On 3 and 4 July 2003, the regular GUUAM Summit took place in Yalta, Ukraine. During the Summit, further deepening of multilateral cooperation within GUUAM and strengthening of its institutional basis were discussed.

The participants of the meeting, taking into account the ongoing processes of development of international relations, as well as taking into account the emerging new tasks in this regard, reaffirmed their readiness to undertake consistent and coordinated efforts to support and strengthen peace, regional security, stability and prosperity on the basis of norms and principles of international law. To this end, they have agreed to activate their cooperation in combating terrorism, separatism, ethnic hatred, extremism and other challenges to international security. They underlined the urgent need for soonest possible settlement of ongoing conflicts on the basis of norms and principles of international law, as well as adherence to sovereignty and territorial integrity of states. The Parties also underlined the importance of strengthening cooperation to consolidate economic, energy, transport and information components of security of GUUAM States.

The participants of the meeting noted with satisfaction that during the last year the Association reached a new stage of interaction, which includes implementation of tangible projects and programs in priority spheres of cooperation, including those with participation of third states and international organizations.

The participants of the meeting also noted that today the necessary mechanisms have been created within GUUAM to ensure successful cooperation in each sphere.

In this regard, the role of CNC and inter-branch workgroups was specially noted. The Parties commended the activity of workgroups during the last year and appointment of coordinating countries; they also supported soonest possible approval of branch programs of cooperation on that basis.

The participants of the meeting underlined that presently the strengthening of GUUAM economic component represents one of the most important tasks of the Association. In that context, the agreements reached in the field of establishment of Free Trade Area were discussed. It was noted that entry of the relevant agreement into force will allow implementation of practical steps towards mutual liberalization of trade regimes and gradual removal of existing barriers preventing implementation of free trade principles based on internationally recognized norms.

The Parties have agreed that the main task of cooperation within the Association with regard to development of transportation corridors should be creation of more attractive conditions for transportation within GUUAM region through development of transport networks, decreasing travel time, simplification of relevant procedures and ensuring transparency for all participants of transportation process, as well as ensuring secure conditions of transportation and travel along those corridors.

A new round of high-level GUUAM-U.S. consultations was held during the GUUAM Summit, July 3-4 in Yalta, Ukraine. Ambassador Steve Pifer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, led the U.S. delegation.

The Participants discussed the current state and prospects of the GUUAM-U.S. dialogue. They attached great importance to the cooperation GUUAM and the United States have developed over the past three years. They agreed to continue mutually beneficial cooperation, as well as specific projects, and also to explore new areas of interaction.

The GUUAM Member States expressed support for combating international terrorism, preventing proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and related technologies, combating organized crime, and confronting other global challenges.  They affirmed their willingness to develop consolidated efforts with a view to increasing the efficiency of their cooperation in these areas.  The joint exploration of ways to confront these common challenges to the GUUAM states and the United States constitutes an important aspect of GUUAM-U.S. cooperation.

The United States appreciates the measures being taken by GUUAM to enhance rule of law, advance democratization and provide for stable economic development in the Group’s states and the region.  It was stressed that U.S. effective support ensures progress in these efforts.

The Participants noted the progress achieved in advancing the “GUUAM-U.S. Framework Program” and reaffirmed their commitment to further implementing this important document. The Participants commended the signature of the Memorandum of Understanding of GUUAM Member States on the Project on Trade and Transport Facilitation at the Summit, which will among other things enhance border security and customs control while facilitating regional trade.

The Participants agreed to continue their cooperation in implementation of the Project on Establishment of the GUUAM Virtual Center on combating terrorism, organized crime, drug trafficking and other forms of dangerous crimes and Creation of Intergovernmental Information Management System (IIMS) according to the Agreement signed at the Summit.

The Participants look forward to the start of the practical implementation of the projects on Trade and Transport Facilitation and the Virtual Center with IIMS on September 1, 2003 in Kiev and Baku, respectively.

GUUAM (Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Moldova) Group was formally founded as a political, economic and strategic alliance designed to strengthen the independence and sovereignty of these former Soviet Union republics.

During the five years of cooperation GUUAM group became an important structure, which looking to enhance regional economic cooperation through development of an Europe-Caucasus-Asia transport corridor. It has also become a forum for discussion on various levels of existing security problems, promoting conflict resolution and the elimination of other risks and threats.

Cooperation among delegations of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine started in 1996 in Vienna, Austria, at the CFE Treaty Conference, where four states issued joint statements and proposed common initiatives.

On October 10, 1997, the Presidents of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine met in Strasbourg during summit of the Council of Europe and stated their mutual interest in developing bilateral and regional cooperation, European and regional security, political and economic contacts.

In the Joint Communiqué issued, the Presidents stressed the importance of the four nations cooperation in establishing a Eurasian, Trans-Caucasus transportation corridor (TRACECA), and underscored the importance of strengthening the four-lateral cooperation “for the sake of a stable and secure Europe guided by the principles of respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, inviolability of state frontiers, mutual respect, cooperation, democracy, supremacy of law and respect for human rights.” The leaders of the countries agreed to undertake joint efforts in order to overcome the difficulties that Europe faces on the threshold of the 21st century.

On April 24, 1999, GUUAM was enlarged by one more member – Uzbekistan, who joined the group at GUUAM summit, which was held during NATO/EAPC Summit in Washington D.C., on April 23-25, 1999.

On September 6, 2000, at the meeting in New York in connection with the UN Millennium Summit, the Presidents of GUUAM countries pledged to intensify multilateral cooperation within the framework of GUUAM by giving it a multilevel character. To this aim, it was deemed expedient to convene regular summits at the level of Heads of State at least once a year, and meetings at the level of Ministers for Foreign Affairs at least twice a year. The Committee of National Coordinators (CNC) shall hold regular sessions on a quarterly basis.

To foster favorable conditions conducive to economic growth among the participating states, mutually beneficial trade relations, and implementing complex multilateral programs and projects in the fields of production, commerce, energy, transport, the economy, international credit and financial cooperation, border, customs and fiscal services, communications, science, technology education and culture, direct contacts between different state bodies and departments of the respective agencies of the GUUAM Group Member States will be established.