Kazakh President Outlines Strategies to Boost Multilateral Cooperation at SCO+ Forum

ASTANA — President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev proposed several key strategies to foster multilateral cooperation among the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states at the inaugural SCO+ format during the organization’s 24th summit on July 4.

President Tokayev addresses SCO+ forum format. Photo credit: Akorda

Collective facilitation for peace and development

Tokayev underscored the necessity of enhancing the UN’s role as the major international institution, ensuring global security and effectively addressing the challenges of the 21st century. He suggested adopting a resolution to support Kazakhstan’s Initiative On World Unity for Just Peace, Harmony, and Development in time for the 80th anniversary of the UN and the 20th anniversary of SCO-UN cooperation.

Enhancing trade and economic ties

As Tokayev stated, the foreign trade of SCO member states exceeds $8 trillion. He welcomed China’s intention to expand market access and increase trade turnover among SCO member states to $3 trillion.

He said that with over 350,000 kilometers of railroads, the SCO space can become a large Eurasian belt for the development of global trade.

“Eighty percent of land transportation between Asia and Europe goes through our country,” the President stressed, noting the ongoing work on ensuring connectivity through the Belt and Road Initiative, the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, and the North-South corridor.

Environmental concerns

Tokayev pointed out the critical impact of climate change, referencing recent unprecedented floods in Kazakhstan. He stressed the need for collaborative efforts to combat climate change. He highlighted the importance of developing effective measures to address internal water bodies’ degradation and introducing new water-saving technologies. He emphasized that achieving the goals set by the UN General Assembly in this regard would be a practical contribution of the SCO.

Cultural, humanitarian, and educational cooperation

The President advocated for establishing cultural centers to enhance cultural and humanitarian cooperation among SCO countries. He emphasized the importance of engaging youth by creating opportunities for their development and fostering more intense contacts. Tokayev also called for expanding the network of SCO universities and increasing the number of grants for students, particularly in technical fields.

Today’s 24th summit of the SCO Council of Heads of State resulted in the signing of the Astana Declaration and 25 resolutions.

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