Foreign Minister Says Security, Stability Primary Task of SCO
At the May 24 meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov stressed that ensuring security and stability must be one of the primary tasks of the organisation today.
“In addition to preventing traditional threats, the SCO should fight against the new global evil – terrorism,” Idrissov said, going on to discuss a series of initiatives launched or suggested by President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev to help restore confidence in international relations. These include his recently presented Manifesto “The World. The 21st Century.”
Noting the key role of the United Nations in the fight against terrorism, Idrissov drew attention to the need to adopt a comprehensive UN convention against terrorism and create a global antiterrorist network under the auspices of the UN, both also suggestions by Nazarbayev.
Continuing the discussion of the role of the SCO, Idrissov said the main direction of work for SCO member states should be ensuring long-term economic and trade cooperation among themselves by developing production and processing facilities and transport and social infrastructure.
“Building bridges between the Eurasian Economic Union [EAEU], the Chinese ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative [an economic initiative to support development along the traditional Silk Road] and the SCO is of fundamental importance. Work in this area would create a basis for the formation of long-term policy regarding the EAEU of the SCO member states,” he said.
The foreign ministers also discussed Afghanistan and measures to restore peace and stability in that country. They confirmed the importance of a political solution based on the Feb. 12, 2015, Minsk agreement to the crisis in Ukraine and the need to settle crises in the Middle East and North Africa.
The ministers reviewed the process of implementation of agreements reached by the heads of SCO member states in 2015 in Ufa, noting that states in the organisation had strengthened security, economic and humanitarian ties with each other, and discussed the current state and prospects for the further development of the organisation, including in international and regional affairs.
After the meeting, the ministers decided on the documents to be submitted for approval by the Council of Heads of State of the SCO during their June 23-24 in Uzbekistan. Among these are the Tashkent Declaration of the 15th anniversary of the SCO, the action plan for creating a development strategy for the SCO to 2025 and others.
Attending the meeting were the foreign ministers of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, as well as SCO Secretary-General Rashid Olimov and Director of the Executive Committee of the Regional Antiterrorist Structure of the SCO Yevgeniy Sysoyev.