On the invitation of the Government of Uzbekistan, the ECO Secretary General, H.E. Ambassador Halil Ibrahim Akca participated in the “International High-level Conference on Security and Sustainable Development in Central Asia” held on 10-11 November 2017 in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
The Conference was aimed at discussing economic, ecological, cultural and security issues faced by Central Asia and further increasing the cooperation in the region with particular attention to the role of Afghanistan in the region. The Conference was attended by representatives from Central Asian countries, Afghanistan, USA, European states, Russia, China, Turkey, Iran, India, Pakistan, Japan, South Korea, etc., six international organizations, namely, UN, EU, OSCE, ECO, SCO and CIS as well as scientists, public figures and mass media.
The ECO Secretary General, H.E. Ambassador Halil Ibrahim Akca made a statement at the “Assistance of the International Community to the Countries of Central Asian Counteracting contemporary challenges to Security and Ensuring Sustainable Development” segment of the Conference, co-chaired by the Minister of Economy of Republic Uzbekistan H.E. G.K. Saidova and Head of the UNDP Office in Uzbekistan Mr. H. Frasier. In his statement, Secretary General commended the government of Uzbekistan for invitation to participate in this important forum and expressed his gratitude to the UN for its contribution to this regional initiative. He highlighted the importance of Central Asia in terms of geographical location and abundance of rich and varied energy resources and the successes of the Central Asian Countries in terms of creating conducive economic policy environment, especially that of Uzbekistan. Secretary General emphasized that the ECO is pursuing sustained economic growth and sustainable development through regional cooperation and harmonization across a wide spectrum of areas and sectors, as they are also crucial for preventing suffering from menaces of insecurity, drugs and organized crimes. Afghanistan's importance was also highlighted as it is a country whose five out of six neighbors are ECO members and the economic development and stability of the Country carries importance for the whole ECO Region.
Secretary General concluded his statement by pointing out that Central Asia is not only a geographical and geopolitical region but also constitutes a single cultural and civilized space. Because of these rich and common cultural values there is a reason to be hopeful that collective and individual efforts by all regional countries would promote sustainable development, peace and stability in Central Asia.
A bilateral meeting between H.E. Mr. Halil Ibrahim Akca and H.E. Mr. Ganiev Elyor Madjidovich, the Honourable Minister of Foreign Trade of Republic of Uzbekistan was held on 11 November 2017 on the margins of the Conference.
H.E. Mr. Ganiev Elyor Madjidovich in return expressed his consent with enhancing the role of Uzbekistan in the ECO and expressed his willingness to participate in the RPC meeting if his programme will enable him to do so.