History of TRACECA

                                              How TRACECA started

For the first time, TRACECA Programme was initiated at the Conference in Brussels, in May 1993, involving Ministries of Trade and Transport from 8 countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Members of this Conference adopted Brussels Declaration, to give rise to implementation of the interregional programme of technical assistance “TRACECA”, financed from the European Union and aimed at the development of the transport corridor from Europe, crossing the Black Sea, Caucasus, the Caspian Sea and reaching the Central Asian countries.

In the period of 1996-1998 Ukraine, Mongolia and Moldova joined the Programme. 

At the First Annual Meeting of IGC TRACECA in Tbilisi, March 2000, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey officially applied to the European Commission with a request to join TRACECA Programme and as a result have become members of the Basic Multilateral Agreement of the international transport on development of the Europe-Caucasus-Asia corridor (MLA) 

In July 2009, the Islamic Republic of Iran accessed to the MLA TRACECA, and on the outcomes of the Seventh meeting of the IGC TRACECA, 16 June 2009 the status of observer in the IGC was granted to the Republic of Lithuania.

                                              TRACECA milestones

                                               Brussels Conference

                                                       May 1993

This conference identified a number of problems and defencies in the regional trade and transport systems that were translated into project proposals for the TRACECA Programme.

An initial 15 mln. EURO was allocated to implement projects that were aimed at improving and developing trade and transport within the region. These projects were essential for the diversification of the traditional centered trade and transport flows and to open up trade routes to the West.

                                             TRACECA Working Groups

                                                        1995-1999

The Programme plan was developed through the four sectoral working groups (Trade Facilitation, Road, Rail and Maritime Transport) with representatives from all the participating states taking an active part. These working groups were responsible for project identification and for the endorsement of projects proposed the EC financing.

 Also the participating states arrived at a common agreement on one specific route on recommendations was made in areas which required action in trade facilitation, maintenance and operations, rehabilitation and modernization.

It was also agreed that any project outside this route should only be financed through the National TACIS programmes or by the other donors. It may be noted however that much of the focus of TRACECA TA projects is on institutional or management issues. The beneficial effects of such actions are not limited to any single route.

 The concept of TRACECA as a multimodal transport route was further developed and all ongoing projects were fully evaluated. The participating states agreed that Ukraine, Moldova and Mongolia would become full beneficiaries of the TRACECA Programme. They also reiterated the necessity of linking TRACECA route to the Crete Corridors that link the Black Sea region with the TENs.
 
                TRACECA – Black Sea Economic Cooperation Conference

                                                      April 1997

In Tbilisi in April 1997 a joint TRACECA- BSEC (Black Sea Economic Cooperation) Conference was organized by the EU in order to examine the possibilities of linking the TRACECA route with the Black Sea region and the TENs. This Ministerial Transport Conference brought around the table all BSEC countries and the NIS involved in the TRACECA Programme. The Ministers of the 16 participating countries expressed the wish to integrate TRACECA and the Black Sea countries within the Trans European Networks. It was agreed that TRACECA and BSEC would operate closely to develop this idea by concrete actions and projects. Several countries (Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine) used the occasion to declare their intention to join the Serakhs Agreement concluded between Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, which aims at establishing a common policy in transport.

The Conference resulted in the establishment of a Ministerial Committee for the development of concrete projects that also served as a platform of 16 countries for the Pan European Transport Conference in Helsinki in June 1997.

  As a result the Helsinki Conference identified the Black Sea Region as a Pan European Transport Area which will further develop the TENs outlet to the East.

 TRACECA – Restoration of the Historic Silk Route International Conference
 
                                                       September 1998

In September 1997 there was a welcome initiative by the Presidents Aliyev of Azerbaijan and Shevardnadze of Georgia who jointly proposed to host a Presidential Conference in the Caucasus in 1998, that could lead to the signing of the Multilateral Agreement on Transport initiated within the TRACECA programme. With the support of the TRACECA programme, this initiative has resulted in the International Conference “TRACECA – Restoration of the Historic Silk Route” that was held on September 8, 1998 in Baku (Azerbaijan Republic).

 The Conference was attended by the Presidents of Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Romania, Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan, heads of governments transport ministries and experts from 32 countries as well as representatives of the European Commission and representatives of 12 international organizations. The important result of the conference was the signing of the “Basic Multilateral Agreement on International Transport for Development of the Transport Corridor Europe- the Caucasus – Asia” (MLA) and its Technical Annexes on international railway transport, international commercial maritime navigation, international road transport, customs and documentation procedures.

