The 34th meeting of the ECO Regional Planning Council (RPC) began on January 22, 2024 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 Turkish Cypriot State also attended the session as an ECO observer.
The ECO Secretary General Ambassador Khusrav Noziri, while welcoming the participants, highlighted some important achievements of the Organization during 2023. He further briefed the Council on the status of flagship initiatives, programs and projects in the priority areas of regional economic cooperation. Referring to the emerging global political and economic challenges, he noted that the Organization remained persistent with its cooperation framework based on the earlier recommendations of RPC and the ECO decision-making bodies. Moreover, he thanked the Republic of Azerbaijan for their successful ECO chairmanship in 2023, and welcomed the Islamic Republic of Iran as the Chair of the Organization in 2024.
Chairing the Plenary Session of the RPC, H.E. Dr. Rahim Mombeini, Deputy Chief of the Plan and Budget Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran, expressed pleasure over assumption of ECO’s Chairmanship by Iran. In his remarks, he acknowledged the progress made under the chairmanship of Azerbaijan in 2023, and added that Iran would continue to actively contribute to the regional economic cooperation, keeping the issues of trade, connectivity, green energy and climate change high on the regional development agenda throughout 2024.
In the plenary session, Heads of Delegation of the Member States 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 22 to 25, 2024. The conclusive session of the RPC will endorse and adopt the recommendations of the sectoral committees on ECO Work Program and Calendar of Events for 2024.