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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Extraordinary Session Eco Council of Ministers 28-29 November, 1992

Pakistan is hosting the extraordinary session of the ECO Council of Ministers in Islamabad on 28-29 November 1992. On this historic occasion five Central Asian States namely; Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrghystan will be admitted into ECO. With these countries we share common history, culture and religion. These relations remained disrupted for centuries in the colonial era. After the disintegration of Soviet Union these States attained independence and are joining the FCC. These were admitted with pleasure at the first FCO summit meeting at Tehran in February this year. Afghanistan too has since applied for membership. The extraordinary session of ECO Council of Ministers is being held in Islamabad on 28-29 November 1992 to formally admit these new members.
Economic Cooperation Organisation was established in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey. Earlier the ROD, established in 1964 was aimed at promoting economic and commercial relations. After the Islamic revolution in Iran this spirit of cooperation between the three countries was revived with a new name called Economic Cooperation Organisation.
Aims and Objectives of ECO
i) Reduction of trade barriers in the ECO area at an appropriate time in the light of the experience to be gained within the FCC preferential tariff system.
ii) Industrial collaboration through the establishment of joint ventures based on the regional market; and through inter-industry cooperation and specialisation in production of components.
iii) Establishment of an FCC Investment and Development Bank with the participation of private sectors of the member states.
iv) Conversion of the integrated FCC Reinsurance Pool into an FCC Reinsurance Company. v) Promotion of intra-regional tourism.
vi) Provision of efficient post, telephone, telegraph and telex services within the region.
vii) Provision of efficient transport system in the region. To this end the Member States shall give priority to the construction, completion and improvement of the highways and railways.
viii) To take measures to ensure adequate shipping services and formation of an ECO Shipping Company.
ix) Expansion of air travel and. movement of air cargo.
x) To provide technical assistance and expertise to each other in various fields.
xi) To establish institutions for training personnel in the technical fields.
xii) To establish ECO Science Foundation with headquarters at lslamabad with a view to build up a pool of highly skilled, scientific and technical manpower.
xiii) Creation of an ECO Youth Foundation to promote Cultural exchange, friendship and greater contacts among the youth.
xiv) Promotion of cultural cooperation.
xv) Establishment of close cooperation among media agencies.
Organs of ECO
The task entrusted to the Economic Cooperation Organisation shall be carried out by the following organs:-
1. The Council
a) Council of Ministers
b) Council of Deputies
2. Regional Planning Council
3. Technical Committees
4. The Secretariat, and
5. Specialised Agencies
Achievements of ECO
i) The member states have signed a protocol on preferential tariffs at the First ECO Summit meeting.
ii) Meeting of a Study Group of ECO Shipping Company was held at Ankara on 30-31 March, 1992 examined the draft Agreement on the establishment of the Shipping Company and discussed its functions, the principles of establishment, capital, the distribution of shares between Government and public sectors and exemptions of duties to be granted to the proposed company.
The meeting agreed on all points except a clause pertaining to the exemption of customs duties and all kinds of taxes and duties related to the establishment and registration of the Company by the respective countries. This point will be discussed in the next meeting expected to be held in 1st week of Dec. 1992.
iii) Draft Trilateral Maritime agreement is under consideration.
iv) Draft agreement of ECO Commercial and Financial Bank is under consideration.
v) The Heads of the Central Banks of ECO countries in their meeting on 28-29 March, 1992 at Karachi agreed on the basic concepts of an ECO Investment and Development Bank.
vi) Agreement on mutual exchange of technical and industrial training is under consideration.
vii) ECO College of Insurance has been established at Tehran.
viii) ECO satellite is under study.
ix) The microwave network between ECO countries is ready for transmission of each others TV programmes.
x) Feasibility report to establish fiber optics cable link between the ECO countries is under consideration.
xi) One of the important achievement of ECO is the establishment of a regional postal union called South & West Asia Postal Union with headquarters at Tehran. The postal union aims at maintaining reduced postal tariff among the member countries, holding philatelic exhibitions and arranging common training facilities.
To commemorate the occasion Pakistan Post is issuing a stamp of Rs. 7/-denomination on November 28, 1992.