On 2 March SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov on the sidelines of the 63rd session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna.
Vladimir Norov thanked the head of the Russian delegation for the assistance in organising a joint event of the SCO and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime dedicated to combatting the drugs threat in the hidden web. He commended the Russian Federation's contribution to the struggle against challenges and threats to security in the region, including in fighting international terrorism, illegal drugs trafficking and organised transborder crime.
The Secretary-General noted the importance of strengthening interaction between the relevant competent authorities with a view to promoting consolidation of efforts of the SCO member-states in implementing the SCO Anti-Drug Strategy for 2018-2023. In this context he expressed his gratitude to Russia for its initiative in preparing International Anti-Drug Operation Spider Web scheduled for the end of March in Moscow.
Oleg Syromolotov pointed out that joint operations by the SCO and UNODC have become a good and useful tradition that draws attention to the key aspects of the global drugs problem. He underscored the pivotal role of the SCO, whose members are direct neighbours of Afghanistan, in stopping illegal drugs traffic from that country.
Deputy Foreign Minister emphasised that the SCO is now an influential multilateral association whose cooperation is sought by more and more countries. He stated the significance of improving its legal framework in security issues as well as coordination of the positions of its member states at various international platforms.
During the meeting they also discussed expanding the SCO's cooperation with international and regional organisations, specifically the UN, ASEAN, the CSTO, the CIS and the OSCE.