PM Shehbaz to attend SCO summit in Uzbekistan with climate change on agenda
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PM Shehbaz to attend SCO summit in Uzbekistan with climate change on agenda

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will be travelling to Samarkand, Uzbekistan later this week to attend the annual meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s (SCO) Council of Heads of State (CHS), where climate change will be on the agenda.

Unprecedented rains and flashfloods have affected around 33 million people across Pakistan, caused economic losses estimated at $30 billion and resulted in one of the deadliest monsoons that Pakistan has witnessed so far, claiming almost 1,400 lives.

According to a handout released by the Foreign Office on Tuesday, the premier will be visiting Uzbekistan from September 15 (Thursday) to 16 (Friday) at the invitation of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who will be chairing the meeting.

The council is the SCO’s highest forum, which considers and defines strategy, prospects and priorities of the organisation, the FO said.

“At the forthcoming CHS, the SCO leaders will deliberate on important global and regional issues, including climate change, food security, energy security, and sustainable supply chains. They would also approve agreements and documents that would chart the future direction of cooperation among SCO member states,” the FO handout said.

In addition to attending the summit, the premier will also hold bilateral meetings with other participating leaders on the sidelines.

The SCO is a major trans-regional organization spanning South and Central Asia. Founded in 2001, the SCO upholds the values and principles enshrined in the “Shanghai Spirit” that include mutual trust, mutual benefit and pursuit of common development.

Collectively, member states represent nearly half of the world’s population and a quarter of global economic output. The organisation’s agenda of promoting peace and stability, and seeking enhanced linkages in infrastructure, economic, trade and cultural spheres, is aligned with Pakistan’s own vision for enhancing economic connectivity as well as peace and stability in the region, the FO said.

Since becoming a full member of SCO in 2017, Pakistan has been actively contributing towards advancing the organization’s core objectives through its participation in various SCO mechanisms, the FO concluded.

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