BSPC President Jorodd Asphjell underlined at the 52nd plenary session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation the expectation of the BSPC to make every effort to ensure peaceful and close neighbourliness and close cooperation based on democratic values, the rule of law, human rights and equal opportunities for all. To this end, BSPC wants to pursue all the possibilities of parliamentary, governmental and social exchange and democratic dialogue among neighbours.
He also addressed the increasing pollution and burden on the seas, in particular from plastic waste, calling for urgent global action in this area, to achieve the United Nations 2030 development goals as quickly as possible.
A year ago, the BSPC and PABSEC concluded a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at further deepening the cooperation between the two parliamentary organisations beyond their previous observer status. The aim is to address even more effectively cross-regional challenges, such as the protection of the seas, global climate change, the swiftest possible implementation of the United Nations development goals, the fight against terrorism as well as migration issues by strengthening the parliamentary dimension of cooperation.
In particular, Jorodd Asphjell emphasised:
“I congratulate you on the 25th birthday of your organisation and wish you many more years of successful cooperation and bring you the best regards from the BSPC Standing Committee, which met two weeks ago in my Norwegian hometown of Trondheim.
This marks the seventh consecutive time that the BSPC is attending your plenary session. We have also deepened our cooperation through your participation in our annual conferences as well as bilateral visits and in the margins of a series of international parliamentary assemblies.
We have additionally pointed out our common goals and visions in a Memorandum of Understanding, where we underlined the benefits of parliamentary cooperation based on the principles of respect of human rights and freedoms, social justice, the promotion of democracy, and the supremacy of law with regards to the interests of all states and peoples in our regions.
I very much welcome the fact that PABSEC Secretary General Professor Asaf Hajiyev during the BSPC Annual Conference two months ago proposed a joint meeting of members of our two Standing Committees in Istanbul in the framework of a joint seminar. Our Standing Committee agreed to such a meeting of delegations from both our Standing Committees in spring next year.
We agree that common themes could be transportation, the achievement of the 2030 development goals of the United Nations as well as migration and refugees.
Two weeks ago, in Trondheim, the Standing Committee of the BSPC learned about the latest developments in Norway regarding autonomous shipping and electric-powered ships, especially in the ferry sector. That is of particular interest for the development of maritime transport and the reduction of emissions it causes, with a view to achieving the 2030 development goals of the United Nations. The exchange of best practice examples in this area could be of mutual interest.
The BSPC has renewed its expectation to make every effort to ensure peaceful and close neighbourliness and close cooperation based on democratic values, the rule of law, human rights and equal opportunities for all. To this end, we want to pursue all the possibilities of parliamentary, governmental and social exchange and democratic dialogue among neighbours.
Achieving and safeguarding peace and overcoming conflicts through dialogue is one of our fundamental concerns. A strong signal of this is sent out to the world every year when the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded in our Norwegian capital Oslo.
In the context of our current resolution, we have paid particular attention to urgent measures in the field of environmental protection:
In doing so, we have addressed the increasing pollution and burden on the seas, in particular from plastic waste, calling for urgent global action in this area, to achieve the UN’s 2030 development goals as quickly as possible.
We welcome all efforts to move towards healthy and clean seas.
We want to establish a way to address the issue of plastic litter on a global scale, as a first step within the framework of a progressive foreign and trade policy.
In some areas, this problem has already had a noticeable effect on tourism.
We called urgently on the governments
to develop or enhance both joint and additional national and regional sustainability strategies to achieve the United Nation’s Agenda 2030 goals; and
to prepare for and help shape the “Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development” from 2021-2030 proclaimed by the United Nations, to reach the goal of delivering the ocean we need for the future we want;
to further strengthen the interaction between the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and human rights while recognising their close relationship and mutual reinforcement.
We also believe that the issues of Migration and Integration call for intensive dialogue as well as close cooperation and coordinated policies as well.
Our Working Group on this issue will present another report at our next conference in Oslo.
The priority issues for the BSPC during the current Norwegian presidency in 2018 – 2019 are:
- Migration and integration,
- Peaceful and close neighbourliness as well as intense cooperation based on democratic values, the rule of law, human rights, and equal opportunities for all
- The Future of Working Life with particular regard to Digitalization, Integration and Labour Mobility
- And we want to be a Role Model to reach the United Nations Development Goals before the year 2030
The 28th Baltic Sea Parliamentary Conference will take place from 25 to 27 August 2019 in Oslo. I hope that the spirit of our parliament will help us to succeed, together with our partner institutions, in achieving common results in these policy areas that will drive us forward.
Let us continue our successful and close cooperation,
working on the development of peaceful and prosperous common regions.”
In the margins of the session possibilities for joint consultations were discussed.