On 25th May 2021 the XVI Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Forum was held. The forum was conducted virtually and representatives of the SCO Member states participated.
The Sixteenth session of the SCO forum was hosted by the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Center for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS), Islamabad being an active member of the SCO Think Tank forum participated in the forum.
From Pakistan, representatives of Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad and South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI) also participated.
The session was commenced with the opening remarks of Amb. Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry, Director General, Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. He extended his gratitude CGSS and SASSI and highlighted that in the contemporary era of globalization, there is a need of regional cooperation to produce sustainable outcomes. He was of the view that SCO provides its member states with a platform to work and cooperate together on various platforms and sectors.
Ms. Aisha Farooqui, National Coordinator SCO, Islamic Republic of Pakistan mentioned that SCO is successfully operating in the region and more states are applying for its observer status. She highlighted the contribution of SCO towards the security and economic development of the region, especially during the pandemic.
She stated that collective efforts are required to deal with the rising challenges and Pakistan will continue to play its regional role to maintain peace and stability in the region.
His Exellency Vladimir Norov, Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in his remarks appreciated Pakistan’s role in SCO.
He furtherindicated that SCO states stands firmly against the regional challenges. He mentioned that the recommendations of the forum will contribute the official documents presented to SCO for its future initiatives.
Maj. Gen. Syed Khalid Amir Jaffery, (Retd), President, Centre for Global & Strategic Studies, Pakistan chaired the second session on “SCO and the Geopolitics of Eurasia: Prospects of Security Cooperation between SCO Members”. The session included speakers from Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and India.
Maj. Gen. Syed Khalid Amir Jaffery, (Retd), President, Centre for Global & Strategic Studies, Pakistan also addressed the forum in the second session and shared his views on the topic.
He stated that SCO represents hybrid model of regional organization as it cooperates in the field of agriculture, information and technology, health, environment, climate, economy and security. He mentioned that the COVID 19 situation has negatively impacted the economic development of many SCO states.
Furthermore, in order to ensure smooth economic cooperation, trade should be carried out with transparence and without any discrimination. He emphasized that economic plans cannot be implemented smoothly until the security is ensured in the region. He viewed stability in Afghanistan to be of utmost importance, especially with regards to the illegal trade and cultivation of poppy after the US withdrawal. He mentioned that SCO holds unique position to help in the development; it sets an example of how intrastate relations can be maintained and improved between the states.
Dr. Maria Sultan, President, South Asian Strategic Stability Institute, Pakistan also addressed the forum.
The forum invited representatives of all the member SCO states including China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, India, and Tajikistan.
The forum had discussions about boosting Socio-Economic Cooperation Among SCO Member states and SCO and the Geopolitics of Eurasia: Prospects of Security Cooperation between SCO Members.