           First IGC Conference on Transport Corridor “Europe-Caucasus-Asia”

                                                          March 2000

On March 10, 2000 President of Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze opened the First Conference of the TRACECA Intergovernmental Commission in Tbilisi. Heads of Governments, Prime-Minister of Armenia, Ministers of Transport and Vice Prime- Ministers of Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Romania, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan as well as Representatives of the European Commission attended this conference.

 Representatives of Mongolia and Turkmenistan were invited to the Conference as members of the TRACECA Programme but not yet signatories of the Basic Agreement.

 The Conference adopted the Rules of procedures of the Intergovenrmental Commission for the future as well as the Statutes of the Permanent Secretariat and elected its Secretary General – Mr. Zviad Kvachantiradze and the Deputy Secretary General – Mr. Ikram Nazarov. 


             Inauguration of the Permanent Secretariat Secretariat`s office

                                                       February 2001

An official opening of the office of the Permanent Secretariat of the IGC TRACECA was held on February 21, 2001 in Baku.

The guests on the official ceremony were the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev, Minister of Foreign Affairs and representative of Swedish presidency in EU Anna Lindh, Commissioned for External Relations Christopher Patten, Secretary General/ High Representative of CFSP Javier Solana.

Heads of Diplomatic Missions, accredited in the Republic of Azerbaijan and Representatives of International Financial Institutions were also invited to the opening ceremony.

Extraordinary Meeting of the IGC TRACECA on development of the transport corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia in Tbilisi

                                                 December 2001

Under the chairmanship of the Minister of Transport and Communications of Georgia Merab Adeishvilli the IGC has adopted Final Resolutions of the WG of National Secretaries, which provided the special conditions for transportation of humanitarian goods and reconstruction material to Afganistan, the Action Plan which identified priority projects to solve the major transport and transit problems for the years 2002 and 2003 and the principle design of a new TRACECA Map.

Working Group Meeting of National Secretaries of the IGC TRACECA in Ashgabat

                                              February 2002

The Meeting was opened by the welcome speech of official of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan and Head of “Turkmendemirellari” department Batyr Sardjayev.

 The Meeting was attended by the Representatives of the European Commission and EU countries` diplomatic missions.

 In accordance with results of the meeting there have been made recommendations and decisions on the following issues: transportation of humanitarian goods and reconstruction materials to Afghanistan, “TRACECA Coefficient”, “TRACECA Hotline”, “TRACECA Visa”.

Special workshop devoted to the transportation of humanitarian goods and reconstruction materials for Afghanistan

                                                        April 2002

The special workshop dedicated to the transportation of humanitarian aid and reconstruction materials for Afghanistan via the International Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia took place in Frankfurt on Main (Germany) on April 12, 2002.

The meeting was held with participation of the major transport and forwarding companies under the aegis of PS IGC TRACECA with organizational support of the German company Dornier Consulting GmbH (company of the Daimler Chrysler Group).

Presentation of all initiatives adopted by PS IGC TRACECA over the last two month for creation of more favorable conditions for transportation of humanitarian cargo and construction materials towards Afghanistan took place at the meeting.

On the outcomes of the meeting Declaration on Cooperation was signed. The document notes that all participants of the meeting supported the initiatives of the PS IGC TRACECA in particular, simplification of administrative procedures, elimination of all taxes and duties, other collections for transit carriages (reducing of tariffs for carriages), free of charge issue of licenses, and etc.
Participants of the meeting took into account the proposal of the UN World Food Programme to arrange dispatch of two trial lots of cargo through the TRACECA corridor which would allow to check its competitiveness and reliability and compared to the other corridors.

The representatives of the European Commission, UN WFP and the following transport companies took part in the workshop: Willi BETZ (Germany), PANALPINA Relief Services (Switzerland), CALBERSON GE (France), M&M (Germany), TRANSRAIL (Switzerland), FERROVIASPED (Germany), KUEHNE & NAGEL (Germany), BALTHASAR PAPP (Germany), MURPHY Shipping (UK), P & O Nedlloyd (Germany), FARELL Lines (Georgia). 

