IFSPD Secretary-General met with the IFEPR President
Secretary-General of the International Foundation for Sustainable Peace and Development (IFSPD) Prof. Dr. Eldar Hasanov met with the President of the International Foundation for Education Policy Research (IFEPR) Prof. Taras Finikov, on 30 April 2018 in Belgrade (Serbia).
During this meeting, each side became more familiar with the activities of both organizations, with the aim of establishing contact for future cooperation.
IFEPR, whose founders are Prof. Alexander Belohlavek (Czech Republic), Prof. Marek Kwiek (Poland), Prof. Taras Finikov (Ukraine), was founded in the spring of 2001, and the impetus for the institutionalization of cooperation was the participation of experts - professionals in the field of education management and technology training in higher education in numerous joint international projects.
Prof. Taras Finikov expressed his desire to get acquainted with the Statute of the International Foundation (IFSPD), implemented research projects and field of IFSPD activity, and he also shared possible areas for common cooperation.
On the initiative of the International Foundation for Sustainable Peace and Development (IFSPD) a book will be published in honor of the 100th anniversary of the legendary Nelson Mandela
On 12 February 2018 in Belgrade (Serbia), a meeting was held between IFSPD Secretary-General Prof. Eldar Hasanov and a well-known Serbian writer, journalist, and producer, Ms. Vesna Jugovic de Vincha, the author of Nelson Mandela's Last Message.
This meeting was also attended by IFSPD experts Ms. Sandra Bogunovich and Ms. Jovana Mojsovich, as well as by the representative of the IFSPD Balkan Branch Ms. Esma Sirbubalo.
On the initiative of IFSPD, it is planned to publish Ms. De Vincha's book in English in honor of the Mandela's jubilee.
The presentation of this book will take place at the international conference, scheduled for 8-9 June 2018 in Belgrade (Serbia).
IFSPD Vice-president Mr. Mehmet Akkan Suver participated at the Vienna Economic Forum on 6 November 2017
IFSPD Vice-president Mr. Mehmet Akkan Suver participated at the Vienna Economic Forum on 6 November 2017 where he represented International Foundation for Sustainable Peace and Development (IFSPD). He informed Dr. Elena Kirtcheva and Dr. Günther Rabensteiner that despite a great desire of IFSPD President, Mr. Dimitar Kostov and IFSPD Secretary-General, Prof. Eldar Hasanov were not able to join the event because of the important duties. (Rabensteiner is a new chancellor instead of Erhard Busek.)
Mr. Akkan Suver also informed in detail about the IFSPD's dynamic activities and he signed a partnership consent.
The forum was attended by the President of Macedonia, Minister of Economy of Montenegro, Minister of Economy of Kosovo, Chief Adviser to the Prime Minister of Romania and many others.
Mr. Akkan Suver was honored with the "Peace and Partnership of the Year 2017" Award by Vienna Economic Forum.
From 8 to 9 October 2017 the Secretary-General of International Foundation for Sustainable Peace and Development (IFSPD) Prof.Dr. Eldar Hasanov met with IFSPD President Mr. Dimitar Kostov and a member of IFSPD Board of Directors Mr. Zdravko Vassilev Popov
As all of the members of Board of Directors, as well as the leadership of our organization, had been informed, from 8 to 9 October 2017 the Secretary-General of International Foundation for Sustainable Peace and Development (IFSPD) Prof.Dr. Eldar Hasanov met with IFSPD President Mr. Dimitar Kostov and a member of IFSPD Board of Directors Mr. Zdravko Vassilev Popov in Bulgaria, Sofia.
During this meeting, relevant priority issues related to the activities, goals, and objectives of the IFSPD were discussed. Some of the main discussed issues were setting the date of the next IFSPD General Assembly meeting, research projects to develop cooperation, expanding the IFSPD partnership with well-known and influential non-governmental organizations and IFSPD statements on „referendum“ in Iraq and Catalan region of Spain. The registration of IFSPD (Bucharest, Romania), the process of negotiations with the UN and its units, the opening of the International University for Peace and Sustainable Development in Istanbul and the issue of the International Symphony Orchestra, as cooperation in the field of culture, were discussed as well.
After a thorough discussion of the above and in accordance with the Resolution of 16th General Assembly held on 10 June 2017 in Istanbul Turkey, and considering the Bulgaria's 2018 Presidency of EU (1 January 2018 - 1 July 2017), it was proposed by the IFSPD President to arrange the General Assembly meeting either during the period from 5 to 15 July 2018 or during the period from 15 to 20 September 2018. Also, the cooperation of IFSPD experts with the UN and its representatives was approved, in order to jointly implement research projects, including those on the problems of the migrants of Middle East.
Ultimately, it was stressed that Mr. Roman Bradu, IFSPD's lawyer, should speed up the process of registering IFSPD in the Romanian Ministry of Justice, and that Mr. Ismail Safi should continue his talks with the UN and its structures, as well as with the Turkish government, about the opening of the International University for Peace and Sustainable Development.
On 15 August 2017 representatives of the International Foundation for Sustainable Peace and Development (IFSPD) and its International Center for Support and Coordination of Economic Cooperation (ICSCEC) met in Istanbul with representatives of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
On 15 August 2017 representatives of the International Foundation for Sustainable Peace and Development (IFSPD) and its International Center for Support and Coordination of Economic Cooperation (ICSCEC) met in Istanbul with representatives of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), to discuss possible areas of joint activities and cooperation. The meeting was held at the UNDP office, where Mr. Rastislav Vrbensky, UNDP Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Istanbul Regional Hub and Deputy Director of the Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) welcomed Prof. Dr. Eldar Hasanov, the Secretary-General and Dr. Ismail Safi, Vice President of the International Foundation (IFSPD). The meeting was also attended by Mrs. Ekaterina Paniklova, Senior Coordinator of the UNDP Program, Mrs. Saida Safikhanova, Project Coordinator of the ICSCEC. During the meeting, both sides familiarized themselves more closely with the scope of IFSPD activities and priority research projects. Prof. Dr. Eldar Hasanov and Dr. Ismail Safi expressed their gratitude to UNDP representatives for the warm welcome. During the conversation, a proposal was made to establish a University for Peace and Sustainable Development in Istanbul with the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). UNDP, in the person of Mr. Rastislav Vrbensky, expressed readiness to familiarize, examine and support the research activities as well as the IFSPD educational project.
A meeting with a well-known conductor and National Artist of Azerbaijan, Mr. Yalchin Adigozalov 11 August 2017 Istanbul, Turkey.
During the 16th Meeting of General Assembly, which took place on 10 June 2017 in Istanbul, Turkey, a decision was made in the field of culture to approve the project related to the creation of International Youth Festival Orchestra under the leadership of the well-known Azerbaijani conductor Mr. Yalchin Adigozalov.
The meeting with the head and technical coordinator of the International Youth Festival Orchestra, Mr. Yalchin Adigozalov, was held on 11 June 2017. On the part of International Foundation for Sustainable Peace and Development (IFSPD), the meeting was attended by Prof. Dr. Eldar Hasanov (Secretary-General and Vice President), Mrs. Elmira Uygun (Executive Director) and Mrs. Saida Safikhanova (Project Coordinator) and further actions of the orchestra's activities were discussed in detail. During the meeting, Mr. Yalchin Adigezalov emphasized that music is art in the highest sense of the word and if we talk with each other in the language of music, express our opinion with the help of music, rejoice and even mourn with music, then people will be able to avoid many misfortunes and new waves of increasing violence and tension in the world.
The idea of creating International Youth Festival Orchestra has for its aims to gather and unite young and particularly talented musicians from the member countries of International Foundation for Sustainable Peace and Development (IFSPD). By reuniting young musicians from different countries into a single collective, we will have a unique opportunity to promote the rich musical heritage of a number of countries. The orchestra will also be the first platform for the talented solo performers to enter the big stage, giving them a ticket to the creative life. Undoubtedly, the creation of the International Youth Festival Orchestra will become a landmark event in the cultural life of the vast region. Each new event in the next country will pour into an event of great importance and serve with understanding, respect for each other, rapprochement of peoples, and familiarization with culture and musical history. Thus, this will serve the statutory purpose and the task of our international organization (IFSPD).
The research project of BSCSIF in cooperation with MEPEI: "Multiculturalism in the context of the modern globalizing world. The Romanian narrative on pluralism and diversity”.
The International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea (BSCSIF) together with the Middle East Political and Economic Institute (MEPEI) has launched the report "Multiculturalism in the context of the modern globalizing world. The Romanian narrative on pluralism and diversity”. This report is the result of the 6 month research project implemented by BSCSIF in cooperation with MEPEI.
The launching event took place in Bucharest, on 8th of June 2017, at the Romanian Palace of Parliament. Almost 90 governmental, diplomatic, cultural, academia personalities and also experts on the topic have participated at the event.
The main speakers were Drd. Flavius CABA-MARIA, President of MEPEI, Mr. Virgil POPESCU, PhD, Vice-Chairperson of the Permanent Committee for Industries and Services, the Parliament of Romania, Mr. Dinu SOCOTAR, PhD, Member of the Permanent Committee for Culture, Arts, Mass Information Means, and Vice-Chairperson of the Friendship Parliamentary Group Romania – the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Parliament of Romania, H.E. Mr. Farid ABDINBAYOV, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Romania, Mr. Cătălin RAIU, PhD, adviser of the state secretary for religious affairs, Government of Romania, Murat YUSUF, the Mufti of the Muslim Community in Romania, Mr. Laurențiu TĂNASE, PhD, former secretary of state, lecturer at Faculty of Orthodox Theology, University of Bucharest, Romania, Rev. Dr. Valentin ILIE, Center for Studies and Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, Faculty of Orthodox Theology “Patriarch Justinian”, University of Bucharest; Mr. Cătălin BUCIUMEANU, PhD, former adviser on the culture and cults of the Romanian Presidency and president of Advanced Strategy Center.
The concept of multiculturalism has already a global meaning, as it has been for a few decades in the center of philosophical, sociological and political talks. It puts into discussion, in the context of the new social and identity dynamics generated by globalization, a new order and stability centered on the persistence of the model and virtues of the nation-state. It is more and more invoked, being perceived as a solution or as a threat, in the attempt to refurbish a more and more complex reality, based on pluralism and interdependence of cultures, ethnic groups, and multiplicity of individuals.
The general issues of multiculturalism and diversity are managed officially in Romania, above all, through the perspective of national and religious minorities. The history and geographic position made it possible, through centuries, that on the Romanian territory, many populations settled and joined the native Romanian background, contributing to its identity, cultural and linguistic genesis. In this context, the report highlights Romania’s experience as an example of diversity and tolerance.
Financial support from the Istanbul Branch of the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea in Turkey
On behalf of the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, through the Istanbul branch office – International Centre for Support and Coordination of the Economic Cooperation – financial support was provided to the injured people and families of the innocent people who lost their life as a result of the coup attempt in Turkey on July 15, 2016.
Statement of the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea regarding the events in Turkey
The International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea (International Fund) with serious concern and anxiety followed the news of the military coup attempt of the Turkish government legitimately elected by the Turkish people in a democratic way.
International Fund supports people and the elected government of Turkey in restoring social peace and stability based on respect for democratic values and the Turkish legislation.
International Fund expresses its sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured.
BSCSIF meets with FAO representatives to strengthen the cooperation in the region in areas of sustainable development
On 16 April 2014, representatives of BSCSIF had a meeting with the representatives of Subregional Office for Central Asia of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAOSEC) based in Ankara, with the purpose of exploring and discussing potential areas of collaboration that could be built in the future.
The meeting was attended by President of BSCSIF Mr Ismail Safi, Executive Director of BSCSIF Alev Balgi, and Project Coordinator from Istanbul office, Natalia Ciobanu.
Given the shared interest in the sustainable development of the region, and the fact that some countries represented in BSCSIF are also members of FAOSEC, the meeting focused on possible contribution of BSCSIF to the development of FAO projects in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey.
Following the opening remarks of FAO Representative for Turkey and Subregional Coordinator Mr. Mustapha Sinaceur, and BSCSIF President, Mr. Ismail Safi, the discussion was held around areas of work of the two organizations. BSCSIF Executive Director Alev Balgi shared BSCSIF experience in project design and implementation and its collaboration with various international organizations, including its consultative role within ECOSOC.
The discussion then focused on specific areas where BSCSIF could contribute to FAO projects in the region based on its previous experience, the knowledge base of its specialists.
From BSCSIF side, Ms. Natalia Ciobanu underlined that the Black Sea–Caspian Sea region has been facing major environmental problems with implications for economic and social welfare on national and international levels which can only be solved through regional cooperation. She shared the example of the “Side by Side for the Black Sea” project, implemented by BSCSIF in 2011 as a part of BSCSIF experience in capacity building activities in the region which was awarded by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as a Best Practice Concept in the field of Environment and Health. She suggested that joint projects can be focused on social and economic matters, local small business, water resources, health, and support to rural women in the economy.
FAO technical officers presented their fields of expertise and the ongoing and future projects where contribution is needed from the side of inter-governmental and civil society organizations.
The meeting was concluded with FAOSEC inviting BSCSIF to contribute to the preparatory meetings of the regional conference week and as observers on areas on BSCSIF technical expertise. It was also agreed that the cooperation between FAOSEC and BSCSIF on specific projects would begin with one project that best fits BSCSIF expertize. In the upcoming weeks the two organizations agreed to work on developing a common project and attracting resources for its implementation.
Since its establishment in 2009, BSCSIF has been working to consolidate the regional cooperation at many levels and ultimately to achieve sustainable development in the region.
Opening of the branch of the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in Africa
On October 4, 2016, in Johannesburg city of the Republic of South Africa there was held opening ceremony of the branch of the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea (International Foundation) in Africa.
The event was attended by prominent public figures of the South Africa, members of the Board of Directors, the Secretary General and the staff of the Central Office of the International Fund.
The head of the branch of the International Fund in Johannesburg, Mr. Zolani Mkiva, spoke at the event and thanked all members of the Board of Directors for their support to his initiative on opening of the branch for the African region. He expressed confidence that activities of the branch would contribute to implementation of the goals of International Fund in Africa, i.e. strengthening of dialogue, promotion of mutual understanding, cooperation among peoples, peace, security, sustainable development and stability.
At the event representatives of the Central Office made a presentation on the International Fund. They gave comprehensive information to participants of the event about origins of establishment of the International Fund and results achieved so far by its activities. It was noted that within seven years of its existence, the number of countries represented in the International Fund has grown from 8 to 34, including 3 states from the African continent. This fact along with granting a consultative status to the International Fund in 2013 by the UN Economic and Social Council as well as establishment of partnerships with other well-known international think-tanks were assessed as increasing interest to the organization and a sign of its effective work.
Mr. Eldar Hasanov, the Secretary General of the International Fund during his speech conveyed greetings of members of the Board of Directors and the President of the organization Mr. Chingiz Abdullayev to the participants of the event. Assessing opening of the branch in South Africa as a significant event in the life of the organization he shared his ideas on the future activities of the branch in Africa. In this regards, the Secretary General underlined that experts of the International Fund together with their colleagues from South Africa could realize joint research projects related to settlement of conflicts, put forward joint initiatives on a number of important issues of the international agenda. He also mentioned that some of the countries of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea have rich traditions of multiculturalism, peaceful coexistence of different ethnic groups and confessions and are initiators of processes on dialogue among civilizations and in this context spoke about positive experience of Azerbaijan. The Secretary-General proposed to study experience of the countries with established effective system of multiculturalism.
The proposals made were approved by participants of the event.
The International Summer School in CROATIA, Sipan.
In the period June 28 – July 1, 2015, the Chief Coordinator of the central office of BSCSIF, Juia Akhunova participated in the annual 14th International Summer School in Sipan, Croatia, organized by the Atlantic Council of Croatia in cooperation with NATO PDD and International Institute for Peace (Vienna), represented by Mr. Peter Stania, member of the Board of Directors of BSCSIF.
The School was divided into two blocks: Mediterranean between Europe and Middle East: Challenges and Perspectives, organized with the support of NATO Public Diplomacy Division; and another one – Western Balkans between Integration and Isolation, co-organized with the International Institute for Peace, Vienna.
The School gathered speakers and participants from 15 different countries, the USA, Russia, Ukraine, Italy, Canada, Austria, Hungary, Greece and all Western Balkan countries. The organizers invited as speakers many professors, experts and people from politics who transferred their knowledge to 40 participants, young leaders in public diplomacy, PhD and master’s candidates from many countries, giving them different perspectives of the current situation of international security and stability. Participants were mostly interested in Macedonian crisis, current Greek crisis, Kosovo status and current Ukrainian crisis.
President of the Atlantic Council of Croatia prof. Radovan Vukadinovic PhD greeted everybody in Šipan International Summer School, saying that the aim is to gather in one place young leaders and offer them knowledge and different perspectives of the international relations today. Fabrizio Luccioli, President of the Atlantic Treaty Association, whose member is the Atlantic Council of Croatia, warned about the challenges coming from the Mediterranean region, especially taking into consideration situations related to refugees seeking help from Europe. President of the International Institute for Peace in Vienna Dr. Hannes Swoboda stated in his presentation that there are many new actors in today’s new world (dis)order, like the BRICS countries, and future of the Western Balkans is still not clear. That was the reason that main concerns were related to the Western Balkans, countries such as Macedonia and Kosovo, but also discussions covered current Greek crisis and how it could influence the regional security and stability that is still rather fragile in this part of Europe.
Ms. Julia Akhunova had the opportunity to present the activity of the International Fund, drawing attention to the protracted conflicts in the Black Sea-Caspian Sea region: the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the Transnistrian conflict, the conflict in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and the recent Ukrainian crisis, thus bringing out the similarities between the security challenges existing in the regions of Western Balkans and the Black and Caspian Seas.
The earliest resolution of these conflicts based on the respect of the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognized borders of states are vital for maintaining peace, security and stability in entire Europe.
Speaking about the current situation of insecurity in Europe, recently exacerbated by the Ukrainian crisis, it is unacceptable to put Ukraine or any other countries in front of a radical choice – between East and West. On the contrary, Ms. Akhunova expressed her belief that an independent, sovereign and stable Ukraine, the second largest country in Europe, may serve a bridge of confidence and understanding between Russia and the West, and underlined the need for intensification of efforts in this regard from both sides, guided as well by their mutual economic interests.
11th Vienna Economic Forum – Vienna Summit 2014, Niederösterreich
11th Vienna Economic Forum – Vienna Summit 2014, Niederösterreich.
