an enlarged meeting of the GUAM summit was held. The meeting was attended by the heads of the GUAM member states – the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, the Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and the Moldovan Minister of Internal Affairs Valentin Mejinschi, as well as guests – the Polish President Lech Kaczynski, the Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus, the advisor of U.S. Secretary for Europe and Eurasia David Merkel, the Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg, the representatives of Romania, Japan, the International Road Transport Union, the CIS Executive Committee.
The Chairman of GUAM summit Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev made a speech.. Noting the development of cooperation within GUAM, President Ilham Aliyev said that GUAM has developing links with international organizations. Azerbaijan is currently standing in the way of intensive economic development, has become a global energy and transport corridor and contributes to the development of regional cooperation in various sectors of the economy.

Azerbaijan takes a strategic role in the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development - GUAM. Strengthening the organization, expanding its links with regional and international organizations, as well as individual countries for the interests of Azerbaijan. In Kiev, at a meeting of the OSCE Secretary General Perrin de Birshambo and GUAM Secretary General Valeri Chechelashvili reached an agreement on enhancing cooperation between the Organization for Democracy and Economic Development - GUAM and the OSCE in fighting against organized crime and cross-border cooperation. GUAM also expands its cooperation in the various programs with countries such as USA, Japan and Poland.

The general historical reference was compiled on June 12, 2010