The OSCE’s economic and environmental activities are among its greatest successes, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly George Tsereteli (Georgia) said today at an international conference in Baku. Parliamentarians have a key role to play in favoring economic opportunities and increased trade to support security across the OSCE area, he said, adding that all OSCE countries are becoming increasingly aware of the link between economic success and individual security.
The conference, held under the theme “The role of Parliamentarians in boosting economic cooperation and cultural ties along the Silk Road,” was organized by the Milli Mejlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Silk Road Support Group, and included the participation of high-level members of the OSCE PA, along with a number of foreign ministers, speakers of parliament and heads of international organizations.
Azay Guliyev (Azerbaijan), Vice-President of the OSCE PA and Chairman of the Silk Road Group, moderated the opening session, which included the participation of Ivan Brajovic, President of the Parliament of the Montenegro; Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan; Damdin Tsogtbaatar, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia; Head of the Delegation of Mongolia to the OSCE PA; Asaf Hajiyev, Secretary General of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation; and Mircea Ciopraga, Secretary General of the Intergovernmental Commission of the Transport Corridor of Europe, Caucasus and Asia (TRACECA).
Bahar Muradova, Head of Azerbaijan’s OSCE PA Delegation and Deputy Speaker of the Milli Mejlis, also addressed the opening.
In his opening remarks, President Tsereteli said that the conference represents an opportunity to revitalize international co-operation “through our universal desire for prosperity.”
“Let’s remember that the Silk Road trade routes have always carried more than merchandise and precious goods,” Tsereteli said. “The Silk Road established an interconnected world stretching across Eurasia.”
He praised the work of the OSCE field missions that have operated in the historic Silk Road countries of Central Asia, the Caucasus and South East Europe, promoting solutions in areas such as transportation, energy security and cross-border co-operation. Tsereteli also warned against isolationism.
“In every single of our countries, we see that economic and social disparities, poverty and high unemployment – in addition to a lack of rule of law, weak governance, and corruption – are considered credible threats to our security and stability,” the President said.
OSCE PA Vice-President Victor Paul Dobre (Romania) and Chair of the OSCE PA’s Committee on Political Affairs and Security Filippo Lombardi (Switzerland) also spoke at the conference, addressing topics related to enhancing the mutually beneficial economic co-operation and trade ties.
The international conference continues Wednesday with a visit to the Baku International Sea Trade Port and the Sangachal Terminal.