Shanghai Cooperation Organization declaration calls for greater cooperation

Kyrgyzstan hosts 19th summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organization with leaders from 8-member states, 4 observer countries

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on Friday adopted the Bishkek Declaration, calling for greater cooperation among member countries. After their speeches in plenary session in Kyrgyz capital Bishkek, the eight heads of SCO member states signed documents focusing on cooperation. A statement released after the 19th summit said that there can be no justification for any acts of terrorism and extremism.

“The Member States consider it important to implement comprehensive measures to more effectively counter terrorism and its ideology, to expose and eliminate various factors and conditions that facilitate terrorism and extremism,” the declaration said. “[SCO members] noted the unacceptability of interfering in the domestic affairs of states under the pretext of countering terrorism and extremism, as well as the unacceptability of using terrorist, extremist and radical groups for mercenary purposes,” it added.

The SCO members states that have signed the Code of Conduct to Achieve a Terrorism-Free World advocated “consistent implementation of its provisions”. The declaration said it was necessary to “ensure the earliest possible enactment of a protocol” on security guarantees to the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone Treaty for all signatory states.

It emphasized the “unacceptability of attempts to ensure one country’s security at the expense of other counties’ security and noted that the unilateral and unlimited buildup of missile defense systems by certain countries or groups of states was detrimental to international security and a destabilizing factor in the world”.

The heads of the member-states reviewed the implementation of the results of the 2018 Qingdao summit and the priority goals for SCO development in the context of current global political and economic processes. “The Member States emphasized that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is an effective and constructive mechanism for multilateral cooperation that plays an important role in maintaining regional peace and stability and in facilitating the prosperity and development of the Member States,” the declaration said.

It also reaffirmed the member states’ commitment to enhancing the central coordinating role of the UN and its Security Council as a body vested with the main responsibility for maintaining international peace and security under the UN Charter.“In this context, they [SCO member states] noted the intentions of the Republic of India, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Republic of Tajikistan to be elected as rotating members of the UN Security Council, as well as the intentions of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Uzbekistan to be elected to the UN Human Rights Council,” the declaration added.

The declaration said that SCO will also sign memorandums of understanding with World Tourism Organization, Astana International Finance Center, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, UN Economic Commission for Europe, World Tourism Organization and Astana International Finance Center.

A roadmap for further actions of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group were also inked during the summit. Four heads of SCO observer states, including Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, also participated in the summit. After the summit concluded, Kyrgyzstan handed over chairmanship of the SCO to Russia.

Russia will be hosting 20th SCO summit on 22-23 July 2020. In his address to the summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that his country will pay particular attention to deepening of cultural and humanitarian ties during its SCO chairmanship. “In particular, we will focus on implementation of the reached agreements on cooperation in mass media, physical education, sport and tourism,” he said.

The member states pledged to give more attention to increase the “share of national currencies in mutual financial transaction and settlements”. Six of the members of the group including Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan reaffirmed their support for China’s Belt and Road initiative while India was not mentioned in this list.

The member states also stressed the importance of implementing comprehensive measure in order to fight terrorism and its ideology more effectively, to eliminate the sources that facilitate terrorism and extremism. Interfering in the domestic affairs of states under the pretext of countering terrorism and extremism is unacceptable, the statement noted “the unacceptability of using terrorist, extremist and radical groups for mercenary purposes as well as using terrorism, extremist and radical groups for mercenary purposes”.

The current regulatory-legal framework is vital to prevent weaponizing the outer space, the declaration underlined, and comply with the international law to make sure the exclusively peaceful use of the space is utterly important, the SCO declaration stressed.

Source: Anadolu Agency