SCO Secretary General Vladimir Norov wished all the best to UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay on the occasion of World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development marked on 21 May.
He noted that the UN General Assembly Resolution 57/249 on Culture and Development of 20 February 2003 emphasised UNESCO's high authority and important role as a key institution in the UN system aimed to establish peace and addressing education, science and culture issues at the global level, in the spirit of constructive international cooperation.
The SCO Secretary-General underscored that, without dialogue, there can be neither development, nor culture; without a diversity of opinion, no agreement can be reached. A lasting peace must be built on the basis of mutual understanding, and intellectual and moral solidarity of all mankind. UNESCO programmes and projects contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals until 2030 adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015, Vladimir Norov added.
According to the SCO Secretary-General, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation attaches particular importance to relations with the United Nations, its Secretariat and specialised agencies. The Memorandum of Understanding between the SCO and UNESCO concerning important fields such as education, science and culture, signed 10 June 2018, is being effectively implemented. Vladimir Norov said he was confidence that a strong partnership between the two associations will expand and strengthen every year, extending to more spheres.
He believes that all countries included in the "SCO family" possess a wealth of invaluable cultural and historical heritage, ideals and views. As many as 143 sites in the SCO member states are on the UNESCO World Heritage list and are therefore the legacy of all mankind.
The SCO was awarded observer status at the UN following UN General Assembly resolution 59/48 of 2 December 2004. The resolution On Cooperation between the UN and the SCO, adopted at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly on 30 August 2019 gave an additional impetus to our relations. 5 April 2020 marked 10 years since the signing of the joint Declaration on Cooperation between the UN and SCO Secretariats.