A delegation of the SCO Secretariat accepted the invitation of the SCO Centre for Public Diplomacy to attend a briefing held in Uzbekistan on 29 January 2019 to mark the opening of the facility.
Remarks at the briefing were delivered by members of the Oliy Majlis (upper house or Senate) and the Legislative Chamber (lower house) of the Uzbekistani parliament, representatives from the diplomatic corps, international organisations accredited in Uzbekistan and civil society institutions.
SCO Deputy Secretary-General Nurlan Akkoshkarov delivered opening remarks on behalf of SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov.
Senator and Head of the Public Diplomacy Centre Rakhmatulla Nazarov said that the centre would be working towards several goals, such as stronger mutual trust and neighbourliness, a broader inter-ethnic and inter-civilisational dialogue as well as cultural and humanitarian ties with the SCO countries. The centre will also create conditions for friendly interaction between the SCO countries' civil society institutions (in particular, youth and women's organisations), promote information cooperation between the SCO countries, including by creating information resources and encouraging interaction with media outlets, as well as use public diplomacy instruments to bring the SCO nations closer together and strengthen the Shanghai spirit.
A presentation of the Public Diplomacy Centre was held as part of the briefing to inform the audience about the centre's goals, spheres of activity and planned events.
Under the roadmap on the centre's operations in 2019, it will hold over 30 events to develop and strengthen interaction with the governmental and non-governmental organisations of the SCO member states, observer countries and dialogue partners. The centre will also organise joint events, festivals, fairs, folk and handicraft exhibitions plus promote interaction to preserve the cultural heritage of the Silk Road.
Members of the SCO Secretariat are also attending a regular meeting of the SCO Special Working Group on Fiscal and Budgetary Affairs and the Expert Group on Personnel Matters, which is underway at the Executive Committee of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure in Tashkent between 29 and 31 January.