On 10 April 2019, SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov met with Doctor Marielza Oliveira, director of UNESCO Cluster Office in China, at the SCO Secretariat in Beijing.
Mr Norov noted that 135 out of 1,092 cultural heritage sites, or 12.4 percent, are located in the SCO member states. The organisation believes it is very important to protect and popularise cultural heritage and to work towards acquainting SCO countries' citizens with the unique natural, historical and cultural landmarks of SCO countries, including those on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites.
The Secretary-General noted that the SCO commended UNESCO's significant contribution to international cooperation in education, culture and science. He added that the SCO was interested in promoting relations with UNESCO based on the Memorandum of Understanding signed during the SCO Summit in Qingdao last June and suggested focusing on the work with youth and the development of a Plan of Joint Events.
Ms Oliveira noted that the SCO region was the cradle of ancient civilisations with a rich history and cultural heritage. She stressed that the SCO space was an important and priority area for UNESCO. She welcomed the SCO Secretariat's interest in promoting its relations with UNESCO and expressed readiness to support this.
The officials discussed the prospects for strengthening cooperation between the two organisations, including through the holding of joint events.
Mr Norov briefed Ms Oliveira on the SCO Secretariat's plans and main areas of work for the near future, including at platforms of international organisations.
The meeting took place in a friendly atmosphere.