Response to the Address by Secretary General of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation H.E. Mr. Victor Tvircun

As delivered by Ambassador Ian Kelly
to the Permanent Council, Vienna
February 14, 2013

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

The United States welcomes the Secretary General of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, Ambassador Victor Tvircun, to the Permanent Council, and we thank him for his informative presentation.

We congratulate the BSEC on marking the twentieth anniversary this past June of the Istanbul Declaration and Bosphorus Statement of 1992, which created the BSEC.  We also congratulate Ukraine on assuming the Chairmanship-in-Office of the BSEC for the first half of 2013.  We anticipate increased and fruitful interaction from Ukraine’s Chairmanship of this important organization.

The United States appreciates that the BSEC and the OSCE share many values.  These common values give us a basis to cooperate on a number of issues important to both organizations.  The BSEC’s promotion of increased trade, among its members, as well as environmentally sustainable approaches to economic and social development, harmonizes closely with the goals of the OSCE.

Under the just-completed Turkish BSEC Chairmanship-in-Office, we noted with particular interest the Joint Declaration adopted in November by BSEC Interior Ministers on preventing and fighting transnational crime, including economic and financial crimes, smuggling of migrants, human trafficking, trafficking of light weapons, and terrorism.  These efforts of the BSEC mirror those of the OSCE across all three dimensions, and we encourage even greater cooperation between the OSCE and the BSEC to fight transnational crime in an effort to maximize our impact.

The BSEC has proven its ability to address important issues facing its members, issues which many OSCE participating States face as well.  We look forward to a cooperative and beneficial relationship between the OSCE and the BSEC for many years to come, and we again thank Secretary General Tvircun for his presentation today.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.