On 30 July 2020, SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov gave an interview to Mass Media of Pakistan, Renmin Ribao and TASS on the occasion of International Friendship Day.
Vladimir Norov pointed out that International Friendship Day is aimed at strengthening friendly ties between individuals, nations, countries, continents and various communities and at helping people throughout the world to unite against social and other problems and to learn to be tolerant of each other. This is why this day is so important for the SCO Family countries.
The SCO Secretary-General noted the importance of the SCO member states' resolve to build up their joint efforts to prevent common threats and challenges and to preserve their economic, social and cultural diversity. "The Shanghai Spirit, which developed during the establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and is noted for mutual trust and benefit, equality, consultation, respect for cultural diversity and a striving for joint development, has become the main component of the SCO model of multilateral interaction. Over the past 19 years, the SCO member states, acting in accordance with the Shanghai Spirit, have created a new model of real partnership, the main elements of which are mutual understanding, equality and coordination," Vladimir Norov stated.
He also mentioned the importance of regular dialogue and awareness of the processes underway in different countries, the promotion of internal inter-ethnic and inter-faith peace, as well as the strengthening of the centuries-old traditions of harmonious coexistence of different nations and religions. In this context, the SCO Secretary-General mentioned the events of the SCO — Our Common Home project aimed at promoting humanitarian and cultural cooperation within the Organisation.
Vladimir Norov also spoke about the importance of involving young people in the efforts to strengthen friendship among nations. He added that working with young people and in their interests was one of the SCO's priorities.
"The SCO believes that the younger generation has a huge potential for expertise in modern knowledge, science and technology, literature and the arts, that young people have broad legal culture and strong immunity against extremism and fanaticism and have peace and development as their goals. We support the goodwill and activities of the SCOLAR Network youth platform at the SCO Secretariat. We would like to witness the rise of new 21st century leaders, because we believe that our young people are a force driving the strengthening of friendship in the SCO space," the SCO Secretary-General emphasised.
In the closing part of the interview, Vladimir Norov spoke about the cooperation among the SCO member states amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He expressed appreciation for the prompt and worthwhile response of the SCO Family countries to this challenge, as well as for the measures taken by their authorities to combat the disease. He also mentioned the importance of overcoming political confrontation and protectionism, and of resisting the politicisation of the coronavirus pandemic aimed at dividing humankind, and called for a strengthening of global solidarity and international cooperation in this context.
The full text of the interview is available on the websites of