Baku Declaration of the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Member States of the United Nations Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia – SPECA (Baku, 24 November 2023)
The Presidents of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Tajikistan, Republic of Uzbekistan and Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan,
Having held the first Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the United Nations Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (hereinafter referred to as “SPECA”) participating States in Baku, Azerbaijan, on November 24, 2023, under the Chairmanship of the Republic of Azerbaijan,
Recalling the purposes and principles laid out in the Tashkent Declaration of March 26, 1998 on the establishment of the SPECA,
Commemorating the twenty-fifth anniversary of founding the SPECA and recognizing significant milestones achieved by the SPECA participating States in strengthening their independence as well as with respect to the key priority areas of mutual cooperation,
Reiterating their firm determination to further deepen and advance cooperation within SPECA based on common interests, objectives and values shared by our peoples,
Recognizing untapped vast economic development potential, rich natural resources and important transportation corridors existing in the SPECA region and emphasizing a strong political willingness to jointly capitalize on these opportunities to advance regional cooperation, security and well-being of their nations as well as further connect the SPECA region with European and Asian markets,
Welcoming the outcomes of the Ministerial meeting of SPECA participating States held on April 17, 2023 in Geneva, Switzerland, reflected in the Joint Ministerial Statement under the key theme of the Azerbaijani Chairmanship for 2023 – “Transforming the SPECA region into a connectivity hub with global outreach” and follow-up work carried out until now,
Highly appreciating consistent and active efforts of the Azerbaijani Chairmanship of SPECA in 2023 towards transforming SPECA into a more effective and impactful regional platform of cooperation in Central Asia and beyond driven by collective efforts, interest and ownership of the participating States and supported by relevant United Nations regional commissions;
Expressing sincere gratitude to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (UNESCAP) and their respective Executive Secretaries for the consistent support extended to SPECA participating States since establishment of the Programme,
Hereby agreed to:
1. Declare their intention to enhance the role of SPECA as a platform of economic cooperation and continuous dialogue in order to explore the ways of pursuing, in solidarity, opportunities for regional integration and formulation of common responses to shared emerging challenges, in particular through promoting interaction in priority areas such as connectivity, trade, transport and logistics, digital transformation and innovations, industry, energy, water management, environment, green transition and other areas of mutual interest.
2. Express, in this regard, their resolve to extend full support to the ongoing process of institutionalization of SPECA and establishment of necessary mechanisms, which will boost the ownership, ensure regular dialogue, consistency and effective coordination of activities within SPECA, as well as promote the implementation of decisions adopted by the heads of SPECA participating States.
3. Emphasize that digitalization and green transformation of transit routes and trade and transport facilitation and energy connectivity, including green energy within the Trans-Caspian East-West Middle Corridor constitute immediate priority area for cooperation and, to this end, decide to endorse the Roadmap on Digitalization of multimodal data and document exchange along the trans-Caspian international transport route.
4. Reaffirm their political willingness to equip SPECA with relevant financial mechanism with a view to support the implementation of the adopted decisions and, in this regard, welcome the establishment of the SPECA Multi Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) under the auspices of the United Nations, which shall extend support to practical cooperation, and, in this regard, invite international partners to contribute to activities of the SPECA MPTF.
5. Highlight the importance of the Trans-Caspian East-West Middle Corridor as one of the most efficient and sustainable links between the SPECA participating States and different regions in Asia and Europe and beyond, encourage the countries to broader apply the corridor’s potential to intercontinental transport operations and advise respective authorities of SPECA participating States to focus on improving the transport connectivity throughout the corridor by enhancing effective communications between the transport companies, freight forwarders, logistics centers and national operators.
6. Welcome the adoption of the UN General Assembly resolution highlighting the 25th anniversary of SPECA and encourage the United Nations Member States, United Nations regional commissions and specialized agencies to continue extending support to efforts of the SPECA participating States.
7. Welcome participation of international partners in the Baku Summit and emphasize an importance of ongoing close cooperation that reflects common inspirations to support sustainable and resilient economic development of the SPECA region for the greener and safer future.
8. Task their respective Ministries to jointly coordinate the implementation of this Declaration with the UNECE, UNESCAP and other appropriate international institutions.
9. Express a sincere gratitude to H.E. President Ilham Aliyev and Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan for the excellent organization of the first Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the SPECA participating States with participation of international partners in Baku, as well as other events arranged in Azerbaijan during the SPECA days on November 20–24, 2023.