On 23-24 June a meeting of the Council of Heads of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization under the Presidency of Uzbekistan took place at the Kuksaroy residence.
The SCO summit started with a meeting of the Heads of member-states of the SCO in a narrow format. The meeting, chaired by President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, was attended by President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping, President of the Kyrgyz Republic Almazbek Atambayev, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon.
The issues of further developing trade-economic partnership among the member-states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, enhancing the SCO activities, strengthening regional security and stability, fight against terrorism, religious extremism and separatism were discussed at the meeting.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization was established on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai based on the Declaration on establishing the SCO, signed by Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan. The main goals and tasks of the organization were defined as consolidating mutual trust, friendship and good neighborhood, development of cooperation in political, trade-economic, scientific-technical, cultural-humanitarian, power energy, transport and other spheres, ensuring peace, security and stability in the region.
The SCO Charter provides that member-states comply with the principles of respect for independence, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders, equality, mutual understanding, non-interference in internal affairs, non-use of force in international relations and settling disputes peacefully.
Over the past 15 years a solid legal basis for the organization has been created and its secretariat and divisions have been established. Currently, the SCO, as an authoritative intergovernmental organization, has a strong place in the international arena, it has become an effective mechanism of multilateral cooperation.
Uzbekistan, as one of the founding states, having a huge economic and geopolitical potential, plays a special role in its activities. Our country considers the SCO as an important means of developing trade and economic ties, cultural and humanitarian cooperation as well as strengthening regional security, fight against terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking and weapons.
This is the third time Uzbekistan has chaired in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Our country presided in the SCO in 2003-2004 and 2009-2010.
Uzbekistan, during its first presidency in the SCO, enriched the organization with substance. Within the frameworks of the summit in Tashkent on 17 June 2004, a permanent body of the organization - The Executive Committee of the Regional Antiterrorist Structure were established. The regular meetings of Secretaries of Security Councils have been launched. It serves as an important factor in strengthening peace and stability, preventing various threats and challenges, which is one of the main objectives of the SCO.
At the summit in 2004 the Convention on the powers and immunities of the SCO, the Agreement on cooperation in combating illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, the Regulation on the status of observer at the SCO and other documents were signed. Pakistan, India, Iran and Mongolia gained an observer status at the SCO. At the initiative of President Islam Karimov the President of Afghanistan was invited as a guest for the first time to the summit. Later, Afghanistan received an observer status at the SCO.
The second presidency of Uzbekistan also raised the activity of the SCO to the next level. During his visit to our country in April 2010, Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon signed a Joint Declaration on Cooperation between the Secretariats of the SCO and the United Nations, which served as the basis for the relationship of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization with this global structure.
During the Tashkent summit, held on 11 June 2010, important documents - SCO Rules of Procedure and the Regulations on the procedure for admitting new members to the SCO were adopted.
On July 11, 2015 the presidency in the organization was passed to the Republic of Uzbekistan. Our country, along with Member States, has carried out significant work on expansion of cooperation within the SCO framework, better coordination of relationships, strengthening the role of the organization in the international arena.
Uzbekistan paid special attention to improving the efficiency of the organization through the development of international relations of the SCO, development and implementation of initiatives related to the security and stability.
The Heads of State discussed the main results of the 15 years-long activity of the SCO. It was noted that the positions of the SCO as a significant and influential player in the international area have consolidated.
At the meeting it was stressed that international terrorism, extremism and their other manifestations are now a growing threat for all countries of the world. It is possible to counter these challenges only by strengthening the joint cooperation and consolidation of efforts of the world community.
In accordance with the provisions of the Charter and other documents of the SCO, development and implementation of measures for joint counteraction to terrorism, separatism and extremism, illicit drug production and trafficking, illegal trafficking of arms, ammunition and explosives, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery will continue to be a priority area of interaction within the organization.
The need to intensify joint efforts to create a safe, fair and open information space, relying on the principles of cooperation and respect for national sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries was underlined.
At the meeting the sides discussed topical issues of the priority directions of multilateral cooperation, as well as the situation in the region and the world.
Particular attention was paid to exchanging experience on effectively countering a slowdown of the economy, introduction of innovative technologies, formation of a favorable investment and business climate, implementation of long-term mutually beneficial projects in the priority areas of cooperation and infrastructure development.
The meeting paid special attention to developing cooperation in transport communications, energy, culture and other areas.
The heads of delegations of the SCO observer states - President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ashraf Gani, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, Prime Minister of the Republic of India Narendra Modi, President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran Dr. Mohammad Javad Zarif and the guest of the presiding state - President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov also attended the extended meeting of the SCO summit.
UN Under-Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman, Chairman of the Executive Committee - Executive Secretary of the Commonwealth of Independent States Sergey Lebedev, Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization Nikolay Bordyuzha, ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh and Executive Director of the Secretariat of Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building measures in Asia Gong Jianwei were also present.
Signing of memoranda on obligations of the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to obtain the SCO member state status at the Tashkent summit was an important stage in the process of expanding the SCO.
The Heads of State noted that obtaining the full member status by India and Pakistan shall increase the potential of the Organization and contribute to the further enhancement of its role in the international arena as a multilateral mechanism for addressing the urgent problems of contemporary time, ensuring security, stability and sustainable development in the region and the world as a whole.
The Heads of State welcomed the signing of memoranda on granting the SCO Dialogue Partner status to the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Armenia, the Kingdom of Cambodia and Nepal.
Following the summit meeting, the Tashkent Declaration of the Fifteenth Anniversary of the SCO, the Action Plan 2016-2020 for the implementation of the SCO Development Strategy towards 2025, Program on Development of Cooperation of the SCO Member States in the Sphere of Tourism and other documents were signed.
The meeting highly appreciated the activities of the Republic of Uzbekistan during its presidency in the SCO.
At the press briefing with mass media representatives, President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov pointed out that the meeting was held in the spirit of mutual trust and respect, the reached agreements r will serve the interests of the SCO member states and observer countries.
SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov emphasized the historical importance of Uzbekistan's presidency in the organization, high level of organization of all activities in the framework of its presidency and the SCO Tashkent summit as a whole. He expressed his sincere gratitude to the people and leadership of Uzbekistan.
The Tashkent SCO summit concluded its work. Surely, it takes a special place in the history of the SCO as a summit at which important agreements were reached in order to enhance the efficiency of the organization, promoting regional cooperation and strengthening security.
The Republic of Kazakhstan shall take over the presidency in the Organization for the upcoming period.