THE PRIORITIES OF
THE UKRAINIAN CHAIRMANSHIP-IN-OFFICE OF
THE ORGANIZATION OF THE BLACK SEA ECONOMIC COOPERATION
(1 January - 30 June 2013)
The Chairmanship-in-Office of Ukraine in the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation takes place from 1 January till 30 June 2013.
Guided by the BSEC Charter, the Istanbul Summit Declaration on the occasion of the Twentieth anniversary of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and the new BSEC Economic Agenda Ukraine will direct its efforts at strengthening the Organization and receiving tangible results for the achievement of goals through the following:
- promotion of development of multilateral economic cooperation in the BSEC Region; practical implementation of the previously adopted decisions and concluded agreements; enforcement of the BSEC project oriented approach through implementation of the projects and programs of regional dimension (e.g. Development of the Black Sea Ring Highway and Motorways of the Sea); preparation of multilateral document on regional multimodal transport;
- direction of BSEC’s efforts at the disclosure and elimination of the barriers in mutual trade, harmonization of the customs and trade regimes on the basis of the WTO requirements aiming at renewal of activity on creation of regional Free Trade Area;
- strengthening of the Organization’s financial capability with utilization of the program-oriented BSEC budget, the BSTDB capacities, PDF and other funds;
- promotion of the BSEC activities in the sphere of environmental protection;
- interaction with other international organizations and regional initiatives.
Among the necessary preconditions for the successful advancement of the Organization towards achievement of its goals the most important is to ensure due implementation of the relevant action plans by the BSEC working groups. This work should be monitored thoroughly by the CSO and the pertinent decisions should be taken by the CMFA. The existing practice of holding regular ministerial meetings defining the priorities of cooperation in different fields should be deepened and directed at the achievement of concrete results. In this regard ensuring the proper functioning of working bodies of the whole BSEC system will be an important task of the Ukrainian Chairmanship.
In the area of sectoral cooperation Ukraine will concentrate its Chairmanship on the following activities:
- continuation of efforts at the disclosure and elimination of the barriers in mutual trade, harmonization of the customs and trade regimes on the basis of the WTO requirements aiming at renewal of activity on creation of regional Free Trade Area;
- implementation of the Memoranda of Understanding on the Facilitation of Road Transport of Goods, Development of the Black Sea Ring Highway and Motorways of the Sea;
- elaboration on a multilateral document on the development of multimodal transport in the Black Sea region, which will contribute to facilitation of trade and transportation in the BSEC Region and to the development of the Euro-Asian Transport Links under the UN ECE and UN ESCAP auspices.
- promotion of initiatives on the environmental protection and on the development of the regional policy for protection of the marine environment; promotion of cooperation with the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution;
- elaboration on effective coordination in assessment of the environmental problems, identification of regional goals and objectives of sustainable development, introduction principles of environmentally responsible economic activity.
Humanitarian and cultural cooperation:
- identification of common interest of coastal communities, villages and cities; creation of the Black Sea web-database, encouraging the exchange of experience between city mayor's offices in dealing with municipal issues in our region;
- establishment of the Media Forum of the Black Sea region in order to identify the problems of the Black Sea region;
- organization of continuously-operating portable exhibition of contemporary seascape painters of the Black Sea region with an aim to highlight the representing cultural heritage of BSEC countries and peoples.
The Program of the Ukrainian Chairmanship foresees a number of the high level events directed at the achievement of concrete results – elaboration of multilateral documents, initiatives on cooperation in different spheres and projects of the regional importance. Among them:
Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs: at the regular Meeting – conclusion of the Chairmanship, adoption of decisions that will define the main BSEC achievements for the semi-annual period and outline prospects for the future.
Meeting of Ministers of Economy and consideration renewal of activity on creation of regional Free Trade Area.
Meeting of Ministers of Transport and discussions of the issues concerning realization of projects on the development of the transport network in the Black Sea region.
Meeting of Ministers of Interior.
International Conference on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Odessa Declaration in collaboration with the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea against Pollution.
The full list of activities is contained in the Calendar of Events of the Ukrainian Chairmanship
by representative of Ukraine at the Coordination Meeting
of the BSEC Chairmanship-in-Office, the Committee of Senior
Officials, BSEC related bodies and BSEC PERMIS
Istanbul, 24 January 2013
Dear Mr. Secretary General,
Distinguished Heads of National Delegations,
Dear participants and guests of the Meeting,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Ukraine has assumed its BSEC Chairmanship on 1 January 2013 and it will last till 30 June 2013. On this occasion it is a great pleasure for me to address the first event convened under the Chairmanship of Ukraine - the Coordination Meeting of the BSEC Chairmanship-in-Office, the Committee of Senior Officials, BSEC related bodies and BSEC PERMIS .
At the outset, let me start our meeting conveying the best wishes of success to you from H.E. Mr. Leonid Kozhara. Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and the present BSEC Chairman-In-Office. The Government of Ukraine attaches a paramount importance to the successful holding of this Chairmanship, intending to launch a set of initiatives which are aimed at giving more dynamics to the Organization, increasing the efficiency of its activities and improving its international profile. This ambitious task will be carried out relying on the existing institutional capacity of BSEC, strength of its bodies, operational structure and broadening cooperation of the Member States with support of the PERMIS.
