On 9 February 2021 SCO General-Secretary Vladimir Norov had a working meeting via videoconference with Miroslav Jenča, Assistant Secretary-General for Europe, Central Asia and Americas in the United Nations Department of Political Affairs, and Natalia Gherman, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Central Asia and Head of the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), at the UN's initiative.
The parties shared opinions on SCO activities in 2020 and their plans for the current year as well as prospects for further versatile interaction between the SCO and UN structures including in the context of joint actions in Central Asia and the facilitation of Afghanistan recovery.
Vladimir Norov briefed his counterparts on the outcomes of the Novemebr 2020 meetings of the SCO Council of Heads of State and Council of Heads of Government, and on the decisions taken there to work out common approaches and improve multilateral cooperation in security and the economy, as well as cultural and humanitarian ties.
The parties noted that, in the complicated epidemiological situation, the SCO reaffirmed its significant potential as an effective platform for pooling efforts on overcoming the political, social and economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The SCO member states confirmed their commitment to strengthen the organisation as one of the pillars of the emerging, more representative and fair world order based on the primacy of international law, primarily the UN Charter, respect for the civilisational diversity, nations having the inpedendent choice to pursue their own political and socioeconomic paths, equal partnership of states in the interests of ensuring equal, shared, indivisible, comprehensive and sustainable security as well as consistent growth and prosperity in the SCO space, and to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to this effect.
The parties expressed readiness to contribute to the enhancement of the UN as the universal multilateral organisation that must play, according to its Charter, the central and coordinating role in maintaining international peace and security and protecting human rights.
Priorities of Tajikistan's 2021 SCO chairmanship were discussed including the drafting and implementation of new measures for the post-pandemic recovery of national economies.
The parties also noted their ongoing efforts in preparing for and holding the Year of SCO Culture and the upcoming celebrations of the organisation's 20th anniversary.
Miroslav Jenča stressed that the UN Secretary-General's report on cooperation between the UN and regional and other organisatons, which was released in Septemebr 2020, gives a high praise to the cooperation between the UN and the SCO in ensuring peace, security and sustainable development, and the respective high-level meetings held to this end.
In this connection, underlined was the importance of maintaining the current state of cooperation between the SCO executive bodies and the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Office and Office on Drugs and Crime, among other things, by holding joint thematic events.
Mutual commitment was expressed to promote a dialogue on digitisation, e-commerce, healthcare, youth policy and solving the climate change problem.
The UN assistant secretary-general praised the recent progress of the SCO countries, including China and Russia, in designing a COVID-19 vaccine in view of the improving efforts on implementing the COVAX international mechanism.
Natalia Gherman gave special attention to the prospects for SCO's interaction with UNRCCA in hopes of securing peace, stability and sustainable development in Central Asia, with an emphasis on the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and the current progress of the peace process in Afghanistan.
The parties discussed in this context their further cooperation in implementing the UN Global-Counter Terrorism Strategy, border protection, migration support, transport corridor development, youth policy and expanding the role of women.
They also expressed hope for furthering the intra-Afghan dialogue as a factor of enhancing security in the entire region. They confirmed their readiness to render comprehensive assistance to the recovery of this nation via the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group and the UN Assitance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
The parties agreed to maintain working contacts in the second half of 2021 in view of further developments in the global epidemiological situation.