On 24 November 2014 Dr. Akkan Suver, Vice-President of BSCSIF represented the Black Sea – Caspian Sea International Fund at the 11th Vienna Economic Forum – Vienna Summit 2014 that was held in Niederösterreich, Vienna.
The President of Austria Dr. Heinz Fischer, Federal Chancellor of Austria, Werner Fayman, Prime Minister of Montenegro Milo Djukanovic, Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama, Prime Minister of Macedonia Nikola Gruevski, were among the distinguished participants of the Forum.
The president of Vienna Economic Forum Dr. Erhard Busek and Secretary General Elena Kirtcheva presented the award “Strategic Partner of the Year” to the BSCSIF Vice-president Dr. Suver.
During the Summit Dr. Akkan Suver made a speech outlining the importance of Vienna Economic Forum’s activity and of strategic cooperation between the two international organizations – BSCSIF and Vienna Economic Forum that would culminate in the memorandum of understanding that is planned to be signed by the Presidents of the two organizations next year.Dr. Suver, has been also hosted byTurkey’s Ambassador in Vienna Mehmet Hasan Gogus, as well has met with Member of the Parliament -who has Turkish origins- Mr. Efgani Dönmez and one of the leaders of the Turkish community Birol Kılıç.
THE 6th EASTERN PARTNERSHIP CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM (EaP CSF), Batumi, Georgia, 20 – 21 November
Between 20-21 November 2014, BSCSIF Project Coordinator, Julia Akhunova participated in the sixth annual Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum on behalf of the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, being a full member of the EaP CSF with voting rights this year.
225 organizations were selected to participate in the Forum, including representatives of the six Eastern Partnership countries and the EU. 48 organizations participated as observers, and each participating organization has sent a delegate.
The official part of the event took place on the 20th of November and was opened by a video message of the President of Georgia, Mr. Giorgi Margvelashvili and the EU High Representative, Ms. Frederica Morgerini to the participants of the Forum.
During the opening of the Forum the representatives of civil society also delivered speeches, especially Lasha Tugushi, Chairman of the Georgian National Platform and Arzu Abdullayeva, Co-chair of the International Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly. In her speech, Arzu Abdullayeva noted that the EU applies double standards in relation to the dictatorial regimes of the EaP countries, as well as the fact that it is getting more difficult for non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to reach out to global institutions and international organizations. The EU is still an institution to be trusted by the civil society. In conclusion, she addressed to the leaders of the EU with the appeal to review their relationship with civil society of EaP countries.
The first panel discussion, entitled “Human Rights in the Eastern Partnership region: strengthening the EU’s role in the deteriorating situation” was devoted to the situation of human rights in the EaP countries. That is the subject of focus in the Forum in the light of rapidly deteriorating situation with human rights and political prisoners. Moderator of the discussion was the chairman of the initiative “European stability” Gerald Knaus. In his speech in the framework of the panel discussion, Ambassador of Sweden in the Eastern Partnership Martin Hagstrom emphasized that the struggle for change in the Eastern Partnership should primarily be carried out by the countries themselves, but at the same time assured that Sweden and the European Union pay special attention to the issue of human rights in the region. He urged the Forum to be more involved in the preparation of the EU Summit in Riga in 2015. Shahla Ismail, representing the Association of Women of Azerbaijan, said that Azerbaijan faces a confrontation among countries of Civil Society, in this regard, “The European Union as an international player, should be more active and not just an observer”. Among the other speakers there were Alexander Delemenchuk from Euromaidan SOS and Arthur Sakunts, representing the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly.
The delegate of the International Fund also addressed the participants of the plenary session with the statement. According to the text of the Communication of the European Commission under the number COM (2008) 823, which served as the basis for the establishment of the Eastern Partnership CSF, the goal of creating the Eastern Partnership SC Forum is to facilitate contacts between civil society organizations and their dialogue with public authorities. Thus, this forum should reflect the full range of civil society, both in the partner countries and in member states of the EU. It should facilitate discussions with the participation of all sectors of civil society with the active involvement of independent non-governmental organizations, experts and analysts from the Eastern Partnership countries and the EU (see full text of the statement on the BSCSIF website).
At the plenary session, on the 22nd of November the Assembly strategy for the period 2015-2017 was adopted by the EaP CSF. In addition, in order to optimize the work of the Forum, the participants approved the structural reform of the Steering Committee according to which six national coordinators, five coordinators of the working groups, and up to two coordinators of the EU would compose the Committee. The Report on the activities of the Forum for the period 2013 - 2014 was submitted to the participants of the Forum. The report was presented by the Co-chairman of the Steering Committee Jeff Lovitt. The Forum culminated in a number of important results, in particular, the adoption of resolutions aimed at solving specific problems and challenges in the region. One of the most important Resolutions adopted at this Forum was the Appeal №1 on the principles of formation of bilateral civil society platforms between the EU and Ukraine, Republic of Moldova and Georgia (Statement on the Joint Principles for establishment of the civil society platforms between the European Union and Ukraine, Republic of Moldova, and Georgia).
In conclusion, I would like to express my personal opinion on the objectives and future potential of the EaP CSF. The main subject of the Forum in Batumi was the European integration of the Eastern Partnership countries, and especially countries that have signed an Association Agreement with the EU. But as it became clear during the passing year, European integration is extremely associated with security challenges in the region. And it is probable that if in the near future these issues are not settled, the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum might just turn into purely formal initiative.
We are on the threshold of a new strategic period covering 2015-2017. Over the years, the EaP CSF, unfortunately, did not take the place that seemed possible in the framework of the Eastern Partnership, and where it could actively influence the agenda of the EaP. It exists today as a platform for meetings and discussions, between the representatives of NGOs, but the role of civil society in it is still rather insignificant. The reasons may be different: very bureaucratic approach of the Eastern Partnership and the member countries of the European Union to the EaP, and its slow development associated with not very strong desire of the state to see the civil society as an equal partner in this relationship. On the other hand, we can also mention the fact that civil society itself is insufficiently solid to insist on their own interests and actively influence the development of the EaP initiative.
Thus, at this stage, one might observe the prioritization of relations between the European Union both at the governmental and civil society levels with some EaP countries which have signed an association agreement with the EU (Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia) and stagnation of relations with others (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus). This might be evidenced by the Resolution on the Joint Principles for establishment of the civil society platforms between the European Union and Ukraine, Republic of Moldova, and Georgia. Considering this situation and increasing nstitutional role of national platforms, the present format of the EaP CSF is likely to change, and take either a more productive and practical form, but not for all countries participating in the EaP, or to continue its existence as a formal meeting platform for the exchange of experiences and views of civil society representatives from the EaP countries.
BSCSIF Project Coordinator
BSCSIF at the Black Sea Non-Governmental Organizations Forum
On June 26, 2012, in Istanbul, the 20th Anniversary Istanbul Summit of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) Heads of State or Government was held. It marked the 20th anniversary of the launching of BSEC at the Istanbul Summit, on June 25 1992.
The event, which was hosted by the Republic of Turkey, was Co-Chaired by the President of the Republic of Serbia., H.E. Mr. Tomislav NIKOLIC, representing the ex Chairmanship-in-Office of BSEC and the President of the republic of Turkey, H.E. Adbullah GÜL, representing the host country of the incoming Chairmanship-in-Office. The transfer of chairmanship, as well as the election of H.E. Ambassador Victor TVIRCUN, from Republic of Moldova, as Secretary General of the BSEC PERMIS on July 1 2012, upon the decision of the 26th Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs held in Belgrade in June 2012, are of great joy to BSCSIF, as both countries are members of our organization and active participants in the development of our activity. Actually, 9 of the BSEC countries (Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine) are also members of our Fund, which is why the main objectives of BSCSIF are very similar to those promoted by BSEC, being directed towards promoting the development of cooperation between governmental organizations and civil society in the countries of the Black sea region in such areas as economy, investment climate, civil society, environmental protection, science, education, culture and tolerance.
On the auspicious occasion of the 20th Anniversary BSEC Summit of Heads of State or Government, there were organized parallel events including:
- a special meeting of PABSEC (Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation),
- an Academics Forum (with the Centre for Strategic Research- SAM),
- a Private Sector Roundtable Meeting (In cooperation with the UNDP-Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development – IICPSD) and
- an NGO Forum.
The NGO Forum was organized following the initiative of Mr. Ismail SAFI, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Turkish Parliament, member of the PABSEC Economic, Commercial, Technological and Environmental Affairs Committee and Head of the Turkish Delegation, and Vice-President of BSCSIF and the Director of its branch in Istanbul.
BSCSIF had the honour to be invited in the NGO Forum, and was represented there by Mrs. Marcela Curmei, Office Coordinator in Bucharest and Adviser for Economic Cooperation to BSCSIF. Aiming to create a platform for the NGOs around the Black Sea Region and to discuss future cooperation possibilities, the “Black Sea Non-Governmental Organizations Forum” took place as a round table meeting with no specific agenda. The discussions focused on current regional developments and served as an opportunity to exchange opinions and experiences. Transport, environmental protection, trade and economic development, energy, migration management, combating organized crime, communications and information technology, science and technology, healthcare and pharmaceutics, institutional renewal and good governance, education, culture, tourism and customs matters are among the fields of cooperation within the framework of the NGO forum.
Based on the foregoing, we consider it necessary to further promote partnerships with influential international organizations, such as the United Nations, Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and especially the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, in order to contribute to a peaceful and stable development of the region.
The Conference “6 Years of Austerity and the Impact on Collective Bargaining” 15th November 2014
The Conference “6 Years of Austerity and the Impact on Collective Bargaining” was held by European Lawyers for Workers Network in Paris, France in 15thNovember, 2014.Many important professors from the world’s leading universities and trade unions took part in the conference as speakers and shared their valuable thoughts and determinations regarding employees’ problems in the scope of collective agreements and collective bargaining rights.Keith Ewing from Kings College London, Isabelle Schoemann from European Trade Union Institute, Filip Dorssement from Universite Catholique de Louvain, Reingard Zimmer from Berlin School of Economics, Pascal Lokiec from Universite Paris Ouest and Antonio Garcia Munoz from Castilla La Mancha University submitted their speeches.The most essential subject of the Conference was mainly how to defend the workers’ rights, especially in the era of austerity. It has been seen that European Countries have taken many urgent and vital precautions and these precautions affect workers.European countries have started to change the collective bargaining procedures, decrease the workers’ rights while increasing the flexibility of the employers.Especially, Spain, Portugal and Greece have made essential changes in their collective bargaining rules. In this respect, the affects of these changes can be seen clearly. For instance, in Portugal since 2008 the number of employees that are protected by the collective agreements has decreased. Just like Portugal, the number of collective agreements has also decreased in Spain.European countries have signed free trade agreements with countries like Canada, United States, Korea and in these agreements it is stated that these countries will abide the rules of International Labor Organization, but the main problem is that these Countries have not signed all the sub protocols of the ILO. For that reason as foreign employers they will not be dependent on the ILO rules and the rights of the workers will not be protected.In this respect all of the workers in the countries especially the European countries, shall be aware of the restrictions in the procedure of collective bargaining and collective agreements and defend their rights and privileges.
Turkey-Lithuania Business Forum 9 December 2014 Istanbul, Turkey
Consulate of Lithuania in Istanbul and DEİK (Foreign Economic Relations Board) hosted and organized Turkey-Lithuania Business Forum, in İstanbul Turkey on 9th of December. The Secretary General of International Center for Support and Coordination for Economic Cooperation Mr. Murat Teber and the board member Mrs. Elif Cagla Isik have attended the Business Forum on behalf of International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.Business Forum has started with the speeches of President of Lithuania Ms. Dalia Grybauskaite and Mr. Nail Olpak the Vice President of DEİK, Turkey. The main subject of the Business Forum was trade relations and new opportunities between Turkey and Lithuania. Presentations regarding, doing business in Lithuania, laser industry in Lithuania, alternate transportation opportunities in Lithuania were presented.After the presentations, bilateral meetings were held. Mr. Murat Teber and Mrs. Elif Çağla Işık had some contacts with representatives of Lithuanian companies elated to the current and possible future projects of the Economic Center.
Meeting between BSCSIF, ICSCEC and guests from South Africa held on 15 August 2014, in Istanbul, Turkey
On 15th of August 2014, representatives of the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea (the International Fund) and its International Centre for Support and Coordination of Economic Cooperation (ICSCEC) met with guests from South Africa in Istanbul to discuss possible directions for collaboration and common action.ICSCEC, where Prof. Dr. Eldar Hasanov, General Secretary of BSCSIF, welcomed Her Royal Highness Princess Celenhle Dlamini and Ms Ursula Johnson, and presented the 5 years activity of the International Fund towards strengthening of the regional economic cooperation, including the establishment of ICSCEC in December 2013. The meeting was also attended by Ms. Alev Balgi, Executive Director of BSCSIF; Mr. Bahruz Asadbayli, President of ICSCEC; Mr. Murat Teber, Coordinator of ICSCEC’s economic projects; Ms. Elif Cagla Isik, ICSCEC lawyer and Ms. Elmira Bakirova, Project manager within ICSCEC. During the meeting, both sides presented their current projects and activities.Her Royal Highness Princess Celenhle Dlamini and Ms. Ursula Johnson expressed their gratitude to BSCSIF for their warm welcome. Ms. Johnson forwarded the proposal of HRH Zolani Mkiva, Chairman of the National Delphic Council of South Africa, to select a delegation of young artists from the Black Sea-Caspian Sea region to participate within the African Delphic Games, as well as to provide until November 2014 a group of internationally renowned artists and people of culture to be part of the World Delphic Cultural Forum. BSCSIF expressed their readiness to support and be part of the cultural project African Delphic Games and other similar projects
BSCSIF and the African Delphic Games
On 22-28 July 2014 Ms. Valentina Albu, Coordinator of the Research Department of BSCSIF attended the Special Summit of the International Delphic Council that was held in East London, South Africa.
In 2013, HRH Zolani Mkiva became the representative of South Africa within the International Fund of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, and his contribution to our activities is reflected in the award received from our Fund, in 2014. BSCSIF is looking forward to further strengthening the cultural and economic relations between South Africa and the countries from the Black Sea- Caspian Sea region.Since Mr. Zolani Mkiva is also the Chairman of the National Delphic Council of South Africa, and with the full support of the South African Government, he has brought to BSCSIF this incredible opportunity and challenge to help organize the 1st African Delphic Games, by bringing the cultures, traditions and innovations from the Black Sea- Caspian Sea region to South Africa in an international competition with outstanding artists and performances, within a unique venue in order to promote new economic markets, strengthen fundamental human values, contribute to intercultural exchange and understanding, provide support to international economic stability and peace.The Delphic Games which will be held on 22-29 November, 2014, in Durban South Africa, aim to be the single biggest marketing opportunity in Arts & Culture worldwide. Intolerance is globally increasing, thus a platform for peaceful dialogue is timely and arts and culture is the perfect vehicle for an exchange and education to develop the Self, the Artist and the Nation.
Mr. Ashraf Shikhaliyev, Director of Azerbaijan International Development Agency, visits the Black Sea Caspian Sea International Fund Headquarters in Bucharest, Romania.
On July 18, 2014, Mr. Ashraf Shikhaliyev, Director of Azerbaijan International Development Agency (AIDA), visited the Headquarters of the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea (BSCSIF) in Bucharest.
The BSCSIF Executive Director, Ms. Alev Balgi, Project Coordinator, Ms. Julia Akhunova, Coordinator of the reasearch department, Ms Valentina Albu and Project Manager, Luiza Nita made a presentation of the main objectives and activities of the BSCSIF, which was created as a platform for dialogue and cooperation between the countries from the Black Sea and Caspian Sea regions, the implemented and ongoing projects, as well as of the future perspectives of the Fund. They highlighted the role of the organization in fostering the bilateral and multilateral relations between the countries in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea regions, as well as in promoting the economic opportunities and the human and cultural values of the region worldwide.
Mr. Ashraf Shikhaliyev presented the activities of AIDA, stressing the social and humanitarian dimension of the projects implemented by the organization worldwide. AIDA was established in 2011 under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan and it is responsible for provision of international humanitarian and development assistance by the Republic of Azerbaijan to the countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America, while coordinates the activities of relevant state agencies in this field. Also, within a joint programme carried out with think tanks in Azerbaijan, AIDA provides opportunities for foreign researchers to conduct studies and to specialize in Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea region.
Mr. Shikhaliyev thanked for the warm hospitality and appreciated the significant role of the BSCSIF in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea regions, as a bridge organization contributing to the enhancement of the cultural, economic, and social cooperation, as well as to the strengthening of the diplomatic relations between the countries. Project proposals to be further implemented by AIDA together with the BSCSIF in the fields of energy security, promoting multiculturalism and education were discussed during the meeting.
Meeting held between BSCSIF, ICSCEC and UNDP IICPSD – Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development
On 23 June 2014, BSCSIF representatives participated in a meeting with the Director of the UNDP Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development (IICPSD), Ms. Simona Marinescu and its colleagues.
The meeting, attended by Ms. Alev Balgi, Ms. Natalia Ciobanu and Mr. Farid Khalilov representing BSCSIF, aimed at identifying and developing potential joint projects that would be in line with the common priorities of the two organizations. BSCSIF Executive Director, Ms. Balgi, presented the areas in which the Fund has been active since its establishment, while Ms. Ciobanu shared the experience of some previously implemented projects, as well as the project being prepared jointly with UN Food and Agricultural Organization.
Ms. Marinescu in turn shared the experience of IICPSD I the region and underlined some identified common challenges for the private sector in the region. Hence the two organizations agreed to prepare a research project to look into the skill gaps, issues behind unemployment that lead to migration and creating local competitiveness in areas where extractive activities are being conducted.
UNDP IICPSD is a UN centre of excellence for how to engage the private sector in development and how to enhance its impact. It is a source of expertise on building the kinds of business models which are positive for new home-grown businesses and for creating more jobs and livelihoods, and has been opened and supported by UNDP with the Government of Turkey.
The collaboration between BSCSIF and IICPSD is in line with BSCSIF objectives to strengthen regional economic cooperation and to contribute to building sustainable livelihoods for local communities in the BSCSIF countries.
Meetings held between BSCSIF, ICSCEC and Universities
Between 2 and 23rd of June, BSCSIF and ICSCEC representatives Ms. Alev Balgi, Ms. Natalia Ciobanu and Mr. Farid Khalilov had a series of meetings with representatives of some of the most reputed universities in Turkey.
