On 1 September 2019, SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov had a meeting at the SCO Secretariat with President of the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy, former Defence Minister of Austria Werner Fasslabend, and Secretary General of Chinese People's Association for Peace and Disarmament An Yuejun.
The meeting was devoted to the prospects of stepping up academic ties between think tanks in the SCO, EU and OSCE countries on peace and security matters.
During the conversation, the SCO Secretary-General offered his guests a detailed review of the organisation's efforts to counter terrorism, extremism, and drug and arms trafficking. He stressed the importance of SCO's Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) in terms of regional security, placing a special emphasis on the complementary nature of the SCO and EU programmes to this effect, including in the context of countering challenges and threats coming from the territory of Afghanistan.
Werner Fasslabend noted the importance of cooperation between SCO and EU countries in terms of sharing best practices in ensuring inter-faith stability and preventing religious radicalism. He said that cooperation on research-related and practical matters had great potential, including holding joint conferences and workshops on issues of mutual interest.
An Yuejun praised the SCO's efforts to enhance regional stability, and stressed that the organisation could make a meaningful contribution to settling the internal conflict in Afghanistan. He went on to say that expert communities in Mongolia and other observer states were highly interested in the SCO's activities.
The meeting was held in a business-like and constructive atmosphere.