BY IFTIKHAR MASHWANI
ISLAMABAD – The Economic Cooperation Organization leaders have reiterated their political will and strong commitment for economic development, common prosperity, regional integration and peace and stability in the ECO Region.
A declaration issued after the 13th ECO Summit held in Islamabad on Wednesday reaffirmed commitment to the principles and objectives enshrined in the Treaty of Izmir.
It also attached great importance to the cooperation frameworks developed under the different agreements concluded between the Member States and the momentum created in different fields of cooperation.
The member states also reassured their commitment to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, including the respect for political independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of states, development of friendly relations among nations, and pacific settlement of disputes.
It also welcomed further enlargement and outreach of the Organization through full membership to the interested states.
The declaration approached connectivity as a dynamic concept that encompasses multiple dimensions including cyber, energy, rail, road, and ports and shipping.
It reiterated commitment to promote intra-ECO trade as an instrument of enhanced economic cooperation and revitalization in the Region.
It underlined the importance of the Post 2015 Development Agenda and the role that can be played by the ECO Member States.
It recognized the importance of moderation as an approach to counter all forms of extremism and promote dialog, mutual respect, understanding and social harmony, to achieve sustainable and inclusive development, equitable growth, stability and prosperity in the ECO Region.
Acknowledging the importance of Afghanistan for ECO Region, it reiterated continued support to the national, regional and global efforts for reconstruction and sustainable development as well as peace and security in Afghanistan.
It welcomed China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as a far-reaching initiative that would act as catalyst for the development of the entire region.