The Black Sea-Caspian region is taken today on the world geopolitical map as an extremely important place, due to the presence of huge natural resources and major strategic transport corridors, control of which will determine actually control of Euro-Asia both today and in the future.

The recent events in Georgia, Iraq, situation in the Middle East, process of NATO enlargement in many aspects affect the security of the Black Sea regional countries, especially those that are in the transformation period and actually in the “security vacuum”.

Regional countries have many common features in the processes of social-economic and political transformations, equally interested in the development of democratic social relations, care for security of their citizens. Hence effort consolidation of different regional countries can substantially promote implementation of the European values.

Present-day social-political situation in some regional post-Communist countries is characterised by low level of the development of the civil society structures and lack of possibility for citizens to influence on power and its solutions. Power closed character leads to strengthen of negative tendencies of disregarding of the main constitutional civil rights by the authoritarian and clannish-oligarchic authorities. Right of free election and forming power structures is disabled, freedom of speech, demonstrations and action are restricted, opposition powers are under the pressure etc.

In that situation any steps toward elaboration and implementation of the democratic control system over the power activities in the sphere of national and international security satisfy the requirements of society and demand efforts consolidation of all patriotic citizens of the regional countries.

Further development of civil society and its institutions in the regional countries demands forming and development of mechanisms of the effective democratic control over the functioning the most important spheres of the social-political life, especially over the security sector, according to the practice adopted in the democratic countries.

Special emphasis should be given to forming civil control system over the power activity, particular in the field of international and internal relations. Such control exists in the democratic countries to protect a state and society from possible mistakes and voluntarism of some political leaders and influential social-economic groups.

Forming of the democratic control mechanisms is extremely important for the former soviet countries of the Black Sea - Caspian region. Recent events in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, present day’s situation in Ukraine convince that. Main goals and priorities of this process are as follows:

Consolidation of present and methodological support of organisation new non-governmental analytical centres of democratic control, creation of the co-ordinating structure of the democratic control in the Black Sea - Caspian region.

Purposeful formation in the public opinion the ideas of necessity and advisability of establishment of the democratic control over the international and internal policy.

Publication in the mass-media of participating countries of information about the Project, analytical materials and monitoring results, preparation of the articles and reports for the first edition of the regional periodical “Democratic control and regional security“ .

Holding a Forum of the regional non-governmental organisations working in the sphere of the democratic control, creation the Consortium of the democratic control in the Black Sea - Caspian region, election of the Steering Committee, elaboration of the streamlines of the Consortium activities for the future.

Elaboration and presentation to the mass media and broad public of the regional countries the proposals on the democratic control implementation within the further development of the civil society in the Black Sea - Caspian region countries.

Implementation of the international conference “Ukraine in the Black Sea - Caspian Region: Security Challenges and Democratic Control” ideas foresees as the first step creation of the network of non-governmental civil control analytical centres in the countries of the region, stimulation of the regional countries positions rapprochement in the field of democratic control and regional security, promoting the countries integration into the European and Euro-Atlantic economic and security structures.

Conference participants support the idea of creation of the Black Sea-Caspian Region Democratic Control Consortium.

Press release -- The International Conference: “Ukraine in the Black Sea – Caspian Region: Security Challenges and Democratic Control” was held on 24-25 May 2004 in Sebastopol.

The Conference was organized by the Center for International Security and Strategic Studies (CISSS) with support of the NATO Information and Documentation Center in Ukraine.

The Conference participants – political scientists and politicians who present state and independent analytical centers of Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Turkey, representatives of NATO, security institutions and Ukraine military forces, regional and municipal administrations of the Crimea Autonomy and Sebastopol.

Opening the Conference the CISSS President, professor Alexander Goncharenko reminded that the Conference being held in Sevastopol is continuation of the International Conference “Democratic Control over National Security System and Military Forces: Spreading NATO Values in the Euro-Atlantic Area” which was held by the same organizers in 2003 in Odessa. Last Conference materials were published in Ukrainian and English and got positive analytical appreciation. Speaker put goals and tasks of the present Conference and outlined the key moments of the discussing problem. He stressed the direct correlation between the process of civic society development and democratic control over one of the main state institutions constituents – national security and defense system.

