ADDRESS BY MR. RAMIL HASANOV, SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY OF TURKIC SPEAKING COUNTRIES TO THE OSCE PERMANENT COUNCIL (20 SEPTEMBER 2012, VIENNA)
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is an honour for me to address the OSCE Permanent Council today. In this regard, I would like to express my gratitude to His Excellency Ambassador Eoin O’Leary of Ireland for giving such an opportunity to inform you about our organization, TURKPA.
Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries, TURKPA, was established upon the Istanbul Agreement signed on 21 November 2008 by the chairmen of the parliaments of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey. Its permanent secretariat is located in Baku and became operational in January 2010 shortly after the 1st Plenary Session of TURKPA held in Baku in September 2009.
The idea of establishing parliamentary dimension of the cooperation process of Turkic speaking states was initially set forth by the President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev during the 7th Summit of the Heads of Turkic Speaking States held in 2001 in Istanbul.
Assembly normally holds a plenary session once a year and supreme body is the Council of Assembly consisting of the chairmen of the member parliaments. The Council meets one day prior to the plenary session and coordinates Assembly’s activities. The TURKPA Chairmanship is held for one year by a member country in alphabetical order. The Assembly established four specialized permanent commissions, which hold meetings once a year.
The primary goal of TURKPA includes developing inter-parliamentary cooperation among its members by means of parliamentary diplomacy, promoting political and economic dialogue between its members and creating favourable political climate for elaboration and implementation of different initiatives aimed at strengthening regional and global security. In this context, TURKPA is firmly committed to the norms and principles of international law reflected in the Charter of the United Nations - sovereign equality, territorial integrity, inviolability of state borders, non-interference in the internal affairs of each other and inadmissibility of threat or use of force.
Cooperation under TURKPA’s umbrella is based on historical, cultural and linguistic unity of Turkic countries. These countries have commonalities such as developing economies and dynamic population structures that provide solid ground for enhanced cooperation among Turkic states. As they face similar political, economic, and cultural challenges, TURKPA intends to build joint action within the framework of inter-parliamentary activities to overcome challenges concerned.
The main tasks of TURKPA are as follows:
- possible harmonization of legislation of the member countries including preservation and transfer to the future generations of cultural heritage and values of history, art, literature and other areas which are of importance for Turkic countries;
- strengthening mutual confidence among the member countries;
- promotion of effective regional cooperation in the fields of education, science and technology;
- interaction of mass media and providing wider communication aimed at efficient exchange of legal information;
- creation of favourable conditions for trade and investment;
- promotion of joint regional economic projects, especially in the field of energy and transport;
- discussion of political issues on the basis of mutual interest.
Our Organization seeks to facilitate inter-parliamentary dialogue among Turkic-speaking countries, to generate new ideas and suggestions and to have a proper legislation for their implementation. It is noteworthy that all the TURKPA member countries stand for a sincere and effective dialogue that provides a flexible approach to practical cooperation.
TURKPA is a young organization and its first years were devoted to institutional issues, including improvement of its legal documents and organizational matters. As I have already mentioned above, four specialized commissions have already started their work last year. Activities of these commissions are focused on international relations, economic, trade, legal, social, cultural and humanitarian affairs. First documents of the Commissions were adopted by the Assembly at its 3rd plenary session held this year in Bishkek.
In social and cultural field, the Assembly touches upon the elaboration of the joint programme in the field of education based on study of the Turkic civilization and its cultural values. In economic field, the Assembly considers such issues, as implementation of joint projects in the fields of energy, transport and tourism, establishment of Business Council within TURKPA and possible creation of free economic and trade areas in the member countries. In legal field, the Organization discusses the role of parliaments in the constitutional system of member countries.
I want also to inform you that TURKPA in accordance with its mandate conducts election observations. The parliamentary and presidential elections held in four member countries since 2010 were monitored by the TURKPA International Observers Mission.
In spite of fact that our organization brings together a particular group of countries, it does not take an exclusive approach. On the contrary, TURKPA seeks to establish and develop relations with other national parliaments and international organizations in the region. Moreover, TURKPA gives particular importance to strengthening a common inter-parliamentary platform for dialogue at a global level. As a result, the Assembly was granted an observer status by the Inter-Parliamentary Union, Parliamentary Union of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA).
Close cooperation of TURKPA with leading international organizations contributes to strengthening peace, security and democracy in the region. We believe that interaction between TURKPA and OSCE would represent an additional platform for transparent dialogue in economic, political and social fields. It is worthy to emphasize that all our member countries are also the OSCE Participating States, playing an active role in their respective regions. Being the parliamentary dimension of the cooperation process of Turkic-speaking states, TURKPA attaches particular importance to cooperation with the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. During the last two years our Assembly has participated, as a guest, in the OSCE PA annual and winter sessions.
Although TURKPA focuses primarily on economic, social and cultural cooperation, it defines itself as a sub-regional inter-parliamentary organization aiming to contribute to the promotion of security across the OSCE region. As we all know, one of the important aspects in the OSCE activities has been its constant emphasis on interaction with sub-regional organizations and this approach remains relevant today, as the Eurasian continent is facing the challenges of 21st century.
Cooperation between the TURKPA and OSCE would be complementary and mutually reinforcing in dealing with the security challenges. It would coincide with the Platform for Cooperative Security adopted in 1999 at the Istanbul Summit that constitutes the basis of OSCEs co-operation with international organizations and institutions.
We welcome the cooperation between the OSCE and its partners. Accordingly, we welcome the regional cooperation among OSCE Participating States and Afghanistan and their essential role in promoting long-term security and stability in Afghanistan. We believe that this could be a substantial part of cooperation between OSCE and Turkic states both at inter-governmental and parliamentary levels.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I would like to reiterate that our Assembly is ready to make its unique contribution to the achievement of the OSCE tasks and objectives. On the basis of established principles of equality, inclusiveness and transparency, our organization will support a flexible approach towards establishing a mutually reinforcing relationship with the OSCE and will appreciate an increased exchange of information to explore possibilities in the near future. Active participation of TURKPA in the OSCE activities will pave the way for closer interaction between the two organizations. I hope this meeting will be the first step in this direction.
Thank you for your kind attention.