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ECO reiterated their political will and strong commitment for economic development

02 March, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: The Economic Cooperation Organisation member states on Wednesday reiterated their political will and strong commitment for economic development, common prosperity, regional integration, and peace and stability in the ECO region.

A declaration issued after the 13th ECO Summit held in Islamabad on Wednesday reaffirmed a commitment to the principles and objectives enshrined in the Treaty of Izmir.

It also attached great importance to the cooperation frameworks developed under the different agreements concluded between the Member States and the momentum created in different fields of cooperation.

The member states also reaffirmed their commitment to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, including the respect for political independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of states; development of friendly relations among nations; and the peaceful settlement of disputes. It also welcomed the further enlargement and outreach of the Organization through full membership for the interested states.

The declaration approached connectivity as a dynamic concept that encompasses multiple dimensions including cyber, energy, rail, road, and ports and shipping.

It reiterated its commitment to promote intra-ECO trade as an instrument of enhanced economic cooperation and revitalization in the Region. It underlined the importance of the Post 2015 Development Agenda and the role that can be played by the ECO Member States.

It further recognized the importance of moderation as an approach to counter all forms of extremism and promote dialogue, mutual respect, understanding, and social harmony, to achieve sustainable and inclusive development, equitable growth, stability, and prosperity in the ECO Region.

Acknowledging the importance of Afghanistan for the ECO Region, the summit emphasized its continued support to national, regional, and global efforts for reconstruction and sustainable development as well as peace and security in Afghanistan.

It welcomed the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as a far-reaching initiative that would act as a catalyst for the development of the entire region.

The theme of the 13th summit was "Connectivity for Regional Prosperity", which assumes special significance in the backdrop of the monumental project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Secretary General Halil Ibrahim while addressing the summit congratulated the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on his election as Chairman of the Summit and hoped that, under his able leadership, the ECO will make further progress.

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