Photo: Astanatimes. An Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of the SCO Foreign Ministers via video conference
On May 13, an Extraordinary Meeting of SCO Foreign Ministers was held via video conference. The meeting was chaired by Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov.
During the conference, the ministers shared their views on cooperation of the SCO member countries to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. SCO Secretary General Vladimir Norov emphasized the importance of solidarity and mutual support to overcome the crisis building effective SCO mechanism against future medical crisis, and strengthening international cooperation, not only among member countries, but also between the SCO and relevant international organizations, such as World Health Organization. They also reaffirmed their will to help resolve political conflicts in Afghanistan despite limits to communication caused by the pandemic.
Additionally, the meeting focused on increasing the security and stability in the region. They mentioned about improving coordination with the UN and other multilateral platforms. Norov called for the promotion of cooperation to ensure food safety and suggested elaborating a concept of cooperation and the SCO plan of actions in this area. Moreover, Norov explained the importance of utilizing digital technology in government and business through the involvement of leading IT companies of the SCO member countries. He also stated that protecting the critically vital infrastructure of cybersecurity through SCO cooperation in digitization and ICT would be necessary, for challenges to cyber security linked with internet scams and hacker attacks on states and financial institutions are increasing.
Lastly, they reviewed the preparations for the meeting of the SCO Heads of State Council in St. Petersburg. Ministers agreed to adopt an action plan to better ensure sanitary and epidemiological well-being and biosafety. Following the video conference, the SCO Ministers adopted a statement on the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus infection.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. (2020, May 13). Press release on the meeting of SCO foreign ministers via video conference. Retrieved from https://www.mid.ru/en/foreign_policy/news/-/asset_publisher/cKNonkJE02Bw/content/id/4121632
SCO. (2020, May 13). 上海合作？？Шанхайская организация сотрудничестваThe Shanghai cooperation organisation. Retrieved from http://eng.sectsco.org/news/20200513/646417.html
Shayakhmetova, Z. (2020, May 14). SCO Member States Stand for Collective Efforts in Fight Against Pandemic. Retrieved from https://astanatimes.com/2020/05/sco-member-states-stand-for-collective-efforts-in-fight-against-pandemic/
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