On 18 August 2020, the SCO Secretariat hosted a meeting between SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal to the People's Republic of China Mahendra Bahadur Pandey.
The Secretary-General congratulated the Ambassador on taking office and wished him success in his new post.
The officials exchanged views on the situation with COVID-19, as well as on the possibilities for further expanding cooperation between the SCO and Nepal, which has dialogue partner status in the Organisation (the corresponding memorandum was signed on 22 March 2016).
The Secretary-General stressed that both sides have enormous potential for cooperation in trade, investment, transit, logistics, energy, agriculture, security, communications, mass media, science, technology, education, healthcare, culture, tourism, disaster relief and other fields. He proposed that the Nepalese side take an active part in SCO youth events, for example, Model SCO, as well as in the work of analytical centres, which would raise awareness in the country about the activities of the Organisation.
Mr Norov also recalled the roadmap for the development of interaction between the SCO Secretariat and the observer states and dialogue partners, and noted that this document provides good opportunities for their participation in SCO ministerial and expert meetings in order to further deepen trade and economic cooperation.
Ambassador Pandey stressed that Nepal wants peace and prosperity for its people. An organisation like the SCO can effectively contribute to achieving this goal. He reaffirmed his country's desire to play a more active role in the Organisation as a potential observer. He also mentioned Nepal's deep cultural ties with the SCO member states and invited the Secretary-General to visit Kathmandu.
The Ambassador proposed considering the possibility of establishing cooperation between the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), which comprises eight states (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka), five of which are members of the SCO family.