The world has witnessed great changes at the end of the 20th century, and developed countries have transformed from an industrial and technology society to an information society. In the same period, deep and comprehensive transformations took place in the political, cultural, social and economic fields of the countries in and around the Black Sea basin, and the integration efforts of these countries into the new world order, gained momentum.
With the political and structural changes experienced, a necessity has arisen for a structure that will ensure the economic and political integration of the countries of the region, enhance unity and solidarity among these countries and strengthen the historical relations among the peoples. Based on the relevant necessity, the idea of establishing a structure that will support the cooperation in the Black Sea basin, led by Türkiye, was also supported by the countries in the region, and thus the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), which brings the countries of the region together, under the same roof, was established.
The Parliamentary Assembly of Black Sea Economic Cooperation (PABSEC) was established on February 26th, 1993, with the purpose of coordinating, in line with the legislative sphere, the respective studies of the BSEC, which was set up with the aim of establishing economic, commercial, social, cultural and political cooperation in the region, and more importantly, for transforming the Black Sea into a sea of peace and stability. Having been set out with 9 countries, today, with the accession of the Republic of North Macedonia in 2022, the PABSEC has become a large family that gathers the parliaments of 13 member countries, around the same table. The two Secretariats of the BSEC and of the PABSEC which are located in Istanbul, being hosted by us, Türkiye, developing common activities which have been established together, have been brought to this day by mutual cooperation and will, to the benefit of all the PABSEC Member States.
Our world, and especially our region, are going through a turbulent period. The PABSEC is playing a significant role in solving the problems of the new and old generations that we are facing, such as the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic problems, food and energy insecurity, escalating tensions as a result of armed conflicts, hybrid threats, irregular migration flows, terrorism, the disagreements and conflicts that arise between societies and states. Due to such issues, which no country can overcome alone or bilaterally, regional cooperation based on multilateralism, has become indispensable.
In this framework, the PABSEC brings a great contribution to the development and deepening of the cooperation process, with its thematic reports on topical issues of concern for the countries of the region, its works in these areas and its advisory resolutions to the national parliaments. However, considering the gravity of the problems and the challenges we are facing today, we, the parliamentarians, relying on the parliamentary diplomacy, should contribute more, to solving the issues concerning the global peace and security. Despite the wide-ranging and deep-seated problems experienced around us and in our region, our primary task should be to transform the Black Sea into a sea of stability and prosperity, based on peace, friendship and good neighborliness.
Enhancing the culture of collaboration, which we have developed as a PABSEC family, by extending it to all the fields and levels, will bring important benefits to the achievement of the goals we have set. In this framework, we keep the interest of the Member States in our organization and we keep alive their sense of ownership, seeking ways to increase the international visibility of the PABSEC and making it more efficient and productive.
The year 2023 is particularly meaningful for us as it is not only the 30thAnniversary of the Establishment of the PABSEC, but also the 100th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Republic of Türkiye. Being the country holding the PABSEC Presidency, it is among our priorities to strengthen the institutional capacity of the PABSEC, especially its International Secretariat, with a view to make the PABSEC more visible and active. Türkiye’s support to the BSEC and the PABSEC until this day, will continue in the future. As the country holding the PABSEC Presidency, we will exert our utmost efforts to ensure that the recommendations adopted by our Assembly, after negotiations, are met by the governments. In this context, within the framework of our six-month Presidency, we will take initiatives for implementing, in the member countries, the decisions to be taken at the Committee meetings, on many issues, such as energy security, space technologies, economic security and the role of mass media in the socio-economic development.
The success of the PABSEC will continue to play an important role in maintaining the peace, stability and prosperity of our countries, and of the entire Black Sea region.
With these thoughts in mind, I extend my most sincere thanks for visiting the PABSEC website.