Sergey Kulik - representative of the Sebastopol municipal administration ( head of the Internal Policy Department); representatives of the Black Sea – Caspian region countries: Arif Yunusov (Azerbaijan), David Shahnazarian (Armenia), Nika Chitadze (Georgia), Lilian Vitu (Moldova), Dundar Akarca (Turkey) and Director of the NATO Information and Documentation Center in Ukraine Michel Duray spoke with opening addresses to the Conference participants.

Session 1: “Democratic Transformations in the Black Sea – Caspian Region: Comparative Analysis, Problems and Perspectives” was moderated by the CISSS President, professor Alexander Goncharenko. The CISSS vice-president, head of the Global Security and European Integration Department of the National Institute of International Security Problems (National Security and Defense Counsel of Ukraine), D.Sc. Borys Parakhonsky presented his report “Democratization Processes and Development of the Civic Society Structures as the Key Factors of Regional Stability and Security”.

Michel Duray - director of the NATO Information and Documentation Center in Ukraine – in his report “Democratic Control as a Mechanism of the Regional Stability and Security Implementation” stressed the actuality of the discussed issues in the processes of Ukraine integration in the world community. He gave also explanation of some definitions and criteria that are used by civic institutions of Euro-Atlantic countries in implementation of the democratic control over the national security sector.

D.Sc. Oleg Bodruck, head of the Military Policy Department of the National Institute of International Security Problems, gave the report “Military Policy and Democratic Transformations of the Security Sector in the Black Sea – Caspian Region”.

“The Role and Place of the Southern Caucasus Countries in the Formation of Regional Stability and Security” was the subject of the report by Ph.D. Nika Chitadze, President of the International and Security Research Center, Georgia.

Session 2 “Regional Threats and Security Challenges: Role of Democratic Control in the Elaboration and Implementation of the Regional Security Strategies” was headed by D.Sc. Oleg Bodruck. Professor Alexandr Goncharenko presented the report “Major Threats and Challenges in the BSCR and Possible Mechanisms of Democratic Control over the Regional Security”.

Black Sea Security Program (Harvard University, USA) was presented by Natalia Pechorina, program-member, journalist of the “Ukrinform” National Agency.

Dundar Akarca - Ankara Center for Turkish Policy Studies, Turkey (“Turkey and the Regional Security in the Black Sea – Caspian Area”); Ph.D. Arif Yunusov, head of Department of the Institute for Peace and Democracy, Azerbaigan (“Caucasus Conflict Settlement as a Cornerstone of the BSCR Stability”); Ph.D. Andriy Sobolev – Chief Consultant, National Institute for Strategic Studies of the President of Ukraine (“Black Sea – Caspian Regional Challenges: in Search of the Effective Strategies”) presented their repots.

Session 3 “Democratic Control and Informational Security” was moderated by D.Sc. Borys Parakhonsky. The reports were presented by David Shahnazarian – head of the Research Centre for Legal and Political Science “Concord”, Armenia (“Social Functions of Democratic Control in the BSCR Countries”); Ph.D. Alexander Manachinsky – director of the Military Strategy Studies Program and representative of the Ukrainian Association of Euro-Atlantic Cooperation (“Freedom of Information and Major Streamlines of the Civic Control Enforcement on the Post-soviet Space”); Nadir Bekirov – UN expert, Secretary of the Council of Crimea Tatars Representatives attached to the President of Ukraine (“Role of the Local Civic Society Structures in the Democratic Control Implementation”); D.Sc. Rustem Zhangozha – Senior Research Fellow of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (“Mass-media in the Process of Implementation of the Security Reforms and Effective Regional Security Strategies”); Victor Zamiatin – correspondent of the “Den” newspaper (“Independence of the Mass-media, Democratic Control and Informational Security in the BSCR”).

