The 23rd Meeting of the ECO Council of Ministers (COM) has been convened on 16 April 2018 in Dushanbe. The delegates from all the Member States, observers (Turkish Cypriot State, Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States and Energy Charter) and the ECO Specialized Agencies/Regional Institutions/Affiliated Bodies, including among others ECO Cultural Institute (ECI), ECO Educational Institute (ECO-EI), ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF) and ECO Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ECO-IEST) attended the Meeting.
In the opening ceremony, Secretary General delivered a short welcoming statement. In his statement, Secretary General commended the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan for holding this important meeting. The ECO Secretary General briefly introduced the developments since the last COM Meeting held in Islamabad on 28 February 2017. The ECO Secretary General highlighted the significance of the “ECO Vision 2025” adopted in 13th ECO Summit, held on March 1st, 2017, in Islamabad. Secretary General also reminded that the 13th ECO Summit tasked the ECO to take necessary and effective measures to achieve the vision targets. He also emphasized that ECO reforms will facilitate the efficient functioning of the Secretariat. On the issue of the reconstruction of Afghanistan, The Secretary General expressed that it is a major concern for ECO that is reflected in the New ECO Advocacy Programme for Afghanistan, which is proposed in this meeting.
As per the ECO rules the head of the delegation of the Host Country, His Excellency Ismatullo Nasredin, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan was elected as the Chairman of the SOM. In his statement Chairman welcomed the delegates and underscored the need for regional cooperation among ECO member States for boosting regional trade activities, economic integration and energy security as well as synergic cooperation in cultural and tourism spheres in the context of ECO Vision 2025, which would lead to economic prosperity, social development and sustainable development in the region.
The Ministerial segment of the Council will be held on April 17th, 2018.