Multilateral cooperation within the framework of
Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO)
Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) is an intergovernmental regional organization established in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey for the purpose of promoting economic, technical and cultural cooperation among the Member States. Main objectives of the organization have been reflected in Izmir Treaty – main document regulating activities of ECO.
The Republic of Azerbaijan became a member of the ECO at the ECO Ministerial Council Meeting in November 1992.
Main cooperation areas of the Economic Cooperation Organization are:
1) Trade and investment;
2) Transport and communication;
3) Energy, mineral resources and environment;
4) Agriculture, industry, health and tourism;
5) Project researches;
6) Economic researches and statistics;
7) ECO regional institutions and specialized agencies;
8) Fight against illegal drugs;
9) Relations with other regional and global organizations.
ECO 12th Summit and 20th meeting of the ECO Ministerial Council were held on 13-16 October, 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan. During the 20th meeting of the Ministerial Council Chairmanship was transferred from the Republic of Turkey to the Republic of Azerbaijan. Mr. Shamil Aleskerov was approved as the Secretary General of the ECO at that meeting.
Heads of States and Governments of ECO member states and representatives of international organizations attended the 12th Summit of ECO. Chairing the Summit was transferred from the Republic of Turkey to the Republic of Azerbaijan. Baku Declaration was adopted during the Summit. Heads of States and Governments of ECO member states expressed concern about the existing unresolved conflicts in the ECO region, particularly, conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, which impedes regional economic development and stressed the importance of making increased efforts for earliest resolution of this conflict within territorial integrity, sovereignty and the internationally recognized borders of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the Baku Declaration. Distinguished representatives of member states in various scientific-research areas were presented ECO awards by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev during the Summit. Academic Asaf Nadirov of the Republic of Azerbaijan was presented award for his scientific achievements in economy.
Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Islamic Republic of Iran initiated and supported publication of the special issue of ECO journal “ECO Chronicle” dedicated to the Republic of Azerbaijan. Special issue includes articles on the political leadership of the National Leader Heydar Aliyev, major points from the speech of H.E. Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan delivered at the 11th Summit of ECO, as well as his curriculum vitae, the speech of H.E. Elmar Mammadyarov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan during the 19th meeting of the Ministerial Council of ECO, information on the latest economic achievements of the Republic of Azerbaijan and oil strategy, interview to the journal of H.E. Ambassador Javanshir Akhundov, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the Islamic Republic of Iran; information on development and potential of tourism in the country, development of information communication technologies, business environment, carpentry, cultural heritage, as well as Novruz Holiday traditions have been comprehensively elaborated in the special issue.
Since August of 2012, the Secretary General of the Economic Cooperation Organization is a representative from the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The 21st meeting of the ECO Council of Ministers adopted a decision on establishment of the ECO Research Centre in Baku and approved the Statue of the Centre. The Research Centre’s main activities will include elaboration of economically beneficial projects, research programs and economical models for the countries of the region, thus contributing to the future development of ECO.
H.E. Elmar Mammadyarov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan chaired the 20th informal meeting of the ECO Council of Ministers and ECO-ASEAN joint meeting held in September 2013, in New York.
Since October 2012 the Republic of Azerbaijan chaired monthly meetings of the ECO Council of Permanent Representatives (CPR). During the 2013 Ambassador Akhundov chaired these meetings which are held at the ECO Secretariat in Tehran. Along with that Embassy of Azerbaijan provided chairmanship for the meetings of election commission on recruitment and various working groups at the ECO Secretariat. During the meetings of the working group Modalities for the appointment of the Secretariat Staff and ECO Staff regulation was well improved.
During the chairmanship of the Republic of Azerbaijan further efforts were made to increase effectiveness of the ECO. To this end the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan drafted a Food-for-thought paper on “Improvement of the efficiency of Economic Cooperation Organization through the prioritization of cooperation fields”, which was distributed by the ECO Secretariat among member states.
The Republic of Azerbaijan has become a full-fledged member of the Trade and Development Bank of the Economic Cooperation Organization.
Concept Paper of the Economic Journal of ECO has been elaborated by the relevant structure of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The 1st meeting of Azerbaijan-Iran high-level working group of the railway project “Qazvin-Rasht-Astara (Iran)-Astara (Azerbaijan)”, which is a part of international transport corridor “North-South’ was held in Baku, and the 2nd meeting of the group was held in Rasht with the organization of ECO. Field trip to get familiar with the status of construction works at Qazvin-Rasht-Astara railway site was organized for the representatives of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Islamic Republic of Iran.
During 2012-2013 the Republic of Azerbaijan hosted the following ECO meetings:
- The 2nd meeting of the Steering Committee on Economic Research;
- The 1st meeting of the editorial board of Economic Journal of ECO;
- The 2nd meeting of the Heads of Organizations to Promote Trade;
- The 3rd meeting of the Heads of Organizations on Blood Transfusion;
- Meeting of the coordination committee of the 1. Baku Forum of Economic Think tanks of ECO member states;
- The 1st meeting of the high-level working group of the railway project “Qazvin-Rasht-Astara (Iran)-Astara (Azerbaijan)”;
- International conference on Energy, regional integration and socio-economic development;
- The 2nd meeting of the ECO experts’ group on renewable energy sources;
- The 4th seminar on renewable energy sources;
- Workshop on oil and gas drilling.
The Republic of Azerbaijan has supported establishment of ECO Parliamentary Assembly.
A representative from the Republic of Azerbaijan was awarded the 3rd place at the 1st ECO international art festival “Novruz World Festival” which was held in Tehran.