Statement by the Foreign Minister of Pakistan at the SCO Council of Heads of Government (CHG) 1st November 2022, Beijing

His Excellency Mr. Li Keqiang,

Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, Honorable Heads of Governments of SCO Member and Observer States,

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Good afternoon!

It gives immense pleasure to address this august gathering at an important time in our region and beyond.

I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate the People’s Republic of China on the able stewardship of the Council of Heads of Government of SCO in 2021-22. Under the Chinese chairmanship, we have made enormous progress. The joint communique of our meeting is reflective of this progress. There is now a need to work together to transform the pronouncements made in this communique into reality. As always, Pakistan stands ready to do its part to advance the objectives of the SCO.

I also take this opportunity to extend our best wishes to the next Chair of Council of Heads of Government, H.E. Akylbek Japarov, the Honorable Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic. I am confident that under his wise leadership our organization will move from strength to strength. We wish him well and stand ready to assist in every possible manner.


I fully share the positive assessment made on the growing importance and role of the SCO in shaping global discourse. Since its inception in 2001, the SCO has made steady strides in strengthening regional economies, building mutual trust, and maintaining regional peace and security. It has become one of the largest regional organizations of the world that is home to almost half of humanity, accounts for almost one quarter of global GDP, and is endowed with rich natural resources as well as technological and intellectual potential.

As we meet today, our region and the world are encountering multiple challenges, including terrorism, climate change and economic inflationary pressures. Simultaneously, however, SCO’s contribution to enhance regional peace and security as well as trade and connectivity continue to grow in substance and depth. As a trans-regional organization, the SCO exists as a beacon of multilateralism and mutually beneficial cooperation for stability and multi-sectoral progress of the region. It offers the perfect platform anchored in regional connectivity for expanding trade and investment exchanges, beneficial business projects in different industries and to facilitate trade in national currencies.

Pakistan’s membership of SCO highlights our abiding interest in promoting regional peace, stability and socio-economic development. It is our desire to further strengthen multi-dimensional ties with the regional partners. I reiterate Pakistan’s unflinching commitment and support to the goals and principles of the SCO Charter and the “Shanghai Spirit,” which signify greater cooperation and connectivity.

Ladies and Gentlemen;

As part of the Program of Multilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation of the Member States of the SCO, Pakistan is committed to promote trade with SCO partners and has taken several measures in this direction. As a consequence of our efforts, the trade volume of Pakistan with SCO region has increased by $24.5 billion during FY 2021-22 from $18.6 billion during FY 2020-21. We are confident that the adoption of the “Framework Agreement for Cooperation in the field of Trade in Services between SCO Member States” will further enhance business cooperation between member states.

The SCO offers a perfect platform for forging closer ties and synergy among regional partners as well as with other regions through the emerging confluence between the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the flagship project of the BRI, supplements SCO’s vision of shared prosperity through regional connectivity and integration. We must not see these projects through a narrow political prism but sincerely support their implementation for the achievement of sustainable and mutually beneficial development in the region.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen;

We believe that the progress of the SCO region is critical to the prosperity of our people. But the goal of economic prosperity in its true sense cannot be achieved without eradicating poverty. The heightened military tensions across the globe and the unprecedented hike in energy and food prices, coupled with economic recession in the aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic, have taken a heavy toll on our citizens.

Despite its economic challenges, Pakistan has successfully launched several initiatives to alleviate poverty, including our landmark Benazir Income Support Program. We are confident that the establishment and operationalization of the Special Working Group on Poverty Alleviation. Under the umbrella of SCO, an initiative of Pakistan, will provide an impetus to our collective endeavors to eliminate poverty and improve the living standards of our common people. We will host the first meeting of the “Special Working Group on Poverty Alleviation” in December 2022.

We are also supportive of similar projects by other member states that aim to help our youth and women to actively engage and utilize their potential in the economic development of their countries as well as the broader SCO region. Continuous interaction and engagement among member states will lead us to our goal of creating a peaceful, secure and prosperous SCO region.


Climate change is one of the defining issues of our time. As recent events have shown, Pakistan is ground zero of the climate crisis. The recent climate-induced floods in Pakistan have caused unprecedented damage, destruction and loss of lives. According to the initial estimates, the damage to Pakistan’s economy is over $40 billion.

As we try to rebuild the lives and livelihoods of the millions affected by this catastrophe, we are concerned at the possible emergence of serious food and health crises in the months to come. Our export crops are almost all wiped out, and we would need to import food after this flood. The situation will get worse with the onset of winters. We are grateful to our friends in SCO for expressing solidarity and extending support to the flood victims. This reflects the true spirit of the organization.

However, Pakistan in not alone in this crisis. The devastating impact of climate change is being experienced worldwide. Hence, it is encouraging to see that SCO is attaching greater importance to this critical issue. Indeed, we need more cooperation than ever before to tackle this challenge, which threatens humanity’s survival.

The joint communique of this meeting rightly calls for deepening cooperation in the areas of combating climate change and environmental protection. It is also a timely reminder to the developed countries to fulfill their commitments on climate finance including the mobilization of $100 billion per year to help developing countries take measures to combat climate change in the context of sustainable development. I am confident that friends and partners in the SCO can take the lead on the issue of climate action and serve as an example for other countries to follow.


We are pleased that our SCO partners believe in promoting links and connections in the private sector. Private sector drives the engine of an economy. The SCO Business Council and SCO Interbank Association can facilitate the growth of economic and commercial sectors of SCO member states, besides enhancing interaction among entrepreneurs and people-to-people linkages. Similarly, it is time for member states to seriously consider and create mechanisms for alternative development funding, which can help expedite and facilitate the operationalization of many development projects.

On the other hand, we have built a strong foundation for SCO’s development cooperation matrix. However, we must now focus on their implementation. We, therefore, look forward to the SCO Secretariat’s proposal for effective monitoring and follow-up of this matrix, which can track progress across various socio- economic sectors in an efficient manner.


SCO member states share a common goal of fighting terrorism and extremism in order to ensure peace and stability in the region, a pre-requisite for economic development. Terrorism must be addressed in all its forms and manifestations, including that of state terrorism. Peaceful resolution of disputes in line with the United Nations Security Council Resolutions is imperative to fostering a peaceful regional environment.

To achieve lasting peace and security in the region, stability in Afghanistan is of critical importance. The prosperity and well-being of the people of Afghan remains the key objective of Pakistan’s policy towards Afghanistan. Currently, Afghanistan faces a humanitarian and economic crisis. Sustained and practical engagement of the international community is vital to improve the situation in Afghanistan in this regard. Pakistan supports an inclusive, peaceful and stable Afghanistan, where all its citizens, including women, girls, and minorities, enjoy their fundamental rights and freedoms.


Provision of adequate financial resources is essential to further strengthening and reinforcing the SCO Secretariat and SCO-RATS. One of the important functions of the Council of Heads of Government is to approve the budget of the SCO for the cycle beginning in 2023. Pakistan fully supports the budget proposed for 2023.

I conclude by reaffirming Pakistan’s unwavering support and commitment to advance SCO’s goals and objectives in order to address our shared challenges, and to realize our dreams of peace, prosperity, stability and connectivity of the SCO region.

I thank you.