On 10 September 2020, the culture ministers of the SCO member states held their 17th meeting via videoconference. The event was attended by Minister of Culture and Tourism of the People's Republic of China Hu Heping, Minister of State for Culture of the Republic of India Shri Prahlad Singh Patel, Vice Minister of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nurkisa Daueshov, Minister of Culture, Information and Tourism of the Kyrgyz Republic Azamat Zhamankulov, Secretary of the National Heritage and Culture Division of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Nausheen Javaid Amjad, Deputy Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation Nikolai Ovsiyenko, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Tajikistan Zulfiya Davlat Davlatzoda, Minister of Culture of the Republic of Uzbekistan Ozodbek Nazarbekov and SCO Deputy Secretary-General Sherali Saidamir Jonon.
The meeting was chaired by the Russian Ministry of Culture.
The event was held in a friendly atmosphere of mutual understanding and trust. The participants discussed the development of cooperation in culture and arts in the preceding period, exchanged views on the implementation of the agreements reached at previous SCO culture ministers' meetings and discussed measures taken in their countries to support cultural facilities during the coronavirus pandemic.
They pointed out the role of culture and its positive influence on the people amid the pandemic.
The officials reaffirmed their countries' interest in implementing joint online film, theatre, library and museum projects aimed at strengthening understanding between people, preserving their cultural diversity and promoting information about culture, customs and traditions of the SCO member states.
The ministers welcomed the idea of holding the Year of SCO Culture in 2021 as part of celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and proof of mutual commitment to the further development of cultural ties in the SCO space.
The sides agreed that it is necessary to promote the practice of joint projects in the sphere of culture and called for cultivating both bilateral and multilateral ties with the SCO observer states and dialogue partners in the fields of culture and arts.
The sides will continue working to execute the Action Plan for the Implementation of the SCO Intergovernmental Agreement on Cultural Cooperation in 2018-2020.
The sides agreed to hold the next meeting of the SCO Ministers of Culture in 2021. The place and date of the meeting will be coordinated by the member states' diplomatic offices via the SCO Secretariat.
The ministers firmly believe that the further comprehensive development of ties in the field of culture will help to promote mutual understanding, friendship, good neighbourliness and mutually beneficial cooperation of the SCO member states despite the problems created by the deteriorating epidemiological situation.