72nd UN General Assembly And GUAM Sessions: The Results – OpEd


On September 25, the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly ended with no major results as the General Assembly co-chairs just “ticked” their work plan. Nevertheless, it is a common knowledge that the session agenda included projects of two resolutions called, “The situation in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan” and “Protracted conflicts in the GUAM area and their implications for international peace, security, and development.”

Once again Azerbaijan seized the opportunity to bring to the attention of the world community the fact that the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the adjacent territory were under occupation.

Listening to the speech of Mr. Aliyev the co-chairs did not show that they were interested. Should Azerbaijan hope further that the UN will help to achieve the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and control the execution of requirements for the armed forces of Armenia to leave immediately Kalbajar, Aghdam, Fuzuli, Jabrail, Gubadli, and Zangilan?

As the documents accepted by the Assembly remain only on paper, it is obvious that the UN General Assembly is just a “discussion club” that negotiates problems without achieving any results.

During this session in New York, Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov met with representatives of GUAM and the US. Apparently the US was the initiator of the meeting. It is its second attempt to “revive” the GUAM in 2017. The first attempt was made in Kiev in March and was mainly dedicated to the discussion of implementation of the agreement on the Free Trade Area (FTA) establishment within the GUAM signed 15 years ago.

In Ukraine they say that the FTA will be formed by the end of 2017. Will it be really done, if we should consider that Ukraine and Moldova have the association agreement with the EU unlike Azerbaijan and Georgia?

Besides, Ukraine and Moldova continue to be in the FTA of the CIS, provided the FTA between Russia and Ukraine is suspended from January 1, 2016. This means that the GUAM members will face complications in their own FTA creation because the GUAM members’ statuses are different.

The GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic Development has existed for 20 years. Is the GUAM profitable for its members? The GUAM FTA creation will not guarantee that the economic indexes of members will grow a lot. We see that the import volume from Azerbaijan to Ukraine and Moldova is not significant.

It turns out that the GUAM has once again demonstrated its inadequacy from the point of view of economic and political interaction.

This organization has not confirmed its efficiency during 20 years. Indeed, during these 20 years its activity has been placed on hold many times.

Is there a possibility that the political interaction will change for the better? The four countries are involved in the frozen and active conflicts. The GUAM headquarters is located in Ukraine and consequently Ukraine manages to make the members support its territorial integrity. Azerbaijan hopes that its “allies” who are concerned about their own internal problems will help to restore the territorial integrity, but in vain.

Of course during the recent session the GUAM and US representatives allegedly showed that they were ready to protect the interests of Azerbaijan. But how are they going to do this? Perhaps and indication can be found in the statement made on September 25, on the UN General Assembly’s closing day, by the Chairman of Parliament of Georgia Irakli Kobakhidze who said that all parliamentary forces of his country, “considered that the relations with Armenia should be fraternal and it was necessary to take steps to strengthen them.”

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