Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic,
Mr Akylbek Japarov
Heads of Government of SCO Member, Observer and Guest States
SCO Secretary General Zhang Ming,
Director SCO RATS Executive Committee Ruslan Mirzaev,
Heads of international organizations,
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
NI HAO and DOBRE OOTRA!
It is a pleasure to be in the beautiful city of Bishkek and to be hosted by the Honorable Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic H. E. Akylbek Japarov. I thank you, Excellency, for your warm, generous, and traditional Kyrgyz hospitality shown to me and my delegation as well as for the excellent arrangements made for our meeting.
Under your able and dynamic stewardship during 2022-23, SCO Council of Heads of Government has achieved admirable and significant progress. As the succeeding Chair, Pakistan will continue to support the existing mechanisms and welcome new initiatives.
Pakistan is committed to the ‘SHANGHAI SPIRIT’ that stands for mutual trust and respect for shared prosperity and development. Shanghai spirit anchors our collective efforts in the face of great transformation in the geo-political and geo-economic arenas.
SCO represents the collective voice and aspirations of over 40% of the global population. As leaders of SCO, it is our fundamental responsibility to fulfill the aspirations of our people for durable and sustainable peace, security and economic development.
During Pakistan’s Chair of CHG, top priority will be accorded to fostering cooperation in critical and practical areas. These include enhancing connectivity and transport links, youth empowerment, investment in key sectors with high regional potential, such as agriculture, mining, minerals, energy, and information technology. Alongside, Pakistan will continue to strengthen cooperation in the fields of education and poverty alleviation.
SCO is the key platform for taking the vision of Eurasian connectivity to the next level. Pakistan’s location at the crossroads of South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East makes it an ideal trade conduit. Investing in our collective connectivity capacities is crucial to advancing our shared vision for an economically integrated region. In this context, Pakistan plans to host a Conference on TRANSPORT CONNECTIVITY FOR REGIONAL PROSPERITY.
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a force multiplier for regional connectivity. Lack of connectivity is an impediment to regional trade, investment and development. CPEC does not only connect Pakistan to its neighbour China but also offers all SCO Member States a chance to invest in our shared future and full regional economic integration.
SCO Business Council and SCO Interbank Association can play a vital role in fostering economic and commercial cooperation among SCO Member States, through strengthening interaction among entrepreneurs and promoting people-to-people contact. The Council and the Association can also facilitate investment in areas of mutual benefit for all SCO Member States.
To advance these objectives and bolster connections among businessmen and industrialists from SCO Member States, Pakistan proposes to host SCO BUSINESSMEN CONFERENCE.
Transformation in the global political and economic orders has been accelerated by the digital and information revolution. To equip our next generations with the required tools and skill-sets to navigate these revolutionary trends, we should be proactive and pre-emptive.
In this regard, empowerment of our youth is of foremost importance. It is imperative that we further develop our strengths and address our weaknesses in a timely fashion. Our policies of today can harness the tremendous human potential of our region. In this vein, Pakistan proposes to host a Conference on YOUTH EMPOWERMENT THROUGH DIGITAL ECONOMY.
Regardless of varied stages of economic development, all SCO Member States are still faced with challenges related to poverty and food security. We can overcome these challenges through common efforts and by learning from each other’s experiences.
We are confident that under Pakistan’s permanent chairmanship of the Special Working Group on Poverty Alleviation, significant impetus can be provided to our collective endeavors aimed at improving the living standards of our people.
We are currently in the planning stages of hosting the inaugural session of the SPECIAL WORKING GROUP ON POVERTY ALLEVIATION, focused on Leveraging Digital Technologies to Enhance Social Safety Nets in SCO Member States.
Sustainable economic development cannot be guaranteed without durable peace and security. Ensuring stability in Afghanistan is imperative for safeguarding peace and stability of our region.
SCO-AFGHANISTAN CONTACT GROUP can play an important role in this regard. Reviving the Contact Group can foster dialogue and meaningfully assist the Afghan authorities in overcoming their economic challenges and building their counter-terrorism capacities.
Climate-induced disaster threatens humanity’s survival and demands global solidarity for a global response. Pakistan is committed to working for a sustainable and nature positive world that we owe to our future generations. SCO, as the most significant regional organisation, is well placed to become the pioneer of multilateral practical cooperation for dealing with emergency situations.
To tap on this mutually beneficial potential of our Organisation, Pakistan plans to host a meeting on PREVENTION AND RESPONSE TO EMERGENCY SITUATIONS.
Over the past twenty years, we have built a strong foundation for SCO’s development cooperation matrix. However, implementation of many critical projects and initiatives have yet to see the light of the day.
As the incoming Chair of CHG, Pakistan’s aim will be to make the organization more action-oriented. In pursuit of this goal, we eagerly anticipate the collaboration and support of the SCO Secretariat and our esteemed Member States in devising a robust IMPLEMENTATION AND MONITORING MECHANISM. The mechanism could serve as an instrumental tool for tracking progress across a diverse array of socio-economic sectors.
SCO is neither a forum for political point-scoring nor is it mandated to resolve bilateral or trilateral issues. Bringing controversial and disputed issues to SCO can undermine the achievements of SCO for almost quarter of a century. Keeping SCO free from myopic domestic political considerations and making it work for our region’s shared future are our collective responsibilities.
I wish to congratulate the heads of SCO’s permanent bodies, Secretary General Zhang Ming and Director Ruslan Mirzaev, for their able guidance to ensure pursuit of our common goals without any harmful politicization of the Organisation.
Pakistan considers it a matter of honour and trust to be the Chair of this important forum. It will be our endeavour during the period of our Chair to accommodate all forward-looking initiatives that promote development of the SCO region. Pakistan looks forward to an active and a positive participation of all Member States to realise our regional potential.
Before concluding, I would like to commend the hard work and dedication of the National Coordinators and all experts in various formats, who helped in finalizing the documents and decisions that will be adopted or signed today.
In conclusion, let me reaffirm Pakistan’s unwavering support and commitment to the Shanghai Spirit in addressing our common challenges and advancing SCO’s goals and objectives of peace, prosperity, stability and connectivity of the SCO region.
I thank you for your attention.
Last modified: October 26, 2023
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