Kabuljon K. Sabirov is the Director of the Center of the Public Diplomacy under the umbrella of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Uzbekistan.
As a senior and professional diplomat, Director Sabirov has contributed to the SCO Public Diplomacy center immensely by enhancing the center’s value and attending various activities.
An Overview of Director Sabirov’s Work and Values
Director Sabirov’s pragmatic and people-friendly working style has enabled him to speak for regional public diplomacy on many occasions.
Moreover, to expand the Center’s discussion topics, the Director has been working hard on combining sustainable development and social issues.
Therefore, he has made efforts through public diplomacy to attract more social audiences, thus truly integrating public diplomacy with the people. This characteristic reflects the Director’s values and opinion on public diplomacy.
In January 2021, Director Sabirov expressed his view of the Center’s future development in an interview. According to him, the Centre will continue to promote the spirit of mutual trust and good neighborliness in the SCO field.
He also emphasized that public diplomacy is increasingly important for its inherent openness and impartiality. Unlike traditional and official diplomacy, public diplomacy can involve scientists, artists, businessmen, and youth without the limitation given by politics.
According to him, “People-to-people diplomacy is a simple exchange between ordinary people and organizations in different countries, aimed at deepening relations, a better understanding of cultures & traditions, & developing mutually beneficial cooperation”.
In addition, the Uzbek President, Shavkat Mirziyoyev has also stressed many times that enhancing trust between peoples, deepening mutual understanding between countries, taking into account each other’s interests and complete equality is the main guarantee for the success of the SCO.
Accordingly, Director Sabirov believes that the simplest way to achieve these goals is by implementing public diplomacy.
Director Sabirov’s Contribution to SCO via Activities with Youth
Director Sabirov’s activities are often closely related to education and youth. Therefore, these opportunities can help young people in SCO member states learn more about the SCO and enhance people-to-people exchanges.
For instance, on 3 May 2021, winners of a contest of essays called Vernal Equinox Day received awards in Tashkent. The event coordinated with Uzbek schools was timed to coincide with the SCO’s 20th anniversary.
The contest was organized by the SCO Centre for Public Diplomacy in Uzbekistan. The aim of this youth activity was to support independent-minded people and to select gifted and talented young people.
Its main purpose was to unravel creativity and to promote the younger generation’s social activities. Director Sabirov emphasized that the main objective of the competition was to inspire talented young people to engage in creative work.
Also, the activity could improve their knowledge of the culture, history, traditions, values, and public diplomacy of the SCO countries.
Therefore, the youth could contribute to the building of good-neighborly relations, and inter-ethnic and inter-sectarian harmony.
Moreover, the youth can promote inter-civilizational dialogue among foreign peoples as a whole. The focus on education and youth reflects the long-term vision of the Centre and Director Sabirov.
The version focuses on the development of public diplomacy in the SCO countries in the future. Stronger ties among the younger generation will help the SCO countries maintain closer ties in the future.
Director Sabirov’s Attention to Social Development
Considering the inclusiveness of public diplomacy, many social issues are also the focus of public diplomacy. Thus, Director Sabirov has paid great attention to relevant social topics during his career.
For example, on 8 March 2022, the University of World Economy and Diplomacy organized a festive event. The event was dedicated to International Women’s Day.
Also, the university was in cooperation with the SCO and the “Olima” Association of Women Scientists. Director Sabirov attended the meeting and expressed his aversion to women’s role in public diplomacy.
Director Sabirov pointed out that women have made a special contribution to public diplomacy. According to him, women especially contribute to the strengthening of peace and good-neighborly relations between countries.
Moreover, women always strive to smooth out any conflicts and establish a constructive dialogue. Another important task in the activities of women is the activation of cultural and humanitarian cooperation.
The activities focused on preserving and passing on traditional human values from generation to generation. At another session of the activity, Kabuljon Sabirov said he believes that females will play a more and more significant role in the future.
According to him, more and more women will be interested in public diplomacy. In conclusion, Director Sabirov has improved the work of the SCO Center of Public Diplomacy with his team by working widely and deeply.
The diversity of those activated, held, or joined by the SCO Center of Public Diplomacy will undoubtedly benefit people-to-people exchange among SCO member states.
Shanghai Cooperation Organization: An Overview
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a permanent intergovernmental international organization established by the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai, China.
The current SCO member states include India, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, and the Russian Federation.
Moreover, the Republic of Tajikistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan are also members of the SCO. Also, there are four observer States including the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Republic of Belarus, Islamic Republic of Iran, and Mongolia.
At the same time, six countries are interacting with the SCO as dialogue partners. They are the Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Armenia, Kingdom of Cambodia, Republic of Nepal, Republic of Turkey, and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.
As an international organization of a regional nature, the SCO and its partners in the region have always attached great importance to people-to-people and cultural exchanges in the region.
In this context, the Centre for Public Diplomacy has been designed to play a significant role in this social and civil objective since 2017.