On 8 June 2023, SCO Secretary-General Zhang Ming attended the opening ceremony for the Astana International Forum. The forum was held on the topic of “Tackling Challenges through Dialogue: Towards Cooperation, Development, and Progress.” Nearly one thousand participants arrived to attend the event, including high-ranking politicians, experts, scientists and media representatives.
President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev delivered a keynote address at the opening ceremony. The ceremony was also attended by President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov, Serb member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina Željka Cvijanović, Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan Abdulla Aripov, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva,  UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay, UN Under-Secretary-General and ESCAP Executive Secretary Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, OSCE Secretary General Helga Schmid, and other representatives of states and international organisations.  
The participants discussed international political turbulence. They also focused on how to promote principles of multilateralism, remove factors of instability, and enhance the role of regional comprehensive cooperation platforms. The agenda also included issues of ecologically sustainable development and environmental protection. 
SCO Secretary-General Zhang Ming Delivered a report on the theme “Rethinking Peace, Conflict and the Global Order.” He listed the SCO’s main achievements and announced an SCO Project related to the peaceful development of the international community. The project is meant to facilitate the establishment of a just and reasonable international order, commit to multilateralism, maintain security and stability, seek economic development, respect the diversity of civilisations, and intensify inclusive cooperation between regions.
Founded in 2008, the annual Astana Forum has emerged as an important platform for a global discussion of economic, financial and social issues.