PRESIDENCY OF UZBEKISTAN IN SCO
May 25, 2016
SCO COUNCIL OF FOREIGN MINISTERS TAKES PLACE IN TASHKENT
On 23-24 May a regular session of the Council of Ministers of foreign affairs of the member-states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization under the presidency of Uzbekistan took place in Tashkent.
The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Yerlan Idrisov, Foreign Minister of the People’s Republic of China Wang Yi, Foreign Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Erlan Abdyldayev, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Tajikistan Sirojiddin Aslov, and Foreign Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov. SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov and Director of the Executive Committee of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure Yevgeny Sysoyev also took part in the meeting.
As part of the preparations for the meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of State due to be held in Tashkent on June 23-24, 2016, the ministers discussed the current state and prospects for promoting cooperation in different areas of the organisation’s activities and for enhancing its role and stance in international and regional affairs. It was stressed that the SCO, based on the “spirit of Shanghai,” embodying mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, mutual consultations, respect for the diversity of cultures and joint development aspirations, has asserted itself as an influential member of the modern system of international relations over 15 years since its inception.
The participants exchanged views on the implementation of the resolutions adopted at the meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of State, which was held in Ufa on 9-10 July, 2015. In this regard the importance of approving a Plan of Action to implement the SCO Development Strategy towards 2025, to be submitted to the SCO Council of Heads of State for approval, was pointed out.
The ministers decided to submit for consideration to the Council of Heads of State the signing of memoranda on the commitments of the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan for their obtaining the status of SCO member-states.
The ministers welcomed the signing of memoranda to grant SCO dialogue partner status to the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Armenia, the Kingdom of Cambodia and Nepal.
The ministers noted the need for a broader involvement of the SCO observer states and the SCO dialogue partners in practical cooperation within the organization.
The ministers confirmed that in accordance with the Charter and other SCO documents, developing and implementing measures for the joint fight against all forms of terrorism, separatism and extremism, illegal drug production and trafficking, trans-border organized crime, crimes with the use of modern information technology, illegal migration and human trafficking, illegal trafficking in arms, ammunition and explosives, and proliferation of mass destruction weapons and their delivery vehicles would remain a priority in cooperation within the organization.
The significance of continuing efforts on preparation of the SCO Convention on combating extremism, in accordance with the resolution of the Council of Heads of State on 10 July 2015, was highlighted. The Convention will assist to strengthen the legal base in this sphere along with the Shanghai Convention on fighting terrorism, separatism and extremism and the Programme of cooperation of the SCO member states on fighting terrorism, separatism and extremism for 2016-2018.
The ministers exchanged views on actual regional and international problems, main trends of their development, issues of strengthening security and stability in the region.
The ministers affirmed adherence of the SCO member-states to consistently strengthen central coordinating role of the UN in international relations, which should be based on international law, including goals and principles of the UN Charter. First of all, this relates to joint efforts on supporting stability and security in the world, developing cooperation among nations, independence, equality, as well as ensuring the right of self-determination of a social structure and development pathway, mutual respect of sovereignty, territorial integrity, non-aggression, non-interference in internal affairs, peaceful settlement of international disputes, non-use of force or threat of force.
The ministers noted that early restoration of peace and stability in Afghanistan is an important factor in maintaining and strengthening security in the region. They support settlement of inter-Afghan conflict via promoting inclusive process of national reconciliation and believe that these efforts should be undertaken under the leadership of the Afghans and Afghans themselves. The UN should play a central coordinating role in international cooperation on Afghanistan.
The significance of cooperation in disarmament and arms control, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and peaceful use of nuclear energy was underlined. From this point of view, entry into force of the protocol on security guarantees to the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (CANWFZ) treaty, which will contribute to strengthening of global non-proliferation regime.
The ministers endorsed a draft Tashkent declaration on the fifteenth anniversary of the SCO and draft information communique following the meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of State, as well as a Report of the SCO Secretariat for the past year, presented by the SCO Secretary General Rashid Alimov.
The heads of delegations also adopted decisions on a number of issues, related to the activities of the organization and forthcoming meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO member-states in Tashkent.
The ministers highly appraised the works, carried out under Uzbekistan’s SCO presidency, on preparing the meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO member-states in Tashkent.