A video conference was held on the topic “Impact of the coronavirus pandemic on interaction within the SCO, challenges and opportunities. The Role of Public Diplomacy in Strengthening Cooperation within the SCO.” Over 40 scientists and experts from member states, observer states and dialogue partners of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) discussed issues related to the digital economy, regional security and people’s contacts. The participants of the meeting also assessed the prospects for the development of the SCO in various fields.
SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov noted that the coronavirus pandemic became a serious test of the viability and strength of the SCO space that unites almost half of the world’s population. The SCO member states share not only their experience in combating coronavirus, but also provide financial and humanitarian aid to each other, work on developing the vaccine, and share relevant specialists to the most needy SCO countries and regions of the world.
Norov stated that the potential of the SCO will be more and more in demand and will serve as an example of how, in a complex and rapidly changing world, it is possible to establish mutually beneficial cooperation in key areas.
In turn, the Chairperson of the Chinese SCO Committee on Good Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation Cui Li noted the importance of public diplomacy for strengthening mutual understanding and interaction of the member states. First of all, it became obvious in the context of the coronavirus infection spread as member states joined efforts in the face of a new threat.
Forum participants delivered speeches and outlined specific proposals to strengthen public diplomacy and cooperation within the SCO area in the context of the challenges and opportunities that have arisen amid the COVID-19 pandemic.