The 2019 SCO Day celebrations held in the Golden Hall of Hotel Beijing in Beijing, China, on 21 June 2019 included the Eight Wonders Exhibition Tour. The event was organised by the SCO Secretariat with the assistance of the Culture and Tourism Development Company at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Over 600 representatives of political, public and business communities as well as the diplomatic corps attended the celebrations.
The list of high guests included Deputy Chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China Shen Yueyue, Deputy Foreign Minister of China Zhang Hanhui, Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism of China Zhang Xu, President of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries Li Xiaolin, Vice-President of the All-China Women's Federation Xia Jie, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Cities Federation Song Yu, ambassadors extraordinary and plenipotentiary from the SCO member states, observer countries and dialogue partners, as well as from EU and other countries.
SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov pointed out during his remarks that the decision to establish the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation taken 18 years ago was a major strategic choice aimed at promoting peace and stability. Since then, the SCO has become a respected international and regional organisation working to strengthen fruitful and mutually beneficial cooperation in many spheres.
Vladimir Norov mentioned the success of the SCO Heads of State Council Meeting held in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz Republic on 13 and 14 June, where the SCO leaders discussed key topics concerning international and regional affairs and adopted over 20 decisions designed to build up multifaceted cooperation in security, the economy, culture and humanitarian matters.
The SCO Secretary-General also introduced the Eight Wonders of the SCO which he noted is a project presenting the unique world of eight SCO countries and centuries-long relations between them, plus he said it offers an insight into their great cultures.
Deputy Chairperson of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of China Shen Yueyue spoke about promoting the Shanghai Spirit following the Bishkek Summit, as well as about strengthening the SCO countries' unity, cooperation, openness and tolerance. Shen Yueyue also proposed aligning the member countries' national strategies and China's Belt and Road Initiative. "The SCO should play a greater role in regional security and development to the benefit of our nations, make a positive contribution to the establishment of a new type of international relations and promote a shared future for mankind," Shen Yueyue noted.
Secretary-General of the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) Song Yu said in his speech that the SCO member states with their rich history and culture and their huge tourism market were a fine example of the diversity of the global civilisation and a pillar of the WTCF development. Mr Song Yu added that the Eight Wonders Exhibition Tour has barely dipped into the huge tourism potential of the SCO countries. The WTCF hopes to strengthen cooperation with the SCO countries located in the Belt and Road tourism corridor, including its key cities, in order to create world class tourism destinations and popular tourist routes there, the WTCF Secretary-General said.
Before the celebrations, SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov took the high guests around the Eight Wonders Exhibition Tour, which consists of photographs, video and print material on the landmarks, nature, customs, traditional costumes, arts and national cuisines of the SCO member states. The tour was complemented with an exhibition of handicrafts and national cuisines provided by the SCO countries' diplomatic missions.
The Eight Wonders of the SCO project consists of a series of themed presentations held at the initiative of the SCO Secretariat to promote the tourist attractions, tourism related cultural objects and the specific tourism culture of the eight SCO countries.
The project created by the SCO Secretariat has been supported by the member states and is intended to create a common tourism space in keeping with the decisions taken at the SCO Qingdao Summit.
Such presentations will be held in all SCO member states and beyond.
The Eight Wonders of the SCO are:
India — The Statue of Unity
Kazakhstan — The Archaeological Landscape of Tamgaly
China — The Daming imperial palace complex
Kyrgyzstan — Lake Issyk-Kul
Pakistan — The Great Mughals' heritage at Lahore
Russia — The Golden Ring cities
Tajikistan — The Palace of Nowruz
Uzbekistan — the Poi Kalon Islamic religious complex located at the foot of the Kalan minaret in the historical part of Bukhara