Connectivity in Asia: SCO and UN agency cooperate to promote regional links
An agreement to improve connectivity between Asian countries is one of the biggest achievements so far of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. That's according to the United Nations, with which SCO has been working closely. CGTN's Martin Lowe spoke with the UN's Dr. Shamshad Akhtar in Bangkok, and asked how close that cooperation is and how the region is benefiting.
DR. SHAMSHAD AKHTAR EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, UNESCAP "Foremost is the transport sector, we have long-standing involvement in the transport sector, our mandate is to promote transport agreements including the Asian Highway and trans-Asian railway networks and that's where we have had an agreement under an MoU."
MARTIN LOWE CGTN CORRESPONDENT "How does this cooperation on road transport complement China's Belt and Road initiative?"
DR. SHAMSHAD AKHTAR EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, UNESCAP "Regional cooperation and integration is the raison d'etre of SCO and a forte of ESCAP, so stemming from that, Belt and Road initiative is an integral complement of the regional cooperation and integration.
MARTIN LOWE CGTN CORRESPONDENT What's the aim of the agreement on transport - is it to make passage between countries simpler?
DR. SHAMSHAD AKHTAR EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, UNESCAP "One concrete example that I can talk about is the transit agreement that we helped negotiate between Russia, China and Mongolia which is getting a landlocked country connected with the ports, our network of 15,000 kilometers which we have mapped out, has lots of missing links, so Belt and Road initiative can help plug those, so to speak.
MARTIN LOWE CGTN CORRESPONDENT "How does the SCO contribute to the economic well-being of Asia-Pacific?"
DR. SHAMSHAD AKHTAR EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, UNESCAP "We are counting on the political leadership to reinforce its political support for stability and security, which will lay the foundations for sound implementation of what we call the regional roadmap for sustainable development's implementation.