Domestic Economy

Zarif Chairs ECO Meeting in New York

Zarif Chairs ECO Meeting in New YorkZarif Chairs ECO Meeting in New York

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif chaired the extraordinary meeting of Economic Cooperation Organization on the sidelines of the 70th UN General Assembly in New York on Friday, where ECO’s Vision Document for 2016-25 took center stage of the discussions.

The top Iranian diplomat opened the meeting by touching on recent developments in the organization, including the holding of Regional Planning Council Meetings and Sectoral Ministerial Meetings, implementation of joint ventures, formulation of new vision for ECO during 2016-25, and appointment of the new secretary-general and deputy secretaries-general.  

“Since the last ministerial meeting, tangible progress has been made in the transportation sector. ECO’s new railroad corridor connecting Iran, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan was officially inaugurated by the presidents of the three member states on December 3, 2014, in Inche-Boroun, and is expected to be a convenient and cost-effective route for cargo transportation with a view to boosting and facilitating regional and international trade and transit cooperation,” he said.

Zarif referred to strengthening regional cooperation in the field of energy and called for the establishment of ECO Regional Electricity Market and invited member states to take steps for facilitating the process.

“We also believe that the idea of establishing a Trust Fund, raised during the Third ECO Ministerial Meeting on Energy/Petroleum in March 2013 in Tehran, is of high priority for ECO’s regional energy projects,” he said.

Following the speeches made by Zarif and envoys of other member states, the new ECO Secretary-General Khalil Ibrahim Akcha briefed the audience on the organization’s recent activities and achievements made in areas such as trade, investment, transport, agriculture, energy and environment.

Notes were exchanged on the draft of ECO’s Vision Document and member countries underlined the importance of boosting cooperation within the economic body and with other regional and international organizations.

Later in the meeting, ECO’s Council of Foreign Ministers approved financial and budget documents and reports of meetings held in the past year, including ECO’s Council of Permanent Representatives and ECO’s Planning Council.

Economic Cooperation Organization is a Tehran-based intergovernmental regional organization established in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey for the purpose of promoting economic, technical and cultural cooperation among the member states.

In 1992, ECO expanded to include seven new members, namely Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.