Meetings were held in turn with Prof. Dr. Gülay Barbarosoğlu, Rector of Boğaziçi University, Prof. Dr. Mehmet Sabri Çelik, Vice-Rector of Istanbul Technıcal Unıversity, and Prof. Dr. Ayşe Ayçiçeği Dınn, Chair of the Career Center of Istanbul University with the purpose to introduce BSCSIF and ICSCEC activities. University representatives welcomed the invitation to conduct common activities that would enhance both the opportunities for education and research within Universities, as well as to enlarge the BSCSIF pool of experts that would be engaged in joint activities and projects.
In follow up of these meetings bilateral partnerships will be established between BSCSIF and each of the universities, that will allow university professors and researchers to make use of their expertise in BSCSIF conferences and projects, and will give the students the chance to gain practical experience on project design and implementation in the Black Sea – Caspian Sea region.
These meetings were in line with BSCSIF efforts to create a bridge between academia in the BSCS region, and its objectives to strengthen regional cooperation at all levels, and its commitment to actively engage in the capacity building of the new generation of researchers focusing on BSCS regional issues.
Meeting held between BSCSIF, ICSCEC and DEİK – Foreign Economic Relations Board
On 20 June 2014, BSCSIF and ICSCEC representatives participated in a meeting with the Secretary General of Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK), Mr. Bahhri Can Çalıcıoğlu and DEIK Coordinator, Ms. Çağla Mazlum.
The meeting took place at the premises of DEİK, where, on behalf of BSCSIF, its Executive Director, Ms. Alev Balgi presented the 5 year activity of the Fund in strengthening regional economic cooperation, including the establishment in December 2013 of the ICSCEC. On behalf of the Center, its Secretary General, Mr. Murat Teber, presented the planned projects on promoting innovation and innovative technologies and the upcoming business forum to be held in Minsk, Belarus in October 2014. ICSCEC Project Coordinator, Ms. Natalia Ciobanu presented the ongoing research project on understanding Turkey’s role in the sustainable economic development of the region, emphasizing the contribution that DEIK could have in building a more complete picture.
The two organizations shared ideas on what could jointly be done to contribute to economic development in the BSCS countries, and convened to engage Turkish companies more actively in BSCSIF projects targeting economic cooperation.
Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK) is an organization of the business community, which aims for the “high value added” integration of Turkey and the Turkish private sector into the process of globalization. Having assumed the duty of “managing the foreign economic relations of the Turkish private sector”, DEİK actively operates in the commercial, investment and service areas including exports, imports, inward foreign direct investment and outward foreign direct investment, international construction, energy-related issues, banking and logistics.
The cooperation between BSCSIF and DEİK is in line with BSCSIF objective to promote and strengthen economic cooperation between the countries represented in the BSCSIF.
Meeting held between BSCSIF, ICSCEC and TİKA – Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency
On 19 of June 2014 representatives of BSCSIF and its International Center for Support and Coordination of Economic Cooperation (ICSCEC) met in Ankara with the Vice President of Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) to discuss possible directions for common action and cooperation.
The meeting took place at TIKA’s premises, where Mr. Ali Maskan, Vice-President of TIKA welcomed Ms. Alev Balgi, Executive Director of BSCSIF, and Ms. Natalia Ciobanu, ICSCEC Project Coordinator. It was a first occasion for the two organizations two get more closely acquainted with each other’s past and current activities and priorities for action. During the meeting TIKA and BSCSIF representatives agreed that the Black Sea – Caspian Sea region is a culturally rich area that still needs to learn to make use of its cultural diversity in a constructive and peaceful way. To do so, TIKA expressed its willingness to support and be part of cultural and educational projects. Having this in mind, BSCSIF has been engaging its pool of specialists to work on projects in these areas.
TIKA is currently active with 33 Programme Coordination Offices in 30 cooperation partner countries, and carries out the task of being a cooperating mechanism for the state institutions and organizations, universities, non-profit organizations and the private sector. In addition it functions as a platform for these actors to come together and it records the development aid carried out by Turkey.
The cooperation between TIKA and BSCSIF initiated during this meeting is in line with one of the main directions for action of BSCSIF: building peace through education, intercultural and interreligious dialogue, and celebration of cultural diversity.
Meeting held between BSCSIF, ICSCEC and GMF – The German Marshall Fund of the United States Ankara Office
On 19 of June 2014, Ankara Office of the German Marshall Fund (GMF) hosted the meeting between GMF Country Director, Mr. Özgür Ünlühisarcıklı and BSCSIF represenatatives – Ms. Alev Balgi, BSCSIF Executive Director, and Ms. Natalia Ciobanu, ICSCEC Project Coordinator.
The meeting aimed at identifying common topics of interest between GMF and BSCSIF with the view to join efforts in contributing to regional development. The discussions focused on the need to strengthen democratic processes and cross-border cooperation between civil society organizations in the Black Sea – Caspian Sea countries, which was revealed to be a matter of common concern for the two organizations. Both sides agreed that there is a feeling of urgency in addressing such issues as polarization of Turkish society, Ukraine’s difficulties encountered on its road to Europe, difficulties that Moldova faces economically, as well as the contribution IT might be having to democratization. It was agreed that BSCSIF will explore the urgency of the problems among its members and come up with a proposal addressing social cohesion and democratization of societies in the BSCS region.
Founded in 1972 as a non-partisan, non-profit organization, GMF supports, among others, a number of initiatives to strengthen democracies with the aim to strengthen transatlantic cooperation on regional, national, and global challenges and opportunities in the spirit of the Marshall Plan.
The cooperation between BSCSIF and GMF started in 2011, when GMF office in Bucharest supported the launching of the first issue of BSCSIF magazine “Dialogue of the Seas”, while this meeting was a first step in paving the way to collaboration between BSCSIF and GMF office in Ankara. This is in line with BSCSIF’s objective to strengthen democratic processes and civil society in BSCSIF countries.
Official visit of BSCSIF delegation to Minsk, Belarus
At the official invitation of the Belarussian side, on May 6, 2014, in Minsk has been held the meeting between H. E. Mr. Aleksandr Lukashenko, President of the Republic of Belarus and the representatives of the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea (BSCSIF), Ms. Ismail Safi, President, Mr. Eldar Hasanov, Secretary General, Mr. Vitali Buzdugan and Mr. Aleksandr Zaytsev, members representing Belarus in BSCSIF Board of Directors. At the meeting was discussed the issue regarding the implementation of joint projects in high-tech industries. BSCSIF proposes to implement an innovative project that includes subprojects in electronics (equipment production), energy (production of nano-carbon fibers for transmission lines), road construction (lightweight building construction), and manufacture of engines on hydrogen fuel.
Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that Belarus is very interested in the development of high-tech knowledge-intensive industries. “For the ongoing five-year period and the future one, we have identified as the main direction of development the support on science and cutting-edge technology. Of course, we are interested to lay perspectives in areas such as nano-electronics, storage and accumulation of electric energy and others. In this area, we want to cooperate with you”, said the President, addressing the delegation of BSCSIF.
According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea is a very solid organization, which includes 28 countries. „This is a strong association, in particular in the field of science and innovative research and, I believe, finance field as well, which, in the future, and maybe even now, will have a significant influence on the development of regional cooperation. If the Fund can prove his worthiness, we can make a significant contribution to the development of regional cooperation and the application of new technologies”, said Aleksandr Lukashenko.
The Head of the Republic of Belarus has given assurances that he is ready to provide all possible support to the work of the Fund in his country. „I guarantee full support for your Fund. You know my policy in this regard, we are completely transparent and honest. We would like to see your intentions realized”, he said.
President Aleksandr Lukashenko said that he already gave appropriate instructions to create the necessary conditions for the activities of the branch BSCSIF in Minsk and that he is satisfied with the level of activity of representatives of Belarus within BSCSIF.
During the meeting, the Belarusian side expressed its willingness to establish close contact between the International Foundation, known as an experienced think-tank, and the State Committee on Science and Technology, National Academy of Sciences of Belarus and universities, with the purpose of cooperation in the field of innovative and nano-technologies. As well, considering existing fruitful cooperation in the economic field between Turkey and Belarus and the created circumstances for the activity of the Turkish companies, President Aleksandr Lukashenko suggested to Turkey and other members countries of BSCSIF to participate in the creation of innovative industrial park in his own country.
In his turn, Ismail Safi thanked the President of Belarus for the invitation, hospitality, for the conditions offered for the activities of the branch BSCSIF in Minsk and the perspective provided of active cooperation. He drew particular attention to the geographical location of Belarus, located in a strategic point in the region, connecting Asia and Europe. Ismail Safi expressed his hope that the implementation of joint projects of Belarus and BSCSIF will give an additional impetus to the development of the Belarusian-Turkish cooperation.
The President of BSCSIF emphasized the special historical role played by Romania and Azerbaijan in establishing the International Fund, and that BSCSIF has the task of becoming an analytical center of a «think tank» type. He expressed his appreciation for the outstanding involvement of Mr. Vitaly Buzdugan and Aleksandr Zaytsev. He also informed President Lukashenko about the decision of BSCSIF Board of Directors, adopted on March 9, 2014, to establish a branch BSCSIF in Minsk, Belarus.
Regarding the activities of the Fund, Ismail Safi informed that BSCSIF established partnerships and actively cooperates with well-known universities, research centers and academia, influential non-governmental organizations from the organization’s member countries and will continue to make efforts toward strengthening its activities in this direction. At the end of the meeting, Ismail Safi congratulated President Lukashenko about organizing in Belarus the Ice Hockey World Championship.
During the visit of BSCSIF delegation in Minsk, meetings have been held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Economy, State Committee for Science and Technology, National Academy of Sciences, Olympic Committee of Belarus, as well as with officials of Belarus, involved in the implementation of the innovative technological project, and interested researchers.
Another subject discussed on the occasion of this visit relates to the training of national experts in universities of Belarus, with the aim of their further participation in national, regional and international projects conducted by BSCSIF; details of the next meeting of BSCSIF Board of Directors to be held in Minsk in October 2014 were as well brought to table of discussions.
During this visit, the delegation of BSCSIF visited and got acquainted with the activities of the BSCSIF branch in Belarus.
“Side by Side for the Black Sea” Training Course – a Young View on Old Problems
In times of socio-economic crisis, the Black Sea – Caspian Sea International Fund (BSCSIF) brings about solutions, by concluding the first step of an ambitious, though necessary answer to the issue of preventing water pollution – a Training Course on Capacity Development for Youth NGOs supported by European Commission through “Youth in Action” Programme.
The Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution has long acknowledged the major environmental problems the Black Sea has been facing recently. Studies have identified eutrophication, largely the result of human activities, as the most significant cause of the Black Sea’s environmental decline – especially in the coastal areas.
Paying a great deal of importance to the role of civil society and youth as key stakeholders in solving major national and international problems, BSCSIF has conducted between September 5th – 14th a water-related Training Course on Capacity Development within the “Side by Side for the Black Sea” project, in Gura Portitei, Romania.
The Training Course gathered 27 young people from Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey and Ukraine, who analyzed and discussed the situation of water in the Black Sea basin. They have gained the ability to analyze the connections between water and human health, economy and international relations, as well as to understand the mutual impact of human activities on the quality and availability of water, and think about solutions to prevent water pollution.
During the training, Mr. Iulian FOTA, adviser to the President of Romania on National Security issues, has provided a practical insight into the importance of water as a key resource of a country, stressing that “Environmental risks may ultimately overrule all other security challenges”, and emphasizing the role of NGO’s in raising awareness and suggesting solutions to Governments.
The Training Course activities were also focused on providing practical skills and tools for participants to turn ideas of solutions into viable projects. As a result, 5 new project proposals have been designed for further development. More detailed information on the activities and their outcome can be found on:www.wix.com/bscsif/sbs-project.
The “Side by Side for the Black Sea” project will continue developing the network of youth NGOs involved in water-related projects through 2 networking events that are expected to take place in the beginning of next year in Ukraine and Azerbaijan.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission through the “Youth in Action” Programme. This communication reflects only the views of the author, and the Commission is not responsible for any eventual use of the information it contains.
DEFINING THE CASPIAN: ASPIRATIONS, OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES
Policy Dialogue – 25 March 2014, Brussels
The Caspian is the largest inland body of water in the world, stretching from the shores of the Black Sea to the heart of Central Asia, it is a region rich in energy resources, with huge economic potential, and a meeting point between cultures and civilizations. Given the region’s geographic position between powerful states, for much of its history it has been at the heart of global confrontations.
Amanda Paul, EPC Policy Analyst, opened the Policy Dialogue by describing EPC and BSCSIF’s new project Defining the Caspian, which is designed to analyse and discuss geopolitical, energy and economic issues in the Caspian region and its neighbourhood.
AlevBalgi, Executive Director of the Black Sea-Caspian International Fund, presented BSCSIF describing it as an international non-governmental non-profit organization, established in 2009 by the initiative of various representatives of influential non-governmental organizations, academics, scientists from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Turkey and Ukraine.
Ms Balgi expressed her satisfaction over the launch of the project Defining the Caspian, and stressed that it is important to launch actions that enhance democratic processes, economic development and dialogue among civilizations by using transportation territories, developing trade and creating a sustainable energy network.
Svante Cornell, Director of the Institute for Security and Development Policy, described the Caspian as the entry point for Europe to the heart of Eurasia and stated that without access through the Caucasus and the Caspian, there is no Western presence in Central Asia and Afghanistan. He outlined Western interests in the Caspian region, which he summarized as energy, military and trade-related interests.
Denis Daniilidis,EU Chargé d’Affaires in Turkmenistan, outlined Turkmenistan’s history since its independence and the country’s energy policy. For many years, Turkmenistan had been relying on Russia as the main customer of its gas exports. This changed in 2009, when the explosion of the Davletbat-Dariyalyk pipeline halted Turkmen exports to Russia and trust broke down between partners after Ashgabat blamed Moscow for the incident. After that, Turkmenistan started investing in energy diversification, mainly by concluding several agreements with China, with whom Turkmenistan is now connected via three pipelines. It is estimated that by the end of 2020, Turkmenistan will export around 60 bcma of gas to China, making Ashgabat the biggest gas supplier to Chinese market via pipeline. “China is the ideal partner for Turkmenistan: both have a highly centralized decision making process, and human rights violations do not play a role in deciding with which partner is right for business”, he noted.
DanilaBochkarev, Fellow at the East West Institute, drew an energy map of the Caspian region. As the other speakers, he pointed out the division between East and West Caspian, with on the one side Azerbaijan having limited export routes, very focused towards the EU, and on the other side Iran, Turkmenistan and Iraq being in a more complex situation and more connected to China.
DibaNigarGöksel, Editor-in-chief of the Turkish Policy Quarterly, contributed to the discussion analysing Turkey’s role in the Caspian region. According to her, Turkey’s recent aspirations in the region were too ambitious and unrealistic for the time-frame they were conceived for. Not only Turkish “zero problems with neighbours” aspirations in the Caspian area were set into action with ill-conceived undertakings – such as the Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform or the Turkish-Armenian normalization process – but also Turkey’s efforts to redefine its relations with Russia and Iran by minimizing conflict and maximizing economic interdependence were unsuccessful.
Dennis Sammut, Director of LINKS, stated that the EU has the ability to influence decisions in the countries of the Caspian region, as it can bring investments and it carries a model of relationship that is never built on exploitation, but rather on the basis of mutual benefits. Iran and Russia are still important players in the area – with whom the EU has very complicated relations – and out of the other three countries touched by the Caspian, the EU has most advanced relations with Azerbaijan. Despite not yet signing an Association Agreement, Baku has expressed a desire to upgrade its relations with the EU and Mr Sammut believes that a stronger cooperation with Azerbaijan should be pursued and can yield positive results.
Executive Director of BSCSIF attended the Fifth Conference of the Civil Society Organizations in the Islamic World
On 14-15 December 2013 Mrs. Curpedin-Balgi Alev, Executive Director of BSCSIF attended the Fifth Conference of the Civil Society Organizations in the Islamic World that was held in Istanbul.
The Conference was attended by about 400 members representing 230 civil society organizations.
H.E. Cevdet Yılmaz, Turkish Minister of Development, delivered the keynote speech at the inaugural session. He commended the role of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in sponsoring and coordinating the meetings of the civil society organizations in the Muslim World. He also highly appreciated the role of these organizations in performing their respective duties towards the Muslim peoples and called for consolidating the concepts of cooperation among the countries and the civil society organizations towards the achievement of security, development and social peace. The inaugural session was also addressed by H.E. Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, OIC Secretary General, who deputized Assistant Secretary General, H.E. Amb. Atta Al-Manan Bakhit, who highlighted the efforts exerted to establish the Department of Humanitarian Assistance at the OIC and the successful steady efforts taken at all levels for the Department to commence its tasks until it has become one of the most important OIC components. In its various sessions, the Conference discussed in detail a number of themes and subjects on its agenda in terms of the issues and affairs of civil society organizations in the Muslim World. The papers submitted to the Conference covered the following aspects: most important political, economic, and social challenges that civil society organizations encounter; impact of 9/11 on the relation between humanitarian organizations and governments in the Muslim World; role of humanitarian organizations in complex emergencies; and review of some successful experiences in the area of urgent and emergency relief. The Conference also discussed the themes related to the current humanitarian situation and its challenges and the humanitarian efforts of some countries at three sessions that addressed the cases of Syria, Gaza (Palestine), and South Kurdfan (Sudan).
The executive director of BSCSIF attended the second annual forum on Business and Human Rights under the patronage of United Nations
On 2-4 December 2013, in Geneva, Switzerland Mrs. Curpedin-Balgi Alev , the executive director of BSCSIF attended the second annual forum on Business and Human Rights under the patronage of United Nations.
The Forum was established by the Human Rights Council and is under the guidance of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights. The Forum provides a global platform for the promotion and implementation of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. These Principles, unanimously endorsed in 2011 by the Council, are the first globally accepted standards on the responsibilities of States and businesses for preventing and addressing business-related human rights abuse.
The second Forum focused on progress in the implementation of the Guiding Principles, highlighting the emerging challenges for States, business, and civil society, and identifying and discussing good practices.
More than 1,400 people from 100 countries attend the second United Nations Forum on Business and Human Rights in Geneva in 2013.
She participated to the side event named: “Business, human rights and conflict: challenges and good practice (from conflict prevention to operating in a conflict-affected area)”.
Adviser to the BSCSIF President for Economic Cooperation attended the Eurasian Business Forum in Turkey
On 12-15 December 2013 Mr. Mammadov Orhan, Adviser to the BSCSIF President for Economic Cooperation attended the Eurasian Business Forum in Turkey.
Eurasia Economic Relations Association (Eco Eurasia) and Full Black Sea Industrialists’ Businessmen’s Associations (TÜKSİAD) organized the Eurasian Business Forum in Gebze, with the support of International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea (BSCSIF), Gebze Municipality, Gebze Chamber of Commerce and East Marmara Development Agency (MARKA).
The businessmen, bureaucrats, ambassadors, deputies, chairmen of the chambers of commerce and industry and high-level officers notably from Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Albania, Nakhcevan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Georgia, Iraq, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, TRNC, Kosovo, Macedonia, Mongolia, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Crimea, Greece and Turkey attended the “Eurasian Businessmen Forum”.
On the first day of the Forum the businessmen came to Gebze and participated in the forum where the commercial and economical activities, investment opportunities, investment incentives in the region were shared. Adviser to the BSCSIF President for Economic Cooperation, Mr. Mammadov Orhan held a speech about the International Center for Support and Coordination of Economic Cooperation, that was founded at the initiative of BSCSIF. He highlighted the importance of the Center as a significant body for the development of the Economic Cooperation in Black Sea – Caspian Sea region.
On the second day, the productive facilities, factories and organized industry sites in İzmit and Gebze, where the bilateral contacts have been realized, were visited.
Nihat Ergün, the Minister of Science, Industry and Technology participated at the Gala Diner, and he gave important information about the business opportunities in Turkey.
On the last day of the program, a cultural trip was organized for the businessmen in and around Gebze.
From the Caspian Sea to the Black Sea – a strategic view
On December 2, 2013, in the Gala Hall of the Marmara University, Istanbul, has been held the opening ceremony of the symposium “From Caspian Sea to the Black Sea – a strategic view”.
The International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea has been represented at the festive opening by Dr. Ismail Safi, President, and Prof. Dr. Eldar Hasanov, Secretary General and Vice-President.
The organizers of this significant symposium, in which many analysts and scientists from Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia and other countries have taken part, is the Eurasia Economic Relations Association (EkoAvrasya) and Marmara University.
Among the honorary guests of the ceremony were the Ambassador of Kazakhstan in Turkey, Mr. Zhanseit Tuymenbayev, the representative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Mr. Samir Jafarov, the deputy secretary general of Entrepreneurs Council of Turkish speaking countries, Mr. Darhan Kydyrali, the rector of the Marmara University Mr. Zafer Gül and other renowned scientists and public figures from the Caspian Sea – Black Sea region.
In his opening speech, Prof. Dr. Eldar Hasanov, Secretary General of BSCSIF, emphasized the significance of the Caspian Sea both for Europe and Asia, and the many problems that it has ahead. The Caspian Sea still does not have a definitive legal status. The position of the rich in energy resources Caspian Sea is very important as an international transport route which continues the old Silk Road. Mr. Eldar Hasanov has expressed his hope that, with the uncovering of the problems and contribution to their solving, by means of scientific research, and in conformity with the international law, the Caspian Sea will be given a legal status. As well, the Secretary General has introduced to the participants of the symposium the activity and the strategy of the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea.
At the end of the festive opening ceremony, the Head of Eurasia Economic Relations Association (EkoAvrasya), Mr. Hikmet Eren, has granted honorary medals and Association Awards to Dr. Ismail Safi, Prof. Dr. Eldar Hasanov and Ambassador Zhanseit Tuymenbayev.
What exacerbates Karabakh conflict today? – Opinion by European expert – INTERVIEW
interview with Alev Curpedin-Balgi, Executive Director of Black Sea and Caspian Sea International Fund
- Share, please, your thoughts on the prospects of Azerbaijan’s integration to Europe
Azerbaijan’s geostrategic location enables it to engage in major regional initiatives and projects of global significance. Since, geographically Azerbaijan is located in a close neighborhood it serves as a gate and corridor for Europe to Central Asia. Therefore, it is impossible to imagine European policy towards its neighborhood by putting away Azerbaijan. On the other hand, the aspirations of Azerbaijan for European integration are natural and commendable. As you witness, European Union which constitutes a political and economic gravity center of Europe is constantly developing its policy towards its partners. Eastern Partnership is a tailored and specific initiative which offers wide range of cooperation. It envisages visa facilitation, free trade and association agreements with partner countries. Democratic civil society building is a key domain which EU would like to work with Azerbaijan in the years ahead. These are common values that Europe should keep on sharing generously and without any prejudice with Azerbaijan. In its turn, Azerbaijan demonstrates that it is indeed willing and capable to absorb European values without becoming necessarily a European. I think this is the major point of which European partners mostly run ignorant either unintentionally or deliberately. Since I am closely working with countries in Black Sea-Caspian Sea region I can infer and distinguish the rationale and pace of European integration in the concerned countries. The rationale behind the EU initiatives should not be devised and promoted as “one-size fits all”. Individual needs of partner countries should be analyzed thoroughly before pushing them all together into one destination. These countries face different challenges which require a solemn involvement. Without doing so, EU itself may become a “loser” though initial strategy is designed for win-win purpose.
- It is clear that energy is the more productive direction of the cooperation of Azerbaijan with the European Union. But what you can say about the prospects of the interaction between Baku and the united Europe in the other fields?
Both Europe and Azerbaijan should not define their future relations solely on energy security, which the latter has made huge steps in this regard namely through TANAP and TAP. Azerbaijan’s significant contribution to Europe’s energy security should not be ignored. There is a big space for cooperation, mainly in the field of building democratic civil society and fostering trade. Fatigue and lack of enthusiasm is an undesired situation which both parties should avoid in the future of relations.
- What do you think about Karabakh problem and its settlement?
The basis of settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is unambiguous – UN Security Council resolutions adopted in this framework retain its legitimacy. Documents and decisions of other international organizations adopted in this framework so far do not question the principles of territorial integrity and sovereignty of conflicting states. Peaceful means remains a unique and common accepted way by world community in resolution of the conflict. The roadmap should be developed on this legal background. It is embarrassing that 20 years of “status-quo” adds more pressure to the current situation. Generations substitute each other and I guess neither Armenians nor Azerbaijanis would wish to inherit this burden from their predecessors. Idle time is a good remedy to relieve the pains but certainly not effective to change the reality. The reality in our case is an ongoing occupation and lack of necessary international engagement to help to restore peace in the region.
- What kind of role may international organization play in the reconciliation of belligerents?
In order to emphasize the need for earliest resolution of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in European public opinion and garner adequate attention to the graveness of the situation we, Black Sea – Caspian Sea international fund for cooperation and partnership have developed a project analyzing the background and consequences of all conflicts in the Wider Black Sea region. As you might be aware, the cost of conflicts prevails mostly on the lives of mere people which usually politicians are either unaware or ignorant. We believe that these people especially those who are direct victims of dreadful conflicts deserve a chance to voice their agony over the conflict. They can send a serious signal to their respective politicians or governors to seriously engage in conflict resolution. Our experts are already on the track with a view to contribute to confidence-building between both communities of Nagorno-Karabakh and we are determined to succeed in our project despite some hurdles.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University is taking its place in the international arena.
n 7-8 November 2013, the Black Sea – Caspian International Fund brought together in the city of Rise rectors and academics representing universities from the countries of Black Sea basin.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University is taking its place in the international arena.
This important event was organized under the signature of Dr. Ismail Safi, Istanbul Deputy and President of BSCSIF.
On 7-8 November 2013, in the city of Rise, was signed a protocol between Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University and Black Sea University Network (BSUN); on this occasion, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan University became a member of the network.
„Recep Taiyp Erdogan University becoming a member of BSUN will contribute to the recognition of the university in the international arena in one hand, and on the other hand, the university will have the opportunity to use the experience and knowledge gathered by BSUN since 1998, when was created this network, which today has as members 177 universities from the region”, said Dr. Ismail Safi.
At this ceremony participated 30 rectors and academics from 12 countries. As well, a workshop will be organized on „The role of tourism industry in the development of the Black Sea basin”.
At the end of the program, was organized a cultural trip from the guests.
Meeting between the representatives of the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea and European Policy Centre.
On November 27, 2013, in Brussels has been held a meeting between the representatives of the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea (BSCSIF) and European Policy Centre (EPC). The delegation of BSCSIF, consisting of Mr. Eldar Hasanov, Secretary General, Ms. Alev Balgi, Executive Director, and Ms. Julia Akhunova, Project Coordinator, has been invited by EPC representatives, Mr. Fabian Zuleeg, Chief Executive and Ms. Amanda Paul, Chief EPC Analyst, with the aim of discussing the perspectives of cooperation and implementation of joint projects. On this occasion, a partnership agreement has been signed between BSCSIF and EPC, aiming at strengthening peace, dialog, mutual understanding and cooperation among the countries of the wide Black Sea – Caspian Sea region in the following areas: expansion of the democratic processes, consolidation of the civil society, economic development, science, education, cultural diversity, tolerance and dialog of civilizations.
The best highly qualified experts of both organizations will be coopted in the implementation of the joint projects. Within the framework of the projects, conferences, symposiums, round tables will be organized in the above mentioned activity areas.
Led by the rich experience of EPC, in its capacity of EU think center, the cooperation between these two influential organizations will contribute to the promotion of the democratic values and EU views not only toward the Eastern Partnership countries, but also toward other countries represented in BSCSIF.The International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea is a nongovernmental organization, established on March 4, 2009, in Bucharest, on the initiative of Romania and Azerbaijan, and as well, of other countries from the Black Sea and Caspian Sea regions. The founders of the organization are distinguished scientists and public figures, renowned intellectuals and diplomats from Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Turkey, and Ukraine. Later on, during the years 2011 – 2013, our International Fund has been joined by the representatives of other 12 countries: Russian Federation, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belarus, Croatia, Iran, Albania, Swiss Confederation, Republic of South Africa and Sao Tome and Principe.
The headquarters of the International organization is located in Bucharest, and other five branches actively operate in Istanbul, Moscow, Brussels, Varna and Belgrade.
Baku International Humanitarian Forum
On October 31- November 1 2013, the Executive Director of the BSCSIF Mrs.Curpedin-Balgi Alev participate to the third Baku International Humanitarian Forum.
7 former Presidents, 13 Nobel Prize laureates, 7 Emeritus Professors, 107 world-famous public and political figures , 794 participants, representing 65 countries and 5 international organizations, took part in the Forum.
The Forum featured roundtable meetings on the following topics:
Converging Technologies and Outlines of the Future: Landmark Challenges of the 21st Century, Humanitarian Aspects of Economic Development, Scientific Innovations and their Transfer into Education, Multiculturalism and Originality: in Search of Value Consensus in Society, National Identity in the Postmodern Era Sustainable Development and Ecological Civilization Achievements in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology: from Theory to Practice ,The Topical Issues of Mass Media in the Globalizing Information Network
Wide range of programs had been prepared for the participants in order to acquaint them with rich Azerbaijani cultural heritage and art, make them familiar with Baku and other regions of the country.
“New Security Challenges: perspectives from the West and from the East” First NATO/EU-SCO Think-Tank Meeting
On September 24, 2013, the National Military Circle from Bucharest hosted the first international meeting of think tanks from NATO, EU and Shanghai Cooperation Organization Member States (SCO) with the theme “New Security Challenges: perspectives from the West and from the East”. The event was organized by the EURISC Foundation (European Institute for Risk, Security and Communication Management) in partnership with the German Marshall Fund’s Bucharest office and gathered senior officials, professors, researchers, experts on security issues from Romania, USA, Russian Federation, China, United Kingdom, Germany, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Iran and Afghanistan.
Among the well-known participants were Liviu Mureşan, Executive President of the EURISC Foundation, Gen. Jean Guinard, Secretary General of EURODEFENSE, Prof. Adrian Gheorghe, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia, Amb. Viorel Isticioaia-Budura, Managing Director of Asia-Pacific Department, European External Action Service, Alina Inayeh, Director of German Marshal Fund Bucharest Office, Andrei Ţărnea, General Director of Aspen Institute Romania, Iulian Fota, Presidential Adviser for National Security to the Romanian President, Prof. Sun Ru, Deputy Director of China Institutes for Contemporary International Relations, Beijing, Artyom Lukin, Deputy Director of School of Regional and International Studies, Far Eastern Federal University, Vladivostok, Li Yihai, International Director, Shanghai Academy for Social Sciences, Dan Dungaciu, President of the Black Sea Foundation, Bucharest, Heydar Mirza, Leading Research Fellow, Center for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Baku, Steven Blockmans, Head of Unit Centre for European Political Studies, Brussels, Thomas König, China Programme Coordinator, European Council for Foreign Relations, London, Prof. Quadir Amiryar, Former Senior Adviser to the Minister for Education, Kabul, Anton Tsvetov, Research Fellow, Russian International Affairs Council, Moscow, Mostafa Dolatyar, General Director, Institute for Political and International Relations from Tehran, Vice Admiral (ret.) Emil Lutskyanov, Senior Expert-Coordinator, Centre for National Security and Defense Research, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and many others.
The discussions focused on topics as changing paradigm of the security environment: new tendencies in security and resilience, the security of “the region” shifting to the security of the citizen, how to build security and stability in a sustainable and resilient way, the critical infrastructure protection, fighting terrorism and transnational organized crime, the security of access to resources such as energy and water, and the security environment in Afghanistan and its wider region after 2014.
The event was designed as a welcome start of a continuing process consisting of informal, flexible meetings suited for achieving the most pertinent responses and perspectives from the participants, with the aim to better use the think tanks’ significant endowments in the new security environment, especially their analysis and security policy formulation capacities and to develop further dialogue between think tanks’ experts and officials on a large variety of issues with significant potential for cooperation in the security field. In this regard, the NATO/EU-SCO think tank meeting framework is intended to be continued and extended in the future.
The International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea was represented at the event by Luiza Nita, analyst on international relations and conflict management.
Black Sea NGO Forum – 6th edition ”Building Sustainable and Effective Regional Cooperation”, 4th -6th September, 2013 – Bucharest, Romania
On the 4th of September, 2013, Ms Valentina Albu participated at the 6th edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum, ”Building Sustainable and Effective Regional Cooperation”, held in Bucharest.
The Black Sea NGO Forum is an annual event which aims to create an open space for debate, mutual knowledge and understanding, communication and cooperation among civil society representatives, Governments and international organizations active in the wider Black Sea region, with a focus on sharing good practices in various domains and success stories of regional cooperation.
Since its first edition, the Forum has reunited more than 600 participants from NGOs working in various activity areas, experts and government representatives from the region: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, the Republic of Moldova, Turkey, Ukraine, Romania and Russia.
The 6th edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum explored the ways in which civil society can contribute to the sustainability and effectiveness of regional cooperation in the extended Black Sea area, as well as offer the opportunity to share experience and good practices with other regional cooperation initiatives such as those of the Baltic and Mediterranean Seas. During the opening session, H.E. Nicolae Idu, Head of the Representation of the European Commission in Romania underlined the importance of cooperation and the involvement in the Black Sea Synergy programme, while as H.E. Ambassador Traian Chebeleu, Deputy Secretary General of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) stressed the important input of NGOs for the enhanced development within the BSEC partnership. During the second panel the complementarity and differences between the Black Sea NGO Forum and the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum were explored by the guest speakers such as Razvan Rusu, Director General for Regional Affairs, the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and supported the civil society’s engagement for the Black Sea region.
The Forum was organized by FOND Romania with financial backing from the European Commission and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania.
THE GRAND BSCSIF PRIZE FOR THE YEAR 2012 AWARDED TO H.E. BARONESS CATHERINE ASHTON
On August 30, 2013 Mr. Marius Opran, Director of the BSCSIF Brussels branch, has paid an official visit at the European External Action Service (EEAS) headquarters in Brussels in order to grant the Grand Prize for the year 2012 to the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, H.E. Baroness Catherine Ashton, by the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea.
The BSCSIF’s Board of Directiors decision, taken unanimously on the 14th of April, 2013, in Instanbul, represents an acknowledgement of the major personal contribution brought by H.E.
Baroness Catherine Ashton as a High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs, in the development of two grand programms of EU- Eastern Partnership and Black Sea Sinergy, of which several BSCSIF member countries are benefiting.
On this occasion, Mr. Opran had an open discussion with Mr. Edward Bannerman, member of the Cabinet and the adviser on economic issues of the High Representative of the Union, taking into consideration the ways in which BSCSIF could cooperate with EEAS and the European Commission’s General Directorate, supporting the implementation of theabove mentioned programmes, the Commission’s programme Eastern Neighbourhood Partnership, as well as the development of new subjects on common fields of interest.
Young Leaders of the Black Sea Forum – BSEC Youth Forum
During the period of 27-28 June, 2013, Ms. Valentina Albu, coordinator of the BSCSIF Research Centre in Bucharest, was invited to speak as guest panellist at the Young Leaders of the Black Sea Forum, held in Baku, Azerbaijan, under the aegis of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC).
On 27th of June, the Forum’s topics of discussion were divided in two panels such as “The Black Sea region: territorial conflicts and their threat to regional security” and “Perspectives of International Relations of the Youth of the Black Sea Region”. Within the second panel, Ms. Valentina Albu held a presentation entitled “Youth as the main actors of integration in Black Sea region”, underlying the main obstacles, priorities and needs of young intellectuals living in the wider Black Sea region, such as: education, creating new jobs, participative democracy and promoting entrepreneurship skills, as well as, the dynamic initiatives and active implication of young intellectuals in international projects meant to promote partnerships and cooperation in the Black Sea region.
During the Forum, issues such as frozen conflicts and their threat to regional security, and perspectives of international relations of the youth of the Black Sea region were on the agenda of this event.
At the Forum participated young representatives of NGOs from 11 member countries of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) such as: Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Georgia, Albania, Greece, Azerbaijan, Russia, Serbia, Turkey and Ukraine.
On the 28th of June, the foreign participants at the Forum had a meeting with the Azerbaijani Youth Foundation under the President of Azerbaijan Republic, and later on enjoyed a tour of Baku.
The event was organized by the Azerbaijani-American Youth Social Association in partnership with the Black Sea NGO Forum and with the support of the Azerbaijan Youth Foundation.
H.E. Eldar Hasanov, best Ambassador of the South-East and Central Europe in 2013
On the occasion of the last 28th ceremony of awarding the best managers and other successful men of the region, it was decided to grant the traditional and highly important award “Best Ambassador of the South-East and Central Europe in 2012” to H.E. Dr. Eldar Hasanov, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Republic of Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. The award was granted on July 4, 2013, in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the city of Sarajevo. This significant prize states that Ambassador Eldar Hasanov is awarded by the Regional Independent Agency, European Managers Community and the journal “Euromanager”, for his great services to the cooperation among the countries of the region, and to the strengthening of the economy and investments.
