Preparatory Meeting for the III Baku Forum

Rebuilding Trust in Wider Europe

A JOINT NGIC/CdM HIGH LEVEL INITIATIVE

Background 

The Ukrainian situation has confirmed that there will be no peace and stability in wider Europe until the present security framework is reformed. The lack of trust among key actors in the OSCE space has had devastating consequences that extend far beyond the region, with Syria being a most compelling example. The settlement of current conflicts and the prevention of further crises depend on the re-founding, rather than a superficial reshuffling, of present Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian structures, however, it appears that such an endeavor will not be completed in the short to medium term.

Meanwhile, living conditions of populations affected by frozen conflicts are worsening, further escalating present tensions. Parallel efforts are thus required to first, facilitate the implementation of existing conflict resolution mechanisms and create new ones as an integral part of existing security structures and, simultaneously, use external ad-hoc mechanisms and innovative trust building tools to de-freeze and find a solution to present conflicts in the OSCE area.

 

Goal

The goal of the joint NGIC/CdM initiative Rebuilding Trust in Wider Europe is to foster a strengthened security community, with a priority focus on addressing frozen conflicts and preventing new ones by implementing innovative conflict resolution and confidence building mechanisms. New mediation strategies and renewed conflict resolution mechanisms will enhance stability in the region, which will in turn advance the vision supportive of a strengthened Security Community in wider Europe.

The NGIC/CdM initiative is of particular significance, since 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the Helsinki Final Act or Helsinki Accords, through which 35 states, including the USA, Canada, and most European states except Albania, signed a declaration aimed at improving relations between the then Communist bloc and the West.. It also builds upon other fundamental OSCE documents, particularly the Charter of Paris for a New Europe (1991), the Istanbul Charter for European Security (1999) and the Astana Summit Declaration (2010). Our aim is that the III Baku Forum in spring 2015 will be another important, consolidating step in this process.

 

Partners & Stakeholders

The joint initiative will transcend the framework of the OSCE to incorporate other regional organizations and influential regional actors, including: the Council of Europe (CoE), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the European

Union (EU) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Direct participation of single states, particularly those which are key actors in the region, will also be explored. Additionally, experts on the present Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security architecture, as well as on conflict resolution and mediation, will be engaged in the discussions.

The initiative will also identify community partners, particularly those representing local populations affected by conflicts, and make proposals to facilitate a structured dialogue among opposing local actors in every affected country. In order to generate real and lasting change, attempts to create a democratic security space must be inclusive of those at the local level. Thus, summits and high-level meetings must take into account the needs and perspectives of those living in countries where supra-national tensions have threatened security or have the potential to jeopardize internal reconciliation and democracy.

 

Joint Collaboration

The combined experience and relevance of the Nizami Ganjavi International Center (NGIC) and the Club de Madrid (CdM) is needed now, more than ever, to support and foster a security community in the region. The NGIC and the CdM are prepared to initiate a high-level regional dialogue to inspire OSCE participating states to recommit themselves to a free, democratic, common and indivisible Euro-Atlantic and Eurasian security space.

 

Club de Madrid

More than 30 Members of the CdM have been actively engaged in these processes since 1975, as Heads of State of OSCE participating states. They now have the opportunity to preserve the integrity of the security space they helped create. As former Heads of State and Government, they are not only conscious of the increasingly severe consequences that accompany failure to re-establish the OSCE consensus, but in political terms, have the experience, convening power and access, as well as the freedom to speak out and help forge the necessary consensus. The CdM has also developed a methodology by which Members operate as a catalyst in bridging the gap between civil society organizations and high-level decision makers, a necessary condition to foster a regional democratic space in the OSCE region.

 

Nizami Ganjavi International Center

The Nizami Ganjavi International Center, an independent institution supported by the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan, under the Patronage of an international Board of Trustees and supported by a Group of Friends that includes highly respected and recognized international figures. It is an institution with an international mission, encompassing academic studies of Nizami and his legacy, and also maintaining and organizing an active involvement with contemporary world, where it acts to nurture intercultural dialogue, learning and understanding between cultures and peoples for building functional and inclusive societies and the promotion of the values of peace, justice and human rights, as well as to become a center of excellence for the production of knowledge

 

Outcome

The NGIC/CdM joint initiative builds upon the success of the previous two fora in Baku. The I South Caucasus Forum on Shared Societies was convened in Baku on May 2013 and allowed a very timely and important exchange of views on social inclusion and development in the region. Building upon this precedent, the II South Caucasus Forum on Shared Societies: Post 2015 Agenda developed concrete recommendations regarding the need to include the Shared Societies concept and instruments in the new sustainable development goals -and thence the need for disaggregated data for proper monitoring and evaluation in the Post 2015 MDGs- to empower women in society, to place education at the forefront of policy making and, last but not least, to stress the need to use Shared Societies as key drivers in conflict prevention, peace and security, in particular in the wider Europe. In this sense, the II Baku Forum is a clear precursor of the Andorra preparatory meeting and the next Baku Forum

Together, the Club de Madrid and the Nizami Ganjavi International Center will continue this partnership through the organization of a joint high-level dialogue on Rebuilding Trust in Wider Europe, which will provide the preliminary work for upcoming the IIIBaku Forum.

Agenda

The NGIC/CdM initiative will explore strategies to rebuild trust in wider Europe through a high level regional dialogue. The preparatory meeting will gather a select group of CdM Members and Members and Board Members of the NGIC, and a number of renowned experts, who will brainstorm on ways to shape and implement the goals of this initiative. Additionally, they will develop the content and structure of the III Baku Forum, which will seek to define and implement new mediation strategies and renewed conflict resolution mechanisms and thus advance the vision supportive of a strengthened Security Community in wider Europe.

The preparatory meeting will be organized in seven working sessions, each of them beginning with a brief introduction by select participants. The discussion will then be open to include all participants in a dynamic debate of the issues. Facilitators will help build a road map for the initiative, as well as the program for the III Baku Forum.