On 2 November 2019, the Memorandum of Understanding between the SCO Secretariat and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (UN FAO) was signed at the meeting of the SCO Heads of Government Council in Tashkent.
The memorandum was signed by SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov in line with instructions of the Heads of Government Council. On behalf of FAO, the document was signed by Vladimir Rakhmanin, FAO Assistant Director-General — Director of the FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia.
Following the signing, the officials held talks and discussed ways to further implement this document.
According to the memorandum, both organisations agreed to promote the UN Sustainable Development Goals and implement the SCO Food Security Cooperation Programme as well as cooperate in such fields as ensuring food security, developing viable food systems, sustainable development of agricultural districts, scientific research on food markets, establishment of digital agriculture, attraction of investment to agriculture and sanitary and epidemiologic welfare of the population, among others.
Mr Norov noted that the formalisation of relations with the FAO was an important step towards the further expansion of the activities related to food security and cooperation in agriculture, which were vital for the SCO region where almost half of the world population lived.
Mr Rakhmanin highly praised the SCO's role in ensuring regional stability and security. He said that the FAO implemented various programmes on food security and sustainable agriculture among other projects in SCO member states, and that the memorandum would make it possible to encourage the FAO.