23rd Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) held on November 26, 2010 in Thessaloniki, Greece

 Delegation of the Republic of Azerbaijan was led by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Mahmud Mammad-Guliyev. The delegation also included the Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the Hellenic Republic Mr. Rahman Mustafayev and representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

According to the proposals made by the Hellenic Republic during its Chairmanship-in-Office from June till December 2010, the main issues raised during the Ministerial meeting were “Green Development and Entrepreneurship”, environment and combating the climate change. As a result, “Joint Declaration of BSEC Foreign Ministers on Combating the Climate Change in the wider Black Sea area” was adopted. This Declaration would be presented on behalf of the BSEC member states at the United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held on November 29 – December 10, 2010 in Cancun, Mexico.

Within the context of improving the effectiveness of BSEC, “Enhancement of the status, capabilities of the Permanent International Secretariat in planning and implementation of BSEC activities” proposed by Azerbaijan during its Chairmanship-in-Office from May to October 2009 was approved by the Council. Besides, a “Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in science and technology between the Government of USA and the BSEC” was signed.

At the conclusion of the meeting, a ceremony of handing over the Chairmanship-in-Office from Greece to Romania took place.

Head of the Azerbaijani delegation in his address to the Meeting praised the efforts aimed at the development of cooperation in energy and tourism within the Organization during the Hellenic Chairmanship-in-Office. Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister noted the high potential of the BSEC and great expectations of Azerbaijan from the Organization, emphasized the importance of raising effectiveness and result-orientedness of the BSEC. In this connection he underlined the necessity of carrying out legal and institutional reforms, improvement of decision-making process, importance to consolidate cooperation in the framework of the Organization on priority spheres and concrete projects, and highlighted the importance of more efficient planning of the activities of the BSEC Permanent International Secretariat.

Meantime, the Deputy Minister noted that overall economic cooperation is ineffective without establishing stability in the region and resolution of “frozen conflicts”, which remain major impediments for cooperation within BSEC.

Within the framework of participation in the event the Deputy Minister met with his Greek counterpart. Issues of bilateral, as well as multilateral cooperation in the framework international organizations were discussed during the meeting.