Ukraine, Kiev / special corr. Trend E.Huseynov / Trend's exclusive interview with the Secretary General of GUAM ( Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Moldova), Valeriy Chechelashvili
Question: What arrangements have been done on the eve of the Baku summit of GUAM?
Answer: It will be a serious and significant event in the GUAM's history. Azerbaijan undertakes a chairmanship at a very decisive and important period in the development of not only GUAM, but also entire system of international relations in the South Caucasus and Black Sea regions.
At present very serious developments are underway with the participation of all four GUAM member -countries. We expect the organization to become weightier in the world and raise its image in the system of international relationships and respectively, to become an efficient multilateral mechanism on the implementation of national objectives of every member-country of GUAM.
Serious work is underway. Major work has been done within the framework of 9 working groups, they hold meetings on the eve of the summit, and the Committee of National Coordinators has held several meetings.
Beginning from 16 June, Baku will host meetings of heads of field groups, which develop appropriate strategies in several directions of development of GUAM. The national coordinators who are to develop documents for the Council of Foreign Ministers and Summit of Presidents are expected to participate in the gathering. I believe that the documents to be adopted within the framework of the summit will considerably contribute in the progress of GUAM.
Question: What issues are on agenda of the Summit?
Answer: In difference to other regional organizations, it has a narrow profile. This organization is involved in issues of political, economic, cultural and humanitarian character. Therefore, we will take resolutions promoting the cooperation in these directions.
I spoke about strategies of development of GUAM It concerns the strategy on development in all spheres of economy, cultural and humanitarian and energy fields. We will have a program on rapid development of GUAM in the institutional aspect. Moreover, it is planned to sing several concrete documents, particularly two important Agreements on Cooperation in Providing radiation security and on Cooperation in multimodal transport deliveries. Work over the documents, including further institutionalization of GUAM, continues. At the same time, an agreement on privileges and immunities of organizations will be signed
I do not exclude that the field heads and ministers will come out withadditional proposals on signing of documents.
Question: To what extent is the issue on establishment of a peacekeeping battalion of GUAM actual at the Baku summit? Usually meetings of different committees are held during the summit. Are there plans on organization of similar meetings?
Answer: I have no doubts that the issue on the establishment of a peacekeeping battalion will be on focus at a meeting of the Committee of National Coordinators. The discussions will define whether they will be included in the agenda of the Council of Foreign Ministers and the Council of Heads of States. GUAM's activities are not restricted. It is a universal organization, which develops cooperation in all directions. Interests towards GUAM are boosting.
We are waiting for very important delegates - Presidents and foreign ministers. Several meetings are scheduled within the framework of GUAM. Traditionally, it will be a meeting between GUAM and the United States. It is planned to hold a separate meeting within GUAM-Japan format and more probably, a meeting will be held in GUAM-Poland format. Other formats are not ruled out as well and they will be defined during the consultations with our foreign partners.
Question: Do other countries take interests in the membership or partnership with GUAM?
Answer: I think the composition of participants in the summit itself testifies for it. Interests towards the organization are increasing significantly. The expansion of GUAM is not an end itself. We think of boosting the organization's image in the system of international relations, its attractiveness and efficiency. The interests towards the organization by foreign partners actually depend on our discipline within GUAM and the efficiency of this mechanism from the aspect of formation of a civilized partnership around the Black Sea. We have very flexible Charter, which envisages different forms of partnership - an observer country, a partner country and if any country shares principles and goals of cooperation with GUAM, it can appeal for membership at this organization.
Question: Who namely will participate in the Baku summit - heads of state or senior officials?
Answer:Presidents of four GUAM member-countries will participate in the Baku summit. Moreover, the Presidents of Poland, Romania, Lithuania and Croatia are also expected to be in attendance. The Slovakian foreign minister has confirmed its participation. Japan will be represented on the level of the Deputy Foreign Minister and the United States - Deputy Secretary of State. Several high ranking are also expected to be in presence.
Question: On 1 June you took a post of the GUAM Secretary General. What is the progress in the issue of allocation of an office for GUAM?
Answer: Office is located in the center of Kiev and now the building is being renovated. I don't think it to take several months. If proposals presented by chairs and me at the Baku summit are adopted, the Secretariat will set up its activities on 1 September and I will have employees to work with me there. We will be temporality placed at the GUAM Information Center in Kiev by the end of the year.