Speech of Mr. Ramil Hasanov, TURKPA Secretary General
May 23, 2012

Your Excellencies, Mr. Ural Mukhamedjanov, Messrs Ogtay Asadov, Ahmetbek Keldibekov and Mehmet Ali Shahin,

In 2006 the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Mr. Nursultan Nazarbayev, addressed at the VIII Summit of the Heads of States of Turkic-speaking countries with idea to establish the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-speaking countries.

The Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-speaking countries (TURKPA) has been established on 21 November 2008 upon the Istanbul Agreement signed by the chairmen of parliaments of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey. Meeting was hosted by the President of the Republic of Turkey H.E. Mr. Abdullah Gul in Istanbul, Dolmabahche Palace.

In fact, TURKPA Secretariat started its activity on 15 January 2010. On 24 May 2010 with participation of members of parliaments of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkey, as well as with diplomatic corps accredited in Baku, an opening ceremony of the TURKPA headquarters was held in Milli Mejlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

On 30 March 2010 the "Headquarters Agreement" was signed between the Minister of Foreign Affairs (on behalf of the Government of Azerbaijan) and TURKPA Secretary General. According to the relevant legislation this Agreement has been ratified by Milli Mejlis of Azerbaijan on 20 April 2010.

The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mr. Ilham Aliyev has approved the said Agreement entering into legal force accordingly.

The TURKPA Secretariat is located in the capital of Azerbaijan Baku, being in status of international organization and diplomatic mission.

Upon the special order of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev all the conditions were provided for the activities of TURKPA Secretariat. Milli Mejlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan has equipped the Secretariat with all necessary logistic having provided excellent working environment for the Secretariats staff.

During the short period of its activities a Secretariat had a number of successful achievements. In the framework of international cooperation our Assembly continues its activity with international organizations aiming at enhancement of relations, interaction and efforts on having an observer status. These are the Parliamentary Assembly (PA) of OSCE, PA of NATO, European Parliament, PA of Asian countries, Inter-Parliamentary Assembly of CIS, Parliamentary Union of the Organization of Islamic Conference, Inter-Parliamentary Union, Parliamentary Assembly of the BSEC, Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), Cooperation Council of Turkic-speaking countries (TURKCON), TURKSOY etc. It`s necessary to note that TURKPA is represented in the organizations mentioned above in capacity of full member, observer or as a guest.

TURKPA was accepted to: the Association of Secretaries General of Parliaments (ASGP) as an associative member; the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), being the largest international parliamentary organization with 155 member countries, and Parliamentary Union of the Organization of Islamic Conference as an observer. As a result of the fruitful activity of the group of Turkish parliamentarians in the Parliamentary Assembly of OSCE, TURKPA was given a status of special guest in this organization (with support of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan). Its important to emphasize that accession to the IPU, as a parliamentary dimension of UN, signifies accreditation and recognition of parliamentary organization under the UN auspices. This factor can be perceived as the increasing influence and acknowledgement of TURKPA at the international arena.

TURKPA is developing its cooperation with other international parliamentary organizations. Thus, there is a close cooperation of our Assembly with the European Parliament. Upon an invitation of the EP the staff of TURKPA Secretariat has been invited to take part in exchange programme on 8-13 November 2010 in Brussels. The special schedule for our staff was prepared and the EP gave a possibility to get acquainted with its activities more closely. The process of this cooperation with EP is ongoing.

The staff of TURKPA Secretariat has also been involved in the exchange programme on 14-16 November 2010 both by the invitation of the OSCE PA offices and Nordic Council located in Copenhagen, capital of Denmark.

During the last period, in accordance with competences reflected in Articles 3.3.3 and 3.3.4 of the Regulations of TURKPA Secretariat, delegations composed of the Secretary General, his staff and members of parliaments have participated on behalf of the TURKPA in a number of international events. Participation of the TURKPA international delegations in the 35th Plenary Session of the PABSEC, Trans-Asian Parliamentary Forum of OSCE PA, 123th and 124th Plenary Sessions of IPU, III Summit of CICA, VIII International Cooperation Conference of the parliaments of South-Eastern European countries, international conference on "Stability and Cooperation in South-Eastern Europe" of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), conference of the Organization of Dialogue on Eurasian Platform devoted to the "Inter-cultural and Generations Dialogue", III Astana Economic Forum, 123th and 124th Plenary Sessions of ASGP, plenary sessions of the OSCE PA, IPA CIS and PUIC and international conference on "OSCE and CIS: new opportunities and prospects" organized by the Parliament of Kazakhstan, is an indication of positive impact on establishing and shaping inter-parliamentary relations by our Assembly, being among the leading international institutions.

Participation of the parliamentarians of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey on behalf of the TURKPA at the international gatherings, conferences, as well as in capacity of international observers mission on elections, is a brilliant example of declared goals and objectives in the activities of our Organization.

TURKPA, as other European and Asian international organizations, is invoking a parliamentary diplomacy for strengthening peace and security in the region. Establishment of such a parliamentary organization is of great importance from political and economic points of view, contributing to the development of inter-parliamentary coordination in the framework of international legal norms, irrespective of religion, language and race.

Within our activities, meetings with Mr. Ogtay Asadov, Chairman of Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Mehmet Ali Shahin, Chairman of the Great National Assembly of the Republic of Turkey, Mr. Kasym Jomart Tokayev, Head of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan, Mr. Ural Mukhamedjanov, Head of Majlis of the Parliament of Kazakhstan, with the leadership of the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan, as well as with Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan, Mr. Kanat Saudabayev, State Secretary - Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Mr. Ruslan Kazakbayev, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan and Mr. Ahmet Davutoglu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey confirm a full support of enhancement of international relations by the heads of the parliaments and foreign policy bodies of the TURKPA member countries.

