Projects

2019 CUSUR CALENDAR
 
Upcoming Events 2019
US-UA Security Dialogue X
Washington, DC
February 28, 2019
 
UA HES Special Event:
Sobornist' at 100
Ukrainian Museum
May 4, 2019   
 
US-UA BNS Special Event
Washington DC
May 23, 2019
 
US-UA WG Yearly Summit VI
Washington, DC
June 13, 2019

US-UA Energy Dialogue VI
Kyiv, Ukraine
August 29, 2019 
 
UA HES Special Event:
UA-AM Community at 125
Princeton Club/NY
September 21, 2019 
 
UA QUEST RT XX
Washington, DC
October 10, 2019
 
UA HES Forum VII:
LT-PL-UA Relations
Chicago
November 9, 2019   
 

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CUSUR 2016 - Project I
US-UA “Working Group” Initiative

The US-Ukraine “Working Group” Initiative was launched in 2007 in order to secure an array of experts in "areas of interest” for CUSUR and its various forums/proceedings; at the same time, it was hoped that the ‘experts’ might agree to write a series of ‘occasional papers’ to identify “major issues” impacting on US-Ukrainian relations.
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CUSUR 2017 - Project II
Publication Efforts

Recognizing the urgent need to set up proper channels for the maximum circulation of the information/analysis CUSUR possessed or had at its disposal, the Center long focused on having ‘a publication presence’ of some form or another.
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CUSUR 2018 - Project III
DC Occasional Briefings Series

CUSUR did not turn its attention to having a DC presence until summer 2012. Borrowing space when the need arose (particularly for various forum steering committees meetings) from the American Foreign Policy Council, its longest abiding partner, seemed to suffice; an Acela ride from the Center’s NY office did the rest. If there was a concern, it was to open an office in Kyiv.
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US/Ukraine and GUUAM: Strengthening the Links.

Ukraine's Quest for Mature Nation Statehood Roundtable II:
"Taking Measure of a US-Ukraine Strategic Partnership"

US/Ukraine and GUUAM: Strengthening the Links.

Hafiz Pashayev

Presentation by Ambassador Hafiz Pashayev of the Republic of Azerbaijan delivered during the Conference “Ukraine’s Quest for Mature Nation Statehood – Roundtable II: Taking Measure of a U.S./Ukraine Strategic Partnership”. For more information on GUUAM please visit their web site at www.guuam.org.

Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is with great pleasure that I accepted the invitation to speak here, and that’s because of the following reasons. First, it is very good experience to be a part of an event, which is being so much supported by the Ukrainian community of the United States. It is an impressive gathering which shows that the support of Ukrainian-Americans is a considerable factor in ensuring that Ukraine copes with all difficulties on its path to mature statehood. Secondly, the issue itself is related to GUUAM and that I always welcome, trying not to miss any opportunity to speak on this topic.

Today my task is a very challenging one, yet very interesting. I, just like my distinguished co-panelists, will be trying to cover multi-faceted links existing between the United States and GUUAM, where, as you know, Ukraine is joined by Georgia, Uzbekistan, Moldova, and my country, Azerbaijan.

Dr. Brzezinski whose opinion I value immensely, has on more than one occasion observed that it is not easy to persuade the United States to engage in cooperation with individual foreign countries, unless this country is not Russia or China. The US is more accessible to groups of nations.

Such was the story of the GUUAM. This CFE-born group of four (at the moment of its establishment) was a product of close cooperation among delegations of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, which started during the talks on conventional arms and forces limitations in Vienna. It was a very interesting and controversial time, a time when interests of great powers often contradicted each other and combined with utter lack of clear vision and understanding of the post-Soviet states. These four nations, before even the group was formally established appeared together in a Senate 1997 resolution which demanded that their lawful interests be taken into account in the flank package.

In 1997 during the first Summit in Strasbourg the Presidents of the four nations have made, in their Declaration, a precise definition of the group’s objectives, which remain unchanged now. They emphasized how important it is to develop the interaction “for the sake of a stable and secure Europe guided by the principles of respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, inviolability of state frontiers, mutual respect, cooperation, democracy, supremacy of law and respect for human rights”.