Session 4 “International Cooperation in the Sphere of Security Sector Reform and Democratic Control” was moderated by Ph.D., MG (retired) Vadym Hrechaninov, President of the Atlantic Council of Ukraine. The session reports were presented by Andriy Ivaschenko – Head of the National Research Center of Defense Technologies and Military Security of Ukraine (“Interlocking Institution Strategy in the Implementation of Civic Control in the Security Sector of Ukraine”); Ph.D., MG (retired) Vadym Hrechaninov (“Democratic Control and Military Reform in Ukraine: Problems and Perspectives of Organization and Implementation”); Col. Anatoliy Abrosimov – Deputy Director, Department of International Co-operation, Ministry of Defense of Ukraine (“International Co-operation and Security Sector Reform in Ukraine”). Colleagues from Moldova Nicu Popescu and Lilian Vitu presented joint report “Regional Co-operation in the Security Sector Reform and Democratic Control as an Essential Part of European and Euro-Atlantic Integration of the BSCR”). Professor, Chair of National Security Academy of State Management attached to the President of Ukraine D.Sc. Vladymyr Bogdanovitch spoke about “BSCR and the Problems of the Urban Security”.

Summing up the conference work project head professor Goncharenko thanked all speakers and participants. Talking about the significance of the discussed problem “Ukraine in the Black Sea – Caspian Region: Security Challenges and Democratic Control” he stressed the circumstance that evolution of Ukraine scientists attitude to that problem due to two experts meetings in Odessa (2003) and Sebastopol (2004) allows to speak about positive progress (at least at the research level) in approaches to solve the number of “key elements” in developing the civic society in Ukraine, in particular, one of the fundamental condition in solving social and political tasks of any society – to stimulate civic control over the national security and defense system.

Alexander Goncharenko especially thanked foreign experts for their reports that gave the studied problem new dimension. He said: “The comparative analysis itself can not solve the problem. But it helps to understand the specific characters and common typology of “problem area”, teach to see the problem from different and sometimes unexpected perspective”. According to Alexander Goncharenko attracting the attention of scientists and independent research institutes to control over the national security and defense system promotes widening and deepening of the democratization process, its irreversibility on the way of the civic society development, teach to be initiative, independent and responsible in solving crucial problems.

Representatives from TV and Radio Company “BRIZ” of Ukraine Naval Forces (Myroslav Mamchak, Igor Pasichnyk, Ivan Chmyl), “Vecherniy Sevastopol” Newspaper (Igor Rudenko), “Sevastopolskie Izvestia” Newspaper of Sevastopol Municipal Council (Vladimir Gubanov, Leonid Stasjuk), “Krymska Svitlytsia” Newspaper (Mykola Vladzymyrsky), “Sevastopolskaja Gazeta” (Sergey Stepanov), “Flot Ukrainy” Newspaper (Alexander Shtaltovny), “Narodna Armia” and “2000” Newspapers (Alexander Scherbakov) and reviewer of the “Ministerstvo Oborony Ukrainy” Newspaper Olexandr Scherbatov, National Agency “UNIAN” (Oleg Chubok), Ukranian National Agency “UKRINFORM” (Natalia Pechorina, Mikhail Stetsiuk), representatives from the Sevastopol regional state TV and Radio Company (Natalia Berezina, Oxana Titova) and others took an active participation in covering the conference.

Representatives from public organization “Euro-Atlantic Choice” (Bogdan Vuiko, head) and analytical center “NOMOS” attached to the Internal Policy Department of the Sevastopol Administration (Sergey Kulik, head), members of Associations of the Veterans of Sebastopol took an active participation during the conference sessions.

Were also present the analysts of the Research Center of the Ukraine Naval Forces, professors and post-graduate students of Tavria V. Vernadsky University, National Academy of Governance attached to the President of Ukraine , Sebastopol Naval Forces Institute and others.

During the Conference among the participants, representatives of mass-media and broad circles of Sebastopol were spread CISSS scientific and analytical papers, informational materials about NATO activity in the Ukraine and forthcoming Istanbul Summit.

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