by H.E. Mr. Anatoliy Zlenko,
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine
at the Fifth Meeting of the BSEC Council of Ministers
Antalya, October 2001
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is an honour and privilege for me to address you on the occasion of the Fifth Meeting of the BSEC Council of Ministers.
First of all, let me express my gratitude to the Host country and personally to the Chairman-in-Office, H.E. Mr. Ismail Cem, for the warm welcome and hospitality extended to us in Antalya and excellent arrangements of this Meeting.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In view of the great expectations which are laid down on the Black Sea Economic Co-operation, I would like to outline the place of the BSEC in its global scale and find the most appropriate answer to the issue of the day: "How to elaborate the most effective strategy of our co-operation in the era of globalisation?
First of all, I do see that main reason of emergence of regional co-operation is interdependency, especially in the fields of energy, transport and investments.
This interdependency is obviously the result of the process of globalisation, which means an intensification of global interactions in different spheres.
Thus, we live in a global economy production which growth is driven by trade that is expanding more than twice as fast as output.
Remarkable economic vibrancy and rapid technology transfer mark the age of globalisation.
Taking into account our goals and tasks, the most important issue is to have clear and definite vision of current environment where we conduct our activities.
One of the most dominant tendencies of the today's world is integration process in economic and political fields, development of common economic area and adoption of collective instruments for solving common problems.
In this sense transformation processes taking place in Ukraine and high level of economic growth marked last two years highly depends on state of global economic relations.
Our country tries to synchronize its transition to democracy and market economy with the global tendencies.
It's very important for us to have strong regional ties with neighboring states and our strategic partners to promote the interests of our country at the regional and global levels.
That's why I should emphasize the great importance of such regional organizations like BSEC, which significantly help member-states to find their niche in global world.
Regionalisation in this sense is not an antithesis of globalization, but a process of adaptation to current reality.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A decade since the establishment of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation is a time for both justified celebration as well as profound analysis of achievements and difficulties faced by the Organization and its Member States.
Today BSEC is a full-fledged regional organization recognized by the international community, which has its clearly defined major goals.
We have been able to develop intergovernmental, interparliamentary, business, banking and academic dimensions which constitute a "BSEC Family".
This year we have adopted a new BSEC Economic Agenda, which gave the Member States a collective focused strategy, containing jointly elaborated achievable priorities.
One should note that the decision to draft this document, perceived during BSEC Yalta Summit in 1998, was successfully realized.
The Economic Agenda is an ambitious document, which, we believe, will serve as a roadmap for future development of cooperation in the Black Sea Region.
The Republic of Turkey was the first country to assume Chairmanship-in-Office after the adoption of the Economic Agenda and we would like to extend our warm congratulations to our colleague H.E. Mr. Ismail Cem upon the positive results achieved during the last six months.
It was a very important and specific period for our Organization - in particular, in the field of energy, transport, support of Small and Medium Enterprises, combating crime etc.
We cannot but mention further development of institutionalizing aspects of the Organization in this period - the drafting of criteria for membership and observer status in the BSEC, creation of affiliated centers etc.
Ukraine strongly supports the ideas put forward in the Agenda.
Assuming Chairmanship from the Republic of Turkey our country will do its best for the strengthening of the Organization, promotion of economic development, stability, further formation of common interests and values in the Black Sea Region.
During Ukraine's Chairmanship-in-office our efforts will be focused on further consolidation of the BSEC, its transformation into the project-oriented endeavor while taking necessary measures aimed at speedy and effective implementation of the BSEC Economic Agenda.
Continuity of activities of successive chairmanships is also of vital importance.
In this regard we will further develop the mechanism of Troika consultations at the different levels.
We should reinvigorate the activities of Working Groups - basic subsidiary bodies of the Organization and convene their meetings with smooth regularity either on the territory of the BSEC coordinator countries or in the Headquarters of the Organization.
The Working Groups are expected to provide the Council of Ministers with more explicit and action-oriented recommendations.
Proper attention will be paid to the enhancement of the institution of the country-coordinator.
Under new conditions the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Permanent International Secretariat should more actively discharge its mandate as an instrument of project elaboration and their promotion.
We are pleased to note that two countries - Ukraine and Armenia - have already designated their representatives to the BSEC.
Ukraine encourages other countries to speed up the designation of their representatives to the Organization what will, in our opinion, create a mechanism of effective collaboration.
With due recognition of the current trends, expected challenges and opportunities in the region and beyond Ukraine during its chairmanship in the BSEC will continue various activities in the fields of common interest envisaged by the Economic Agenda.
This work will be aimed at further strengthening of cooperation in transport field, in particular, at the implementation of the BSEC Transport Action Plan, development of Pan-European transport network and Euro-Asian transport links in the Black Sea region.
Ukraine will host the Second Black Sea Transport Conference in order to evaluate the latest development of transport cooperation in the Black Sea Region.
Ukraine is also inspired to develop cooperation in the field of energy, environment protection and tourism.
Significant importance will be attached to the activities of the International Center for Black Sea Studies, which has become a catalyst of innovative approach to cooperation in the field of science and technology.
We also believe that strengthening of the BSEC business dimension is an important task for our Organization.
In this regard we fully support the development of the Black Sea Investment Initiative, focused on improving the investment climate and attracting direct foreign investments into the region.
One should recognize that the BSEC Member States couldn't stay aside of the current complex political developments caused by the terrorist acts in the United States of America.
I wish to recall that the New Economic Agenda says: "Whatever the motive, terrorism in all its forms and extremism in all its manifestations have to be condemned and eradicated.
The BSEC member states should enhance their efforts to prevent the financing and commission of such acts on their territories and deny perpetrators safe havens".
We believe that having embarked on "soft security measures", the BSEC should intensify its cooperation in the field of combating crime.
We believe that our today's Statement on joint measures to combat international terrorism will be followed by concrete actions.
The Additional Protocol to the BSEC Agreement on Combating Crimes to be signed during the forthcoming Fifth BSEC Meeting of the Ministers of Interior should provide the countries of the Region with new and efficient cooperative scheme.
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to assure you that Ukraine would further promote ideas set out in the BSEC Charter, Yalta and Istanbul Summit declarations.
We will strive to advance the interests of all Member-states and to defend the welfare of their citizens, above all else.
With that purpose in mind, all of us should be even more united, better prepared and more resilient to meet the challenges of the new millenium.
We strongly believe that success of our work will closely depend on the concerted actions of the BSEC Member States, BSEC Permanent International Secretariat, BSEC related bodies and their substantial contribution to further development of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation.
We will rely on your support.