Azerbaijan and Organisation for Democracy and Economic Development (GUAM)
The GUAM Advisory Forum was established on the 10th of October 1997 as part of the Second Summit of the Council of Europe (CoE) in Strasbourg. At the Summit held in Kiev on the 23rd of May 2006, GUAM gained the status of an organisation with the signing of the GUAM Charter by the heads of the participating states.
The Republic of Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine are the founders and current members of the Organisation for Democracy and Economic Development.
Strengthening democratic values, stimulating economic development and ensuring security and stability are among the main goals of GUAM; its member states have been closely cooperating to achieve these goals. At GUAM, areas of economic cooperation such as trade, transport, customs, tourism and technology are the priority areas for co-operation.
The GUAM Free Trade Agreement and the GUAM Transport Corridor are the most important projects within the organisation.
According to the Charter, co-operation is carried out by the following bodies of GUAM:
- Council of Heads of State and Government
- Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs
- Council of National Coordinators
- Council of Permanent Representatives
At GUAM, coordination of co-operation at the sectoral level is vested in Working Groups. At present, GUAM has Working Groups on Economy and Trade, Transport, Energy, Information Technologies, Coordination on Combating Crime, Civil Emergency, Cyber Security, Science and Education, Culture and Tourism, Youth and Sports.
The GUAM Business Council and the GUAM Parliamentary Assembly are GUAM affiliates.
According to the Charter, the GUAM Secretariat is located in Kiev. Altay Efendiyev is the Secretary General of the organisation.
As a founding member state, Azerbaijan actively co-operates within GUAM and supports the organisation’s initiatives to become a more project-oriented institution. Azerbaijan attaches special importance to mutually beneficial co-operation in trade, transport, customs, energy, tourism, technology and agriculture, and is an initiator and active participant in projects to facilitate and digitalise trade and transport.
Azerbaijan chaired GUAM in 2007-2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the last chairmanship, in which trade and transport priorities were identified, was implemented through numerous online meetings, discussions and decision-making.
The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Ukraine is also the Permanent Representative of our country to GUAM.