On 4 May 2018, the 13th meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Forum began in Astana. The event was organised by the Foreign Ministry of Kazakhstan and the Institute of World Economics and Politics (IWEP) under the Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
In her welcoming speech to forum delegates, Deputy Secretary-General Aizada Subakozhoyeva noted that during a relatively short historical period the SCO had managed to demonstrate an effective multilateral cooperation model. India and Pakistan's participation strengthened the organisation's potential, and the fact that many countries aspire to join it as well reflects its growing reputation in the world.
"The SCO is developing, and its cumulative potential is also growing, while the world around us, as well as the challenges and threats, are changing. The current difficult international situation, growing geopolitical tensions and instability and unpredictable factors, as well as the complex character of the threats and challenges, predetermine our need to build up joint actions to create a more just and polycentric world order model.
"The role regional organisations, in particular the SCO, play in this process is growing significantly, under the UN's priority role in preserving peace and security," Aizada Subakozhoyeva said.
Ms Subakozhoyeva praised the role and importance of the SCO Forum that has proven to be an effective platform to discuss current issues related to SCO activities.
The SCO Forum is being attended by 120 delegates and experts, including delegations from 21 national research centres in the SCO member states, and research centres in SCO observer states and dialogue partners, and the Executive Committee of the SCO's Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS).
Participants in the Forum's five plenary sessions will discuss the SCO's role and significance in the new geopolitical context as well as the organisation's continuing development.
Participants will hear 26 reports on promoting cooperation in security as well in trade, the economy, investment, transport and tourism within the framework of the SCO.
The Forum will continue on 5 May 2018.
Following the event, the participants will sign the SCO Forum Protocol.
The China Institute of International Studies, due to host the next Forum meeting in 2019, is now presiding over the SCO Forum.
Established in 2006, the SCO Forum is a permanent, consultative-expert and research-and-development mechanism established to provide academic support for SCO activities, and it is also called the second track.
Forum meetings are held once a year, and meeting venues are determined alphabetically by the Russian names of the SCO member states.