In the decision of the jury is stated that Ambassador Eldar Hasanov, by his personal contribution and continuous efforts directed toward establishing close relationships among people from different countries, significantly encouraged the creation of a favorable atmosphere for the development of the national and foreign companies businesses, particularly the cooperation with the companies from the friend-country Azerbaijan, and, as well, provided great opportunities for new investments in the region of South-East and Central Europe.
For the succsessful and endowed persons, this award represents a support and confirmation, it embodies the recognition of the high level cooperation between Azerbaijan and Bosnia and Herzegovina and the acceleration of the region’s states economic reconstruction.
The Award “Best Ambassador of the Region” is, in the same time, a sign of gratitude form the part of the entrepreneurs and managers of the South-East and Central Europe to Azerbaijan and to its Heads for the provided friendship and cooperation.
Mr. Vahid Aliyev, Lieutenant-general, visited the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea
On June 7, 2013, Mr. Vahid Aliyev, Lieutenant-general, the Assistant to the President of the Republic of Azerbaidjan, Ilham Aliyev, visited the International Fund for Cooperation andPartnership of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea (BSCSIF), during an official visit in Bucharest. Mr. Vahid Aliyev was accompanied by his deputies, Mr. Ramiz Tahirov and Mr. Elshad Babayev.The executive director of the BSCSIF, Ms. Alev Balgi, made a presentation of the objectives and the activities of the organization, which was created as a platform for dialogue and cooperation between the countries from the Black Sea and Caspian Sea regions.Mr. Vahid Aliyev stressed the high level of the bilateral relations between Azerbaidjan and Romania and the excellent results of the cooperation in the framework of the strategic partnership. He also appreciated the significant role of the BSCSIF in the region, as a bridge contributing to the enhancement of the cultural, economic, and social cooperation, as well as to the strengthening of the diplomatic relations between the countries.
BUCHAREST FORUM Levant, Cradle of Cultural Diplomacy Rediscovering the Mediterranean
During May 23 – 25, 2013, the Parliament House and the Bucharest National Library hosted the International Forum: „Levant, Cradle of Cultural Diplomacy: Rediscovering the Mediterranean”, organized by the Romanian Foundation for Democracy, in partnership with the Academy for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin, Senate and Chamber of Deputies of Romania, Government of Romania, Romanian Cultural Institute, University of Bucharest and the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea (BSCSIF).An old cradle of universal civilization, the Mediterranean came again to the attention of the world through the revolutionary movements, which started in 2011 in North Africa and Middle Est. The perspective of extending the democratic space has created the premises for developing the cooperation among states and nations based on dialog and mutual understanding, enhancing the role of the cultural diplomacy and intercultural dialog. Based on an ancient tradition, the cultural ties among the Balkans, Middle East and North Africa countries continued in the second half of the 20th century, even during the Cold War, by educating intellectual elites in the universities of South-East Europe and by mutual cultural exchanges. The Levant – a cradle of cultural diplomacy for more than a millennium – can also be a valuable source of inspiration for the reconfiguration of the international relations in today’s world.
During three days of communications and debates sessions, the speakers tried to answer a range of questions related to the Levant significance and the role of its cultural heritage in the contemporary cultural dialog, to the traditions, the present and perspectives of the cultural diplomacy in Balkans, Middle-East and North Africa, to the development of research networks in the extended Mediterranean region, as well as to the reconsideration of the Mediterranean role in the 21st century.
The event was attended by distinguished personalities of the contemporary life, former heads of state, ministers, diplomats, academicians, professors, writers, journalists, experts and students from Romania, Turkey, Republic of Moldova, Greece, Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, USA, Armenia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Egypt and Israel.
Among other participants, the event was attended by Dr. Jelio Zhelev, President of Bulgaria 1990-1997, Dr. Petru Lucinschi, President of the Republic of Moldova 1997-2000, Prof. Dr. Rexhep Meidani, President of Albania 1997 – 2000, Prof. Dr. Ivo Slaus, President of the World Academy of Art and Science, Prof. Mark Donfried, Director and Founder of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin, Crin Antonescu, President of the Romanian Senate, Prof. Dr. Daniel Barbu, Minister of Culture, Dr. Titus Corlăţean, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof. Dr. Andrei Marga, President of Romanian Cultural Institute, Acad. Ionel Haiduc, President of Romanian Academy, Prof. Dr. Zoe Petre, Profesor Emeritus, Prof. Dr. Răzvan Theodorescu, Romanian Academy, Katalin Bogyay, President of UNESCO General Conference. The conference was opened by the Prof. Dr. Emil Constantinescu, President of Romania 1996 – 2000 and former president of the Academy for Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin.
The International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea was represented by Mr. Akkan Suver, President of Marmara Foundation and President of BSCSIF, which held the presentation entitled „What is East?”, in the framework of the session on the theme „Levant. Present and Future”. As well, on behalf of BSCSIF, Alev Balgi, Executive Director, and BSCSIF experts: Orhan Mammadov, Luiza Niţă, Iulia Akhunova, and Valentina Albu took part in the event.
By the end of the debate sessions, the „Bucharest Declaration” was adopted, which is promoting the principles of cultural diplomacy and the development of relations between states on the basis of dialog and the revaluation of Levantine cultural heritage.
The Proceedings of the Bucharest Forum were collected in a special volume, published in English, by the Romanian Cultural Institute (RCI) and distributed in the entire world via the RCI centers.
Visit of BSCSIF-President to Bucharest, 23 -27 May
During his visit to Romania, Dr. Akkan Suver visited the National Defense University Carol I. Dr. Suver was welcome by Commandant of the University, General Teodor Frunzeti, and presented his thanks to General Frunzeti for heaving joined the 16th Eurasian Economic Summit. Dr. Suver was informed about activity of the University.Dr. Akkan Suver also met Mr. Iulian Fota, Presidential Advisor for National Security of Romania. During their meeting, Dr. Suver presented detailed account on the 16th Eurasian Economic Summit.Dr. Akkan Suver and Müjgan Suver paid a visit to the Ambassador of Turkey in Bucharest, H.E. Ömür Şölendir. On this occasion, Dr. Suver informed H.E. Ambassador Şölendil about 16th Eurasian Economic Summit and presented his book “Montenegro”, which was published in Montenegro. Dr. Akkan Suver made a presentation in the framework of the Forum “Levant, Cradle of Cultural Diplomacy”, organized jointly by Romanian Foundation for Cultural Diplomacy, led by the Former President of Romania, Dr. Emil Constantinescu and the Academy of Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin.In the course of the Forum’s events, hosted by the Parliament House of Romania and the Romanian National Library, Dr. Akkan Suver made bilateral meetings with Mr. Ion Iliescu, former President of Romania, Mr. Petru Lucinschi, former President of Moldova, Mr. Gary Jacobs, Vice-President of World Academy of Art and Science, Mr. Mark C. Donfried, President of the Academy of Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin, Prof. Dr. Mohamed Abd El-Hady from Cairo University, Dr. Eyal Ginio from University of Jerusalem and Mr. Adrian Severin, Member of European Parliament. Dr. Akkan Suver and Müjgan Suver visited the University Dimitrie Cantemir, one of the important private universities in Romania, where they were warmly welcome by the Rector of University, Prof. Corina Dumitrescu. During this visit, Dr. Suver joined the meeting of University Senate and thanked for the hospitality.
CYBERSECURITY – PRESENT AND PERSPECTIVES
On 26 of March 2013, theInternational Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea (BSCSIF) organized the conference “Cyber Security in Romania – Present and Perspectives”, at Howard Johnson Hotel in Bucharest.
The main topics were structured in two panels – ”Strategy and implementation” and ”Standards and trainings” – and reffered to the perspectives of Romania and EU in cybersecurity governance, cyber threats and cyber attacks, critical infrastructure, international standards in cybersecurity field, education and training in cybersecurity.
The speakers are well-known experts in cybersecurity field, representatives of governmental institutions, organizations and private companies, such as:Marcel OPRIŞ, Director of the Special Telecommunications Service, Valentin VANCEA, Director of the National Association for Information Systems Security (ANSSI), Gabriel MAZILU, Romanian Intelligence Service, Marius STICLARU, CEO Q-EAST Software, Călin RANGU, Director of CIO Council Romania, Stelian ARION, General Director of SECANT Security, Alexandru COŞOI, Bitdefender, Adrian FLOAREA, UTI Grup, Prof. Valentin SGÂRCIU, Politehnica University of Bucharest.
The conference took place in the framework of the Program entitled “Cyber Security – Present and Perspectives” launched by BSCSIF in March 2013, in Bucharest.
The main goal of the Program is to create a dialogue platform for the governmental institutions, private sector, and civil society, in order to identify common solutions to cyber threats and to provide a stable and secure digital environment. The program will consist of a series of conferences and events, in Romania and neighbouring countries from the Black Sea Caspian Sea region, aimed at harmonizing national and international cyber security standards, sharing good practices and enhancing regional cooperation in the field.
“New Security Dynamics in the Black Sea region”
The event “New Security Dynamics in the Black Sea region”, organized by the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, took place on March 21, 2013, in Howard Johnson Hotel, Bucharest. The invited speaker was Mr. Sergei Konoplyov, the Director of theHarvard Black Sea Security Program and US-Russia Security Program.
During the first part of the event, Mr. Sergei Konoplyov made a presentation of the Harvard Black Sea Security Program, its mission and goals. Being one of the more than 60 programs run by the Harvard Kennedy School, the Black Sea Security Program was established in 2001, aiming to bring together more people from the region, and represents a development of the Harvard Ukrainian National Security Program, founded in 1997. The mission of the program was to facilitate the dialog among the policy makers of the Black Sea region and the senior US officers in order to gain a deeper understanding of the region’s security issues, to encourage cooperation among Black Sea countries, to acknowledge shared values and to develop a problem solving attitude.
The motivation of USA to create a climate of security in the Black Sea region by supporting cooperation and dialog in the this area, appeared after September 11, 2001, when it became important for USA to be closer to the Middle East and Afghanistan. As well, it was crucial that the Black Sea countries, which the energy resources of the Caspian Sea transited, were governed in the spirit of democratic values, often poorly understood in these post- communist countries.
The second part of the event was dedicated to discussing the issue why the Black Sea countries “refused” to become a region. Their historic diversity, different political systems, frozen conflicts in the region, poor political leadership and weak economies are nurturing the disparities at the level of the political will, and seem to be the major hindrance in finding a common vision and strategy, in spite of some good initiatives to develop cooperation and to strengthen the dialog, such as BSEC and GUAM.
USA fail in the Black Sea region is also attributable to the decisive role in maintaning the status quo, played by Russia, an external and, at the same time, an internal player among the actors of the region.
During the whole event, a range of questions and comments were brought into discussion by the participants. On behalf of our Fund, Mr. Orhan Mammadov approached the issues of Russia and USA position towards solving the conflicts of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea region. It was said that a hypothetical intervention of USA in solving these relatively stable conflicts would lead to a big, active conflict between these major military powers of the world.
Mr. Bogdan Nedea, analyst of the Center for Conflict Prevention and Early Warning (a think tank from Romania), commented that the frozen conflicts of the Black Sea – Caspian Sea region aren’t dealt among the countries involved, insted they are discussed in the framework of such international security organisms as UN, OSCE, Minsk Group, where Russia has the power of veto.
Among other important issues touched upon during the event it is worth mentioning those concerning the separtists movements in North Caucasus, the changes in the Black Sea region after USA ceases its involvement in the region, and the decreased influence of Nato in settling conflicts like those in the Black Sea – Caspian Sea region.
The 3rd Black Sea NGO Forum (April 29 – May 1, Ankara)
In the period of April 29 – May 1, Mr. Octavian Milewski participated to the 3rd Black Sea NGO Forum, organized under the aegis of PABSEC.
On April 30, the participants of the forum met with the Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey – Cemil Çiçek. The speaker emphasized that the Forum is very important for the PABSEC, as the later has as a goal the implication of the civil society into the strengthening of the regional cooperation. After the opening session whereby the participants were offered a summary of the previous meetings as well as the principles on which the Forum would work, the Black Sea Caspian Sea International Fund was awarded for participation to the event. The award, given as a token of the importance of our Fund for the Forum, was offered by Mr. Ismail Safi, Head of the Turkish delegation to PABSEC and Deputy Head of the Secretary General of the AKP.
The 4th International Black Sea Development Congress, Regional Development Plan for the Eastern Black Sea Region, Regional Development Plans Symposium, October 31 – November 1, 2012, Rize, Turkey
The 4th International Black Sea Development Congress, DOKAP (Regional Development Plan for the Eastern Black Sea Region) and Regional Development Plans Symposium have been held in Rize between 31 October and 01 November.
Many politicians, bureaucrats, scientists, members of non-governmental organizations and media representatives have attended the Symposium, which was organized by the Association to Conserve Properties of the Black Sea Region (KÖK), founded and headed by former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Murat Karayalçın, and whose mission is “preserving, improving and enriching the cultural values of the provinces of the Black Sea Region, dealing with the economic progress of these provinces entirely, contributing to levelly achieving this matter with the country development, preserving the natural wealth of these provinces, benefiting from the power of people who were raised in the Black Sea Region and succeeded in various areas, promoting relations with other Black Sea Countries for sake of the region and carrying out the joint works”.
On behalf of our organization, Secretary General Tuğrul Veli participated in the Symposium and presented his paper entitled “ Development Goals in the International Arena, Experiences and DOKAP Example”.
In the Symposium, deliberations about the other issues of the regions and the solutions have been conducted with the participants and the ideas have been exchanged.
“The Contemporary World Multilateral Dialogue: The Changing World And China In Development”, November 27-28, 2012, Beijing, China
Secretary General of the BSCSIF Branch in Istanbul, Mr. Tuğrul Veli, represented Turkey and our organization in the international meeting “The Contemporary World Multilateral Dialogue: The Changing World And China In Development”, which was held in Beijing in November 27-28, in cooperation with China Center for Contemporary World Studies and China Peace and Development Fund that are affiliated to Central Committee of Communist Party of China and are among the effect think-tank organizations in China.
Mr. Veli participated in the meeting with his paper named “The Renascent Silk Road Diplomacy in Eurasia and China in the 21st Century (The Geopolitical & Geo-economic Approaches)”. The thoughts concerning the importance of the Renascent Silk Road, which has significant historical background and a rich heritage, and how the contribution of this common value of the countries of the region and local community to the peace, stability and sustainable development in the region can be redefined in accordance with today’s Eurasian realities by the countries constituted the main line of the paper. In the strategy which is reformulated today, it was dwelled on the key role of China, the starting point of Silk Road and Turkey, the endpoint of Silk Road in Asia and mutual analyses concerning what both countries need to do were carried out.
Bilateral and multilateral talks were held with Communist Party of China, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of People’s Republic of China, administrators of brain center, which carries out studies about foreign policy, NGO managers and academics.
The Contemporary World Multilateral Dialogue: The Changing World And China In Development”, November 27-28, 2012, Beijing, China
Secretary General of the BSCSIF Branch in Istanbul, Mr. Tuğrul Veli, represented Turkey and our organization in the international meeting “The Contemporary World Multilateral Dialogue: The Changing World And China In Development”, which was held in Beijing in November 27-28, in cooperation with China Center for Contemporary World Studies and China Peace and Development Fund that are affiliated to Central Committee of Communist Party of China and are among the effect think-tank organizations in China.
Mr. Veli participated in the meeting with his paper named “The Renascent Silk Road Diplomacy in Eurasia and China in the 21st Century (The Geopolitical & Geo-economic Approaches)”. The thoughts concerning the importance of the Renascent Silk Road, which has significant historical background and a rich heritage, and how the contribution of this common value of the countries of the region and local community to the peace, stability and sustainable development in the region can be redefined in accordance with today’s Eurasian realities by the countries constituted the main line of the paper. In the strategy which is reformulated today, it was dwelled on the key role of China, the starting point of Silk Road and Turkey, the endpoint of Silk Road in Asia and mutual analyses concerning what both countries need to do were carried out.
Bilateral and multilateral talks were held with Communist Party of China, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of People’s Republic of China, administrators of brain center, which carries out studies about foreign policy, NGO managers and academics.
Youth Side Event, EAP CSF, 2-3 October, 2013, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova
On 2-3 of October, 2013 Ms Valentina Albu represented BSCSIF at the Youth Side Event to the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, held in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. The Youth Side Event was an initiative meant to encourage youth participation in the process of decision-making within the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum, where BSCSIF is a participant as a member of an EU member country and which took place on the 4-5 of October, 2013 in Moldova.
EaP CSF Working group 4 “Contacts between people” in partnership with National Youth Council of Moldova (CNTM), National Council of Youth and Children’s Organizations of Civil Society of Belarus (RADA) and Ministry of Youth and Sport Moldova have invited BSCSIF at the Youth Side Event to the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum. Young people, as a specific group and a party of a civil society have a special role in promoting the European integration in the EaP countries. Youth of the EaP region is a powerful catalyst for positive change and contributors for European integration. Therefore, the youth participation should be enhanced in promoting democratic reforms in the Eastern Partnership countries in general and in their own countries in particular. Young people and representatives of civil society all over the world play a crucial role in providing inputs into democratic and market-oriented reforms based on shared values and initiatives. Respect of human rights, the rule of law, good governance, transparency, sustainable development and principles of market economy are some of the common values set as objectives for the Eastern Partnership Community and the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum.
The goal of the event was to increase the role of youth of the countries of Eastern Partnership (EaP) in the European policies. The objectives of the side event were to provide participants of the Youth Side Event with the information about the state of youth and youth policy in each of the EaP countries, information about mechanisms of participation of EaP youth in European politics; provide EaP member-states, European Union (EU) structures, including CSF, with recommendations concerning policies development focused on the EaP youth.
The 5th Civil Society Forum of the Eastern Partnership “Together for a European Future
On October 4 and 5, 2013 the Black Sea Caspian Sea International Fund became a full participant, representing an EU member country, at the 5th General Assembly of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum (CSF) “Together for a European Future”, held in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. The BSCSIF delegation attending the CSF consisted of Alev Balgi, Julia Akhunova and Valentina Albu.
The Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum is the main event in the EaP region which supports further development of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), promote contacts among them and facilitate dialogues with public authorities. Once a year this significant event brings together the representatives of civil society from the EU and Eastern Partnership countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The event was opened by EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Štefan Füle and Deputy Prime Minister Natalia Gherman. The forum was attended by Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius, Georgian Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze, co-president of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly Borys Tarasyuk and co-president of the Steering Committee of the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum Krzysztof Bobiński.
At the plenary session of the Fifth Eastern Partnership CSF more than 250 delegates of non-governmental organisations have agreed on the priority issues for the Forum by drawing resolutions. In the coming weeks the Forum based on discussions during the CSF in Chisinau has developed its recommendations to the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius.Mr. Štefan Füle emphasized that EU supports the idea of developing the Eastern Partnership and makes effort for the coming Vilnius Eastern Partnership Summit to be a major accomplishment. The process of political association and economic integration of the partner countries with the EU requiring the involvement and more intense support of civil society. Thus, the EU encourages the authorities of the partner countries to continue and develop the cooperation and structured dialogue with civil society.BSCSIF participated in the 2nd EaP CSF Working Group “Economic Integration & Convergence with EU Policies” which dealt with the main issues on the agenda of EaP Thematic Platform 2. This Working Group tackled one of the biggest ambitions fixed at the Prague Summit which aimed at regional economic integration between Eastern Partner countries and opening negotiations on the deep and comprehensive free trade areas between the EU and the Eastern partner countries.
Meeting between the Black Sea Caspian Sea International Fund and Romania-Turkey Business Women Association
On October 9, 2013, the headquarters of the Black Sea Caspian Sea International Fund in Bucharest hosted the meeting between the BSCSIF and Romania-Turkey Business Women Association in order to discuss the perspectives of further cooperation between the two organizations.
Ms Birgul Senyuva, the president of the Association, Ms Alev Balgi, the executive director of BSCSIF, representatives and partners of the Association, as well as the BSCSIF staff in Bucharest attended the meeting.
Ms Balgi made a brief presentation of the main objectives and activities of the BSCSIF, the implemented and ongoing projects, as well as of the future perspectives of the Fund. She highlighted the role of both organizations in fostering the bilateral and multilateral relations between the countries in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea region and also in promoting the economic opportunities and the human and cultural values of the region worldwide.
Ms Senyuva thanked for the warm hospitality and presented the activities of Romania-Turkey Business Women Association, stressing the social dimension of some of the projects. She also revealed the intention to organize a cultural festival Romania-Turkey-Azerbaijan in near future. Ms Senyuva agreed the signing of a Partnership Agreement between Romania-Turkey Business Women Association and BSCSIF, aimed at strengthening the relations and facilitating the implementation of joint projects.
BSCSIF – observer at the 4th Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum 2012, Stockholm.
The end of the year 2012 was marked as well by the participation of the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea as an observer in the 4th annual Civil Society Forum (CSF) of Eastern Partnership.
Thereby, on the 29-30th of November 2012, Ms. Julia Akhunova, BSCSIF Project Coordinator and Advisor to Secretary General, represented the Fund at the Civil Society Forum in the frame of Eastern Partnership Program that took place in Stockholm, Sweden. In the Forum organized by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 202 non-governmental organizations took part from EU countries and non-EU EaP countries: Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and Belarus.
The opening session was attended by Mr. Stefan Fűle, European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy, Mr. Christian Strohal, Vice-chair UN Council on Human Rights and Former director of OSCE, Mrs. BirgittaOhlsson, Swedish Minister for EU Affairs and Co-chairs of EaPCSF Steering Committee, Mr. Jeff Lovitt and Mr. IhorKohut. As well, one of the guest speakers was Mrs. Natalia Gherman, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and European Integration, Republic of Moldova, as the next Forum will be hosted by Moldova.
“The idea of the Forum was to make a voice of civil society heard and to support the countries of the “Eastern Partnership” in order to develop dialogue and to communicate with each other not just on the level of government and its institutions, but also representatives of civil society”- declared Mr. Andrea Matteo Fontana, the representative of the European Commission, in the interview to the ENPI press center. “This happens due to the Forum and its national platforms in each Eastern Partnership country. The opinion of civil society is taken into consideration when the new programs are being elaborated.” Since the establishment of Eastern Partnership in 2009, the EU support to the civil society increased more than two times, and now it is estimated around 57,5 million euro for all six countries for the period, 2011 – 2013.
The Forum created in 2009, is operating on the level of four working groups:
- Democracy, human rights, good governance and stability
- Economic integration and convergence with EU legislation
- Environment, climate change and security
- Contacts betwen people – education, culture, youth
Besides, this year for the first time a new 5th working group was established for trade unions – on social dialogue.
After the official part and plenary session, the meetings in working groups and sub-groups started, where our international organization was introduced and a brief information about its activity was given. BSCSIF became a member of the 4th working group on education, culture, youth. At the end of the meeting new coordinators of the Committee and working groups were elected. Due to the fact that BSCSIF participated in the Forum as an observer, according to the norms and regulations of the EaP Forum, the Fund didn’t have a right to vote or to nominate candidates.
Thus, considering the fact that the goals and objectives of the Forum are similar to those promoted by our international organization, and 5 of the EaP countries are as well represented in the Fund (Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Belarus), BSCSIF aims at extending project collaboration in the frame of EaP Civil Society Forum and establishing a fruitful and effective cooperation network with the NGOs involved into the Eastern Partnership initiative.
Black Sea NGO Forum 2011
In the period of October 6-8, 2011, in Bucharest, the Federation of Romanian Development NGOs together with the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation, European Commission, Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized the 4th Black Sea NGO Forum.
The Forum brought together more than 200 organizations from the countries of the region as well as other stakeholders: Romania, Republic of Moldova, Republic of Azerbaijan, Turkey, Ukraine, Russian Federation, Georgia, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Albania, Armenia, Tunisia, USA, Sweden and Switzerland. The BSCSIF was represented on the Forum by Felicia Scoarta, Adviser to Secretary General, Mihai Sandu, Expert Group Coordinator of the Central office and Project Experts, Raluca Clotaru, Raisa Popa, Julia Akhunova and Liliana Coman.
The Forum intended to create open space for dialogue, mutual understanding and cooperation between representatives of civil society, governments of the countries and active NGOs in the extended Black Sea region.
Keeping with the tradition of the last year, the award “for the best NGO” was given to the Turkish organization “ARI MOVEMENT”, represented at the Forum by the Vice-president, Arda Batu. The International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea entered in the first five best Black Sea NGOs.
Within the Forum important and actual topics were discussed: Black Sea region in 2011, EU Neighborhood Policy and its Eastern Dimension, the status of the Black Sea region in the EU regional cooperation, transition to democracy, policy of social support and children protection, democratization of the Black Sea region and NGOs’ role in this field.
Panel discussions of the Forum were attended by officials from Romania ( Traian Chebeleu – Deputy of BSEC Secretary General, Mihnea Constantinescu – Director General, MFA, Doru Costea – State Secretary, MFA), Turkey (Suat Kiniklioglu – AK Party), France, Germany.
BSCSIF participation to the Black Sea NGO Forum contributed to the extension of NGO network with the purpose of further cooperation within future projects of the Fund.
Europe – Russia – Asia: Eurasian cooperation and the future idea of eurasianism
The international conference entitled “Europe – Russia – Asia: Eurasian cooperation and the future idea of eurasianism” was held in the period October, 3 – 7, 2012, in the city of Varna, Bulgaria. Representatives from 15 countries participated at the conference and presented reports on such topics as: processes and development related to Eurasian geopolitical balance and the role of global and regional actors in this context, the competition existing in the region and the potential cooperation, future ideologies and concepts of eurasianism, etc;
At the conference, Turkey and, particularly, Turkish branch of our organization were represented by Secretary General of the branch in Istanbul, Mr. Torgul Veli. Mr. Torgul Veli made a presentation on “The significance of the Black Sea region in preservation of permanent stability, sustainable dialogue and cooperation in Eurasia”. As well, he held bilateral negotiations with the delegations from various countries.
In the last day of the conference, the protocol of bilateral cooperation between the BSCSIF branch in Turkey and the Foundation “Slavs” (Bulgaria), the principle organizer of the event, was signed. Thereby, it was decided to organize various joint activities, dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Balkan Wars with the participation of Bulgaria and other Balkan countries.
BSCSIF participation in exchange research program, September-December 2012, Baku
As part of a program of the International Development Agency under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, BSCSIF was invited to participate in Baku, to take part in a research project in collaboration with the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SAM). Therefore, on behalf of BSCSIF, Romanian researcher Valentina Albu conducted a three-month research project in 2012, on the subject of the Armenia – Azerbaijan conflict of Nagorno-Karabakh from an International Law and Human Rights regard.
The researcher interviewed a number of 20 experts from Baku such as analysts, scholars, representatives of INGOs and NGOs and governmental officials from the fields of international relations, human rights and international law, as well as IDPs and non-IDPs, which increased the chances of achieving a multiple-advocacy situation and an understanding of the Azerbaijani perception of the concepts of human rights and the regulation of applying the instruments of law.
The output of this program resulted in a Research Paper that focused on the perception of Azerbaijani experts in regard with the efficiency of International Law and Human Rights mechanisms and assess their implementation in the Karabakh conflict.
Strengthening the institutional capacity in order to enhance conflict coping capacities is a necessary and ongoing process in the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The idea is that by dissecting the conflict experiences, we can draw lessons from experience. We can use this case for training and also for seeking patterns across crises, across sectors and maybe also across nations, that is useful for explaining outcomes. Moreover, the research aims at evaluating performance of international organizations and the implementation of peace-building and peace-making procedures, while as without naivety, knowing the real context and the political expediency of the course of events in this specific protracted conflict. The results of the BSCSIF expert’s findings were presented at SAM.
During her stay, Ms. Valentina Albu attended several conferences and round tables representing BSCSIF, such as NISA “Forum on Cybersecurity in Azerbaijan”, “Forum of the outcome of the US Presidential Elections and its implications for the Caucasus”, SAM “Energy Efficiency: Economic & Institutional Aspects and Perspectives”, “The middle class in Azerbaijan: social, economic and political dynamics and perspectives”, “The role of Azerbaijani- US partnership in achieving regional peace and security” Conferences, “Emergent Systemic Threats – A Critical Infrastructure Protection Perspective” round table organized by NATO in Azerbaijan, as well as many others.
“Views on South Caucasus”, Bucharest, December 11, 2012
On December 11, 2012, the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea (BSCSIF), together with the European Foundation Titulescu organized a round table on the topic “Views on South Caucasus”
In the debate, moderated by Luiza Popa, representing BSCSIF, participated Ms. Paraschiva Bădescu, former OSCE Ambassador in the Balkans and South Caucasus, Mr. Liviu Mureşan, Head of Eurisc Foundation, Nicolae Iordache, former Ambassador of Romania to Turkey and Armenia, researchers Ms. Ileana Racheru and Mr. Ionuţ Cojocaru and Mr. Orhan Mammadov, BSCSIF project manager and economic adviser.
The theme of the round table represents one of BSCSIF major interests, for it concerns the region’s evolution and the unsolved problems of frozen conflicts. The ex-soviet republics of the South Caucasus region continue to be the stage for territorial and inter-ethnic conflicts, which, for 20 years have impeded the process of transition after the collapse of USSR, and the relations of these states with Russia and the West.
The participants made presentations on various aspects of the situation in South Caucasus, such as the economic potential, especially the energetic one, existent in the region and the possibilities of exploiting it (this issue was discussed referring to Azerbaijan); the perspectives of solving the Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia conflicts and the involvement of international organizations in this process; the progress of the political situation; new actors and their interests in the region; aspects of the relationships among the Caucasus states and between them and USA, EU, Turkey or Russian Federation.
On this occasion, two recently released books were presented: ”Unreconciled Differences. Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan”, by Skott Taylor, published in Bucharest with the support of the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Romania, and ”South Caucasus after 20 years. Political Regimes, Security and Energy”, by Ileana Racheru, Stanislav Secrieru and Angela Grămadă, published with the support of Soros Foundation.
The event was attended by the representatives of the academic and scientific environment, by the organizations well-known for their activities and researches in the field of regional cooperation and international relations (Eurisc Foundation, Center of East-European and Asian Studies, Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Romanian Association of Foreign Policy, Soros Foundation), members of diplomatic corps, journalists.
This debate is part of a series of events organized in the framework of a larger project, initiated by BSCSIF; it has as its final product the elaboration of an in-depth study regarding the socio-economic consequences of protracted conflicts in the space of former USSR and the perspectives of their peaceful resolution.
“Bulgaria’s relations with Russia and the countries from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)”, December 6-7, 2012, Sofia, Bulgaria
Secretary General of the BSCSIF Branch in Istanbul, Mr. Tuğrul Veli, attended the meeting entitled “Bulgaria’s relations with Russia and the countries from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)”, which was held by Russia and CIS Peoples Friendship Federation in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, in December 6-7. In the meeting, Mr. Tuğrul Veli delivered his speech entitled “The Geopolitics of the Balkans with the Perspective of Regional Cooperation and Russia-Turkey-Bulgaria Strategic Triangle” and held the co-chairmanship of the session entitled the regional energy cooperation.
The subjects such as situation in the region, the hampering and promoting factors concerning the cooperation, integration and feasibility and framework of the studies that enhance the cooperation with the statesman and diplomats of Bulgaria and other participant countries, the prominent experts of foreign policy, energy, security and law were emphasized.
The ideas, which are about the situation of the Muslim and Christian people in the Balkans region within the light of the experiences of the initiatives of the dialogue of civilizations as from the beginning of 90’s, have been exchanged with the religious (spiritual) leaders of Bulgaria.
Evaluations concerning Turkey’s Balkan policy and the future perspectives of Turkish-Bulgarian relations were made to the press.
SWISS – ROMANIAN COOPERATION PROGRAMME
On the 29th of May the official launching of th1st Round of the Block Grant within the frame of the Swiss – Romanian Cooperation Programme took place in Bucharest. On behalf of the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea the members of the project team of the BSCSIF central office, Liliana Coman, Julia Akhunova and Luiza Popa participated in this important event.
The initiative is elaborated by the consortium formed by KEK-CDC Consultants, Civil Society Development Foundation and Romanian Environmental Partnership Foundation as the Swiss Intermediate Body for administrating the Thematic Fund for Civil Society Participation.
The ceremony started with the opening speech of the Ambassador of Switzerland to Romania, H.E. Jean –Hubert Lebet. The Swiss – Romanian Cooperation Programme was briefly presented by Elena Georgescu, Deputy General Director, Ministry of Finance and Thomas Stauffer, Head of the Swiss Contribution Office in Bucharest.
The Thematic Fund for Civil Society Participation above mentioned is part of the Swiss-Romanian Cooperation Programme, which consists of a non-refundable aid offered by the Swiss Federal Council to 12 European member states who joined between 2004 and 2007. This programme aims to contribute to the reduction of economic and social disparities between Romania and more advanced countries of the enlarged European Union. Also, the Programme aims to contribute within Romania, to the reduction of economic and social disparities between the dynamic urban centers and the structurally weak peripheral regions
The objective of the announced call for proposals is to strengthen Romanian NGOs and to enable their active participation in policy processes, as well as to promote the activities of NGOs primarily tackling environmental issues and providing of social services, and, in the meantime, strengthening their organizational capacities.
Side by Side for the Black Sea- finalist at Gala Voluntarilor
“Side by Side for the Black Sea” was among the five finalists for 2011’s Best Environmental Project award within Volunteer Gala in Romania. This was a nominee at national level along the major projects undertaken last year in different fields of activity.
The SBS project was represented at the Volunteer’s Gala by the complete project team: Diana Ioana Calin (Project Manager), Liliana Coman (Assistant Manager), Natalia Ciobanu (Trainer) and Alice Farcas (Facilitator). The ceremony took place at Howard Johnson Hotel in Bucharest on 11th December 2011 and marked the end of events organized in Romania under the European Year of Volunteering 2011 (AEV), and International Volunteer Day, celebrated every year on 5th of December. For more info regarding SBS project, please see www.sbs-project.info.
The 5th International conference-symposium “Ecological chemistry – 2012”, Chisinau, March 2-3, 2012
In March, 2-3, 2012, the conference-symposium Ecological Chemistry – 2012 took place at the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Moldova (ASM), and it was attended by more than 250 specialists from Europe, USA and CSI.
The chairman of the conference – symposium was the President of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Moldova, Mr Gheorghe Duca, with the participation of other Presidents of the Academies of Sciences from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Romania, Tajikistan.
The BSCSIF Vice-president and Executive Director of the Moldovan Research and Development Association (MRDA), Mrs Lidia Romanchuc actively participated in the organization of this event. The BSCSIF was also represented by Mrs Felicia Scoarta, The Adviser to Secretary General.Among the active organizers of the Conference there were the Moldovan Research and Development Association, the Faculty of chemistry and chemical technology of the Moldova State University (MSU), the Department of industrial and ecological chemistry of MSU, Research Center for Applied and Environmental Chemistry of MSU, Institute of Chemistry of ASM, the University of ASM, the Center of international projects.
This event is a good opportunity for developing international cooperation, experience exchange and discussion of the recent achievements in the study of physico-chemical and biochemical processes occurring in natural water, atmosphere and soil, affected by contaminants of human origin, their influence on the human’s health and habitat, and discussion of the ways of preventing and reducing environmental impact, as well as a healthy lifestyle.
EU Danube Strategy, February 8, 2012
On the 8th of February, 2012, the Conference on the topic “EU Strategy for the Danube Region. Development projects and opportunities in different sectors of Romania” took place in Bucharest. The Black Sea-Caspian Sea International Fund was represented on the conference by the coordinator of the project team, Mihai Sandu, and members of the project team Julia Akhunova, Orhan Mammadov and Liliana Coman.
The event was organized by the patronage CONFINDUSTRIA Romania, in collaboration with the Italian Chamber of Commerce for Romania, the Chambers of Commerce Union UNIONCAMERE, under the auspices of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Italy in Bucharest.
The Conference was attended by the representatives of governmental structures and diplomatic corpus accredited to Romania: H.E. Mr. Mario Cospito, Ambassador of Italy to Romania, Mr. Petru Filip, Vice–president of the Romanian Senate, Mrs. Luminita Odobescu, General Director of the EU Directorate General within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and many other officials.
On the 8th of December, 2010, the European Commission emitted the project titled “EU Strategy for the Danube Region” that was approved in 2011 by the member countries and the European Council. The Danube Strategy is a platform encouraging partnerships between local and regional authorities, also private sector and non-governmental organizations, through creating development projects in the Danube region. The main objectives of the Strategy are:
• To provide and support economic, social and cultural development of the States and the regions in the Danube basin, in accordance with the environmental norms;
• To reduce the differences between the richest and the poorest regions in accordance with the objectives of the EU Cohesion Policy;
• To maximize the absorption of the EU funds and attraction of the new funding for the Danube region.
