ISMI expert: Uzbekistan attaches particular importance to the expansion of cultural and humanitarian ties and the development of contacts between the peoples of the SCO countries
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) – On 17 September, in Dushanbe, a regular meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) took place, which this year celebrates the 20th anniversary of its creation. The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev took part in the summit.
Following the meeting, the Uzbek side took over the chairmanship of the SCO for 2021-2022. The development of relations with the SCO countries is an important area of Uzbekistan’s foreign policy. At the same time, as experts note, each chairmanship of Tashkent is accompanied by significant institutional and structural changes in the Organization.
In recent years, Uzbekistan has attached particular importance to the expansion of cultural and humanitarian ties and the development of contacts between the peoples of the SCO countries, actively using the instruments of "people’s diplomacy".
For this purpose, the SCO Public Diplomacy Center (Tashkent) was established in 2017. The Center’s activities cover scientific and educational, cultural and humanitarian publishing activities, sports diplomacy and international cooperation. Over the years of its work, the Center for People’s Diplomacy has contributed to strengthening mutual trust and good neighborliness, interethnic and interfaith harmony, the development of intercivilizational dialogue among the SCO countries.
In 2018, the Silk Road International Tourism University (Samarkand) was opened, which is the first international university in the field of tourism in Uzbekistan. The university provides education in such areas as marketing, design in the field of tourism, logistics in tourism activities, etc. At the same time, the University operates a double degree program with such well-known foreign universities as Guilin Tourism University (PRC), Sahid Polytechnic in Jakarta and Sahid Institute of Tourism of Surakarta (Indonesia). In addition, the Silk Road International Tourism University. At the same time, along with the citizens of Uzbekistan, students from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Iran, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and other countries of the near and far abroad are also studying at the University.
During the current summit, the Head of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev voiced a proposal to establish the institution of the SCO Goodwill Ambassador in order to promote the positive image and ideas of the Organization.
Today, the institutions of the Ambassador of Peace and Goodwill exist in international organizations such as the UN, other international and regional associations - the European Union and the African Union, public and charitable organizations - the International Olympic Committee, etc.
Outstanding personalities in the arts, literature, science, music and sports act as Ambassadors for Peace and Goodwill. The mission of Goodwill Ambassadors is to volunteer their time, talent and energy to raise public awareness of the efforts of the state or organization they represent.
By addressing the public, maintaining contacts with international media and engaging in humanitarian activities, Goodwill Ambassadors draw attention to pressing international, regional and local problems and, in general, make the work of an organization or state more visible.
Thus, the proposal of Uzbekistan to establish the institution of the SCO Goodwill Ambassador is very relevant, since, on the one hand, this initiative is consonant with the goals and objectives of the SCO Charter and the SCO Development Strategy until 2025. to expand cultural and humanitarian ties and increase the international prestige of the SCO, on the other hand, Goodwill Ambassadors represented by respected and famous figures of art, literature, science, music and sports will contribute to strengthening mutual trust and respect for cultural diversity in the SCO space.
In general, it is safe to say that the implementation of the initiative to establish the institution of the SCO Goodwill Ambassador will contribute to the promotion of the ideas, values and principles of the Organization, the "Shanghai spirit", not only in the SCO "family", but also beyond.
Chief Researcher at the Institute for Strategic and Interregional Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan