BEIJING: Pakistan joined the SCO’s member states, pledging to promote culture exchange and giving boost to the people-to-people contacts.
At the 15th meeting of culture ministers from member states SCO, held in Sanya, Hainan province, Pakistan’s representative Shahera Shahid, Director General Lok Virsa said, "We are very happy to be included in the SCO, because we think that through this relationship that we have with China, we can now come closer to the regional countries and from there, the SCO can become the voice of the region."
She assured that Pakistan will fully stand by China and other regional states, pushing forward people-to-people contacts, through cultural exchanges. Pakistan wishes to be an active member of the SCO for this purpose, she added.
The meeting was aimed at promoting cultural exchanges among member states, and is part of preparations for the upcoming SCO summit in China's Qingdao next month. It took place in Sanya, Hainan province -- a place that is itself blessed with great cultural diversity. The meeting under the SCO framework is an important occasion for promoting cultural cooperation among its members, Shahera added.
Addressing the meeting, Luo Shugang, Chinese Minister for Culture said "All member states have acted to boost cooperation and exchanges, and enhance better understanding among the peoples (of the organization). This framework has become an example for strengthening cooperation and mutual support." SCO member states act as close neighbors, and this organization has set an example for regional cooperation by bringing these countries even closer together.
Vadimir Aristarhov, Russian Minister of Culture said, "The SCO platform has promoted closer cultural exchanges among all member states and in particular has enabled Russian people to better understand the culture of other member states. Russia has a great culture that it wants to share with the rest of the world through this platform."
SCO member states account for a huge amount of the world's population and represent wide culture diversity. Respecting this, while promoting coexistence and the blossoming of different cultures, is an important focus of the meeting.
The culture ministers' meeting takes place every year ahead of the main SCO summit. Officials meet to discuss what's been achieved over the past 12 months, and propose steps to take for the coming year."
India and Pakistan are new members to this organization, making this their first time being represented at the culture ministers' meeting. They come with great expectations and confidence.