During the Conference, the framework agreement on partnership between CONFINDUSTRIA Romania, the Italian Chamber of Commerce for Romania and the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been concluded. That can be considered the first and fundamental step forward of Romania within the EU Platform on the Danube region.
NGOs’ COOPERATION IN THE BLACK SEA – CASPIAN SEA REGION
On the 25th of April, 2012, the headquarters of the Black Sea- Caspian Sea International Fund hosted NGO Briefing that was organized in collaboration with the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Romania. The briefing was participated by distinguished Azay Guliyev, the Chairman of Azerbaijan-Romania Inter-parliamentary Working Group, and the Chairman of the Council of State Support to NGOs in Azerbaijan.
The meeting was attended by the representatives of the most influential non-governmental organizations from Romania: Adriana Zaharia (Romanian NGDO Platform FOND), Ambassador Sergiu Celac (EURISC Foundation), Andrei Avram (Fund of Christian Democrats), Elena Iorga (Institute of Public Policies), Oana Popescu and Narciz Bălăşoiu (Center of Conflict Prevention and Early Warning), Alexandra Toderiţă (Romanian Center for European Policies), and George Tiugea (Social-Democratic Foundation “Ovidiu Şincai”). On behalf of the Fund the debate session was participated by Marcela Curmei, Julia Akhunova, Luiza Popa, Orhan Mammadov, Andrada Dinu, Valentina Albu and Liliana Coman.
Mr. Azay Guliyev made a comprehensive presentation of the Concept of State Support to NGOs in Azerbaijan, revealing the statistical data, areas of NGO’s activity, the structure of the Council of State Support to NGOs and conditions of project evaluation in his country.
Every participant also made a brief presentation of their organizations and expressed their eagerness to cooperate with Azeri NGOs in the spheres of their activity.
During the meeting it was mentioned that Romania remains a crucial partner for Azerbaijan in many essential areas, such as energy security, social, economic and cultural dimensions. Thereby, it is of high importance for civil society, represented by NGOs in both countries, to develop the cooperation, identifying common opportunities and launching joint projects.
Thus, by organizing this event, the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea confirmed once again its motto “Bridging people, bridging countries”.
International Conference ”Early Recovery and Consequence Management in the Aftermath of Natural and Man-Made Disasters in the Greater Black Sea Area”, January 27-29, 2012, Bucharest.
On January 27-29, 2012, the Center for East-European and Asian Studies organized the international conference entitled ”Early Recovery and Consequence Management in the Aftermath of Natural and Man-Made Disasters in the Greater Black Sea Area”, in the framework of CRISHOPE Project, financed by the Black Sea Trust/German Marshall Fund.
The conference was attended by Mihail Ionescu – The Director of the Center for East-European and Asian Studies, Iulian Fota – Presidential Adviser for National Security and Vice-president of BSCSIF, Ambassador Traian Chebeleu – Deputy Secretary General of BSEC, Go Funai – UNDP Counselor in Ukraine, researchers from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Romania, USA and Turkey. The International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and Caspian Sea was represented by Felicia Scoarţă – Advisor of the Secretary General, Luiza Popa – Advisor of the Vice-president Iulian Fota, Mihai Sandu – coordinator of the project team and Andrada Dinu – member of the project team.
The main goal of the event and of the CRISHOPE project is to help the countries in the Black Sea region to reduce their vulnerability to disasters, by developing comprehensive and coordinated approaches to early recovery and consequence management in the aftermath of disasters. These include developing and implementing transparent legislation, developing national strategies and policies for disaster relief, involving the civil society and increasing its role – non-governmental organizations, mass-media, private companies and citizens –, as well as ensuring information and experience exchanges between the Black Sea countries.
International Dialogue for Environmental Action, November 24 -26, 2011
In the period, November 24 -26, 2011, the members of the BSCSIF project team, Julia Akhunova and Roxana Raceu, took part in the International Camp of Ecologists, that was held in a picturesque Azerbaijani town, Gabala, under the moto “Role of young people in the ecological governance. Today and tomorrow”. The Conference was organized in the frame of the IDEA Environmental Campaign that was founded by Mrs. Leyla Aliyeva, in cooperation with the UN Development Program (UNDP). The opening ceremony was attended by high-ranking officials from Azerbaijan: the Vice –president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation – Mrs. Leyla Aliyeva, the Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources – Mr. Huseyngulu Baghirov, the Minister of Youth and Sports – Azad Rahimov, the UN Resident Coordinator – Mr. Fikret Akcura, the Vice-president of Oil State Company “Socar” – Mrs. Rafiga Huseynzade and others.
During two days the members of the BSCSIF project team actively participated in the following discussion panels: “Ecological education for sustainable development”, “Green economy and youth entrepreneurship”, “Impact of climate change on youth”, “Research and development of innovation technologies” etc. The representatives of our Fund also coordinated one of the panel discussions and the elaboration of Gabala Declaration of Young Environmentalists, which was adopted at the end of the Conference. The Declaration reunited 5 messages from young people to the population and heads of all countries of the world about their right on a harmonious and secure future in a healthy environment. This Declaration will be presented by Azerbaijani delegation at Rio+20 Earth Summit, to be held in Rio de Janeiro, in 2012.
Thus, the main objective of the Camp of Young Environmentalists – that gathered together more than 100 young ecologists from 35 countries of the world – is to contribute to the establishment of cooperation and tight relations between different ecological movements and organizations in the region and all over the world, to provide an active participation of young ecologists in social life of the regions, to strengthen their role and activity in their communities and stimulate their desire to be ambassadors of environmental education.
CHRISTMAS PROM NIGHT, December 13, 2011
On the 13th of December, 2011, the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea organized a reception on the occasion of the forthcoming winter holidays.
The event took place in Hilton Athenee Palace, hall ”Le Diplomate” and gathered together the representatives of social, public and political life of Romania, the members of the Diplomatic Corps accredited to Bucharest, academics, rectors of the most famous universities, representatives of the largest Romanian companies, civil society, NGOs. The event was also attended by ex-President of Romania H.E. Emil Constantinescu, Presidential Counselor on National Security Andrei Daniel Moldoveanu, Department of Strategic Affairs, Security and Foreign Policy Iulian Chifu, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina H.E. Dusko Kovacevic, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Republic of Moldova H.E. Iurie Renita, Charge d’Affaires of Republic of Belarus, Mr. Sergei Molunov and other distinguished persons.
During the ceremony, on behalf of the Board of Directors, the BSCSIF Vice-president Iulian Fota and the BSCSIF Secretary General Eldar Hasanov awarded Diplomas of Honor for the merits to the Fund. For supporting the initiative of creation and distinguished contribution to the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black and Caspian Seas were awarded to the President of Republic of Azerbaijan H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, the President of Romania H.E. Mr Traian Basescu, the President of Republic of Kazakhstan H.E. Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, the BSCSIF President Viktor Khmarin, the BSCSIF Vice-president Iulian Fota and the BSCSIF Vice-president Akkan Suver. For contribution to the development of cooperation between nations and peoples of the Black sea – Caspian sea region the diplomas were awarded to the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania, Teodor Bachonschi, the Director of the Institute of Political Science, Defense and Military History, Mihai Ionescu, the founder of the Institute of Turkology and Central Asian Studies, Tasin Gemil. Also the diplomas of honor were given to the project team of the BSCSIF headquarters, editor –in –chief of the magazine “Dialogue of the Seas” V. Samoshkin, the BSCSIF lawyer Adrian Ibrahim, the President of the Academy of Science, Republic of Moldova, Gheorghe Duca and companies –members and partners of the Fund: UTI GRUP, SIVECO ROMANIA, UPETROM, OZTASAR, AZVIRT.
The event organized on the occasion of the coming winter holidays contributed to promoting of the image and expanding the sphere of influence of the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea.
Black Sea NGO Forum 2010
In the period, 21 – 23 of October 2010, Roxana Raceu and Diana Ioana Calin, the BSCSIF experts, took part in the International Conference ELSEDIMA – “Environmental Legislation, Safety Engineering and Disaster Management”, hosted by the Faculty of Environmental Sciences of the University “Babes Bolyai”, Cluj Napoca.
The event was organized by the University Babes Bolyai, Cluj-Napoca (Faculty of Environmental Sciences), in collaboration with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration, and The Initiative for Disaster Prevention in South – Eastern Europe.
The conference brought together experts and researchers in environmental protection, environmental law and disaster management.
The participants have listened to the reports regarding disaster management and according to the documents prepared in this area along with the SEVESO’s directives and research papers in the sphere of biodiversity conservation and biomonitoring.
Diana Ioana Călin, the member of the BSCSIF environmental department, presented a project realized within the University Babes Boliay, in collaboration with Mrs. Cristina Roşu, as.prof.dr.ing. The project consisted of the evaluation of drinking water quality in the urban and rural areas of the village Aiud, Romania. The water quality is problematic in the Black Sea – Caspian Sea region, but the results of this monitoring were positive.
The environmental protection in such countries as Russia, Belgium or Romania plays an important role and one of the BSCSIF objectives is better understanding of the problems in this region and development ways of their solution.
Black Sea NGO Forum 2010
Black Sea Caspian Sea International Fund participated at the Black Sea NGO Forum, in Constanta, Romania, during 21st-23rd October
The Forum was organized by the Romanian NGDO Platform with the support of the Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry, the Representation of the European Commission to Romania and the Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation. This third edition of the forum, held under the name “Investing in our Common Future”, reunited participants from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, as well as other European Union member countries and major stakeholders from the Civil Society Sector in the Black Sea region.
The aim of the forum is to increase the level of dialogue and cooperation among the NGOs in the region, to strengthen their advocacy capacity so they can influence regional development strategies and to facilitate the creation of a communication platform between the participants and the NGOs they represent.
The event started with the opening remarks of Anton Niculescu, Secretary of State at the Romanian Foreign Affairs Ministry and Niculae Idu, Head of Representation, Representation of the European Commission in Romania.
The activities were afterwards organized into panels of discussion. The thematic of the cross-sector panels concerned:
- Review of major political and economical developments in the region
- Country developments – including state of civil society, main issues on the public agenda, economic reforms, policies to mitigate crisis
- Democracy and Citizen Participation
- Sustainable Economic Development
- Youth Policies
- Bridging Divided Communities
- Environment and Climate Change
- Capacity Building for NGOs
- Challenges for the independence of the civil society
- Networking and solidarity among NGOs in the region
- New Media/PR and Communication. Public Campaigns
The panel on Donors and international actors’ perspectives on civil society developments in the region was hosted by representatives of the Black Sea Joint Operational Programme, the Black Sea Trust, National Endowment for Democracy, and the MATRA Program of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands. It aim was to provide the participants with information on sources of financing for their projects and means to facilitate their access to public and private financial sources.
The organizers also hosted a presentation of a multimedia project called“Around the Black Sea”. Two Romanian journalists – Petrut Calinescu and Stefan Candea, from the Romanian Centre for Investigations’ Journalism – have crossed Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Ukraine and Moldova. Their aim was to illustrate the differences and similarities between the communities around the Black Sea, as they fail to appear in daily press. In addition, they wanted to set the basis of a journalists’ network in the region.
Furthermore, the attending NGOs took part in an NGO Fair – the participants were provided with a framework where they could interact and learn more about the NGOs, the projects they are involved in and their regular activity, as well as set the foundation of future collaborations.
This year’s edition – the third one – focused on examples of good practices and on regional cooperation initiatives. Therefore, it dedicated time for debates among the participants, so that they can identify common solutions to local and regional issues, forge future partnerships, and share evaluations and regional experiences.
BSCSIF was an active participant of the forum, its representatives being involved in a number of cross-sector panels, presenting the activities and projects of the Fund and establishing contacts with stakeholders / NGOs in the region. The forum was an opportunity for the participants, and therefore including our organization, to learn more about the active involvement and opportunities in the region and to learn examples about good practices of their peers, for a stronger cooperation in the future.
Conference “Research and analisys in the area of international relations and european studies”, Bucharest, November 17, 2011.
On the 17th of November, 2011, the International Black Sea-Caspian Sea Fund took part in the Conference “Research and analisys in the area of international relations and european studies”, organized by the Centre of European Policy, Romania, in collaboration with the Institute of political science and international relations, Romanian Academy and University Babes-Bolyai.
This event was aimed at improving connections and increasing the level of mutual trust between research institutions in the field of international relations.
The Conference was attended by the Minister for european Affairs, Leonard Orban, the President of the Black sea University Foundation, the Ambassador Liviu Bota, the Presidential Cousellor, Iulian Chifu, the State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Doru Costea and other officials. The Fund was represented in the frame of the Conference by the Vice –president, Iulian Fota, the Advisor to Secretary General, Felicia Scoarta, the coordinator of the project team Mihai Sandu, and the members of the project team, Andrada Dinu and Liliana Coman.
The Conference was the first step in establishing the network of research institutions in the field of international realtions in order to strengthen cooperation betwen them and creating the Romanian database in the research area.
“Role of Poland and Romania in the implementation of conclusions of the 2nd Eastern Partnership Summit in Warsaw”, 28th of November, 2011
On the 28th of November, 2011, the seminar titled “Role of Poland and Romania in the implementation of conclusions of the 2nd Eastern Partnership Summit in Warsaw” was held in Bucharest.
The Seminar was organized by the Embassy of Republic of Poland in Romania in cooperation with the Romanian Centre for European Policies. The seminar was attended by H.E. Mr Ambassador of the Republic of Poland to Romania, Marek SZCZYGIEL, the Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bogdan Aurescu, the Director of the Eastern Department, Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Artur Michalski and other officials.
The International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea was represented on the seminar by Felicia Scoarta, the Advisor to Secretary general and Mihai Sandu, the coordinator of the project team. Within the seminar very actual and important topics have been discussed: the role of Eastern Partnership and civil society in the development of relations between the EU countries and 6 countries of the Eastern Partnership and the popularization of the idea of Eastern Partnership. Due to the established relations with many EaP countries, Romania could play a bridging role between the countries of Western and Eastern Europe
The Black Sea NGO Forum 2012, 5th Edition „Participation and inclusion for responsible development in the Black Sea Region”, Bucharest.
During 24th-25th of October, the Romanian NGDO Platform (FOND), in partnership with the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Representation of the European Commission in Romania organized the fifth edition of the Black Sea NGO Forum, entitled “Participation and inclusion for responsible development”.
International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea was represented at this remarkable event by Marcela Curmei, Executive Coordinator of central office, Julia Akhunova, Project Coordinator and Adviser to Secretary General, and members of the project team, Andrada Dinu and Loredana Coman.
The forum represents an unique opportunity in the region by gathering the most important stakeholders and grassroots organizations, in order to debate common issues and find solutions. Among the guests invited were Staffan Nilsson, President of the European Economic and Social Committee, Luminita Odobescu, State Secretary (Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) representatives from the European Commission, Governments, civil society representatives from the region, media. This anniversary edition was attended by Rilli Lappalainen, member of CONCORD Board and Secretary General of Kehys who addressed a mobilizing message to the audience regarding the potential of the region and how important are the networks for empowering civil society in the Black Sea area.
This edition brought together around 160 participants from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Republic of Moldova, Turkey, Ukraine, Romania, Russia. The discussions of the Forum were structured around 3 main topics: social entrepreneurship and community development in rural areas, transparency and public integrity, youth policies and youth development. The forum combined both plenary sessions and workshops, and encouraged networking throughout the event. The main recommendations were related to a new Black Sea Strategy and the need to prioritize the main issues concerning this region on the agenda of the European Commission. There are two succesful results of the previous editions of this Forum: The regional coalition on child protection in the region ChildPact and the Black Sea Youth Network.
The Representation of the European Commission in Romania awarded for the third time, the Black Sea NGO Award for Excellency. The winner is Black Sea NGO Network from Bulgaria, a network dedicated to sustainable development, European politics, environment issues. The aim of this award is to enhance the profile of the Black Sea Synergy and its role in proposing a regional, cooperative approach in the region, as well as the multilateral dimension of EU external policies.
Unreconciled Differences: Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan” by Scott Taylor
On the 9th of October, 2012, on the initiative of Heydar Aliyev Foundation and Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Romania the presentation of the book “Unreconciled Differences: Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan” by Scott Taylor, a Canadian writer, was organized in Bucharest. The Black Sea-Caspian Sea International Fund was represented on the event by Julia Akhunova, Orhan Mammadov, Marcela Curmei, Mihai Sandu, Andrada Dinu, Raluca Diana Clotaru and Liliana Coman.
The event was attended by the representatives of governmental structures and diplomatic corpus accredited to Romania.
The book draws from historical research and personal investigation conducted by author/journalist Scott Taylor in order to better understand the contextual realities of these conflicts as well as why so little is known about them in the west.
During the past century, two major clashes in the Anatolia-Caucasus region happened, both resulting in the widespread slaughter and forced expulsion of innocent civilians from all sides. The first occurred when the strain of the Great War caused the collapse of both the Ottoman Empire and Czarist Russia. The second conflict erupted between 1988 – 1994, when the disintegration of the Soviet Union left a temporary power vacuum in the Caucasus, and the new republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia battled over the sovereignty of Nagorno-Karabakh. Unfortunately, the unreconciled differences of their shared history continue to negatively impact the lives of the Turks, Armenians and Azeris in the present. If left unresolved, this will prevent their progress towards a peaceful and mutually beneficial coexistence in the future.
Ambassador of Azerbaijan in Romania, H.E. Mr. Eldar Hasanov expressed his view on the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia and emphasized that Azerbaijan is trying to settle the conflict peacefully on the basis of international law.
At the end Scott Taylor introduced his documental movie about this book and then he answered the questions of the guests.
The 4th Business Forum of the Union of Black and Caspian sea Confederation of Enterprises, June 30 – July 2, 2011
In period June 30 – July 2, 2011 Georgian Entrepreneurs Confederation hosted the fourth Business Forum of the Union of Black and Caspian Confederation of Enterprises (UBCCE) in Batumi, Georgia.
Out Fund was represented on the Forum by the Vice-President, Mr. Tamaz Berdze. The Business Forum was held under the moto “Business is becoming green” and “Invest in Georgia – invest in the Black and Caspian seas”. The event was attended by the governmental representatives from the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Georgia, the UBCCE President, Dr. Atanase Lavidas and different companies operating in the field of energy, finance, agriculture, food industry, from 16 countries: Turkey, Germany, Greece, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Romania, Kazakhstan, Sweden, UAE etc.
