On 12 September 2017, as part of the Open Doors Programme, more than 30 students from the China-EU School of Law visited the Headquarters of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). They are located in a stately courtyard in Ritan Road in Beijing. The trip was organised by Prof. Alexis Vahlas from University of Strasbourg who currently teaches the “International organisations” course. Students met with Rashid Alimov, SCO Secretary-General, who gave a short speech to the future lawyers and explained how and why the SCO was created by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan in 2001 as a Eurasian political, economic, and security organisation. He also summarised the SCO’s outstanding achievements in the fields of politics, security, economy and education.
Rashid Alimov, SCO Secretary-General
"We want to make more friends, not just neighbours”
Since India and Pakistan just recently, in June 2017, joined SCO as full members, Professor Alexis Vahlas asked Rashid Alimov whether the SCO would accept more members. The Secretary-General confirmed this: “The SCO is an open international organisation. More and more countries want to join us and we provide the opportunity for this. We want to make more friends, not just neighbors.” He also emphasized that SCO “maintains a spirit of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diverse civilizations and the pursuit of common development." An interesting discussion followed, during which the SCO Secretary-General answered further questions.
Beijing hall, Moscow hall, Taskent hall,…
Then a tour of the SCO Secretariat's compound was organised for the students. The interior decoration of the secretariat is very impressive Most notably are the national halls which were designed and built by SCO’s member states. There is a Beijing hall, a Moscow hall, a Tashkent hall, an Astana hall, and they all perform different functions such as serving as a conference room, a drawing room, or a banquet hall while at the same time visualising the cultural background of the member countries.
Prof. Alexis Vahlas asked questions.
There was no doubt that the visit to the secretariat of SCO impressed students deeply. Student Meng Xiaoxi said: "I was most impressed by the words of Secretary-General Alimov who said ‘the SCO is not ours, it is yours.’ I was also encouraged by the Secretary-General's ardent expectations he expressed to us students as representatives of the young generation."
Author: Chen Chen (Double master’s student at the China-EU School of Law)
Photos:Su Guangjin(Double master’s student at the China-EU School of Law)