It is my task to brief you on our plans and the results which we expect to achieve in the coming period of time.
Possessing of huge human and natural resource potential, Black Sea region holds its strategic position on geopolitical map by uniting Europe and Asia as a center and the major hub of commercial, cultural and political connections. For 20 years the BSEC has been developed as a leading international institution of economic cooperation known beyond the regional context. Having in mind a complicated international environment affected by the world economic and financial crisis, it is an appropriate time to take a full advantage of multilateral cooperation provided by the BSEC platform exploiting its strong sides and positive heritage.
Guided by the BSEC Charter, our strategic priority will definitely pursue the actions directed at implementation of the new BSEC Economic Agenda adopted at the Istanbul BSEC Summit on the occasion of its Twentieth Anniversary. Operationally the events will be designed in accordance with the previously agreed activities within the BSEC system. At this point, it is very important to ensure the continuity in the work of the Organization based on existing mechanism of Troika, close cooperation of the Member States and support of the PERMIS.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Ukraine will further promote the development of multilateral economic cooperation in the BSEC Region. This work will be done through practical implementation of the previous decisions and agreements, enforcement of the BSEC project oriented approach through implementation of the projects and programs of regional dimension. The spheres of trade and transportation, energy, science and technology, tourism, environmental protection, combating organized crime will be encompassed by the activities.
The Ukrainian Chairmanship will guide the BSEC’s work towards renewal of activity on creation of a regional Free Trade Area though elimination of non-physical barriers in mutual trade, protection of investments, harmonization of customs and trade regimes on the basis of the WTO requirements. The BSEC will continue its efforts on finalizing the Draft Memorandum on the Data Exchange Concerning Goods and Carriers Moving through the Borders of the BSEC Member States.
These efforts will also be strengthened by the BSEC’s work on implementation of Memoranda of Understanding on the Facilitation of Road Transport of Goods, Development of the Black Sea Ring Highway and Motorways of the Sea.
Our good expectation is that the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Development of the Motorways of the Sea will finalize documents which are necessary for the institutional formation and the Member States will start work on preparing a Master Plan on the development of Motorways of the Sea in the Black Sea Region in the tenure of the Ukrainian Chairmanship.
We also hope that a Draft Memorandum on the Development of the Multimodal Freight and Passenger Ferry Lines in the Black Sea Region will be brought to the BSEC consideration shortly and that the appropriate action on it be taken in the nearest future.
We strongly believe that inclusion of the combined transport train "VIKING", proposed by Ukraine, into the regional multimodal transport system will substantially contribute to trade and transportation in the BSEC Region and to the development of the Euro-Asian Transport Links under the UN ECE and UN ESCAP auspices.
Ukraine plans to continue consultations with its neighbors regarding the alignment of a final main route of the Black Sea Ring Highway passing through our territories in order to find a compromise solution and to start further steps on the implementation of the MoU on the Coordinated Development of the Black Sea Ring Highway.
We will continue the BSEC’s efforts on the issues of the environmental protection and on the development of the regional policy for protection of the marine environment. On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Odessa Ministerial Declaration on the Protection of the Black Sea, on 7 April 2013 we are planning a set of activities with the Black Sea Commission aımed at strengthening the BSEC-BSC cooperation on environmental protection and emergency assistance.
Ukraine will apply its every effort to strengthen the BSEC’s internal institutional capacity through better utilization of its subsidiary organs and streamlining the work of the BSEC PERMIS in order to ensure due implementation of action plans in respective areas.
Thorough attention will be given to strengthening the BSEC Family and to further deepening relationships with the Black Sea Trade and Development Bank, the BSEC Parliamentary Assembly, the BSEC Business Council and the International Centre for the Black Sea Studies.
We plan to increase the BSEC’s institutional capacity through interaction with the BSEC Observers, Sectoral partners, international organizations and regional initiatives.
We intend to strengthen the BSEC-EU cooperation through utilization of such existing mechanisms at political level as COEST-BSEC, mutual participation in the high-level events in the EU and BSEC countries, elaboration of cooperation mechanisms in concrete areas. The important part of this work will be involvement of the EU Member States with observer status into practical activities envisioned by the BSEC.
We plan to further develop a close cooperation with international public organizations, in particular of the UN system, non-governmental organizations and business communities. Through these actions, the BSEC should become more visible in the regional cooperation in line with the provisions of the BSEC Public Communication Strategy.
In addition to the project “Black Sea Ports”, which was initiated by Turkey, Ukraine has proposed to establish a Black Sea Media Forum on the Ukrainian web-portal «BlackSeaNews», located in Crimea, which will highlight the political, economic, cultural and other areas of everyday life of the Region as well as it will provide the necessary background for increase of cooperation of the Black Sea municipalities, establishment of business, cultural and other relationships.
I would like to conclude that in this work Ukraine will greatly rely on the support of the Member States and their determination to transform the BSEC region into the area of economic prosperity, political stability and sustainable growth.
I wish every success to all of us in bringing the BSEC closer to its statutory goals.
Thank you for your attention!