Following is the text of UN Secretary-General’s video message to the twentieth Summit of the Council of the Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, held today:
I am pleased to take part in this twentieth Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. My thanks to President Emomali Rahmon for hosting this important gathering.
You come together at a pivotal time. Troubling developments in Afghanistan are causing profound political, economic, security and humanitarian challenges. The situation is rapidly evolving and unpredictable.
But it is clear that the Afghan people want extreme poverty to be eradicated, jobs to become available, health and education services to be restored, and their lives and basic rights and freedoms to be protected. They want their country free of insecurity and terror.
The United Nations is committed to deliver for the Afghan people. Our humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths recently travelled to the country. We launched a flash appeal for immediate humanitarian response needs and convened a high-level event in Geneva to support this effort. We look forward to working with all of you to support the Afghan people.
Across the board, solidarity is needed now more than ever. Transnational threats — such as the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic — demand coordinated and creative solutions. The work of regional organizations such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is critical to addressing our shared challenges and ensuring an equitable recovery.
I am proud that our collaboration is growing stronger every day. Our partnership is advancing peace, stability and sustainable development in Central Asia, expanding opportunities for women and promoting the role of young people. Let us continue to build on those vital efforts.
I wish you a successful summit and fruitful deliberations. Thank you.