The ECO Regional Planning Council (RPC) began today on January 16, 2023 with a hybrid Plenary Session. The Representatives of the ECO Member States, ECO Specialized Agencies, Regional Institutes and Affiliated Bodies participated in the Plenary Session of the event. The Representative of the Turkish Cypriot State attended the meeting as an ECO observer.
The ECO Secretary General Ambassador Khusrav Noziri, while welcoming the participants, highlighted the significance of RPC that evaluates the Organization’s ongoing activities as well as considers and develops new projects and programs to support the ECO regional development process. Referring to the current challenges emanating from the emerging global conflicts and the post-COVID conditions, he noted the consistency of ECO in gaining on its development targets based on the recommendations of previous RPC meetings. Moreover, he congratulated the Republic of Azerbaijan for assuming the Organization’s Chairmanship in 2023, assuring his complete support and cooperation to ensure the smooth implementation of ECO activities and programs under their Chairmanship.
Chairing the Plenary Session of the RPC, Mr. Orkhan Zeynalov, Special Envoy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan expressed pleasure over assumption of ECO’s Chairmanship by the Republic of Azerbaijan. In his remarks, he acknowledged the importance of activities carried out for maintaining the regional development process under the Chairmanship of Uzbekistan in 2022, and the country’s brilliant proposal that proclaimed the 2022 as the “Year of Strengthening Connectivity” in the region. Furthermore, he recalled the Azerbaijan’s theme of Chairmanship that declared the 2023 as the year of “Green Transition and Interconnectivity” based on the targets set forth in the ECO Vision 2025. In this regard, he informed that Azerbaijan’s priorities, including green transition and interconnectivity would be considered within comprehensive and coordinated regional context with a view to strengthening synergies among the Member States in line with their national priorities. Mr. Orkhan added that during its chairmanship, Azerbaijan would continue to actively contribute to the regional economic cooperation, keeping the issues of connectivity, green energy and climate change high on the regional development agenda, and as such, will accelerate efforts to ensure soonest operationalization and effective functioning of the specialized agencies of ECO, as well as the ECO Clean Energy Center and ECO Research Center.
In the plenary session, Heads of Delegation of the Member States; ECO Science Foundation, ECO Education Institute, ECO Cultural Institute and ECO Trade and Development Bank delivered their statements. The Representative of the Turkish Cypriot State also spoke during the event, expressing their aspiration for enhanced cooperation with ECO, particularly in tourism and education sectors.
The sectoral committee meetings of the Regional Planning Council will continue from January 16 to 18, 2023. The conclusive session of the RPC will be held on January 19, 2023 to endorse and adopt the recommendations of the sectoral committees on ECO Work Program and Calendar of Events for 2023.