The 15th ECO Summit was hosted by Turkmenistan on November 28, 2021 in Ashgabat. The event, organized under the theme of “Together into the Future”, was chaired by the honourable President of Turkmenistan, H.E. Mr. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov while the honourable President of the Republic of Turkey, H.E. Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoؤںan as the Chairman of 14th Summit Meeting inaugurated the forum. The ECO Heads of State and Government from Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, as well as ECO Secretary General attended the Summit event.
The honorable President of Turkmenistan after his election as the Chairman of 15th Summit Meeting made his opening statement and referred to the establishment of dynamic dialogue of Turkmenistan with ECO and the work done in the Organization during the chairmanship of Turkmenistan. He also highlighted the permanent neutrality position of Turkmenistan and the cooperative relationship of Turkmenistan in international relations. He also attached importance to the strengthened cooperation among ECO Member States in the priority areas of the Organization such as Energy and Transport, Trade and Investment. He also assured that the support of Turkmenistan will be extended to the Economic Cooperation Organization for the fulfilment of its objectives. He then invited H.E. Secretary General of the Economic Cooperation Organization to brief the Heads of States and Governments on the Activities of the Organization.
Addressing the meeting, the ECO Secretary General, H.E. Mr. Khusrav Noziri made a focused briefing concerning the Organization’s key areas of cooperation, particularly, trade, transport, energy, tourism etc. He mentioned that following the guidelines of the ECO Leaders, given during the 14th Summit in special consideration of the pandemic, the Organization made considerable progress to secure its developmental goals as envisaged in the ECO Vision 2025 under the chairmanship of Turkmenistan. He emphasized that the Summit’s theme is more important in particular reference to the conditions developed after the COVID-19 defining the significance of enhanced collaboration and partnership among Member countries during the time of crisis. While noting the importance of ECO’s external relations with other regional and international bodies as most essential tool for achieving strategic objectives, the Secretary General informed that during the 25th COM held a day before Summit, an MoU between the ECO and UNESCAP was signed for further institutionalizing the mutually developed cooperative ties between the two sides. He also reiterated ECO Secretariat’s commitment to accomplish the organization’s aims and objectives in line with its Vision 2025 and the Treaty of Izmir. To meet this end, the Secretary General looked forward to the continued patronage and support and guidance of the ECO Leaders.
The Heads of ECO Member States appreciated the Secretary General for his comprehensive statement, valuing the performance of the Organization especially to counter and manage the post-COVID negative impacts on the overall socioecomic condition of the region. They also agreed to expand and develop their trade and economic ties in the shared areas of interest, highlighting some priority areas of cooperation, trade, transport and energy. While noting the progress and implementation on some joint projects, the ECO Leaders also put forward various ideas, initiatives and proposals for development of some new projects in diverse areas of collaboration. Moreover, they appeared poised to remain united and make consolidated efforts to address the impacts of the pandemic on ECO regional economy.
The Summit also adopted the Ashgabat Consensus for Action, renewing the Member States’ commitment for the shared progress, prosperity and development in the region, as well as promotion of ECO as a more effectual regional economic forum.