Statement of The Turkish Chairmanship-In-Offıce Regarding the 27th Meeting of The Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of BSEC, 15 December 2012, İstanbul

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Member States of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) gathered in Istanbul, on 15 December 2012, at the conclusion of the Turkish Chairmanship-in-Office of BSEC,

Taking guidance from the principles and objectives of cooperation stated in the BSEC Charter, as well as the Istanbul Summit Declaration on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of BSEC, adopted by the Heads of State and Government,

Reaffirming their commitment to and trust in BSEC as an actor for promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the Black Sea region,

Being Aware of the rising importance of the Black Sea area in the international arena,

Acknowledging the core role of BSEC, as a unique platform for multilateral cooperation in the Black Sea region,

Reiterating the strong political will and determination of the Member States to strengthen regional cooperation through mutual understanding and dialogue,

Stressing the fundamental importance of the implementation of the new BSEC Economic Agenda Towards an Enhanced Partnership,

Emphasizing the need for an improved institutional framework to further enhance the effectiveness and visibility of BSEC,

Noting with appreciation the practical orientation of the priorities and objectives of the Turkish Chairmanship-in-Office (July – December 2012),

The Ministers:

1. Renewed their commitment to enhance and deepen the economic mission of BSEC and to undertake further steps toward consolidating the project-oriented dimension of its activities by identifying new projects.

2. Emphasized the importance of effective monitoring and follow-up, by the Member States and the BSEC Permanent International Secretariat, of BSEC projects and regional programmes to ensure their effective implementation.

3. Welcomed the approval of “The Way Forward for an Action Plan on the Implementation of the Economic Agenda Towards an Enhanced BSEC Partnership” in this regard.

4. Highlighted the vast potential of the BSEC region in the field of renewable sources of energy and its importance for sustainable development.

5. Commended the intensified cooperation among the BSEC Member States, which made it possible, through effective coordination and cooperation to hold the Twentieth Anniversary Summit of the BSEC and other events including a fruitful exchange of ideas among the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the BSEC Member States on the sidelines of the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly, in New York on 27 September 2012.

6. Welcomed the commitments of the Member States, reiterated at the highest political level during the Twentieth Anniversary Summit of BSEC held on 26 June 2012, in Istanbul, to deepen cooperation in the priority areas of common interest, namely, trade, transport, tourism, energy, environmental protection, combating terrorism and all forms of organized crime.

7. Acknowledged the significance of the Meeting of the Ministers of Interior of the BSEC Member States (Istanbul, 23 November 2012), the Meeting of the Ministers of Transport of the BSEC Member States (Izmir, 28 November 2012) as well as the BSEC Tax Forum “International Taxation in the BSEC Region in the Light of Global Trends” with Ministerial participation (Antalya, 20-23 November 2012).

8. Appreciated the results of the above-mentioned sectoral ministerial meetings of the Member States having taken place during the Turkish Chairmanship-in-Office, in particular, the adoption of the “Joint Declaration of the Ministers in Charge of Interior/Public Order of the Member States of BSEC on Strengthening Cooperation in the Field of Fight Against Transnational Crimes, in particular Smuggling, Trafficking in Human-Beings, Trafficking of Light Weapons, Economic, Financial Crimes and Terrorism” and the adoption of the “Izmir Joint Declaration on Cooperation in the Sphere of Transport in the BSEC Region”.

9. Noted with appreciation the results of the working groups meetings having taken place during the Turkish Chairmanship-in-Office.

10. Noted that cooperation of BSEC with the EU continues and expressed their willingness to further promote BSEC-EU relations, through regular contacts with the relevant EU Institutions.

11. Reiterated their commitment to further enhance cooperation with other international and regional organizations in order to develop practical projects in areas of common interest.

12. Appreciated the contributions of the BSEC Related Bodies to the BSEC cooperation process in their respective fields of competence and expressed the need for increased coordination among BSEC and its Related Bodies in planning their activities.

13. Welcomed the interest of BSEC Observers and Sectoral Dialogue Partners in
BSEC activities and projects and encouraged their more active involvement in and
contributions to the activities of the Organization.

14. Stressed the importance of increasing intra-BSEC trade and investments and enhancing the role of the civil society including business communities and academicians in BSEC activities to promote the achievement of greater prosperity in the region.

The Turkish Chairmanship-in-Office takes this opportunity to express its gratitude to the Governments and Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the BSEC Member States and the members of the BSEC Permanent International Secretariat, as well as to the representatives of BSEC Related Bodies, BSEC Observers and Sectoral Dialogue Partners, for their support and contribution in making its Chairmanship a successful one.

The Turkish Chairmanship-in-Office expresses its confidence that the joint work and achievements of the BSEC Member States will be further enhanced during the incoming Ukrainian Chairmanship-in-Office.