On 19 May 2017, the Secretariat of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Bangkok hosted a meeting with ESCAP Executive Secretary Dr Shamshad Akhtar.
SCO Deputy Secretary-General Vladimir Potapenko congratulated the receiving side on ESCAP's 70th anniversary and the Commission's successful 73rd session. He also expressed gratitude for invariable attention and support for bilateral cooperation between both organisations.
Mr Potapenko separately thanked senior ESCAP officials for their comprehensive assistance in drafting and approving an intergovernmental agreement in 2014 on facilitating international road transportation and said the accord had entered into force in January 2017. He also said that India and Pakistan had signed this document in the run-up to their full-fledged SCO membership.
Over the past few years, cooperation between the two organisations has been developing quickly and is being filled with new practical content, he noted. "In May this year, Beijing hosted a meeting of the joint commission on facilitating international road transportation. In early July 2017, it will host a roundtable discussion on this topic with active ESCAP participation and support. This shows that both sides are interested in expanding cooperation," Mr Potapenko said.
Due to the substantial untapped potential of both organisations on all matters of mutually beneficial cooperation, it was noted that the parties need to fill the 2015 memorandum of understanding between SCO and ESCAP Secretariats with practical content.
In this connection, meeting participants conducted a detailed exchange of opinions on prospects for expanded partner-like relations. They discussed the possibility of holding a number of joint events this year and next, including those on the sidelines of key ESCAP and SCO meetings. For example, the parties discussed holding a number of thematic side events and reviewing bilateral cooperation between the organisations, as stipulated by the memorandum of understanding between ESCAP and the SCO.
They agreed to appoint permanent "liaison officers" between both organisations for quickly addressing affairs concerning cooperation.
The meeting took place in a friendly and benevolent atmosphere.