“ECO Vision 2025” document, which was adopted in 2017, should enrich ECO economic and social agenda and set the strategic direction of the Organization for the coming decade. Azerbaijan supports this reforming process via joint efforts that can enhance efficiency of current institutions and provide a possibility for further development of ECO.
ECO has to keep pace of current realities. Having said that, it is important to underline the existence of need to revise the activity of the organization, estimate the value added so far by relevant ECO bodies. We should strengthen the capacity of the organization as a project oriented and more visible regional player. Program or project orientation may help in enhancing cooperation between the member states, as well as in economic and social development of the region. We look forward to come to concrete results and adopt documents to be laid at the base of future reforms.
Along with the economic cooperation Azerbaijan attaches an importance to the cooperation in other spheres as well. We have signed and ratified the Statue of the ECO Regional Centre for Cooperation of Anti-Corruption Agencies and Ombudsmen (RCCACO) recently in 2019.
ECO constituency is a friendly family for Azerbaijan. We highly value our history-long relations.
Of course, as we all have to admit that as it is reflected in our Antalya Communiqué, existing unresolved conflicts in the ECO region, including Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, prevent our full fledge cooperation.
Challenging realities on the ground must be fixed, so to allow greater cooperation between our countries.
There is also another important provision in our communiqué, which mentions the importance of withstanding other pressures in the region, including common threats and pertinent conflicts.
Unfortunately this is not just a political reflection of the reality, but as well the pressing issue of forgone economic opportunities for our region. For example, if it were not for the occupation of our territories by Armenia, we would have a direct swift railway link between Iran and Nakhchivan.
They are and should even more be grounded on the principles of solidarity. No regional economic cooperation is possible if political and military challenges, including the cases of occupation and illegal activities in the occupied territories are not removed. That’s why what the Declaration of Islamabad Summit of 2017 emphasized in respect to this very issue should be streamlined in ECO Member States own national and regional activities.