            Second Annual Conference of the IGC TRACECA in Tashkent

                                                        April 2002

The Second Annual Conference of the IGC TRACECA took place in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan on April 24-25, 2002. The action involved members of the IGC TRACECA – high ranking officials of the Parties of the Basic Multilateral Agreement: Vice Prime-Ministers, Ministers of Transport, Deputy Ministers and TRACECA National Secretaries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Romania, Tajikistan, Turkey, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Turkmenistan was also invited to all plenary session of the Conference as a participant of the European Union Programme Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia “TRACECA”.

The Delegation of the European Commission, which was invited to the Conference as a Co-Chairman of the IGC TRACECA, was headed by the Director of Europe Aid Cooperation Office Directorate “A” Per Brix Knudsen, who made a welcoming speech on behalf of the European Commission. The opening ceremony also involved numerous guests, representatives of diplomatic missions accredited in Uzbekistan and other international organizations.

Members of the IGC TRACECA adopted on consensus a number of decisions, to be realized during next year. Particularly, those decisions concerned on Declaration on Cooperation, signed by the heads of large transport – forwarding companies in Frankfurt on Main (Germany) on April 12, 2002 and supported the intention of the UN World Food Programme to promote humanitarian goods transportation for Afghanistan via the Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia “TRACECA”. The IGC TRACECA members decided to form special governmental monitoring groups in their countries. This action was aimed to improve the implementation of all the previously mentioned special and most favorable conditions for humanitarian goods and reconstruction materials transported to Afghanistan through TRACECA member-states territories. 

In accordance with the MLA the IGC chairmanship has been taken over by the Republic of Uzbekistan for the next period. The Conference also took some organizational decisions that are to elect the Secretary General of the PS IGC TRACECA. In accordance with a proposal from Uzbekistan, IGC TRACECA members elected as the Secretary General of the PS IGC TRACECA Mr. Abdurashid Tagirov, candidate of technical sciences, earlier taking official posts in transport field of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

To ensure succession of its activity and long-term administrative work of the Permanent Secretariat, IGC decided to invoke a new position of the Executive Secretary of the Permanent Secretariat. Mr. Zviad Kvatchantiradze, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, working previously as a Secretary General of the PS IGC TRACECA, elected as Executive Secretary of the Permanent Secretariat for a 3 year period. The IGC TRACECA adopted final resolutions and communique on all discussed matters.


                         Third Annual Conference of the IGC TRACECA

                                                       October 2003

The Third Annual Conference of the IGC TRACECA took place on October 8-10, 2003 in the capital of Armenia, Yerevan. The event was of great significance for TRACECA mainly because it coincided with the fifth anniversary of the First TRACECA Summit in Baku (September 1998), which had made a decision to establish the standing Intergovernmental Commission for the development of the Europe-Caucasus-Asia corridor ad signed the corresponding Basic Multilateral Agreement (MLA). Besides, in 2003 the TRACECA European Union Programme is going to celebrate its tenth anniversary. Therefore the meeting in Yerevan can be regarded as a jubilee event in the development of the IGC. But The Third Annual Meeting primarily had a business-like and subject purpose. Not only ministers and high-ranking officials from 12 participating countries, but the representatives of the European Commission, other international organizations like UNECE, ECMT, World Bank, EBRD and others attended this Meeting. High ranking officials from Afghanistan and Iran have also taken part in the IGC meeting. They have officially applied to joins the MLA. The IGC in its Final Resolution welcomed these countries and expressed its hope that joining the TRACECA corridor would open up opportunities for integration of the European and Asian transport systems. It promotes the development of trade-economic relationships between the East and the West. 

At the Annual Meeting the IGC members as full members of the Parties to the Basic Multilateral Agreement on International Transport on Development of the Europe-Caucasus-Asia Corridor have signed the Protocol on Presentation of Amendments and Additions to the Basic Agreement to adopt a new Technical Annex to the MLA on “International Customs Transit Procedures for the TRACECA transport corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia for goods transported by railway with SMGS documents”. The IGC TRACECA considered and adopted important project documents in their first reading which would open up new opportunities and create favorable conditions for the TRACECA corridor development. Among them there are drafts of Technical Annexes on multimodal transport and TRACECA investments. The IGC TRACECA Strategy Programme for 2004-2006 was also approved in its first reading. New project proposals of the member countries were accumulated. The Action Plan is to be worked out for the TRACECA Programme for the period until 2006.

The IGC TRACECA has taken an important step on institutionalization of its activities by adoption of the final version of Rules of Procedure and the Statute of the Permanent Secretariat.

Pursuant to the adopted Statute of the Permanent Secretariat at the suggestion of the IGC Chairman, a new Secretary General has been elected. The representative of Bulgaria, Mrs. Lyudmila Trenkova, has become the Secretary General of the Permanent Secretariat.

The IGC has adopted the Declaration which besides other significant statements once more confirmed the importance of convocation of the Second TRACECA Summit in the first half of 2004. It is to be expected the official joining of Afghanistan and Iran to the MLA and the adoption of a New Strategy of the IGC TRACECA.

Forth Annual Intergovernmental Meeting (Conference) on Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia, in Baku, Azerbaijan

                                                     April 2005

The Fourth Annual Meeting (Conference) of the Intergovernmental Commission (IGC) TRACECA took place in Baku on 21-22 April 2005. The Conference was attended by the official delegations of the Parties to the Basic Multilateral Agreement on International Transport for Development of the Europe-the Caucasus-Asia Corridor (MLA), the Islamic State of Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan as candidates for joining the Basic Agreement, representatives of the European Commission and EU-financed project “Trade Facilitation and Institutional Support. In addition, the representatives of international organizations and diplomatic missions accredited in Baku were invited to the Annual Meeting.

During the 4th Annual Conference of the IGC TRACECA heads of delegations signed an agreement on Joint Financing of the Permanent Secretariat of the IGC TRACECA.

Mrs. Lyudmila Trenkova the Secretary General of the PS IGC TRACECA, reported on the implementation of the decisions of the Third Annual Meeting of IGC TRACECA. She reported as well about the activities and the disbursement of funds of the PS. The delegates were informed on projects and discussed possibilities of cooperation with the EC under conditions of the new EU Neighbourhood policy; considered institutional, legal, conceptual and other issues vital for further development of the international transport corridor Europe - the Caucasus - Asia (TRACECA) and discussed proposals on increasing the efficiency of procedures related to the implementation of decisions and recommendations of the IGC TRACECA.

The presidency in IGC TRACECA was taken over by the Republic of Azerbaijan with Mr. Abid Sharifov, Deputy Prime-Minister and the Head of the National Commission, as the Chairman-in-office.

Mrs. Lyudmila Trenkova was elected, as the Secretary General of the PS IGC TRACECA for the term of presidency of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the IGC TRACECA.

The Intergovernmental Commission TRACECA adopted the Final Resolutions on all issues discussed, signed by the new Chairman-in-office.

The IGC TRACECA, in its Baku Declaration and Final Communique, welcomed the joining of the Islamic State of Afghanistan and Islamic Republic of Iran to the Basic Multilateral Agreement and expressed their support.

Fifth Annual Intergovernmental Meeting (Conference) on Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia, in Sofia, Bulgaria

                                                    May 2006

On 2-3 May 2006 in Sofia, Bulgaria, two consequent events, the Fifth Annual Meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission (IGC) TRACECA and the Second Ministerial Conference on Transport Co-operation between the EU and the Black Sea and Caspian Littoral States and their neighbours, were held.
This year the Republic of Bulgaria took over the Chairmanship in the Intergovernmental Commission of TRACECA transferred from the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The Fifth Annual Meeting of the IGC TRACECA was officially opened by the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, Mr. Georgy Parvanov, who emphasized the significance of TRACECA corridor and priority of its development.

During the Meeting a number of important decisions concerning the IGC budget procedure was adopted. The IGC took decisions on budgetary and financial issues, as well as on the subjects of TRACECA GIS database and website. Euro 13.5 million worth Tacis/TRACECA Programme action plan 2006 was adopted by the IGC. A number of decisions on observer status and associated membership were also adopted to pave the way for future cooperation with interested parties.

The focal point of the TRACECA forum was the adoption of the IGC Strategy on Development of the Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia elaborated by the MLA Parties with the support of the European Commission. The IGC adopted a decision on the necessity of further activities regarding the prospects of its development as an international organization.

The members of the IGC elected Mr. Rustan Jenalinov as the Secretary General of the PS IGC TRACECA for the term of presidency of the Republic of Bulgaria on the IGC TRACECA. Mr. Rustan Jenalinov earlier holding a leading position in the Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Kazakhstan was introduced by the Republic of Bulgaria.

Open sessions of the IGC Meeting were attended by the representatives of international transport organizations, companies implementing the on-going TRACECA projects, heads of diplomatic missions and other official persons.

In Baku there was held the Anniversary Conference of Ministers of Transport of TRACECA Member-States

                                           December, 2008

On 4 December 2008, in Baku (Azerbaijan) there was held the Anniversary Conference of Ministers of Transport of twelve TRACECA Member States. The Conference was attended by the delegations of the Parties to the Basic Agreement, the representatives of the Permanent Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Commission TRACECA, the European Commission, as well as concerned states and international organizations.

The Anniversary Conference was dedicated to the 10-th anniversary of the “Basic Multilateral Agreement on International Transport for Development of the Europe-the Caucasus-Asia Corridor” and the 15-th anniversary of the European Union TRACECA Programme.  

Chairman of the Intergovernmental Commission TRACECA, Minister of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr. Serik Akhmetov made a welcoming speech at the meeting. The Minister noted that the Intergovernmental Commission TRACECA, its Permanent Secretariat and Permanent Representations in the countries had during these years carried out a purposeful and efficient activity on the improvement of the attractiveness of the TRACECA corridor, had taken specific actions on the implementation of the Basic Agreement objectives, the improvement of the TRACECA institutions and the development of the corridor. The Minister emphasized that there were adopted the Strategy of TRACECA development for the period up to 2015 and the Action Plan for its implementation being realized at present in the member-states.

To present more than 70 projects were financed by the European Commission within the framework of TRACECA. The realized projects helped to attract investments to the region. According to experts’ information, the IFI’s investments to transport infrastructure of the TRACECA corridor have exceeded 1 billion Euros. 

«For the last years TRACECA has formed into an efficient coordination mechanism of transport cooperation in the region. TRACECA is currently at a new stage of its development. The entry of new states into the European Union brought the EU borders nearer to the littoral states of the Black and the Caspian Seas. The European Commission within the scope of the European Neighbourhood Policy launched the extension of the major Trans-European Transport Networks towards neighbouring countries and regions. This opens up new prospects for the TRACECA corridor and increases possibilities to strengthen ties and cooperation between the TRACECA member-states and the European Union. Strengthening and intensification of such cooperation is particularly pressing at present, in the context of the world financial crisis”. 

Concluding his speech S. Akhmetov expressed confidence in the fact that only coordinated efforts would help to successfully integrate the national transport systems of our states with the world transport network. 

Minister of Transport of the Republic of Turkey, Mr. Binali Yildirim noted in his speech: “This programme being the main transport corridor between West and East is an important step directed to restoration of the Historic Silk Road. It is owing to this programme that a new project infrastructure became part of everyday life of the member-states. On the other hand this programme made a significant influence on the regulation of international freight tariffs”.

Minister of Transport and Communications of Tajikistan, Mr. Abdurakhim Ashur, having reminded about the role of the Silk Road in the life of the peoples over the history, told that his country as one of the active TRACECA participants paid proper attention towards formation and development of transport infrastructure within the framework of this programme. Special importance was attached to cooperation with international organizations in this field.

Director General of the Transport Agency of Moldova, Mr. Vassili Botnar in his speech told that in the context of the project bringing closer the peoples and the countries, export and import operations improved to a considerable degree. He noted that the programme played an important role in extending integration possibilities in the filed of transport.

Deputy Minister of Transport of Bulgaria, Mrs. Vessela Gospadinova, Deputy Minister of Economic Development of Georgia, Mr. Vakhtang Lezhava, Deputy Minister of Roads and Transport of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mr. Seyed Mekhdi Khashemi, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure of Poland, Mr. Machey Yankovsky, Minister of Communication Lines of Turkmenistan, Mr. Daryagulu Mukhammedguliyev, National Secretary of Romania, Mr. Ionuts Iordace, National Secretary of the Republic of Armenia, Head of International Relations Department of the Ministry of Transport, Mr. Gagik Grigoryan and National Secretary of Ukraine, Mr. Grigory Legenki discussed the role of TRACECA Programme for the represented countries, and the progress made.

Secretary General of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, Mr. Leonidas Krisanapolos told about cooperation prospects between TRACECA and its institutions. Having evaluated the innovations applied in Azerbaijan in constructing roads, he underlined the significance of this experience.

A number of proposals to extend TRACECA to the neighbouring countries and to strengthen the TRACECA institutions were put forward at the conference. In conclusion there was adopted the Statement of the Anniversary Conference of Ministers of Transport of TRACECA Member-States and signed the Protocol of the Intergovernmental Commission.

Sixth Annual Intergovernmental Meeting (Conference) on Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia, in Astana, Kazakhstan

                                                  December 2007

On 12-13 December, 2007 there was held the VI Annual Meeting (Conference) of the Intergovernmental Commission (IGC) TRACECA in Astana, the Republic of Kazakhstan. The meeting was attended by official representatives of the Parties to the MLA at the level of deputy prime ministers, ministers and deputy ministers of transport, Permanent Representatives (National Secretaries) of the Permanent Secretariat (PS) of the IGC TRACECA in the member-states, representatives of the European Commission and international organization.

In the course of the meeting the Republic of Bulgaria handed over the chairmanship in the IGC to the Republic of Kazakhstan. There were considered and summarized the outcomes of the activities carried out within the reporting period for the development of the TRACECA transport corridor, action programme for the next year, as well as the financial issues. The participants of the meeting discussed a number of substantial issues directed to future more effective operation of the transit potential of the TRACECA corridor, implementation of the IGC TRACECA Strategy on the development of the transport corridor the «Europe-the Caucasus-Asia» for the period up to 2015. In particular, the Concept for designing action plans to implement the IGC TRACECA Strategy and Action Plan for 2008-2009.

For the purpose of further improvement of the activity of the Permanent Secretariat of the IGC TRACECA, the meeting discussed a number of organizational and procedural issues. In particular, there were approved amendments to the Rules of Procedure of the IGC and Statute of the PS, and the annex to the Statute of the PS on the meetings of the Permanent Secretariat.

Taking into account the fact that on 1 January, 2007 the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania acceded the European Union, and expressed their political will for further participation in TRACECA, at the meeting the Parties to the MLA signed the Protocol on Amendments to the MLA in respect of the new status of the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania, acceded to the EU on 1 January, 2007, as well as the respective Declaration of the Parties to the MLA.

Moreover, heads of the delegations of the Parties signed the Protocol on Amendments to the Technical Annex on customs and documentation procedures to the MLA. Signature of document became another significant step towards simplification of border-crossing procedures, facilitation to the transit of goods and international trade, and ensuring parity conditions for transport in the TRACECA region.

In order to approximate the national legislations of the MLA member-countries in the field of transport, and development of the freight forwarding activity in the TRACECA region, the meeting considered the Draft Model Law on Freight Forwarding Activity. The Draft Agreement on the Development of Multimodal Transport, which was also considered during the Conference, will serve the same purposes. The meeting decided to follow up the issue and improve the above two documents for further submission to the nest Conference of the IGC.

For the purpose of enhancement of economic cooperation within the frame of the MLA, development of Public Private Partnership (PPP) and promoting creation of the attractive investment environment in the region, the PS elaborated a concept of the Business Advisory Council (BAC). The idea of establishing such a structure under the umbrella of TRACECA was submitted to the Conference and adopted. The IGC decided to prepare the documents on establishing the BAC. The Parties supported the PS idea of creating the TRACECA Investment Fund. There was made a decision to follow up the issue with support from the EC.

The meeting approved transport projects of the ENP Regional Action Programme 2007.

With the a view of reinforcing the cooperation and strengthening the dialogue between the MLA member-states and European Commission, and in the framework of the EC activity on extension of Trans-European Transport Networks to the neighbouring countries and countries of Central Asia.
The IGC underlined the significance of the Anniversary Summit in 2008, which would give a new incentive to the development of the TRACECA programme, and agreed to convene the Summit in Baku, the Republic of Azerbaijan.
During the Conference the Permanent Secretariat of the IGC TRACECA and the Permanent International Secretariat of the Black Sea Economic Organization (BSEC PERMIS) signed a Memorandum of Understanding intended to promote more efficient implementation of common goals of these two organizations, allow to avoid overlapping of activities, and thus, finally contribute to the development of transport and trade in the region.
The meeting also took note of the conclusions of the 2nd Baku Aviation working group meeting that took place in Chisinau on 22 October 2007 and the presentation of the Turkish side on the issues of air traffic.
At the result of the meeting there were signed the Final Resolutions of the IGC TRACECA, and adopted the Astana Declaration.


Seventh Annual Intergovernmental Meeting (Conference) on Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia, in Issyk-Kul, Kyrgyzstan

                                                           June 2009

On 16 June, 2009 in the Kyrgyz Republic (Cholpon-Ata, Issyk-Kul) there was held the Seventh Annual Meeting (Conference) of the Intergovernmental Commission (IGC) TRACECA.

