Summit to define SCO's postpandemic era

By Vladimir Norov |
Updated: Nov 10, 2020

SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov is pictured in this photo. [Photo provided to]

In a relatively short historical period of time, the SCO has established itself as one of the most important pillars of the world order, and its role as a multilateral cooperation mechanism that makes a significant contribution to maintaining peace and stability and ensuring development in the vast Eurasian region is increasing every day.

On November 10, 2020 the SCO Summit will be held in the format of a videoconference to become the central event in the SCO's activities, which will sum up the results of Russia's presidency of the Organisation in 2019-2020.

The heads of SCO member and observer states will take part in the event.

At the Summit the SCO leaders will discuss the priorities for further strengthening of cooperation within the SCO in the context of the global political and socio-economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

Special attention will be paid to cooperation in the field of security, countering the spread of terrorist and other extremist ideologies, the use of information and communication technologies for criminal purposes, and the fight against drug crime.

It should be noted that the SCO has convincingly confirmed its significant potential as an effective platform for responding to emerging challenges and building work to overcome the political, social, trade and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to combat the coronavirus pandemic, since the beginning the SCO countries have effectively exchanged experience, provided medical, technical and advisory assistance. In particular, within the SCO, existing mechanisms for cooperation in the areas of health care and sanitary-epidemiological well-being have been fully utilised, and a number of meetings, forums and consultations have been held on the subject of the fight against coronavirus. In short, the existing legal framework for cooperation and the relevant cooperation mechanisms enabled the SCO to work in the right direction.

The SCO member states will further expand cooperation in the field of public health, comprehensively coordinate emergency response in the field of health and epidemiology, and deepen scientific and technical cooperation in the development of drugs, vaccines and test systems.

In order to increase cooperation, a Comprehensive Plan of Joint Actions of the SCO Member States to counter threats of epidemics in the region is expected to be adopted at the end of the forthcoming Summit.

As far as economic recovery is concerned, practical implementation of the Programme of Multilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation of the SCO Member States adopted following the meeting of the Council of Heads of Government in November 2019 in Tashkent is seen as important.

Given the economic problems caused by the pandemic in many countries of the world, the most important task within the SCO is to develop anti-crisis measures and collective actions contributing to the further progressive development of multilateral trade and economic, investment and financial cooperation.

During the forthcoming Summit it is expected that the Action Plan for Implementation of the SCO Development Strategy until 2025, which includes about 150 practical measures aimed at improving the multifaceted activities of the Organisation in the next five years, will be approved. In the course of its implementation, special attention will be paid to measures aimed at economic recovery in the postpandemic period.

The coronavirus pandemic not only posed an immediate threat to life and health worldwide and destabilised the international economy, but also stimulated significant challenges to global and regional security.

Above all, the challenges in the field of information and communication technologies have become more acute due to internet fraud and hacker attacks on government institutions and business structures.

At the same time, the pandemic has made it clear that digitalisation and ICT are absolutely necessary for the future functioning of the economy and society as a whole.

In this regard, the SCO Summit will define the contours for further joint work in the field of information security and development of the digital economy.

The author is SCO Secretary-General. The opinions expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of China Daily and China Daily website.

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