On 20-21 November, Kyrgyzstan chaired an expert meeting to coordinate the Charter of the Forum of the SCO Heads of Regions. The meeting was held at the SCO Secretariat in Beijing.
The meeting participants noted the increasing number of contacts between regions in the SCO member states, the higher potential for developing inter-regional cooperation within the SCO, and an invigoration in the search for new forms and areas of interaction.
The draft document provides for the holding of annual meetings of the heads of the regions (oblasts, provinces and states) from the SCO member states. The forum will focus on trade, the economy, culture, and the humanitarian sphere.
The experts also exchanged views on the draft Programme for the Development of Inter-Regional Cooperation between the SCO member states, which is aimed at implementing a coordinated set of measures to support and strengthen ties in this area.
On 9 June 2017, the delegation heads, signatories of the Astana Declaration of the Heads of the SCO Member States welcomed the establishment of the Forum of the Heads of the SCO Regions.
On 12 October 2018, the Council of the Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) of the SCO Member States approved, in Dushanbe, a decision On Drafting a Programme for the Development of Inter-Regional Cooperation between the Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
In December 2018, Chelyabinsk is scheduled to host a meeting of the heads of regions.