On 6 March, SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov met with Paris Pact Coordinator Marie-Anne Menier at the headquarters of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna.
During the meeting, the parties discussed some aspects of further cooperation between the SCO Secretariat and the UNODC in line of the Paris Pact mechanism.
Vladimir Norov noted close ties between their organisations based on their shared goals and objectives of stopping the illicit drug trafficking from Afghanistan. He reminded that the result of such close cooperation was two Paris Pact expert meetings held with the support of the SCO in 2018-2019. In addition, he informed Marie-Anne Menier on the development of dialogue between the SCO and other major regional organisations, including ASEAN, the CSTO, the CIS and the OSCE.
Marie-Anne Menier pointed out that the SCO is the largest partner organisation of the Paris Pact and their cooperation stems from the shared objectives of the expert working groups in the member states and those stated in the Vienna Declaration of 2012. She also spoke about preparations for the next meeting of the Paris Pact political consultative group on 29-30 June 2020, which will consider Afghanistan's alternative economic development and synergy of the efforts made by specialised regional and international organisations.
The meeting was held in a businesslike and constructive atmosphere. The parties agreed to continue working contacts.
The Paris Pact Initiative is a leading international programme on combatting trafficking in Afghan opiates. It appeared on the basis of the Paris Statement signed in May 2003 at the Ministerial Conference on Drug Routes from Central Asia to Europe. Currently, the Paris Pact partners include 58 countries and 23 organisations, including the SCO. Paris Pact expert meetings on transborder cooperation and on preventing chemical precursors diversion were held in Beijing on 13-15 November 2018, and in Shanghai on 26-28 November 2019, respectively.