On 18 December 2018, a gala reception was held in Beijing to mark the upcoming end of the three-year term of Rashid Alimov as SCO Secretary-General.
The event was attended by ambassadors and high-ranking diplomats from the SCO family, the EU, ASEAN and the UN and other diplomats accredited in Beijing, delegates from Chinese cities and provinces, research, educational establishments, public, cultural, sports and youth organisations, as well as Chinese and foreign journalists.
"Over the past three years, the energy of the Shanghai Spirit has gathered momentum, and the SCO has strengthened its potential as an international organisation of a new type," SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov told the audience. "There is growing appreciation of the SCO's active contribution to the rise of a multipolar world. It is very difficult to imagine the creation of an effective global and regional security and cooperation architecture without the SCO's contribution."
The main thing is that millions of people around the world understand and support the SCO's goals. "It was a great honour, a special privilege and a huge responsibility for me in these three years to take part in the implementation of large-scale SCO development plans that have been mapped out by our heads of state. In this work I have always relied on my colleagues from the SCO Secretariat and on the support I received from hundreds and thousands of people from the close-knit SCO family and beyond its area," the SCO Secretary-General said when expressing his deep gratitude to everyone concerned.
Vice Foreign Minister of China Le Yucheng pointed out: "The SCO Secretariat has attained notable results over the past three years, working efficiently to implement all the agreements of the member states and to deepen practical cooperation within the SCO. The SCO Secretariat actively involved the observer countries and dialogue partners in cooperation, expanded and strengthened the SCO's interaction with the UN and other international and regional organisations, and organised important large-scale cultural and humanitarian events. This has greatly strengthened the SCO's international prestige and influence, the social basis of friendship among the SCO family members and the general understanding of the concept and principles of the Shanghai Spirit among the public."
"China highly appreciates Rashid Alimov's great contribution to our common cause," Le Yucheng said, adding that during his three-year term the SCO Secretary-General advanced a number of initiatives that have greatly strengthened the SCO's integrity. "While actively promoting international ties, Mr Alimov has also strengthened the SCO's relations with other international and regional organisations. He worked energetically to uphold the SCO's positions and did his best to make the powerful voice of our organisation heard around the world," the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister noted.
The Beijing Golden Sail Youth Orchestra gave a concert at the gala reception, performing works by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Mozart and other classical composers.
The audience applauded each of the three short films about the SCO. The programme also included a photography exhibition about the SCO's achievements in the past three years.
Each guest received a memorable gift — a richly illustrated book of Rashid Alimov's literary works in Chinese.
Rashid Alimov's term in office expires on 31 December 2018.