On March 29-31, 2022, scholars from Tajikistan and Uzbekistan took part in the IX interactive game “Model SCO,” hosted in Guliston, Tajikistan. The joint event dedicated to the upcoming SCO Summit of Heads of States in Samarkand this autumn was organized by the SCO Center of Friendship and Cooperation in Tajikistan, the Center for Public Diplomacy of SCO in Uzbekistan, and the SCOLAR Network. The SCO Secretariat supported the initiative. Academy of Public Administration under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, Lomonosov Moscow State University branch in Dushanbe, The University of World Economy and Diplomacy in Tashkent sent their delegates to the conference. The theme of IX Model SCO was titled: “Mission 2030 – Generation SCO as a key driver to the digitalization of the region“. The delegates demonstrated deep knowledge in the field of modern international relations.
In his address to the participants of the Model SCO, the SCO Secretary-General, Mr. Zhang Ming, emphasized that the SCO supports strengthening cooperation on youth issues among the SCO countries. The organization strives to promote youth dialogue in the SCO Family to create a meaningful platform for young professionals. “Model SCO” is one of such events organized under the auspices of the SCO.”
The participants of the Model SCO faced a difficult task: to present the national vision of the problem and its solution and discuss the prospects for developing the digital economy in Eurasia. From the presentations and initiatives and the discussion around the joint statement, the delegates prepared thoroughly and analyzed the current state and problems of introducing digitalization into the national economies and tried to imagine a picture of the future digital economy. During the preparation, qualified specialists from leading educational institutions and experts from SCOLAR Network helped the participants.
“Participation in the Model SCO cannot be compared with anything. Imagine sitting behind your country’s flag and speaking on behalf of your people – you are immediately seized with great excitement and an incredible responsibility. It is a unique experience,” Kamolov Temurmalik, a master’s student at the School of Statehood of Emomali Rahmon, shared his impressions of participating in the Model SCO. Israilova Firuza, a 3rd-year student of the Moscow State University branch in Dushanbe, added: “I don’t remember that during the educational process I had to concentrate so much attention on developing solutions that could change the world around me. No one taught us these skills before. The advantage of the Model SCO is that it teaches you to look for and make thoughtful, balanced decisions and think about the consequences they may lead to. In essence, the Model SCO is a school of practical life that looks to the future.”
Several noteworthy initiatives were voiced during the lively exchange of views within the conference. The organizers later sent them to the Council of National Coordinators of the SCO countries. In particular, the participants proposed, within the framework of the SCO University, to allocate a particular direction (Institute) for training personnel in the field of ICT and digitalization. The other initiative suggested opening a Center for combating cybercrime at SCO RATS Secretariat. Participants also proposed to create a fund “Digital SCO,” develop a “SCO Metaverse,” open a unified “SCO Tourist Visa,” and develop a pilot project “Smart Agriculture”. Delegates prepared themselves for practical activities, simulated the experience leading a country, and learned how to match national interests with the prospects of the region.
The region’s prosperity and the future of friendship and cooperation of the SCO member states will largely depend on the “Generation SCO” to take responsibility for practical decisions related to strengthening partnerships within the organization. The National Coordinators for SCO of Tajikistan and Uzbekistan A. Saidmurodzoda and R. Nurimbetov spoke about the importance of embracing the “Shanghai Spirit,” good-neighborly, friendly relations that have developed in the SCO “family.”
At the end of the conference, the delegates have chosen the IX “Model SCO” winners. All of them have received gifts and certificates.
R. Alimov, the former Secretary-General of the SCO (2016-2018), mentored the “Model SCO” preparation. The Director of the SCO Center of Friendship and Cooperation in Tajikistan Gafurzoda Abdukhalil, and the director of the Center for Public Diplomacy of SCO in Uzbekistan Kabuljon Sabirov attended the event.
As part of the cultural program, the participants of the event, visited the famous Arbob Palace, where the historical XVI session of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Tajikistan took place 30 years ago, the Historical Museum of the Sughd region, as well as the National Complex “Pilaf Center.”
Video of the conference: