• English

Bucharest, 20 October, 2000


Mr. Chairman,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me begin by saying how much I appreciate the invitation to come to Bucharest and to address the third meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the BSEC Member States.

We all know that there is nothing more important for Europe than cooperation. It not only contributes to reforms and development, it is also the most effective way to guarantee stability and peace. UNECE wants to contribute to your cooperation.

I want to extend to you my words of admiration for your catalytic contribution to promoting dialogue in the Black Sea region in our joint pursuit to peace and prosperity. In this context I want to wish you a good incoming Russian Presidency, a year that will bring good work and satisfaction.

I believe that in view of the challenge of globalisation, in view of the increasing number of transboundary issues and problems which cannot be properly addressed at the national level, working together at the subregional and regional levels becomes the most efficient and effective instrument of international cooperation.

This is where it is the easiest to identify common interests, this is where most norms and standards are borne and matter most, this is where most cooperation in reality takes place.

BSEC has established an excellent political mechanism to enhance cooperation. Again, I want to say that this mechanism can become even more effective, if and when enriched with legal, technical, analytical and statistical, sectoral and cross-sectoral expertise that UN Economic Commission for Europe has been prepared to offer as its contribution to BSEC pursuit of stability and prosperity of its region.

There is already a history of our working together, indirectly through our programmes and projects developed in the framework of ECE/SECI, for whom we provide all the substantive support, of CEI, of the Stability Pact in which most of BSEC Member States participate, through our direct work with the BSEC Secretariat which has been recently intensified, and through direct participation of BSEC Member States – who are all our Member States – of UNECE – in ECE core activities and bilateral technical assistance.

Here, let me mention in particular the area of transport and transport-related issues and environment – before coming here I have realized that we have completed Environmental Performance Reviews for six BSEC States and more are planned. The one for Romania we started last Monday.

The areas in which ECE comparative advantage in the framework of pan-European cooperation in the strongest, are also of highest priority for the BSEC Member States – international legal instruments in the fields of transport, environment, energy, information technology and trade facilitation. Many of BSEC Member States have ratified our European conventions and protocols and agreements. We stand ready to help in their implementation.

Such areas of our activities as transport infrastructure and border crossings, public-private partnership, in particular for infrastructure development, energy efficiency and sustainability, enterprise development social progress monitoring all they matter for prosperity of this region.

I hope that Memorandum of Understanding on the preparation of which both BSEC and UNECE Secretariat have been working will contribute to the increase of the effectiveness of our joint work.

Before I conclude, let me inform you about and invite you to the European regional intergovernmental conference on Financing for Development which ECE is organizing in cooperation with EBRD and UNCTAD in Geneva on 6-7 December this year. It is the European input into the global Financing for Development event to take place next year. We hope that the Conference will allow us to launch badly needed partnerships for development in Europe, between European governments, the business community and civil society. BSEC Member States can both greatly contribute to the outcome of the Conference and to the European partnership for development.

Thank you.