On 2 June 2021 SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov, SCO ambassadors to China from the SCO Ambassadors Club and SCO member states' permanent representatives at the SCO Secretariat met with Hubei Province CPC Committee Secretary Ying Yong.
During the talks, SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov noted that throughout the 20 years of its existence the organisation had come a long way when it comes to development and gained high reputation and influence at regional and international levels. Guided by the principles of the Shanghai Spirit, the SCO has strengthened cooperation between SCO member states in politics, trade, the economy, culture and other spheres, and become an important driving force in the development in Eurasia and the world in general.
The Secretary-General noted that President of China Xi Jinping's initiative to hold the SCO Youth Diplomacy in Wuhan met with a positive response and comprehensive support of the SCO member states.
Touching upon the importance of unity and the creative potential of the Shanghai Spirit, Mr Norov stressed that the organisation was ready to continue looking for ways to respond to all unexpected challenges and threats to ensure security for the prosperity of the SCO member states and the entire international community.
The SCO Secretary-General added that at the beginning of last year, when Wuhan had to face the COVID-19 pandemic, the SCO member states were among the first countries to provide moral and material support to the city of Wuhan and Hubei Province to help fight the disease.
"Our nations felt for the people of China. We witnessed the difficulties people of Wuhan had to face, however, the SCO member states were confident that China would be able to overcome them," he pointed out.
In his turn, CPC Committee Secretary Ying Yong sincerely thanked the SCO Secretariat and the friendly countries' ambassadors to China for their help in countering the pandemic and noted that SCO member states were among the first countries to provide moral and humanitarian support to fight the pandemic.
Mr Ying Yong also expressed his gratitude to the SCO Secretary-General for taking part in the first and largest event held in Wuhan after the outbreak of COVID-19.
The committee secretary noted that, thanks to President of China Xi Jinping's guidance China managed to hold down the spread of the infection in Hubei Province within three months. Over the last 13 months, no cases of coronavirus have been registered in Wuhan. Measures to counter the COVID-19 pandemic in Wuhan can serve as an excellent example for many SCO member states to follow. It was also noted that today Hubei Province's economy also shows excellent performance. The total volume of the province's economy has already recovered up to 95 percent compared with last year.
Ambassador of Tajikistan Saidzoda Zohir Ozod delivered a speech on behalf of the SCO Ambassadors Club and thanked the government of the province for organising such a large and substantive event. He emphasised that holding the forum during the Year of SCO Culture added special significance to the event and made it quite important at the global level.
Saidzoda Zohir Ozod also stressed that, as part of Tajikistan's SCO chairmanship, the organisation's 20th anniversary and the Year of SCO Culture, the Centre of the SCO Friendship and Cooperation in Tajikistan opened in Dushanbe in February 2021 at the initiative of President Emomali Rahmon. The centre was created in order to promote cooperation and friendship between the member states as well as to strengthen centuries-long traditions of harmonious coexistence of different peoples and religions.
Just a short time after its establishment, the centre began to actively cooperate with SCO public diplomacy institutions. The goal of the centre is to create conditions to enable friendly cooperation between civil society institutions, including between SCO youth and women's organisations.
In conclusion, the Ambassador of Tajikistan reminded those present that Tajikistan is chairing the SCO in 2021 and that the 20th SCO summit, the anniversary one, would take place in Dushanbe on 16-17 September 2021.