In 1999, at the NATO-50 Summit in Washington Uzbekistan joined the group and GUUAM’s nature started being perceived by the international community, and, specifically by the U.S., as something wider than merely a group of nations sharing similar agenda of arms control regime. It has become an important structure for enhancing regional economic cooperation through the development of Europe-Caucasus-Asia transportation corridor, and a forum for discussion on various levels of existing security problems, promoting conflict resolution and elimination of other risks and threats.

It is at that period of time that this group has become an example of something, not really found before and something which I would like to mention specifically. It is the very composition of GUUAM, which is diverse both ethnically (Slavic, Turkic, Roman, and Iberian) and religiously (Orthodox Christian, Roman Catholic, Shi’ah Moslem, and Sunni Moslem). I dare say that in a certain sense the decades of the Soviet regime when we were all made to subjugate our differences to our rulers’ aims, have helped us in the period after the USSR’s collapse. We had little difficulty in learning to harmonize our uniqueness with a common, and very natural, goal – to become truly independent.

In the year 2000 this development continued further, turning GUUAM into a very effective forum for interaction, at least from Azerbaijani perspective. Along with on-going regular meetings of the Committee of National Coordinators and other get-togethers on the high expert level (the next one, by the way, is scheduled to commence in less than a week in Baku), a number of other significant and high-level events took place. In May of 2000 a seminar was held on GUUAM in the US Senate under the aegis of the Foreign Relations European Affairs chairman Gordon Smith, concentrating on the approach of the participating countries to the future of this group. GUUAM’s contribution into counter-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and sensitive technologies was specifically emphasized.

In yet another proof of GUUAM’s growing visibility on the Capitol Hill the US Senate passed the Defense and Security Assistance Act of 2000. This legislation contains one whole section dealing with GUUAM and providing $ 8,5 mil in the FY 2001 and $ 37 mil in the FY 2002. I highly appreciate efforts of the many senators who fought for this bill and also for providing better assistance to GUUAM. We are working to get funds appropriated in accordance with this authorization.

In November, 2000 in Vienna Ministers of Foreign Affairs of all five members have adopted the Joint Communique, approving the Perspective Plan of Development of GUUAM for 2000-2001, discussing establishment of the Public Consultative Council, draft Agreement on the free trade zone, etc. A meeting of the Ministers with the US Secretary of State took place there too, re-iterating the ever-growing American interest to GUUAM. A big step towards institutionalizing GUUAM was made at the GUUAM Summit in June, 2001 in Yalta.

The US universities have started showing considerable academic interest to GUUAM, covering multi-faceted interaction within the group. A number of events, including the GUUAM workshop at Stanford, and discussions at the Washington University in St.Louis, also took place in 2000. This year’s Harvard initiative on GUUAM within the framework of the Black Sea Security program is an excellent example and an indicator of American public’s growing attention.

If asked which areas of cooperation within GUUAM are the most important, I’d say that there are three top priorities, which fully coincide with the proclaimed US policy goals in the post-Soviet space (as you know, these goals comprise support to the independence of states, their transformation to democracy and market – oriented societies, efforts aimed at energy development, as well as at resolution of conflicts):

First priority for GUUAM is political interaction within the framework of integration into Euro-Atlantic and European structures of security and cooperation. It includes establishment of interaction with the UN, OSCE, European Union and other international organizations, as well as of dialogue with NATO. It is fully acknowledged by the GUUAM countries that developing safe and reliable infrastructure which comprises well-trained and well-equipped forces and institutions will undoubtedly make a considerable contribution to the European and world security architecture.

Second, economic cooperation. Initial important steps were made on the path towards establishing the Europe-South Caucasus-Central Asia transit corridor, in which the GUUAM countries would play the very important role because of their geostrategic location.

Cooperation in energy sector includes working together on several major goals, which comprise minimizing effects of external financial crises in the GUUAM countries, accelerating the development of Caspian oil deposits and constructing multiple pipelines to the international markets. Main Export Pipeline, which is in the stage of detailed engineering, will become a backbone for the whole transportation corridor. I think, it is high time for all of us, including our Western partners, to think about the pipeline security issues. It is not an issue of the future any more, it is the matter of immediate urgency.

This year’s US-supported seminar on cooperation among the Chambers of Commerce of GUUAM member-states, held in Baku and attended also by representatives of Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Kazakhstan, became another vivid demonstration of the commonality of economic interests beyond energy sector.