Representatives of private companies and business associations of the Black and Caspian region got familiarized with the business opportunities of the country and held B2B meetings with the local companies. Within the program of the Forum, Memorandum of Understanding between Turkish business organization TURKONFED and the Georgian Entrepreneurs Confederation was signed. The MOU envisages exchange of information and intensification of business contacts between 2 countries through organizing joint events, exhibitions, forums and etc. Within the framework of UBCCE – GIZ Joint Project part of the program was dedicated to the presentation of the outlines of GREEN BUSINESS SUPPORT STRATEGY FOR GEORGIA . The participants of the Forum also explored the potential investment projects and experience of famous world companies operating on the territory of Georgia: HIPP, Heidelberg, RAKIA industrial area Poti and others.
4th International Investment Forum
Between 10th and 11th of November 2010, BSCSIF was the Informational Partner of the 4th International Investment Forum held in Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine.
Forum was held under support of Zaporizhzhya Regional Council. Official Partner: Ernst&Young, Educational Partner: International Institute of Business MBA-Partner: International Management Institute (MIM-Kyiv), Informational Partner: International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Strategic target of the Forum is activation of investment activity in Zaporizhzhya region and formation of effective platform for business communication and discussion of issues of investments attraction to the Zaporizhzhya Region.
The Forum was accompanied by an exhibition of investment projects and day of open workshops and consultations for companies who are interested in attracting financing for business development. This is the most significant event for financiers, bankers, private and corporate investors, and, above all, businessmen who are interested in enterprise development through the attraction of additional financial resources. The Main Forum tasks:
- Formation of image about the investment potential of Zaporizhzhya region;
- Consideration of the real sources of financing new projects;
- Study mechanisms of realization of investment projects;
- Promotion of investment activity of enterprises;
- Involving of interested parties for establishing of business contacts;
- Presentation of investment projects of Zaporizhzhya region;
- Acquaintance of participants with experience of Ukrainian business management;
- Unification of efforts of Public sector and business in sphere of investments.
Among the invited participants were Representatives of State and municipal authority, Heads of local governments, Investment companies and funds, auditing, consulting and legal firms, Ukrainian and foreign industrial enterprises and companies, Banks and non-banking financial institutions and Mass-Media.
International Conference “The politics of EU Eastern enlargement
The vice-president of BSCSIF, Dimitar Kostov and the Counselor of BSCSIF Secretary General, Felicia Scoarta, participated in the period of June,10-11, 2011 in the International Conference “The politics of EU Eastern enlargement”, which took place in Varna, Bulgaria. The conference, being the first cooperative project, was organized by Chernorizets Hrabar Free University of Varna in collaboration with the Diplomatic Institute of Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Republic of Bulgaria and the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership of the Black sea and the Caspian sea.
Very actual and important topics were highlighted in the reports during the Conference: the politics of EU minorities, the problem of EU and NATO cooperation, energy security of Europe and Asia, the relations of EU and Persian Gulf states, the role of EU in resolving “frozen” conflicts, Nabucco Pipeline Project, the illegal emigration in the Black sea region, the cultural heritage of the Black sea region.
The scientific researchers from the most prestigious Bulgarian Universities took part in the Conference: Varna Free University (VFU), New Bulgarian University, Sophia University of Economics, Technical University of Sophia, Sophia State University and also the representative of Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Republic of Bulgaria, Aylin Chukova.
The conference was opened by the welcoming speech of Emil Panushev, the Dean of the Faculty of International Economics and Administration, VFU, Pavel Pavlov, Vice-Rector for Research at VFU, Dimitar Kostov, the Vice-president of BSCSIF, Felicia Scoarta, – the Counselor of BSCSIF Secretary General and Emilia Paneva, the expert of the Diplomatic Institute, Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Republic of Bulgaria.
All the reports presented at the Conference will be included into the publications of Varna Free University, on the occasion of the International Conference.
THE PRESENTATION OF THE DOCUMENTARY FILM “FROM CASPIAN SEA TO DANUBE”
On the 5th of October, 2011 in Belgrade, Serbia, on the initiative of the International Fund for Cooperation and Partnership and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan, the presentation of the documentary film “From Caspian sea to Danube” was held; it is devoted to the glorious way of the “223rd Belgrade infantry division”, the Soviet army that was formed from Azerbaijani people and participated in the liberation of Yugoslavia and Belgrade from Nazi Germany during the 2nd World War.
The film was produced on the basis of written and video materials as a result of the research of the world archives, recollections of the witnesses, experts’ expressions covering historical events of south-eastern countries: Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Serbia, Yugoslavia.
In order not to forget deep roots of historical ties between nations and also to transmit this historical fragment to future generations, the documentary film “From Caspian sea to Danube” was created by the studio «Salnamе», the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Azerbaijan, and Turkish producer centre «VIZIYON», with the film director Tahir Aliev. This film is intended to make a huge contribution to the strengthening of cultural, social and scientific ties between peoples from the former USSR and the Balkan region.
National Conference on Environmental Law
On November 11, 2010, at the Ecological University of Bucharest, BSCSIF took part in the first “National Conference on Environmental Law” and the scientific session “The new codes in the evolution of Romanian law”, with the international participation of the Faculty of Law and Administrative Sciences of the EUB. Specialists from universities and scientific research institutes of Romania, France, Spain, Brazil participated in the Conference, presenting different issues in the sphere of environmental law, on the national and international levels.
They highlighted the problems of climate change through the prism of evolution of the laws in this area, the effectiveness of Romanian judiciary and legal systems, guaranteeing the right for a healthy and ecologically balanced environment, considerations about the criminal liability for environment damage, long-term development challenges and many other topics of European and non-European interests.
A very important aspect for the Black Sea area was the reform of the common fishery policy and its application to the Black Sea, that is considered to be a serious problem for all the countries of the region. Conclusions of the presentation and discussions on this subject are the absolute necessity of the common policy on the EU level, in terms of fishery legislation and strong enforcement of these rules in order to avoid environmental damage and, in particular, of the water.
Regarding the evolution of new codes in Romanian system of private law, the changes brought by the new Civil Code, respectively, by the Code of Civil Procedure, have been discussed.
For BSCSIF, this Conference was an opportunity to get in touch with specialists in environmental law and Romanian private law, and to take part in the academic debates on very important issues.
LEADERSHIP TALKS, Bucharest
On November, 1-4, 2010, Diana Ioana Călin, the member of the BSCSIF project team, participated in the third round of “Leadership Talks”. It was an inspiring event, organized by AIESEC – Bucharest, and the main goal was motivating young people who want to become leaders in a certain sphere.
The young participants had a possibility to interact with important personalities from different fields, like: culture (Alexandru Arșinel, Ion Caramitru, Alexandru Tomescu), science (Dumitru Dorin Prunariu, Raluca- Ioana & Jacobus Frederick van Staden), business (Irina Schrotter, Călin Fusu, Rucsandra Hurezeanu), social responsibility (Răzvan Crișan, Dragoș Bucureci, Sandra Pralong, Leslie Hawke), media (Andreea Esca, Luminița Oprea, Cristian Tudor Popescu), and sport (Alex Gavan). he guests of the event, leaders in those spheres, shared their stories of success with youth, and their own vision about what the leadership is. Each guest in his speech, tried to motivate young people, to guide them to gaining self-confidence and to turn their thoughts and ideas into reality for a better world.
After 3 days, devoted to sharing life stories with distinguished leaders, the last day of the event consisted of training, regarding soft skills introduced by Achieve Global.
The BSCSIF believes that this event was a vivid practical example of young people motivation and encouragement to follow their dreams. Also it was an example of long-term collaboration between the educational, business and non-governmental fields.
5h World Youth Congress
Between July, 31 and August, 13, 2010, Diana Ioana Calin, member of the BSCSIF project team, participated at the 5th World Youth Congress held in Istanbul, Turkey.
Istanbul hosted the 5th in the series of World Youth Congresses on Youth and Development, organized by Minstry of State from Turkey, E-Genclik Association, Peace Child International and Istanbul Youth Assembly.
More than 1000 young brains from different countries gathered at this congress to share things that are crucial for humankind: culture, ideas, thoughts, language, art, peace, friendship and much more. The delegates had the chance to meet many development experts, academics, politicians, artists and diplomats in discussions, workshops, plenary, opening and closing ceremonies. The participants benefited from a strong cultural program, instructive, often youth-led workshops, debates, Educators Program, Young Journalists Program.
Diana Calin was actively involved in the regional meetings and especially in the ones dedicated to the Balkan region. It was an opportunity to meet delegates from the Black Sea- Caspian Sea region, people that often face the same challenges. On behalf of BSCSIF, Diana Calin pointed out the importance of cooperation in these regions in order to come up with common solutions.
Conclusions drawn at round tables, workshops and discussions during the WYC gave birth to the Istanbul Action Plan. This is a result of the work and consensus of all the participants. The main body of the Action Plan consists of thirteen key focus areas that identify problems facing young people in all countries (Poverty and Exclusion, Education, Health, Employment, New Technology and Innovation, Culture, Access to Justice and Security, Youth Participation, Equality of Genders and Sexualities, Sustainable Development and Climate Change, International Migration and Global Cooperation,http://peacechild.org/content.aspx?Page=OurWork_YC_WYC_IAP).
Between 6 and 8 August, BSCSIF with young people from diffrent countries were involved in the implementation of the Action Project from Afyonkarahisar. It consisted in renovation activities for a school and tree planting activities and it was a proof of the old Turkish solidarity system „IMECE-Joint Action”. Through the intercultural team that participated in this project, the importance of cooperation while solving a problem was emphasized.
Through the results of the regional meetings, Local Action Projects, Istanbul Action Plan and other activities of the congress, youth have shown to global community that when entrusted and empowered with responsibility, they deliver change and community improvement in the most cost-effective, creative and fun ways imaginable.
The real impact of the congress came from the informal discussions of the young activists who shared experiences and inspiring stories.
Through this event, BSCSIF enlarged its contact network all over the world, that is an essential fact for further cooperation projects. Learning others’ perspectives and visions towards global challenges, different strategies and methods of solving similar problems, BSCSIF enriched its experience.
The WYC participants are an example of global cooperation, peace, friendship and tolerance between different cultures. They have broken all the barriers and opened their souls and minds for a sustainable cooperation on their way to a commune goal: to have a better world to live in.
21st Century Higher Education, Leadership, Innovation and Human Capital Development
Between 8th and 10th of July 2010, BSCSIF participated, in the international conference and workshop on “21st Century Higher Education, Leadership, Innovation and Human Capital Development – Euro-Atlantic, Black Sea and Caspian Sea Area Studies”, held in Bucharest, ROMANIA.
Bucharest hosted the international conference dedicated to the Black Sea and Caspian Sea area studies, on July 8-10, 2010, organized by George Washington University (USA) in cooperation with the Executive Agency for Higher Education and Research Funding (Romania).
Representatives of civil society and academics from Romania, Republic of Moldova, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Italy, France and USA were invited to this event which is a part of a project co-financed through European Social Fund by Regional Operational Program Human Resources Development 2007-2013.
Prof. Eliot Sorel from School of Medicine and School of Public Health, George Washington University, and Prof. Adrian Curaj, international and national project coordinator from the Executive Agency for Higher Education and Research Funding, Romania, chaired the debates. Mr. Iulian Fota, the BSCSIF president, delivered a speech during the opening session, underlining the importance of such an initiative in the region and the interest of our organization to bring a substantial contribution to this extended project.
Natalia Ciobanu, Luiza Popa and young people who collaborate with BSCSIF on projects took part at this event on behalf of our organization.
The participants made presentations of their institutions and main projects which they intend to develop in the future.
The discussions pointed out the fact that the Black Sea and Caspian Sea region has an abundant diversity of cultures and traditions, natural and human resources, as well as one of the main energy sources and corridors of energy transport to the European Union, USA, and to Asia’s new emerging economic powers.
Given the fact that knowledge of the dynamic Black Sea and Caspian Sea region is limited in the EU and the United States, both in professional and political circles, and especially among general public, the Black Sea & Caspian Sea Area Studies multidisciplinary project, initiated by a group of European, American, Black Sea and Caspian Sea public/private universities partners, will stimulate knowledge of generation, innovation, research and human capital development.
The New NATO Strategic Concept – Perspectives and Opportunities
Black Sea Caspian Sea International Fund participated at the round-table “The New NATO Strategic Concept – Perspectives and Opportunities”, organized by the European Institute in Romania, on October 29th, 2010.
The round-table was organized taking into consideration the debates raised upon the elaboration and adoption of the New NATO Strategic Concept (NSC). The efficiency and credibility of the NSC greatly depend on the way some fundamental issues are resolved. Thus, a balance must be set between the disarming – deterrence objectives and the actual security threats expressed by some of the allies, the political dialogue with Russia must be resuscitated and the approaches of the relations with the emergent great powers (especially China) must be revised.
The aim of the event was to provide a debate framework for the participants, to present the Working Paper on the topic, written by a team of the Institute researchers, and to offer a series of suggestions for the Conferences that will take place on November 19th-20th, 2010, when the New Strategic Concept is to be adopted.
The event started with the remarks and speeches of Gabriela Drăgan, General Director of the European Institute in Romania and Constantin Moştoflei, Director at the Centre for Security and Strategic Defence Studies of the National Defence University “Carol I”.
It continued with interventions from several experts: Paul Ionescu, Expert in security and defence issues, consultant al the Romanian Parliament, Liviu Mureşan, President of EURISC, Narciz Bălăşoiu, Researcher at the Early Warning Centre for Conflict Prevention and Şerban F. Cioculescu, Researcher at the Institute for Political Defence Studies and Military History.
Taking into consideration the implications that a New NATO Strategic Concept would have in the Black Sea Caspian Sea region, and the fact that it is also in our Fund’s main objectives to contribute to the integrated development of the area, to conserve regional peace and strengthen the cooperation between the peoples in the region, BSCSIF is an active participant in all the activities of such type.
Cooperation in Black Sea – Caspian Sea area in times of globalization. National perspectives
On October 25th, 2010 in Bucharest, ROMANIA, Black Sea Caspian Sea International Fund organized a panel entitled “Cooperation in Black Sea – Caspian Sea area in times of globalization. National perspectives” within the Conference “Towards enhancement of European energy supply: Azerbaijan in focus”. The main organizers of the conference were the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Romania and Azerbaijan – Romania Culture and Youth Association.
The panel intended to highlight the perspectives of some of the countries from the Black Sea – Caspian Sea region which face globalization trends, paying special attention to the related challenges and opportunities they encounter.At the same time, this region is of major interest for a significant number of Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian global actors, due to its high cultural and social heritage, as will as to the diversity and abundance of natural resources. The discussions provided the participants with the framework to share their views on issues such as energy, environment and cross-border cooperation.
Analysts from Romania, Russian Federation, Turkey and Azerbaijan discussed about aspects in the field of international relations in the era of globalization and upon the need of enhancing the regional dialog and building sustainable partnerships in the above-mentioned area. The key argument is that the dynamics of globalization exert great influence, both directly and indirectly, upon each country’s development and the relations between them. As no country can be safe from the exposure to different types of international crises nowadays, it was underlined that Black Sea – Caspian Sea countries’ performance in the framework of globalization is related to their bi- and multilateral cooperation, as well as to regional partnerships.
International Conference “Ecologic Performance into a Competitive Economy”
On November 11, 2010, BSCSIF participated in the 3rd session of the International Conference “Ecologic Performance into a Competitive Economy”, which took place in Bucharest, Romania. The event was organized by the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies (the Faculty of Agrifood and Environment Economics) in collaboration with: Moldovan Academy of Economic Studies, Romanian Academy, National Statistical Institute, Simone Cesaretti Foundation and CRENoS. On behalf of BSCSIF Ms. Natalia Ciobanu, adviser to BSCSIF vice-president and Ms. Diana Ioana Călin, environmental engineer, BSCSIF project manager, took part in the Conference.
The Conference created favorable atmosphere for researchers, academics and governmental representatives, businessmen and consultants, so they could share their experiences, projects and expectations, learning from each other.
Taking into consideration sustainable development, the increase of the ecological performances has become a priority for the economic activity. This conference has contributed to the rising of awareness of the activities involved in the environmental compliance and benefits of using eco-friendly technologies. Environmental policies and strategies, renewable energy, ecological agriculture, social responsibility and disaster management are only some of the subjects highlighted in the reports by the participants.
Through the subject of the Conference and the diversity of participants (in terms of geographical and professional backgrounds), this event has become a good premise for BSCSIF to interact and to establish future collaboration with Romanian specialists in one of its priority areas of interest – environmental protection.
International Conference on “Environment, Maritime Resources and Pollution”
On November 12th, 2009 in Istanbul, Turkey, BSCSIF and Marmara Foundation organized the International Conference on “Environment, Maritime Resources and Pollution”.
To the conference were invited heads of local governments, analysts, experts, university professors and representatives of research institutes from Romania, Russian Federation, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Republic of Moldova, Kirghizstan Georgia.
Conference was held under the Chairmanship of Dr. Akkan Suver. Among the speakers were Prof. Dr. Tamaz Beradze from Georgia, Prof. Dr. Lidia Romanciuc and Prof. Dr. George Duca from Moldova, Instructor of Istanbul Technical University, H.E. Prof. Dr. Veysel Eroğlu, State Secretary of the Ministry of Regional Development and Housing of Romania – H.E. Razvan Murgeanu, Dr. Eng. Ercan Çitil and President of the First Academic Council of the Marmara Group Foundation and Former Minister of Public Works and Housing and Prof. Dr. Ahmet Samsunlu.
Among the topics addressed at this conference there were issues such as water and soil pollution, measures that can be taken to prevent and to combat pollution, risk assessment, awareness of these problems and how waste can be managed.
One particular focus was the removal of importance of Black Sea cooperation, international mechanisms created by coastal countries to ensure life in this area through education as a tool aimed at raising awareness of pollution, develop regional policy for sustainable regional development.
Besides presentations on the dangers facing the Black Sea ecosystem and population of those areas, hazards, caused by pollutants, The Strategy Action Plan (SAP) was also presented. It aims at ensuring a healthy living environment for people of those areas (both urban and rural), and protection of fauna and flora. Also outlined objectives are aimed at livelihoods based on sustainable activities, fishing, aquaculture, tourism in all the Black Sea countries.
Another topic discussed was about the Joint Operational Program “Black Sea, 2007-2013″, Opportunities and Challenges Created by the Black Sea Joint Operational Program “2007-2013″, Romanian contributions to the Initiatives in the Black Sea Basin. This approach presents the role of this program from the perspective adopted by Romania and possible solutions for a better functioning of the program and objectives proposed by participating in the program tail.