On 17 March 2022, SCO Secretary-General Zhang Ming spoke at the plenary session of the 6th St Petersburg International Labour Forum. The forum was organised by the Russian Ministry of Labour and Social Development and the Government of St Petersburg.
Mr Zhang said that the forum was being held during the Covid-19 pandemic, exacerbated by worsening instability and greater uncertainty of the international situation. The agenda of the forum was all the more important in light of these circumstances.
Mr Zhang stressed that the SCO member states had shown a high degree of solidarity and mutual assistance in the fight against Covid-19 across the SCO. China and Russia in particular developed close humanitarian cooperation, sharing their drugs and treatment modalities with other members and providing them with technology for manufacturing vaccines and other medicaments.
The Secretary-General separately dwelt on issues of SCO youth policy, emphasising that the younger generation is our common future, and a driving force of development and progress. A range of programmes and agreements, as well as social and humanitarian projects, are implemented within the Organisation to provide a high level of education for young people, fully reveal their creative and intellectual potential, protect them from the harmful influence of terrorist, separatist and extremist ideology, and engage them in building a decent future, he said.
We are the witnesses to, direct participants in and architects of changes in world politics, which requires us to promote intellectual exchange, consolidate common best practices and agree on the issues facing mankind. This is what the forum primarily serves to achieve, Zhang Ming said.
The plenary session of the forum was also addressed by Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Tatyana Golikova, Minister of Labour and Social Protection of Russia Anton Kotyakov, Governor of St Petersburg Alexander Beglov, and heads of trade unions, migration authorities and social security services.
The forum, which saw more than 50 discussions, topic-specific debates and events, concluded on 18 March.