October 26, 2012

Dear participants, Ladies and gentlemen,

With your permission, I would like to inform you shortly on the tasks, objectives, activities and latest developments of TURKPA.
The Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-speaking countries, TURKPA, was established on 21 November 2008 upon the Istanbul Agreement signed by the chairmen of parliaments of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey. Cooperation under TURKPA’s umbrella is based on historical, cultural and linguistic unity of Turkic countries. These countries have commonalities such as developing economies and dynamic population structures that provide solid ground for enhanced cooperation among Turkic states. As they face similar political, economic, and cultural challenges, TURKPA intends to build joint action within the framework of inter-parliamentary activities to overcome challenges concerned.

Assembly normally holds a plenary session once a year and supreme body is the Council of Assembly consisting of the chairmen of the member parliaments. The Council meets one day prior to the plenary session and coordinates Assembly’s activities. The TURKPA Chairmanship is held for one year by a member country in alphabetical order. The Assembly established four specialized permanent commissions, which hold meetings once a year.

TURKPA’s established mandate to observe elections in the member countries has contributed to enhanced cooperation of the Assembly with public administrations and efforts to comprehensively monitor the national elections processes in the member countries. The parliamentary and presidential elections held in four member countries since 2010 were monitored by the TURKPA International Observers Mission.

Our Assembly is firmly committed to the principles and values of the United Nations and its Charter, as well as other universally recognized principles and norms of international law.

In spite of fact that our organization brings together a particular group of countries, it does not take an exclusive approach. On the contrary, TURKPA seeks to establish and develop relations with other national parliaments and international organizations in the region. Moreover, TURKPA gives particular importance to strengthening a common inter-parliamentary platform for dialogue at a global level. As a result, the Assembly was granted an observer status by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and Parliamentary Union of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the largest international parliamentary institutions. We also established an excellent dialogue with the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, shortly known as CICA. Recently, TURKPA also was granted an observer status in CICA.

Moreover, TURKPA develops its relations with the OSCE and its institutions. During the last two years, our Assembly has been participating in the activities of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. In September, in my capacity of Secretary General, I was invited to address to the OSCE Permanent Council on activities and mission of our organization. During the meeting at the Permanent Council, we had fruitful exchange of views with the OSCE Secretary General and Chairmanship-in-Office, as well as discussions on the future platform of cooperation between two organizations.

As it’s seen, TURKPA seeks to enhance relations not only with inter-parliamentary institutions, but also with inter-governmental ones. In this context, I would like to stress that interaction between parliamentary and traditional diplomacy becomes another reality in the framework of multilateral cooperation process. Parliamentary diplomacy is considered as complementing the traditional diplomacy contributing to promotion of political dialogue and exchange of views at the various levels.

Although the emphasis of the TURKPA’s activities is primarily on economic, social and cultural cooperation, it defines itself as a sub-regional inter-parliamentary organization aiming to contribute to the promotion of security in the region. With the rise of trans-boundary threats in the continent, new initiatives from Eurasian states deserve particular attention. We reaffirm that Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries is a forum for regional ownership sharing common objectives pursued by the leading international organizations. I would like to reiterate that our Assembly is ready to make its unique contribution to the achievement of these tasks and objectives.

Respectful participants, Let me express sincere thanks on behalf of TURKPA for organizing such important discussions and for having a chance to participate at this roundtable.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to thank our host, Canadian Parliament, and IPU Secretariat for the excellent organization of the 127th IPU Assembly.

Thank you very much for your kind attention