ECO Secretary General Address
the 7th ECO Summit Meeting
H.E. Seyed Mojtaba Arastou, ECO Secretary General, attending the 7th ECO Summit Meeting in Istanbul addressed the meeting and briefed the Head of ECO Member States on the ongoing activities and achievements of the Organization.
Mr. Arastou in his statement referred to the cooperation under the multi-modal transport project to study among ECO/ESCAP/UNCTAD and the sponsorship of the project by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and as well referred to the assistance of UNDP in developing a creditable transit transport and trade regime. Regarding trade and investment, ECO Secretary General stated that the major achievement been made in this field is the substantive progress made with regard to ECO Trade Agreement (ECOTA) which calls for progressive elimination of non-tariff barriers and rationalization of tariff structure in order to realize the multilateral trading system, as well as to coop up with the challenges of globalization.
ECO Secretary General also named the First Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture held in Islamabad on July 23-25, 2002 as a land marked event in the history of the Organization. He as well mentioned the feasibility study on the power systems interconnection project within the ECO region which is supported by IDB grant and added that this project is making a satisfactory progress.
Furthermore, he briefed the Heads of States about ECO’s relations with other international organizations such as UN General Assembly, OIC, WTO, UNCTAD, UNESCAP, IDB, UNFPA, FAO and ITC. Mr. Arastou highlighted the opportunities likely to unfold with regard to ECO-ASEAN cooperation and said that for the first time both organizations have agreed to conduct a joint project, the decision of which was taken by the Foreign Ministers of ECO and ASEAN in their 7th joint meeting recently held in New York.
Mr. Arastou in his statement emphasized that ECO is making a good progress in its priority areas of activity and is able to realize to objectives set forward by the high level policy making bodies of the Organization, namely COM and Summit.