On 25 March 2022, the SCO Secretariat hosted a reception in honour of Zhang Ming's entry onto office as SCO Secretary-General and to celebrate International Nowruz Day 2022: Cooperation, Development and Prosperity. Attending the event were heads of diplomatic missions from SCO member states, observers and dialogue partners, high-ranking Chinese guests, representatives of international and regional organisations, the SCO Secretariat's officials and journalists.
SCO Secretary-General Zhang Ming and Farhod Arziev, Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the People's Republic of China, made welcoming remarks at the opening ceremony. Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Le Yucheng and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivered speeches to the audience via videoconference.
Zhang Ming thanked the heads of state and government from the SCO member states for their trust in appointing him to the responsible position of SCO Secretary-General, as well as the receiving country and member states for their support since he assumed office.
The SCO states widely celebrate Nowruz, a traditional spring holiday that expresses the people's striving for friendship, accord, harmony, love, a better new life, unity, tolerance, neighbourliness and peace, Zhang Ming noted. Nowruz is consonant with China's Chun Jie (Chinese New Year) holiday and the Russian Maslenitsa, or Pancake Week. Today's event is based on the Shanghai Spirit that prioritises trust and mutual benefit, equality, mutual consultations, respect for the diversity of cultures and civilisations and a commitment to joint development.
Zhang Ming noted that Spring is a time of change and renewal after a long and protracted winter season. Like never before, we now need change for the better, positive shifts and an optimistic burst of energy, as well as active work within the SCO in traditional and new spheres of mutual interest.
Farhod Arziev congratulated Zhang Ming on assuming office and presented him with a symbolic gift in honour of Uzbekistan's SCO chairmanship in 2022.
The embassies of SCO member states, observers and dialogue partners organised a colourful concert. The attendees were able to enjoy national dishes of the SCO countries in the pavilions in the Secretariat's courtyard and admired items of applied and decorative art.