Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), is an inter-governmental regional organization originally established by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey as Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD) in 1964 for promoting sustainable socio-economic development of the Member States. It was renamed as ECO in 1985 and in 1992 the organization was expanded to include Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Over the past 20 years the member states have been collaborating to accelerate the pace of regional development through their common endeavors. Besides shared cultural and historic affinities, they have been able to use the existing infrastructural and business links to further fortify their resolve to transfer their hopes and aspirations into a tangible reality. ECO has embarked on several projects in priority sectors of cooperation including energy, agriculture, trade, transport, disaster risk reduction, environment, health, and drug control.
ECO Secretary General: Ambassador Dr. Shamil Alaskerov
Disaster Reduction Goal
ECO Member States are located in a disaster prone area. During the last decade there has been an increase in the number of natural disasters in the ECO Region. Frequent happening of high casualty earthquakes and floods in the Region and also serious drought affect the economic development and welfare of the people of the Region. In this regard, the issue of disaster risk reduction and public awareness raising are very vital and important for the Region. Reducing the civilian casualties and human losses on one hand and minimizing property damage on the other hand are the most immediate goals of the ECO and the Secretariat is going to address those concerns though utilizing regional and international experiences through multi-faceted cooperation.
Policies and Programmes in DRR
In order to address disasters and conduct the activities in this regard, ECO Secretariat has the following policies and programmes:
- Promote regional cooperation in the field of natural disasters management and risk reduction through raising awareness about the threat of natural disasters, aggravated by the impacts of climate change to the human life, economy and food security of the Member States,
- Strengthen national capacities through holding conferences, seminars, workshops and training courses,
- Exchange information, knowledge and best practices as well as experts, instructors and trainers,
- Enhance cooperation on Disaster Risk Reduction with the relevant international/regional organizations and the UN Specialized bodies specially UNISDR, UNESCAP, UNOCHA and UN-HABITAT for their technical and financial support towards the activities of ECO Secretariat in this regard.
ECO Secretariat has undertaken different initiatives to address the issue as follows:
-Organizing annual ECO International Conference on Disaster Risk Management;
- Follow up closed cooperation with UNISDR, UNOCHA, UNESCAP, UN-Habitat and Regional Organizations;
- Organizing Workshops and Symposiums on DRR in collaboration with UN bodies;
- Promote ECO Regional Center for Risk Management of Natural Disasters (ECO-RCRM) as an ECO specialized agency , for the purpose of conducting the functions and discharging the responsibilities in disaster area.
Making disaster risk reduction a policy priority, institutional strengthening (HFA 1)
- 9th ECO Summit on May 2006, highlighted the importance of regional cooperation on these issues and recommended consideration of regional programmes and projects for early warning, preparedness and management of natural disasters and the need for strengthening collaboration within and beyond the region in this regard, and putting in place a permanent regional response mechanism dedicated to disaster preparedness, earthquake safety and drought management,etc.
- For addressing the disasters in the ECO Region, the Council of Foreign Ministers (COM) has established the Human Resources and Sustainable Development Directorate in ECO Secretariat since 2006.
Risk assessment and early warning systems (HFA 2)
- Organizing 7 annual ECO International Conferences on Disaster Risk Management from 2006 to 2014 in Turkey, Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan and Azerbaijan respectively,
- Signing MOU between ECO and UNISDR, UNESCAP,
- Closed cooperation with UNISDR, UNESCAP, UNOCHA, UN-Habitat and regional organizations on disaster risk reduction,
- Organizing several workshops in collaboration with the United Nations Agencies on Disaster Risk Reduction.
Education, information and public awareness (HFA 3)
- Organizing Workshop on "Legal Framework of Humanitarian Assistance" (Tehran, Iran, 18-20 November 2007),
- Organizing Workshop on "the Global Assessment Report on disaster risk reduction in the ECO Region" (Tehran, Iran, 1-2 July, 2008),
- Organizing Seminar on "Hospitals Safe from Disasters in ECO Countries" (Tehran, Iran, 14 July, 2008),
- Organizing Workshop on “Water and Sanitation Facilities on Disaster Situations” , (Kish Island, Iran, 30th May to 1st June 2011),
- Organizing Workshop on “The State of the ECO-region Cities: Urban Resilience for Cities at risk 2013-2015”, (Tehran, ECO Secretariat, 19th November, 2012),
- Organizing symposium on "Disaster Economics",(Istanbul, Turkey, 3-5 April 2013).
Preparedness for effective response (HFA 5)
Closed collaboration with UN bodies including UNISDR, UNESCAP, UNOCHA, UN-Habitat and regional organizations to address disasters in the Region and promote public awareness and information in ECO Member States through organizing workshops, conferences and seminars.
Making Cities Resilient Campaign Activities
Organizing the presentation by Representatives of UN-Habitat on the project proposal titled “The State of the ECO-region Cities 2015: Cities at Risk” on 19th November, 2012 in ECO Secretariat, Tehran. The purpose of the event was to brief the Representatives of the ECO Member States about different aspects of the project including its aims and modalities for preparation of the report and provisional work plan along with time line for making cities in ECO Region more resilient.
Disaster Risk Reduction Focal Point(s)
Human Resources and Sustainable Development Directorate
Tel: 009821 22831733-4
Fax: 009821 22831732