On 28 January 2022, Uzbekistan chaired an online meeting of heads of SCO member states' ministries and departments on alleviating poverty.
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev initiated this event on the sidelines of the SCO Heads of State Council (HSC) Meeting in Dushanbe, and the event was included in the plan for Uzbekistan's 2021-2022 Presidency of the SCO.
Jamshid Kuchkarov, Deputy Prime Minister — Minister of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction of the Republic of Uzbekistan, chaired the meeting. Attendees included Karma Zimpa Bhutia, Joint Secretary of the Government of the Republic of India, Akmadi Sarbasov, First Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Hong Tianyun, Vice Administrator of National Rural Revitalisation Administration of the People's Republic of China, Kudaibergen Bazarbaev, Minister of Labour, Social Protection and Migration of the Kyrgyz Republic, Dr Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Olga Batalina, First Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Protection of the Russian Federation, and Zavkizoda Zavki Amin, Minister of Economic Development and Trade of the Republic of Tajikistan.
In his welcoming remarks, SCO Secretary-General Zhang Ming noted that cooperation in this field remained highly essential, due to the aggravated global economic situation during the epidemiological crisis that has impacted the national economies of all countries, including those in the SCO region, and which has exacerbated food security problems.
Mr Zhang Ming emphasised that the SCO had tremendous potential for expanding all-out cooperation and formulating agreed-upon measures to reduce poverty in the SCO region and for exchanging positive experience and best practices in this field.
The parties discussed various measures, goals and new poverty reduction approaches in the SCO member states and reviewed a wide range of matters regarding the current status of cooperation between the SCO member states in this sphere and the prospects for its development.
They agreed to explore the possibility of drafting a memorandum of understanding between the SCO member states on poverty reduction for the benefit of their economic and social development.
The Uzbek party informed those present about an upcoming international conference, scheduled for May 2022, where participants will discuss poverty reduction measures within the SCO. Representatives of member states, SCO observers and dialogue partners, as well as international financial institutions and organisations will be invited to attend.
The meeting took place in a friendly atmosphere, and a protocol was signed following the event.