SCO strengthening youth development for better future

BEIJING, June 24, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — A report from People’s Daily: The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) carries forward the spirit of good-neighborliness, and advances equality, mutual learning, dialogue and inclusiveness between civilizations.

Youth representatives from Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states practice Chinese martial art with local primary school students in Qingdao, east China's Shandong province. (Photo by Zhang Bolan/People's Daily)

It calls for peaceful coexistence and harmonious development of different civilizations, and expands people-to-people and cultural cooperation. It has enhanced the popular support for state-to-state relations.

In recent years, the SCO has built sound platforms for youth exchanges to deepen mutual understanding among the younger generation and bring them closer together. The development of the SCO is highlighted by the constantly strengthened friendly exchanges among the youth of SCO member states.

Ilya Kryzhevich, a journalist with Belarus Today, has been reporting on the Chinese economy for nine years. He told People’s Daily that he goes to the Great Stone China-Belarus Industrial Park, a landmark Belt and Road cooperation project, for interviews almost every month.

“Drastic changes are taking place there. We sometimes joke that you’ll never enter the same China-Belarus Industrial Park twice,” Ilya Kryzhevich said.

He noted that young people in Belarus have benefited very much from the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). “Many innovative enterprises in the medical industry from China have entered the Belarusian market, providing immense job opportunities for young Belarusians. Besides, many young people in Belarus have established innovative sci-tech firms in the industrial park,” he added.

Connectivity is key to Belt and Road cooperation. Islom Okhunov, head of the Division for the Development of International Cooperation and Ratings of the Ministry of Youth Policy and Sports of Uzbekistan, said that the construction of the highway network among Central Asian countries has made constant progress thanks to the development of the Silk Road Economic Belt, turning Uzbekistan from a landlocked country to a land-linked one.

“This has connected my hometown to the sea and ports. I’m looking forward to the early operation of the ChinaKyrgyzstanUzbekistan railway,” he told People’s Daily.

From the release of the Declaration of the SCO Youth Council to the establishment of an SCO exchange base for young entrepreneurs, and from hosting the SCO Youth Campus to the solid progress made by the China-Russia Youth Entrepreneurship Incubator, the SCO is advancing youth development in an orderly manner.

Last year, an SCO forum on youth development was hosted at the Qingdao SCODA Pearl International Expo Center in the China-SCO Local Economic and Trade Cooperation Demonstration Area (SCODA), east China’s Shandong province, where youth representatives from SCO member states shared the experience and cases of youth development in their respective countries, renewing friendship and seeking for a better future through a collision of ideas.

Nikolai Zhdanov, a youth representative from Russia, has been involved in the youth work of the SCO since 2020. He believes that youth development has become an increasingly important topic for SCO member states.

“Youth exchanges are vital for maintaining good-neighborliness and friendly cooperation among SCO member states. During this event, I had the opportunity to communicate with young people from countries such as Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, and we agreed to launch many bilateral and multilateral youth exchange programs,” Zhdanov said.

“This is Geely, and that is BYD.” On a street in Qingdao, Taalaybek Dayirbekov, chairman of the Youth Public Council of Kyrgyzstan, effortlessly named the Chinese car brands as new energy vehicles (NEVs) passed by.

“In Bishkek, an increasing number of Chinese NEVs are running on the streets, which help alleviate air pollution and improve the urban environment. The BRI not only brings economic benefits but also improves the life quality for the people in partner countries,” Dayirbekov noted.

Jehangir Mushtaq, assistant director at the Prime Minister’s Office of Pakistan, hopes that the youth exchanges and cooperation among SCO member states can enable young people to better participate in public policymaking, access quality and equitable education, and enhance digital skills.

“With over 800 million young people living in SCO member states, pursuing better youth development is crucial for the future of the organization,” Mushtaq said.

Shapkat Wushur, secretary of the Secretariat of the Communist Youth League of China (CYLC) Central Committee and vice president of the All-China Youth Federation said that the development of the SCO fully demonstrates the guiding role of the “Shanghai Spirit” and the cohesion of true multilateralism.

In response to development challenges, the world is expecting young people to take on responsibilities, thus making youth development more important, he added.

He called on countries to further build consensus, strengthen cooperation, innovate youth development concepts, working methods, and cooperation mechanisms, and jointly lead the international agenda for youth development, so as to foster new growth drivers for global development.


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SOURCE People’s Daily