On 28 September 2020, the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) organised a videoconference, SCO and Regional Governance: New Ideas and Approaches.
RIAC President Igor Ivanov delivered his opening remarks, followed by greetings from Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of China to the Russian Federation Zhang Hanhui, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to China Andrei Denisov and SCO Secretary General Vladimir Norov. A video address by CASS President Xie Fuzhan was also shown at the opening session.
Those taking part in the event made proposals for the SCO's involvement in regional governance, as well as regarding its role in restoring the regional economy in the post-pandemic period.
SCO Secretary General Vladimir Norov updated the participants on the work carried out in 2020 and about the preparations for the upcoming meeting of the SCO Heads of State Council. He noted that the organisation has achieved significant results in containing the coronavirus infection in the common space, stressing that the SCO will continue to assist all stakeholders in the fight against the pandemic, including procurement of anti-epidemic materials, close cooperation in R&D of medicine and vaccines, and the creation of a "SCO health community."
The SCO countries will continue to work to strengthen international and regional security and trade and economic cooperation, the SCO Secretary General stressed. According to him, a number of steps have been taken to create new points of growth of interaction, and to accelerate scientific and technological transformation — Big Data, AI and 5G networks are being actively promoted.
CASS President Xie Fuzhan noted that almost 20 years into SCO's activities, the organisation continues to boost its regional and international influence, becoming an important driver for promoting global development and maintaining the modern world order.
RIAC President Igor Ivanov also stressed that, amid the current deep crisis of global governance, the SCO has established itself as an effective mechanism for multilateral international cooperation. Particular attention was paid to the adoption of the Action Plan for the Implementation of the SCO Development Strategy Until 2025, a document defining the trajectory of the SCO's development under new conditions.
Speaking about the SCO's development, Russian Ambassador to China Andrei Denisov reaffirmed that cooperation between Moscow and Beijing within the SCO is of a strategic nature; that Chinese-Russian cooperation will acquire a new impetus in the context of the joint fight against the pandemic; and that, together with other member states, Russia and China will continue to promote deeper and constructive cooperation on various tracks of the SCO.
China's Ambassador to Russia Zhang Hanhui noted that, with the assistance to the gradual resumption of business and production in the region, countries should continue to comprehensively contribute to the COVID-19 response effort as well as economic development, in particular, support the development of transport and logistics hubs, as well as advancement of the digital economy.