On 13 February 2017, Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Rashid Alimov visited the International Relations Institute of the Foreign Ministry of Turkmenistan where he delivered a lecture to an audience of professors, teachers, and students of the Institute.
In the lecture, Mr Alimov offered an in-depth analysis of the multilateral cooperation of the SCO member states in the past 15 years, highlighted the organisation's achievements and innovations in politics and security, and also discussed in detail the development of economic cooperation and the deepening of trade ties between its members.
"By proclaiming the SCO principle of multi-format interaction, its founding document, the Charter, in effect defines the SCO's four driving forces: cooperation in politics and security, the economy, cultural and humanitarian cooperation, and, most importantly, the steadfast commitment of all the SCO founding nations to joint development as the summary indicator of all other components and the main target for synergy and the comprehensive implementation [of each component]," said Mr Alimov.
The Secretary-General paid particular attention to trade and economic cooperation within the SCO, with an emphasis on transport ties. He said Turkmenistan was an important transit nation linking Central Asia with the Caspian and Black Sea regions. On the initiative of Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Turkmenistan has repeatedly hosted major international events in recent years, including transport events. The High-Level International Conference on the Role of Transport and Transit held in Ashgabat on 26-27 November 2016 made a significant contribution to the international community's efforts to develop targets for the development of sustainable transport, and to join efforts to promote and develop transport ties."
Turkmenistan's initiatives are in synch with SCO efforts to implement the Agreement between the Governments of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Member States on Creating Favourable Conditions for International Road Transport, which came into effect on 20 January 2017. "In essence, the Agreement is the SCO's practical contribution to the development and implementation of the idea to build a modern Silk Road," said Mr Alimov. "The document provides for automobile transit all along the way from the Pacific Ocean (Lianyungang, China) to the Atlantic (St Petersburg, Russia) with unified procedures, and opens a new phase of mutually advantageous trade and economic cooperation between the SCO member states. The major routes of both the original and present-day Silk Road run straight the SCO: Kazakhstan and Russia in the north, Central Asia in the central part, and India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey in the south. All these nations have some status in the SCO and are interested in the stability and prosperity of the region," Mr Alimov said.
The meeting with the SCO Secretary-General aroused considerable interest among students and professors of Turkmenistan's main diplomatic institute. The lecture was attended by over 200 people, who asked the Secretary-General numerous questions.
The International Relations Institute of the Foreign Ministry of Turkmenistan was founded on 20 March 2008 by the executive order of the President of Turkmenistan.
The Institute is a leading educational institution in Turkmenistan for training highly qualified staff in the following areas: international relations and diplomacy, international law, international economic relations and international journalism.