SPECA Summit Marks 25 Years of Regional Economic Collaboration in Baku
In a pivotal gathering underscoring a quarter-century of concerted efforts, the United Nations Special Program for the Economies of Central Asian Countries (SPECA) is hosting a landmark summit today in Baku. Attended by the heads of State and Government of Central Asian nations, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Hungary and representatives of international organizations, the summit is a focal point of SPECA Week, unfolding from November 20 to 24.
The event follows a series of industry working group meetings on trade, gender, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an economic forum, and the 18th session of the SPECA leadership. Adding another layer of significance, an exhibition titled "SPECA Countries: Regional Cooperation for Sustainable Development" is concurrently taking place, showcasing the collaborative strides made within the program.
Strategic Discussions and Milestones
Central to SPECA Week is the exploration of new strategies to address shared challenges among participating States, with a particular emphasis on the establishment of a Trust Fund within the Program's framework. The SPECA 2023 Economic Forum, themed "Turning the SPECA Region into a Center of Interaction with Global Reach," aims to redefine the program as a service-oriented, flexible, and strategic platform.
Discussions at the Economic Forum are poised to cover a spectrum of crucial topics, ranging from the digital transformation of data and document exchange in the supply chain to issues of transport connectivity. Additionally, the summit will delve into the imperative of integrating green energy in the SPECA region and the escalating significance of the Middle Corridor amidst emerging challenges.
Azerbaijan's Chairmanship and Passing the Baton
Azerbaijan, assuming the chairmanship of SPECA in 2023, stands as a pivotal actor in driving the agenda forward. The summit serves as a platform for Azerbaijan to articulate its vision for regional cooperation and sustainable development. Following the summit, the chairmanship will transition to Tajikistan, underlining the collaborative and rotational leadership model intrinsic to SPECA.
Foundation and Purpose of SPECA
Established in 1998, the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (SPECA) boasts a membership comprising Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Afghanistan. At its core, SPECA strives to foster cooperation among member States and facilitate their integration into the global economy.
As the organizing committee of the event informed Turan, as the summit progresses, the resonance of two and a half decades of cooperation becomes tangible, which can potentially determine the trajectory of regional economic development for years to come.
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