The TURKPA Secretariat closely cooperates with diplomatic missions of founding member countries in Baku and holds consultations on a regular basis with the ambassadors of Kazakhstan and Turkey.

Our Secretariat has initiated a tradition of assistance of diplomatic missions of the countries chairing in TURKPA during the international trips of Secretariats representatives with regard to the meeting and accompanying procedures. Presently, we are intensifying cooperation in this direction with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan. For that matter, we would wish involvement of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of other member states in promoting this process.

In spite of participation of the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan in establishment of TURKPA, regrettably the Parliament of the country suspended its activity due to its dissolution in April 2010 after well-known events. Nevertheless, TURKPA Secretariat, like other member countries, has protected the interests of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan in the international activities and projects. We are delighted that fraternal people of Kyrgyzstan have begun to overcome difficulties and Parliament of Kyrgyzstan re-established its activity in TURKPA.

Referring to Article 2 of the Istanbul Agreement, the TURKPA International Secretariat has been realizing a programme on sharing experience among the employees of parliaments of the member countries. In the beginning of July 2010 visit of the staff of the Parliament of Azerbaijan to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, return visit of the staff of the Turkish Parliament to Milli Majlis of Azerbaijan in October 2010 and visit of the staff of Parliament of Kazakhstan to the Parliament of Turkey in November 2010 were realized confirming goals and objectives of the provisions of Istanbul Agreement.

In the context of its activities, TURKPA has organized two international conferences. The Conference "Parliamentary diplomacy - TURKPA" has been held on 24 May 2010 on the occasion of 90th anniversary of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in the frameworks of development of Turkey-Azerbaijan and Turkey-Kazakhstan inter-parliamentary friendship relations. A conference was attended by Vice Chairmen of Azerbaijani and Turkish parliaments, members of the Parliament of Kazakhstan, ambassadors of Kazakhstan and Turkey in Azerbaijan and representatives of international organizations accredited in Baku. An international conference on the parliamentary democracy in the development process of interstate relations was held in Baku State University on 21 September 2010. Heads of administrations of TURKPA member parliaments, representatives of diplomatic corps and parliamentarians took part and delivered speeches at the conference.

With the view of more comprehensive coverage of the TURKPA activities the opening ceremony of official web-site was held on 25 August 2010. For the time being, a web-site continues functioning at the high level. Web-site sections contain relevant information on organizational structure of TURKPA, its history, members and activities.

The delegation of the TURKPA International Secretariat participated at X Summit of the Heads of Turkic-speaking countries held on 15-16 September 2010 in Istanbul. During the Summit extensive information about TURKPA activities was presented by the Secretary General to the Heads of States. A pleasant fact is that the presidents of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkey have highly appreciated activities of TURKPA and this was enshrined in Article 18 of Istanbul Agreement signed by the heads of states.

At the same time, TURKPA has gained a serious experience in the field of elections observance. The parliamentary elections held in Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan and extraordinary presidential elections held in Kazakhstan have been monitored by our international observers mission. Comprehensive information on the elections is to be submitted for your attention separately.

The process on granting an observer status to TURKPA in the UN is ongoing. In accordance with the UN internal procedure the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan sent an official request letter to the UN on the matter, and the Secretariat has addressed an official note to the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey with regard to assistance of the member countries on this issue.

I would like to express my belief that establishment of the permanent commissions at the Astana session would give an impetus to the improvement of our organization, enlargement of its activities and complete its shaping.

Request on granting an observer status in TURKPA to such significant parliamentary organization as the Parliamentary Union of the Organization of Islamic Conference, is another example of our successful activities in the region and international relations system.

In future perspective it is our kind desire to see other fraternal Turkic-speaking countries in the TURKPA, which is the place of peace and friendship.

I would like particularly to note that due to the lack of financial resources in the budget and on the base of Secretariats request, the expenses on organizing two international conferences by the TURKPA Secretariat, publishing TURKPA bulletin in five languages concerning its 2010 activities have been covered by the Parliament of Azerbaijan by the special order of Mr. Ogtay Asadov, Speaker of Milli Majlis of Azerbaijan and TURKPA Chairman-in-Office by that time.

Allow me to express my conviction that TURKPA member countries, as the economically and politically powerful states, would take into consideration such financial difficulties during discussions of the 2012 Budget.

TURKPA, being at the qualitatively new stage of inter-parliamentary cooperation, continues its activities on the development of political dialogue between the states by means of parliamentary diplomacy, strengthening of equal and mutually beneficial cooperation between the Turkic-speaking and other countries of the region, enhancement of social economic, political, cultural, humanitarian, legal and other relations among the parties concerned.

We hope that there we will have a feeling of assistance and recommendations of the parliaments and foreign policy bodies of the member countries to be implemented with the view to increasing the international image of TURKPA, as well as to having its appropriate place and effective say in the system of international relations.

I would like to commemorate the historical personalities, whose merits in the consolidation of the Turkic world are incontrovertible Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Republic of Turkey, Heydar Aliyev, national leader of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and other elders who are not among us today.

Finalizing my speech, I would like to express my gratitude to our host -Mr. Ural Mukhamedjanov, Chairman of Majlis of the Parliament of Kazakhstan and TURKPA Chairman-in-Office, as well as to Mr. Ogtay Asadov, Chairman of Milli Majlis of Azerbaijan for his special assistance and support that we have had during his half and year Chairmanship in TURKPA, and to Mr. Ahmetbek Keldibekov, Chairman of the Parliament of Kyrgyzstan and Mr. Mehmet Ali Shahin, Chairman of the Parliament of Turkey, for their overall support.

Thank you for the attention.