On April 18, 2018, the 4th Conference of the Heads of Ministries and Agencies of Science and Technology of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (“SCO”) Member States was held in Moscow, Russia. Huang Wei, Vice Minister of Science and Technology, led a Chinese delegation to the conference and delivered a speech as the representative of the competent department for science and technology of the 2017-2018 rotating presidency of the SCO.
Vice Minister Huang Wei pointed out that since its establishment, the SCO has taken the two documents of the Charter of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the Treaty on Long-Term Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation between the Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation as its cornerstone of thinking and action guide, firmly followed the Shanghai Spirit and made solid steps on the path of building a community of shared future, becoming an exemplar of new international relations of win-win cooperation. China will continue to promote the building of a community of shared future, uphold peace, development, cooperation and win-win cooperation, take the path of peaceful development, pursue an open development strategy of mutual benefit, actively develop a global partnership, and expand the converging points of interests of all countries, including members of the SCO. As the 2017-2018 rotating presidency of the SCO, China will continue to adhere to the Shanghai Spirit which centers on mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and consultation, work with other member states, enhance mutual trust and unity among the member states, and build a closer SCO community of shared future.
All parties welcomed the expansion of the SCO and the delegations of the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to participate in the conference, believing that science and technology cooperation of the SCO will develop rapidly within the new organizational framework. All the parties also welcomed the delegation of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka to the conference as a dialogue partner.
At the conference, the parties exchanged information on the policies of science and technology development of their respective countries, and pointed out the consistency in their respective priority directions and mechanisms for the development of science and technology. All the parties agreed to take advantage of this important condition to further deepen and forge closer cooperation in science and technology within the SCO framework.
The parties discussed the science and technology cooperation parts of the Plan for Implementation of the Intergovernmental Agreement on Science and Technology Cooperation between Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (2016-2020) and the List of Measures for the Further Promotion of Project Cooperation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation for 2017-2021. After exchanging views on the agenda item, all the parties pointed out satisfactorily that the outcome of the Third Science and Technology Ministers’ Conference has been effectively delivered.
Within the framework of the Science and Technology Ministers’ Conference of SCO Member States, the heads of all delegations exchanged views on the funding and coordination mechanisms for multilateral science and technology cooperation projects of SCO member states. Meanwhile, all the parties will focus on the development of science and technology cooperation in the priority areas of mutual interest among member states: natural conservation technology, energy efficiency and energy conservation, innovative agricultural technologies (including the food industry and food security, biotechnology and bioengineering), and innovative technologies in the fields of nanotechnology and information technology.
In addition, all the parties expressed the need to facilitate exchanges between experts and scientists in the field of science and technology and simplify procedures for experts and science teams to share scientific infrastructures (including megascience infrastructures in the member states of the SCO) under the precondition of compliance with the law of the member states.
To further promote cooperation between SCO member states in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship, all parties support the organization of the SCO Youth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition in China from May 28 to 31, 2018.
The parties agreed convening the Fifth Science and Technology Ministers’ Conference of SCO Member States in 2020.