On 6 May 2019, the SCO Secretariat hosted a ceremony to put Heilongjiang Hall into operation, attended by representatives of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the Beijing Service Bureau for Diplomatic Missions (BDS) and the Heilongjiang Province, as well as ambassadors and diplomats of the SCO family.
Addressing the ceremony, SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov expressed appreciation to Chinese top officials, who allocated 10 million yuan for improving the work conditions and supporting the activities of the Secretariat.
Mr Norov noted that India and Pakistan joining the Organisation as full members at the SCO Summit in Astana has resulted in a greater number of events hosted by the Secretariat. In this connection, the funds from the Chinese side went towards the renovation of the Heilongjiang Hall, the main hall of the headquarters.
The Secretary-General praised the Chinese side's decision and emphasised that the hall, fitted out with the most advanced equipment, would boost the efficiency of the Organisation's activities. Ambassador Xiao Qinghua from the Chinese Foreign Ministry's Department of European-Central Asian Affairs spoke at the ceremony as a representative of the Chinese Foreign Ministry and congratulated everyone on the opening of the new hall. He praised the work done by the Secretariat following the admission of the Organisation's new members and expressed the Chinese side's readiness for close cooperation with all SCO member states for the Organisation's steady development.
During the ceremony, the SCO Secretary-General presented letters of appreciation to representatives of the Chinese Foreign Ministry and BDS, and accepted paintings as gifts from the Heilongjiang Province on behalf of the SCO Secretariat.
Heilongjiang Hall is the main hall of the SCO Secretariat that traditionally hosts meetings of the SCO national coordinators and permanent representatives, as well as expert meetings and research and practical conferences. The hall was named Heilongjiang in 2014, when the Heilongjiang Province provided assistance in its renovation following the Secretariat's relocation to the current address.