On the eve of 30th Anniversary of establishment of the organization of Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in coordination with the BSEC Secretariat, organized the Tehran Event on "Iran & the 30-year-old BSEC: Prospects for Cooperation" on 30 May 2022 at the Institute for Political and International Studies (IPIS).
The Event intended to explore existing and potential opportunities and capacities for enhanced cooperation between the Islamic Republic of Iran, as BSEC sectoral dialogue partner (SDP), and BSEC in areas such as transport, energy, trade, tourism, culture, agriculture and food security, etc. The Event also sought awareness rising about BSEC among Iranian line-ministries and private sector. The half-day event was structured in an opening plenary and two panels.
Tehran Event was attended by officials from Iran's line ministries and private sectors activists as well as Tehran-based ambassadors and officials from BSEC member states, observers and SDPs, along with Tehran-based United Nations and other international organizations officials, academia and civil society representatives.
In the opening session, Mr. Stefan Priesner, UN Resident Coordinator in Tehran, Mr. Lazar Comansecu, Secretary General of BSEC, and Mr. Khusrav Noziri, Secretary General of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) delivered opening statements. The keynote speech was made by Ambassador Mahdi Safari, Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy. (Statements are attached)
The first Panel, "Iran and BSEC Region: Prospects for Wider Connectivity", featured high level panelists, including Mrs. Nikolina Kuneva, Ambassador of Republic of Bulgaria, Mrs. Mirela-Carmen Grecu, Ambassador of Romania, Mr. Shahriar Afandizadeh, Deputy Minister of Road and Urban Development of Iran, and Mr. Human Fathi, Director General for International Affairs and Specialized Agencies of Ministry of Agriculture Jihad who made their introductory remarks and shared views on ways and means to establish workable relationships between Iran and BSEC with a view to improving the transport, energy, ICT and cultural connectivity between two regions. This was followed by Secretary General Comansecu and Deputy Foreign Minister Safari's commentaries. The panelists then answered questions from the audience. The panel was moderated by Mr. Seyed Jalaledin Alavi, DG for Multilateral and International Economic Cooperation, MFA.
The second Panel, "Iran-BSEC Agenda: Non-state entities and private sector's Contribution", also hosted high level panelists, including Mr. Dragan Todorović, Ambassador of Republic of Serbia, Mr. Fatih Şener, Vice-President of Union of Road Transport Association in the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Region (BSEC-URTA), Mrs. Leila Ajdari, Director General for Marketing and Development of Foreign Tourism, Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts of Iran, and Mr. Hasan Esfandiar, Director General for International Operations, Iranian Red Crescent Society. The panelists shared their views on how cooperation between Iran and BSEC can benefit from private sector involvement, particularly in the areas such as tourism, multimodal transport, trade, food security and emergency and disaster situations.
Deputy Foreign Minister Safari and Secretary General Comansecu then made comments on panelists' views and shared their own viewpoints on the topic. The panelists and the two discussants then responded to the questions raised from among the audiences. The panel was moderated by Mr. Farzad Mehrani, vice-President of Iran Chamber of Commerce.
The "Tehran Event on Iran & the 30-year-old BSEC: Prospects for Cooperation" provided an opportunity to jointly explore possibilities to upgrade level of cooperation between two sides and facilitate bilateral partnership. Iran's and BSEC authorities agreed to continue such joint initiatives.
On the sidelines of the Event, publications and handicrafts were exhibited by Iranian publishers and artists.
The Event was livestreamed through BSEC website.