On 21 February 2017, SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov sent a message of condolences to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the death of Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin.
The following is the full text of the SCO Secretary-General's message of condolences:
"To: His Excellency Sergei Lavrov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
Dear Mr Lavrov,
We are deeply saddened by the news about the premature death of Vitaly Churkin, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations. His death is a great and irreplaceable loss for the Russian and international diplomacy.
Mr Churkin was a wonderful person, an outstanding diplomat and a prominent statesman who devoted his whole life to protecting and promoting Russia's interests on the international stage. His life and work are a vivid example of selfless service to the nation.
We will always remember Mr Churkin with great warmth, including our meetings and conversations at the UN headquarters in New York and his close attention to strengthening partner relations between the UN and the SCO in the interests of global peace and stability.
I extend my deepest condolences and sympathy to Mr Churkin's family and the people of Russia on behalf of the Secretariat of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and from me personally.
Our heartfelt condolences,
SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov"