(GNP): Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies(IPDS), Islamabad, and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Center for Public Diplomacy in Uzbekistan signed an agreement of cooperation to promote and strengthen the civil society linkages through public diplomacy initiatives. The MoU aimed to exchange and cooperate in scientific and social research, exchange of ideas, expertise in the areas of mutual interest. This also includes joint publications, research projects, and coordination in various public activities, joint program, and projects through the instruments of public diplomacy in the spheres of science, education, culture, sports, mass media and other for the development of exchange of experiences, knowledge, and ideas including training courses, roundtable discussions, seminars, and others. This MoU is an important step towards collaboration while SCO is celebrating 20 years of its establishment. SCO is regional organisation with eight permanent member states including China, Russia, Pakistan, India, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan.
Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Center for Public Diplomacy established in Uzbekistan with the decree of the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev is a non-profit organization to ensure the wide use of public diplomacy mechanisms in strengthening ties between the SCO member states. In June 2017, Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev proposed an initiative to create a public diplomatic center in Tashkent at the meeting of the Council of Heads of State of SCO in Astana, Kazakhstan. The center’s current priority is to develop bilateral and multilateral relations with public organizations of other SCO member states, including China’s SCO Committee on Good-Neighbourliness, Friendship, and Cooperation, with which the center signed a Memorandum of Cooperation in April 2019.
Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies in Islamabad, Pakistan-based research, advocacy, and public diplomacy Think and Do Tank focusing on the thematic areas of Diplomacy, Leadership, and Peace Studies. IPDS has established Pakistan-SCO Friendship Forum and SCO Studies Centre at the Institute to drive forward Pakistan’s stronger and meaningful presence at the important regional organization. IPDS is focusing on exploring the possibilities of developing deep-rooted linkages within the SCO member countries and benefiting Pakistan and its citizens through “Connecting People and Providing Opportunities”. The aim also is to raise awareness about the potential of SCO within Pakistan and jointly address the issues of the societies, covered by the SCO member states, through improved public engagement and diplomacy.
The MoU was signed by Ms. Farhat Asif, Founder President Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies, Islamabad, Pakistan, and Mr. Kabuljon Sabirov, Director SCO Center for Public Diplomacy in Uzbekistan. Mr. Asif Noor, Director, IPDS, and Secretary-General of Pakistan-SCO Friendship Forum, and Mr. Fakhriddin Otbosarov from the SCO Center for Public Diplomacy was also present on the occasion.