tjir_v1n4arb01 - The Black Sea Economic Co-Operation after...

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The Black Sea Economic Co-Operation after Ten Years: What Went Wrong? Berdal Aral* Established on the initiative of the Turkish president Turgut Özal on 25 June 1992, the Black Sea Economic Co-operation Organization (BSEC) consists of eleven states which may be geographically grouped under three headings: the Black Sea states (Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, Ukraine and Georgia); the Balkan states (Albania, Greece and Moldova); the Caucasian states (Azerbaijan and Armenia). The BSEC states represent a population of some 400 million and a vast geographical space containing rich natural resources. 1 Most of the activities performed by the BSEC centre on economic co-operation as proclaimed by the Summit Declaration of BSEC in İ stanbul on 25 June 1992. The declaration announced that the member states would enhance “the mutually advantageous economic co- operation arising from their geographic proximity and from the reform process and structural adjustments.” 2 The parties have also committed themselves to combining their efforts for more effective protection of the environment in the Black Sea basin. The same document states that member states were "Conscious of the importance of the environmental problems of the Black Sea for the well-being of their peoples and recognizing that it is vital to ensure the environmental sustainability of their economic development". The same document made a passing reference to the significance of human rights and democracy as the spirit of the new age unleashed by the demise of the Cold War. Members, it said, have "Noted that the signing of the declaration signalled the beginning of a new partnership between them inspired by the values of democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights." Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, Vol.1, No.4, Winter 2002 73
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Finally, the Summit Declaration underlined the significance of regional peace and security: "The Heads of State and Government acknowledged that the region is already faced by serious conflicts and that there is the danger of new tensions arising. They therefore emphasized the need for the peaceful settlement of all disputes by the means and in accordance with the principles set out in the CSCE documents to which they all subscribe. They further reaffirmed their determination in resisting aggression, violence, terrorism and lawlessness and their resolve to help establish and restore peace and justice." The BSEC was transformed into a regional economic organization with an international legal identity when member states adopted a Charter in Yalta on June 5, 1998 which was ratified by the respective parliaments by May 1,1999. This was a clear indication of the member states’ long term commitment to the success of the organization. 3
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tjir_v1n4arb01 - The Black Sea Economic Co-Operation after...

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