BANGKOK, November 23. /TASS/. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) have reached a new level of cooperation that will help bolster regional economic ties, SCO Secretary General Rashid Alimov told TASS commenting on his participation in the commission’s conference in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Ministerial Conference on Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration in Asia and the Pacific, which brought together delegates from 57 countries, including Russia, began its work at the ESCAP headquarters on Thursday. During the conference, the two organization’s joint event was held where the transport potential of the SCO member-countries was presented and the possibilities of developing cooperation within the association were discussed.
"With this special event dedicated to regional transport interconnection, the SCO and ESCAP opened up a new chapter in the history of our cooperation," Alimov said. "It reflects one of the priorities identified by the heads of the SCO member-states at the summit in Astana [in June], namely, to consistently step up cooperation between the UN and the SCO."
The SCO secretary general also pointed to the growing role of logistics and transport systems in the region. "Of particular importance is transporting cargo within the boundaries of a single macroregion uniting large production clusters, centers for the extraction and processing raw materials and large consumer markets," Alimov said. He also recalled that the total length of highways passing through the territory of eight SCO member-countries, by general estimates, exceeds 12.5 mln kilometers, which amounts to 18% of the total length of highways the world over.
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is the regional development arm of the United Nations for the Asia-Pacific region. It is made up of 53 member states. Russia has been the commission’s member since 1947, when it was established and is one of the organization’s key donors with an annual fee of $1.2 mln. Cooperation between the SCO and ESCAP is developing on the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding. Its updated version was signed in December 2015.