16th Regional Planning Council (RPC)
Tehran, 30 January-02 February 2006
ECO Secretariat, Tehran, 02 February 2006
The Sixteenth Meeting of the Regional Planning Council (RPC) of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) was held on January 30 – February 02, 2006 at the ECO Secretariat, Tehran.
The meeting of the Council was attended by the delegations of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Republic of Tajikistan, the Republic of Turkey, the Republic of Uzbekistan. The delegation of ECO Secretariat headed by H.E. Mr. Askhat Orazbay, Secretary General, also participated in the meeting. The meeting was also attended by the representatives of the Turkish Cypriot State. The representatives of ECO Specialized Agencies/Regional Institutes i.e. ECO Cultural Institute, ECO College of Insurance and ECO Consultancy & Engineering Company (ECO-CEC) also participated in the meeting.
The meeting was inaugurated by H.E. Dr. Ali Reza Tahmasebi, Minister of Industries and Mines of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In his inaugural statement, Dr. Tahmasebi stated that the ECO Member States in the recent years have been experiencing considerable economic growth and development and that in line with the region’s economic and political developments, ECO has managed to stabilize its position during 1990s and has entered the stage of active contribution. Expressing his satisfaction at the increase in the number of sectoral ministerial meetings, he pointed out that these meetings had increased by 88 percent in the past five years as compared to the 1990s. He informed the meeting that the Islamic Republic of Iran was at the final stages of ratification of ECO Transit Transportation Framework Agreement (TTFA). The Minister concluded his statement by reaffirming his country’s decisive support for the plans and activities of the Organization.
In the inaugural session, H.E. Mr. Askhat Orazbay, Secretary General ECO, also delivered his statement. In his statement, he highlighted the important achievements of the Organization in the year 2005. He informed the participants about the progress made by the Organization in areas such as Trade & Investment, Transport and Communications and Energy etc. Referring to the ECO Vision 2015 adopted by the 15th Council of Ministers (COM) held at Astana in October 2005, the Secretary General requested the delegates to keep the provisions of the ECO Vision 2015 in mind while formulating future activities of the Organization.
H.E. Sheikh Attar, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, was unanimously elected as the Chairman of the meeting. In his statement, H.E. Sheikh Attar stated that the adoption of ECO Vision 2015 was a turning point in the history of the Organization. He advised that RPC must concentrate on the resources of the Organization and focus on priorities stipulated in the ECO Vision 2015.
The heads of participating delegation made opening statements, outlining their policies and views on the projects/programmes and activities of the Organization.
The Council while reviewing the ECO’s priorities laid down in the Economic Cooperation Strategy and implementation of the ECO Vision 2015, considered the report of the Secretary General on ECO activities for 2005. It also reviewed the progress of implementation of ECO’s approved programmes of action and projects and considered the new programmes and projects for the year 2006 in the areas of Trade and Investment; Transport & Communications; Energy, Minerals and Environment; Agriculture, Industry and Tourism; Human Resources & Sustainable Development; Project Research and Economic Research & Statistics; and Inter-Regional ECO Activities that included ECO Regional Institutions and Specialized Agencies and International relations.
The Council unanimously adopted ECO’s Calendar of Events/Meetings for the year 2006-2007.
While expressing its appreciation and thanks, on behalf of all the participating delegations to the ECO Secretariat as well as Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran for making appropriate arrangements for organization of this important meeting, the Council urged the Member States to continue participating in the meetings/activities of the Organization at the appropriate and highest possible level enabling the Organization to get the desired results as mandated in its basic documents.
At the conclusion, the Council unanimously adopted the report of its 16th session.