Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani, at the invitation of Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic, Akylbek Japarov, has led the Pakistani delegation to the twenty-second (22nd) Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Council of Heads of Government (SCO-CHG) on October 26, 2023, in the picturesque city of Bishkek. This prestigious event was attended by the Heads of Government of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, as well as the Vice-President of Iran and the Foreign Ministers of Pakistan and India. Belarus and Mongolia, SCO Observer States, and Guest State Turkmenistan are also participating.
应吉尔吉斯斯坦共和国内阁主席Akylbek Japarov的邀请，外交部长Jalil Abbas Jilani率领巴基斯坦代表团参加了2023年10月26日在风景如画的比什凯克举行的上海合作组织政府首脑理事会第二十二次会议。中国、哈萨克斯坦、吉尔吉斯斯坦、俄罗斯、塔吉克斯坦和乌兹别克斯坦政府首脑以及伊朗副总统、巴基斯坦和印度外交部长出席了这一著名活动。白俄罗斯和蒙古、上海合作组织观察员国以及东道国土库曼斯坦也参加了会议。
The SCO-CHG meeting was a significant platform within the SCO framework, focusing primarily on economic, financial, and socio-economic cooperation. Worth noting that Pakistan set to assume the Chair of the Council of Heads of Government, a momentous responsibility that opened new avenues for regional collaboration.
In his address at the meeting, Foreign Minister Jilani conveyed gratitude to the host country, the Kyrgyz Republic, and it’s Prime Minister Akylbek Japarov for their warm hospitality and excellent arrangements for the event. Underlining the achievements of the previous tenure under the Kyrgyz Republic’s leadership, he expressed Pakistan’s commitment to the ‘Shanghai Spirit,’ which emphasizes mutual trust, shared prosperity, and development, essential in the face of evolving geopolitical and economic dynamics.
With over 40% of the global population, the SCO represents the collective voice and aspirations of a substantial portion of the world. It falls upon the leaders of the SCO to work towards durable and sustainable peace, security, and economic development.
Pakistan, as the newly elected Chair, outlined its priorities, with a strong focus on 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. Additionally, Pakistan is committed to strengthening cooperation in education and poverty alleviation.
Pakistan’s geographic location at the crossroads of South Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East positions it as an ideal trade conduit. The country intends to host a Conference on Transport Connectivity for Regional Prosperity, emphasizing the importance of connectivity for regional trade and investment.
The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) stands as a force multiplier for regional connectivity, offering opportunities for all SCO Member States to invest in a shared future and full regional economic integration. CPEC is a bilateral agreement between China and Pakistan, but, it is beneficial for the entire region, as a source of connecting the most of land-locked central Asian countries, Afghanistan, Russia, and China, with Arabian Sea at Karachi and Gwadar, leading further convenient connectivity to Africa, Europe and Middle East. CPEC is a vital bridge for whole region in respect of connectivity. It possesses the potential to transform the trade route, trade pattern and trading partners in the days to come.
To bolster economic and commercial cooperation among SCO Member States, Pakistan proposes to host the SCO Businessmen Conference. The SCO Business Council and SCO Interbank Association will play vital roles in enhancing cooperation among entrepreneurs and promoting people-to-people contact. These initiatives aim to facilitate mutual benefit for all SCO Member States. CPEC will change the fate of entire region and prompt development and prosperity.
Addressing the digital and information revolution, Foreign Minister Jilani stressed the importance of empowering the youth to navigate these revolutionary trends effectively. Pakistan’s proposal to host a Conference on Youth Empowerment through Digital Economy underscores its commitment to developing the region’s human potential. Pakistan has built a strong infrastructure for digital economy and can facilitate the whole region.
Furthermore, addressing poverty and food security challenges remains a priority for all SCO Member States. Pakistan aims to provide impetus to collective efforts through its Chairmanship of the Special Working Group on Poverty Alleviation. A focus will be on leveraging digital technologies to enhance social safety nets in SCO Member States. Pakistan’s broad base of Agriculture can extend food security to all member states.
Peace and stability in Afghanistan are of paramount importance for the overall stability of the region. The SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group can contribute significantly to fostering dialogue and supporting the Afghan authorities in addressing economic challenges and building counter-terrorism capacities. Pakistan extends all possible cooperation to achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan.
Climate-induced disasters demand global solidarity for a global response. Pakistan is committed to working for a sustainable and nature-positive world and aims to host a meeting on Prevention and Response to Emergency Situations within the SCO. Pakistan itself is a victim of climate change, although, it is not responsible for it, yet, extend full support and comprehensive action plan.
Pakistan’s vision for its Chairmanship of the SCO-CHG is clear: to make the organization more action-oriented and track progress across diverse socio-economic sectors. The country seeks to ensure that the SCO remains focused on regional development and prosperity, free from myopic domestic political considerations. It intends to make a visible difference in respect of achievements of the organization.
With Pakistan at the helm, the SCO can look forward to a dynamic, forward-looking period of collaboration and mutual growth. The incoming Chair extends a warm welcome to all Member States to realize the immense potential of the region and work together for peace, prosperity, stability, and connectivity in the SCO region.
Reference Link:- https://www2.apdnews.cn/en/item/23/1030/axjcmznk9b18c9a2b2415f.html