The ASEAN Secretariat today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Secretariat of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).  H.E Ong Keng Yong, Secretary-General of ASEAN, and H.E Zhang Deguang, Secretary-General of SCO, signed the MOU on behalf of their respective Secretariats. The signing ceremony took place at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta.      

The MOU paves the way for both Secretariats to initiate substantive cooperation on issues of mutual interest to their respective organisations’ work priorities, specifically through exchange of information and best practice.

The ASEAN and SCO Secretariats will initially focus on the priority area of combating transnational crime, which involves counter terrorism, drugs and narcotics control, arms smuggling, money laundering, and trafficking in persons. Other areas identified for cooperation in the MOU are economic and finance, tourism, environment and natural resources management, social development, and energy. In addition, the MOU provides for both Secretariats to embark on specific technical level collaborative activities in accordance with their needs and the expertise of the two Secretariats.

The ASEAN Secretariat and the Beijing-based SCO Secretariat also agreed to undertake yearly consultations to discuss issues of mutual interest.

ASEAN comprises Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. SCO Member States are People’s Republic of China, Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Russian Federation, Republic of Tajikistan and Republic of Uzbekistan.

The ASEAN Secretariat, Jakarta
21 April 2005