The Baku Declaration of the General Assembly of the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, May 23, 2015

May 23, 2015 Statements,

The International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea (hereinafter, International Fund) guided by the Charter of the International Fund as well as the norms and principles of international law,

reiterating that the main goal of the International Fund is to contribute to dialogue, mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among countries and peoples in the regions of the Black and Caspian Seas,

underlining that active work in advancing the universal values and ideals, uniting countries and peoples of the regions of the Black and Caspian Seas, as well as input to activities of international organizations in realization of their commonly agreed goals led to the wide international recognition of efforts of the International Fund,

emphasizing that the international community marks in 2015 the remarkable historical dates– the 70th anniversary of victory over fascism and establishment of the United Nations, the 40thanniversary of adoption of the Helsinki Final Act and the 25th anniversary of adoption of the OSCE Paris Charter for New Europe,

expressing serious concern with regard to threats facing the region in particular those related to the protracted armed conflicts and their consequences, including forced mass expulsion of the population and attempts to consolidate the results of the unlawful use of force against the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of states, 

expressing concern also over the rise of extremism, transnational crime and illegal migration,

recognizing that the regions of the Black and Caspian Seas still face with the manifestation of xenophobia, aggressive nationalism, chauvinism and the policy of territorial claims toward neighbors which is rooted in the history and result in artificial creation of mono-ethnic areas in Europe,

highly appreciating rich cultural and spiritual legacy of the peoples in the countries which are represented in the International Fund,

noting that in the period of turbulence in the world, the General Assembly gathered in Baku, in a capital city of Azerbaijan, a country with rich traditions of tolerance and multiculturalism, with the hope for the better in international affairs, including in the regions of the Black and Caspian Seas,

expressing wish to make its input to the cause of transformation of the regions of the Black and Caspian Seas in the area of peace, security, stability, economic development and social progress, enhancing democratic processes, strengthening civil society and respect for human rights.

declares that dialogue and cooperation among states and peoples should be based on mutual respect of each other, non-interference in the internal affairs and the norms and principles of international law,

confirms the need for the earliest settlement of the conflicts in the territories of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine on the basis of respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the internationally recognized borders of states,

condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and stresses the need to combat by all means, in accordance with international law, with terrorism posing threats to international and regional peace and security,

draws attention to the fact that distinctive features of the regions of the Black and Caspian Seas are their advantageous geographical location between West and East and rich energy resources. Welcomes construction of “Baku-Tbilisi-Kars-Akhalkalaki” international railway and realization of Shahdeniz-2, “TANAP and TAP” international energy projects which will contribute to the diversification of sources of energy supply to Europe. Underlines that the development of international transportation corridors will create, inter alia, favorable conditions for expanding passenger and cargo flows across the region,

stresses the importance of countering chauvinistic and extremist ideas and ideologies, including fascism, and attempts of creation of contradictions based on racial, religious and cultural affiliation globally.  Expresses support to the policy of promoting traditions of multiculturalism existing in the regions of the Black and Caspian Seas,

calls upon states, international organizations and civil society to unite their efforts in tackling common threats to peace and security.