And, finally, third. Cooperation in opposing ethnic and religious intolerance. The GUUAM states believe that both religious extremism and ethnic terrorism are among main reasons of numerous regional conflicts. And we in Azerbaijan, with 20% of our territory under foreign military occupation and approximately 1 million refugees and displaced, attach special importance to peaceful settlement of regional conflicts based on respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of the frontiers of all states. The recent visit of the Ukrainian Foreign Minister Zlenko to Baku provided another proof of the commonality of interests in this area.

This goal is becoming more and more significant today, when an international coalition of nations is standing by the United States in its fight against terrorism. Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan are important allies in the US efforts to eradicate terror, and the other three GUUAM members – Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova, have also pledged their support.

Resolution of conflicts, countering aggressive separatism and all forms of chauvinism, along with putting an end to arms deliveries to the zones of conflicts, which create fertile environment for terror, have become as important to our nations, as other things, which sound much more universal (political interaction, economic and security-related cooperation etc.)

In the context of all the aforementioned tasks NATO-GUUAM cooperation, activities in the framework of PfP programs and relations with the United States are of considerable importance to all five states.

In the recent year cooperation and mutual support of the five countries at the international forums have strengthened, with the GUUAM members not only coordinating their positions, but as well undertaking joint initiatives. The inter-cultural dialogue and common statement on terrorism at the United Nations are two most explicit examples of that. Most recently another statement, presented by the Azerbaijani representative to the UN on behalf of the five GUUAM states has shown that this cooperation is ever-growing.

For our western partners interrelationship with GUUAM can become the core of their policy in two regions at the same time. GUUAM’s role as a link between the areas of Black Sea and Caspian Sea is, without doubt, just another of the numerous advantages it can provide in terms of cooperation.

Let me close by saying that we, in GUUAM, are proud of what we have already achieved, the way we have helped each other to overcome our common problems. We are only 10 years old, all of us, and the problems we encounter are the same. In the future we should deal with them on a collective basis, helping each other out, as friends do.

We are also fully aware that we need to work hard to make GUUAM fully functional, and it is us who are ultimately responsible for the success of this organization. Still, we could use some help, and we trust that it can be found here, in America, where experts have quite some time ago realized that any assistance to GUUAM, be it direct or indirect, is in the best interest of the West, and the US public slowly but surely arrives to the same conclusion.

It is especially important at a time when the world community is coming together as a solid coalition in a face-off with the international terrorism.

 

Past Highlight Events

RT XVII Items of Note
Highlights from Ukraine's Quest for Mature Nation Statehood RT XVII: Ukraine & Religious Freedom, held in Washington, DC on Oct. 27, 2016
 
UA HES SE: UA 25th B-Day
Highlights from UA HES Special Event: 'Commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the Modern Ukrainian State', held at the NY Princeton Club on Sept. 17, 2016
 
US-UA WG YS IV Highlights
Highlights from US-UA WG Yearly Summit IV: Providing Ukraine with an Annual Report Card, held at the University Club in Washington, DC on June 16, 2016
 
US-UA SD VII Items of Note
Highlights from US-Ukraine Security Dialogue VII held on February 25, 2016 in Washington DC
 
UA HES SE: WW2 Legacy
Highlights from the UA Historical Encounters Special Event: 'Contested Ground': The Legacy of WW2 in Eastern Europe, held in Edmonton on October 23-24, 2015
 
Holodomor SE Highlights
Highlights from the UA Historical Encounters Special Event: Taking Measure of the Holodomor, held at the Princeton Club of NY on November 5-6, 2013
 
US-UA SD III Items of Note
Highlights from US-Ukraine Security Dialogue III held on May 19, 2012 in Chicago, IL

  • Former UA Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko's keynote
 
UEAF Forum VI Highlights
Highlights from UEAF Forum VI, held in Ottawa, Canada on March 7-8, 2012
 
RT XII Items of Note
Highlights from Ukraine's Quest for Mature Nation Statehood RT XII: PL-UA & TR-UA, held in Washington, DC on Oct 19–20, 2011
 
US-UA ED III Items of Note
Highlights from US-Ukraine Energy Dialogue III, held in Washington DC
on April 15-16, 2008
 
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