The Senior Official’s Meeting (SOM) preceding the 22nd Meeting of the Council of Ministers (COM) of the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO) hosted by the Islamic Republic of Pakistan was held on 26-27 February 2017 in Islamabad.
The SOM was chaired by the Foreign Secretary of Pakistan Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry. The meeting was attended by senior officials from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The ECO Secretary General Halil Ibrahim Akca was also present, along with representatives of the ECO specialised agencies and regional institutions.
The SOM deliberated, inter alia, on issues such as the work plan of ECO, reports and recommendations emanating from sectoral meetings, follow-up of the implementation of the decision of the previous ministerial meetings as well as preparation for 22nd COM and the 13th summit. The agenda for the 22nd ECO Council of Ministers meeting, to be held on February 28, 2017, was also finalised.
The ECO secretary general presented a report containing activities of the ECO since the 12th summit of the organisation in the Republic of Azerbaijan. The SOM approved the ECO Vision 2025 and decided to place it before the COM meeting to be held on February 28, 2017. The Vision document outlines tangible goals for the organisation in various areas of cooperation, including trade and transit in the medium term.
The SOM agreed on the text of Islamabad Declaration and recommended its approval by the COM. Islamabad Declaration 2017 contains the salient points of cooperation among the members of ECO in the fields of connectivity, trade, transport, energy, etc.
The senior officials appreciated the initiatives being pursued by the organisation in various sectors. The participants also exchanged views on the ongoing activities and projects, along with a future programme of action in various key areas.