April 17, 2012

Mr. Chairman, Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear participants of the meeting!

First of all I would like to thank the President and Joint Secretary of Association of the Secretaries General of the Parliaments (ASGP) for invitation to this important event and opportunity to address such an honorable audience and also express my gratuity for my acceptance to members of ASGP. With your permission I would like to inform you shortly about history of establishment of TURKPA and its activities.

The Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries (TURKPA) was established in November 21, 2008 according to the Agreement signed by the Heads of Parliaments of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, and the Republic of Turkey.

Then, in September 29, 2009 the I plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries (TURKPA) was conducted in Baku, Azerbaijan. TURKPA Regulations, Statute of Secretariat, Baku Declaration and Statement regarding the permanent accomodation of the Secretariat in Baku city were adopted at the plenary session.

TURKPA Chairmanship annually passes from one country to another by means of rotation in the English alphabetical order and according to this order current Chairman is the Republic of Azerbaijan. At the forthcoming session in 2011 the Chairmanship will pass to Kazakhstan.

The Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries has an intention to support further development of political dialogue among the countries and create favorable political conditions for elaboration and implementation of different initiatives by means of parliamentary diplomacy as qualitatively new stage of inter-parliamentary cooperation in order to maintain regional and global security. One of the main goals of TURKPA is establishment of new relations and development of the existing ones with parliaments and other international organizations of the countries in the region and all over the world. On this basis I would like to emphasize that our organization has not been established against the third countries. Our goals include only strengthening of political and economic security of the countries on the grounds of refrainment from threat or use of force or economic or any other pressure, growth of national prosperity by means of full and rational use of natural resources; endevour to the further progress in the sphere of parliamentary diplomacy.

3 of 4 our Members has comparatively short history of independence and young parliaments, but nevertheless, they achieved to integrate into world parliamentary community to great extent during such a short period and establish bilateral and multilateral relations with many parliaments and international parliamentary organizations. So that, all our Members are also members of OSCE PA, 3 TURKPA Members are members of Interparliamentary Assembly of CIS, Azerbaijan and Turkey are presented in PACE and are members of PABSEC (Parliamentary Assembly of Black Sea Economic Cooperation), Turkey is a Member and Azerbaijan is an Associate Member in NATO PA, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey are members of Asian Parliamentary Assembly. On other side, the Republic of Turkey has comparatively long parliamentary history what provides a source of good practice for other TURKPA Members.

As TURKPA we are committed to strengthen relations not only among our Member parliaments, but also between them and other parliaments and international parliamentary organizations. I should also mention that Turkey is a parliamentary republic and Kazakhstan is semi-parliamentary republic what means more influential role of the parliaments in these countries.

Anyway, the current trends in politics tend not to leave foreign policy in monopoly of executive and they steer up the borders between domestic and foreign issues. To this end parliamentary diplomacy becomes an instrument to connect legislative bodies with foreign policies. In present world the financial resources is basic in determining policies and planning the government`s actions and the parliaments are those bodies which decide on financial resources that is, the budget for the governments what gives the legislative body another important leverage to influence foreign policy. Therefore, there is a real opportunity to transform parliamentary diplomacy from "another speaker for government" to a "real dialogue among parliamentarians" considering also that parliamentarians can sometimes do what is beyond the competency of the diplomats and become alternative channel in conflict settlements.

Especially in Turkic speaking countries besides many transnational issues concerning all these countries such as energy and logistics projects, many issues of more global importance such as counter-terrorism activities and security issues depend on decisions of the parliaments what presents an effective platform for parliamentary diplomacy.

In this context TURKPA pays special attention to cooperation with ASGP as the international parliamentary organization having great experience and being a high-level platform for discussion of regional and global concerns by parliamentarians from different countries.

Let me take this opportunity to express sincere thanks on behalf of TURKPA management for brilliant organization of this event and for having a chance to address the meeting. I would like to thank everybody who participated in organization of this meeting and wish success to all participants.

Thank you very much for kind attention!