32580 5/13/2005 14:16 05BUCHAREST1129 Embassy Bucharest UNCLASSIFIED This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available. UNCLAS BUCHAREST 001129
STATE DEPT FOR EUR/NCE - WILLIAM SILKWORTH STATE DEPT ALSO FOR INL/AAE, EUR/ACE
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: PREL, PGOV, PARM, RO, SECI SUBJECT: SECI CENTER OFFICIALS TRAVEL TO HQ OF ORGANIZATION FOR BLACK SEA ECONOMIC COOPERATION (BSEC)
1. On April 26-27 DoS Coordinator for SECI Center, RSO and SECI Public Affairs Officer traveled to BSEC Secretariat in Istanbul. This responds to a recent invitation extended by the BSEC Secretary General and Executive Manager to discuss the possible cooperation. During this meeting BSEC stated that the main challenge for them in the Black Sea region is organized crime. BSEC sees SECI as a model in meeting this challenge and proposed the exploration in cooperation by the two organizations. BSEC suggested entering into a MoU with SECI for further cooperation. SECI agrees to this in principal and Post hopes the Department can support the proposal. End Summary.
BSEC Proposes Memorandum of Understanding
2. In March 2005, BSEC officials traveled to Bucharest and spoke to SECI officials in an effort to learn more about SECI and how the process of sharing information that SECI employs between countries facilitates the fight against transborder crime. BSEC officials stated they were interested in further contact with the SECI Center and invited DoS Coordinator for SECI Center to visit BSEC and continue the discussion of SECI/BSCE cooperation. In the discussion on April 26 BSEC purposed that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between SECI and BSEC might be a suitable mechanism to bring about a closer partnership. This MoU, while falling short of an official relationship between the two organizations, could bring about an informal affiliation mutually beneficial to both.
More than Partnership, Less than Membership
3. DoS SECI Coordinator and RSO thanked BSEC officials for hosting the meeting and reaffirmed the desire of SECI Center Acting Director and Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) Chairperson to explore a closer relationship. DoS SECI Coordinator agreed with BSEC officials that a MoU or other informal link would be the best option rather than looking for a means of formal affiliation by both organizations. This approach would look at challenges common to both organizations, such as organized crime in general, and trafficking and financial crime specifically, with an aim to share a set of principles, values and standards which could be employed to meet those challenges. In short, the idea would be to share ideas, but not institutions. DoS Coordinator pointed out that existing task forces at SECI such as financial crime, anti-smuggling and anti-narcotics could be building blocks in a process which would not duplicate efforts, funding or strategy in fighting organized crime. These building blocks could, in fact, be key elements in looking at a wider strategy for the region such as a common security space in which both SECI and BSEC would employ mechanisms within their respective organizations to carry out their mandates, while informing each other of present and future actions. These measures, though not formal in nature, could still serve to further the fight against organized crime, which should assist the goal of sustaining a safe and secure Black Sea region. (Comment: JCC is the governing Board of SECI Center made up of elected Chairperson, elected Deputy Chairperson and one representative from each of the Twelve member states. End Comment)
4. In post's view, proposed shared actions and joint cooperation between BSEC and SECI is worth pursuing. Both organizations share common members, security challenges and area of operations with the goal to address multilateral risks by sharing strategies and limited resources to confront transborder asymmetrical threats. Both SECI Acting Director as well as the Chairperson of Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) agree that cooperation with other international organizations in the region is critical in the fight against one of the new security threats in the area, organized crime. SECI Center will explore and pursue as appropriate informal cooperation with BSEC. Post hopes the Department can seek avenues for supporting SECI in this effort.