On 5 April, 2017, SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov visited Nazarbayev University, a major university in Kazakhstan. He spoke to the faculty and students.
Rashid Alimov dedicated his talk to the history and prospects of the organisation with a focus on cooperation within the SCO to ensure regional security, stability, combat terrorism, separatism and extremism, drug trafficking and trans-border organised crime.
The Secretary-General noted Kazakhstan's special contribution to and role in the organisation. "Kazakhstan is a founding SCO country, an active participant in and promoter of multidimensional cooperation and a regular initiator of extraordinary ideas and proposals for the improvement of our association. One valuable contribution to this new type of organisation in the vast Eurasian space belongs to President Nursultan Nazarbayev who has always given his attention to strengthening multidimensional cooperation within the association," Alimov stressed.
The Secretary-General particularly spoke about Kazakhstan's chairmanship in the organisation in 2016-2017. "Kazakhstan's chairmanship has become a significant stage in the SCO's development and in the expansion of diverse cooperation between the member states prior to expansion. Since the beginning of the chairmanship, we have held around 60 meetings of the SCO governing bodies, over ten meetings between the heads of ministries and agencies. Preparation for the summit in Astana is on the home stretch."
Alimov drew the audience's attention to an interesting historical fact. "In July 2005, the Astana Summit resulted in decisions to grant India and Pakistan observer status. There is great symbolism in the fact that 12 years later it will be in Astana that these respected countries — with their rich histories, extraordinary cultures and strong economic potential — will become full members of the SCO. For the first time in history, EXPO 2017 will open a specialised SCO pavilion, which will give visitors in Astana the opportunity to learn more about the SCO's achievements," Rashid Alimov noted.
The meeting took place in a relaxed and open atmosphere. The participants, the faculty and students, could address the Secretary-General with their questions.
During his visit, the SCO Secretary-General reviewed the master plan for Nazarbayev University's development. Vice President for Innovation Kanat Baigarin spoke about student accommodation conditions, academic results and the specifics of the studies at the university.
The Nazarbayev University was founded at the initiative of President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev. The institution aims to become the first international-level research university in Kazakhstan. Its activity is closely tied to the country's main priorities, including the intensive growth in research potential, industrial and innovation development, transition to education that meets the requirements of a changing and globally integrated economy.