The meeting was attended by the official representatives of the Parties Governments of the “Basic Multilateral Agreement on International Transport on Development of the Europe-the Caucasus-Asia Corridor” (MLA), the Permanent Representatives (National Secretaries) of the Permanent Secretariat (PS) IGC TRACECA in the MLA member-states, the representatives of the European Commission and international organizations.

A report on the implementation of the Decisions of the Sixth Annual Meeting of the IGC TRACECA was made by the Deputy Minister of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr. Azat Bekturov on behalf of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Party presiding in the IGC TRACECA.

At the meeting the chairmanship in the IGC TRACECA was delegated to the Kyrgyz Republic, in the person of the Minister of Transport and Communications, Mr. Nurlan Sulaymanov. He assured that Kyrgyzstan would continue intensive activities on the development of the international transport corridor “Europe-the Caucasus-Asia”.

At the opening session of the IGC TRACECA Mr. Jonathan Scheele, the Director of the General Directorate for Transport and Energy of the European Commission pointed out that the TRACECA corridor was one of the main connecting links in the international transport communication promoting traffic between Europe and Asia, therefore much significance had to be attached to the institutional strengthening of TRACECA.
At the Conference the heads of the delegations from the MLA TRACECA member states made the reports on the implementation of the IGC decisions on the development of the corridor. The official representatives of the international organizations – Regional Advisor for Transport of the UNECE, Mrs. Martin-Sophie Fouvez, Deputy Co-ordinator of OSCE, Mr. Aleksey Stukalo, and the Secretary General of OSCE, Mr. Khurshid Anwar emphasized the activities of the MLA member states and their coordination with international organizations in the development of the corridor “Europe-the Caucasus-Asia”.

Summing up the results of the Conference the participants noted the significance of the outcomes of the Seventh Meeting of the IGC TRACECA. Particularly, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan signed the Agreement on the Development of Multi-Modal Transport TRACECA, its legal status determining the content of the multimodal transport and the responsibility of its participants. The Parties signing this Agreement took into account a key role of multi-modal transport and freight forwarding services in the development of the TRACECA corridor. Besides, this Agreement will allow further improvement of the legal basis for efficient development of the transport corridor connecting Europe, the Caucasus and Asia. Other TRACECA member states emphasized the necessity of completing corresponding national procedures for signing or acceding to this Agreement. At the same time the Republic of Bulgaria and Romania as the EU members emphasized the necessity of additional consultations with the European Commission.

Within the framework of the Conference the Secretary General of the PS IGC TRACECA, Mr. Rustan Jenalinov and the Secretary General of the Economic Cooperation Organization, Mr. Khurshid Anwar signed the Memorandum of Understanding between the PS IGC TRACECA and ECO. During the meeting Mr. Rustan Jenalinov signed on behalf of the IGC TRACECA the Memorandum of Understanding which was signed earlier (on 25 May, 2009, Bangkok) on behalf of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, by the Under-Secretary-General of the UNO, Executive Secretary of ESCAP, Mrs. Noeleen Heyzer. The implementation of these memoranda provisions will contribute to the coordination of the activities and strengthening of cooperation between the international organizations.

At the meeting the TRACECA member states according to the analysis of the corridor made a decision on the necessity of defining common competitive tariffs and creating favourable conditions for development of international transport on the TRACECA corridor with a view to attract additional traffic flows.

The participants to the Conference welcomed the accession of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the TRACECA MLA and invited the interested states to join this Agreement.

The status of observer in the IGC was granted to the Republic of Lithuania which would allow this state to be involved in the future in the activities of the IGC TRACECA as an observer.

At the end of the Seventh IGC Meeting there were held the elections of a new Secretary General of the Permanent Secretariat of the IGC TRACECA which resulted in the election of Mr. Zhantoro Satybaldyev as a candidate from Kyrgyzstan for the period of presidency of the Kyrgyz Republic.

Under the chairmanship of the Kyrgyz Republic in the IGC TRACECA the activity on the development of the international corridor “Europe-the Caucasus-Asia” will be developed and the corresponding reforms will be carried out in view of a new role of the IGC in respect of the development of the EU South-Eastern Axis and integration of the TRACECA corridor into the Trans-European Transport Networks.