The Ambassador of Pakistan Mr. Faisal Niaz Tirmizi led the Pakistani delegation to the 16th Meeting of the Ministers of Culture of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states held in Bishkek on 15 May 2019. The participants of the meeting were welcomed by Mr. Azamat Kaparovich Zhamankulov, the Minister of Culture, Information and Tourism of the Kyrgyz Republic.

The representatives from Ministries of Culture of the SCO member states – Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan and India deliberated during the meeting.

Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Faisal Niaz Tirmizi said that after decades of divisions marked by geopolitical forces dividing us in different camps and alliances, SCO has provided us a unique platform to celebrate our commonalities and to work together to forge a common future marked by our rich cultural heritage. He further said that lying at the crossroads of Central Asia, South Asia and Middle East Pakistan was a land of many splendors. This can also be seen in the Pakistani culture which is an amalgam of local and regional cultures.

The heads of the SCO cultural delegations discussed the development of cooperation in culture and the arts, and exchanged opinions on the progress in the implementation of the Agreement between the Governments of the SCO Member States on Cooperation in Culture (signed in Bishkek, 16 August 2007) and the agreements reached at the previous meetings of the SCO Culture Ministers.

The member states also confirmed their readiness to intensify cooperation in areas of study and preservation of cultural and natural heritage including objects mentioned in the UNESCO World Heritage List in the SCO space, training of specialists, the protection in the fields of cultural heritage and the restoration of works of arts. The participants also considered the proposal of the Kyrgyz Republic regarding the international Silk Road festival in 2021 “Silk Road Fist”.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the Protocol of the 16th meeting of the Ministers of Culture of the SCO member states was signed. In the Protocol, member states expressed a mutual desire to further develop cultural ties within the SCO framework, strengthen mutual understanding and respect, harmonious coexistence of different ethnic groups, active dissemination of knowledge and centuries old traditions and customs of the people of SCO member states. The parties called for further improvement of cooperation with observer and partner states in the dialogue of the SCO in the fields of culture and art, both bilaterally and multilaterally.

At the conclusion of the meeting, an information message regarding 16th meeting of the Ministers of Culture of SCO member states was issued.

Bishkek
15 May 2019

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