Press release on the 5th Meeting of the Heads of Science and Technology Ministries and Departments of the SCO Member States

the 5th Meeting of the Heads of Science and Technology Ministries and Departments of the SCO Member States

On 21 November 2019, Moscow, the Russian Federation, was the venue of the 5th Meeting of the Heads of Science and Technology Ministries and Departments of the SCO Member States. Attendees included Secretary/Deputy Minister of Science and Technology of the Republic of India Shekhar Mande, Expert of the International Cooperation Office at the Committee on Science of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan Samantha Kazikhanova, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People's Republic of China to the Russian Federation Zhang Hanhui, Deputy Director of the Department of Science at the Ministry of Science and Education of the Kyrgyz Republic Pazylbek Turkbaev, Federal Minister of Science and Technology of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Fawad Hussain Chaudhry, Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation Mikhail Kotyukov, First Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation Grigory Trubnikov, First Deputy Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Tajikistan Rakhmatullo Mirboboev, and Minister of Innovation Development of the Republic of Uzbekistan Ibrohim Abdurakhmonov.

First Deputy Minister of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation Grigory Trubnikov chaired the Meeting.

Deputy SCO Secretary-General Sherali Saidamir Jonon attended the Meeting.

The heads of the delegations praised the participation of the representatives of the SCO observer states, including the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Republic of Belarus, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Mongolia, as well as representatives from the SCO dialogue partners, including the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey. They expressed confidence that intra-SCO science and technology cooperation would continue to expand.

During the Meeting, the heads of the delegations exchanged information on the science and technology policies of the SCO member states and were satisfied to note the common and mutually compatible nature of the priorities and formats of science and technological development. They agreed to use this important framework for the purposes of further expanding and intensifying scientific and technological cooperation in the SCO region.

The heads of the delegations discussed the fulfilment of an Action Plan for Implementation of the SCO Intergovernmental Agreement on Cooperation in Science and Technology for 2016-2020, as well as the implementation of the Cooperation in Science and New Technology section of the draft list of measures to further expand project activities within the SCO in 2017-2021.

Meeting participants were satisfied to note the successful fulfilment of decisions from the previous meeting and exchanged opinions on the agenda's items.

The heads of the delegations accepted the information on the implementation of the 2019-2020 Plan of Practical Measures (Roadmap) for Cooperation among Research Institutions of the SCO Member States and instructed the Permanent Working Group on Science and Technology Cooperation of the SCO Member States to draft a new plan for 2021-2023 and to submit it, under the established procedure, to the SCO Heads of Government Council Meeting, scheduled for 2020 in the Republic of India, for subsequent approval.

Meeting participants also exchanged views on the development of mechanisms for supporting and coordinating science and technology cooperation between the SCO member states. They focused on collaboration between SCO member states in high-priority areas.

In addition, the heads of the delegations noted the importance of exchanging experts and scientists as part of science and technology cooperation.

The meeting participants unanimously agreed on the need for further steps to make it easier for specialists and research groups to use the scientific infrastructure, including Mega-Science class units, in the SCO member states, with due consideration for each country's national legislation.

The heads of the delegations agreed to hold the 6th Meeting of the Heads of Science and Technology Ministries and Departments of the SCO Member States in 2020 in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

The meeting participants expressed gratitude to the Government of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation for the warm reception and the competent organisation of the 5th Meeting of the Heads of Science and Technology Ministries and Departments of the SCO Member States.

A protocol was signed following the meeting.