New SCO president, Tajikistan, pledges deeper cooperation

BEIJING, Jan 12 (APP): Tajikistan has vowed to give priority to preventing the spread of the pandemic and eliminating its impact on the social and economic development of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states as the country took over the years’ rotating presidency.

One of the main tasks for the members should be ‘to keep working together’ to further develop the SCO as one of the important international organizations, and use all available opportunities and resources to help each other, especially when the pandemic is still raging, said Saidzoda Zohir Ozod, Tajikistan’s Ambassador to China.

“Thus, we will promote a plan of priority measures to deal with the impact of the coronavirus on the regional economy, as well as the fields of finance and food security,” he said.

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The plan included promoting the establishment of the organization’s financial institutions, setting up SCO’s own electronic trading platform, and expanding the network of international logistics centers within the organization, the diplomat made the remarks in Beijing, announcing the priorities after Tajikistan took the organization’s helm for 2021, China Daily reported on Tuesday.

Being an intergovernmental international organization, the SCO was founded in June 2001 in Shanghai, with eight member states, including China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.

Considering the continuation of pandemic and its impact on public health, Saidzoda said Tajikistan planned to encourage experts from the SCO countries to continue to exchange their experience on preventing and fighting the virus, provide humanitarian assistance and conduct online consultations.

“Together in a targeted manner, the organization also will continue to address global challenges and security threats, including cybersecurity issues, terrorism, separatism and extremism.”

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In terms of regional security and stability, Saidzoda said Tajikistan would “continue to pay close attention” to the development of the situation in Afghanistan.

He said his country aimed to assist the SCO-Afghanistan contact group to actively carry out its work, implement the relevant road map and take further action to properly handle the situation in the country, and continue to support and implement the goal of revitalizing the social economy of Afghanistan.

“We also believe that it is necessary to continue the practice of the SCO and the United Nations in jointly organizing high-level events, strengthening interaction and dialogue, and actively expanding practical cooperation with regional partners.”