ASTANA – Kazakhstan is preparing to take over the chairmanship of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), reported the National Coordinator of Kazakhstan on the activities of the SCO and Ambassador-at-Large Yerlik Ali, who has just returned from India, where he participated in a meeting of the Council of National Coordinators, the main advisory body of the SCO.
According to the diplomat, the upcoming SCO summit in New Delhi in June-July 2023 will mark the transfer of the SCO chairmanship to Kazakhstan.
Following is a Q&A with Ambassador Yerlik Ali.
What will this mean for the country?
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is approaching its 23rd anniversary. Over the past years, effective mechanisms of interaction have been created to discuss the current agenda and make important decisions on them.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Kazakhstan’s chairmanship will last until July 2024 and will end with a summit in Astana, where the heads of the SCO member states will adopt a package of documents that will be developed during expert and ministerial meetings on the territory of the republic during the year.
Kazakhstan’s chairmanship will cover issues of security, economy and trade, energy and healthcare, ecology and education. A step-by-step process of improving the activities of the organization itself will begin.
Almaty will become the tourist and cultural capital of the SCO, where several mass events are planned.
What are the practical benefits of the upcoming presidency?
Kazakhstan is the founder of the SCO. It is important for us to develop the organization and multilateral cooperation, covering almost all spheres of life in the region.
Daily practical activities are being carried out in the field of ensuring regional security, and this work will continue to advance. We intend to strengthen cooperation in the fight against terrorism, extremism and separatism.
Only within the framework of multilateral, regional cooperation is it possible to implement serious projects in the economy, trade, agriculture, energy and ecology. Joint project activity is the most important vector of the future chairmanship. And this is fully realized and supported by all member states.
It can be noted that the SCO’s authority is growing. They join us and become SCO dialogue partners at the initial stage. Specific areas of cooperation are being determined. Practical implementation of these agreements will be a priority for Kazakhstan.
We will propose for discussion a solid package of documents, the output of which will be, figuratively speaking, something that you can touch with your hands.