The 31st Meeting of the ECO Regional Planning Council was held virtually on January 12 ,“ 21, 2021. The Representatives of the ECO Member States, ECO Regional Institutes, Specialized Agencies, Affiliated Bodies as well as ECO Observers participated in the event.
The ECO Secretary General, H.E. Dr. Hadi Soleimanpour while welcoming the participants in the event, highlighted that this important ECO event is convened annually to review the past activities of the organization, as well as consider and evolve some fresh programs and projects to be executed from organization’s platform for continuing the regional development process. He underscored that the COVID crunch, like most parts of the world, has not spared our region hampering regular activities which were planned to be made during 2020.
Dr. Soleimanpour noted that one of the ECO’s experiences in the time of crisis was resorting to the virtual modes of working that proved to be efficient, cost-effective and fast-tracked which the Secretariat is benefiting from, convening online meetings of HLWG, sectoral Ministerial Meetings and RPC. Meanwhile, the main approach of the organization during 2020 was to implement the decision of the 24th COM in regard to organization's project-oriented approach. To do so, the Secretariat made its best to implement more number of small-sized projects.
The President of Strategy and Budget Office of the Republic of Turkey and the Chairman of RPC, H.E. Mr. ؤ°brahim إENEL expressed his pleasure to join the meeting. He stressed that the challenges posed by COVID-19 required an expanded and joint regional response to better address the situation, adding that urgent measures were needed for enhancing intra-regional trade and cooperation in agricultural sector. Mr. SENEL conveyed that the Republic of Turkey attaches immense importance to expand and deepen the all-around relations with the member countries as well as strengthen ECO's activities.
Other participating delegates also spoke during the meeting, focusing on an increased collaboration to meet the conditions taking place in the aftermath of COVID-19.