Joint Statement of the Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of The Shanghai Cooperation Organization
A regular meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (CHS SCO) took place on 28 August 2008 in Dushanbe. President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N.A.Nazarbaev, President of the People’s Republic of China Hu Jintao, President of the Kyrgyz Republic K.S.Bakiev, President of the Russian Federation D.A.Medvedev, President of the Republic of Tajikistan E.Rakhmon, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan I.A.Karimov were in attendance.
President of the Republic of Tajikistan E.Rakhmon chaired the meeting.
Secretary-General of the SCO B.K.Nurgaliev and Director of the Executive Committee of the SCO Regional Antiterrorist Structure (RATS) M.U.Subanov participated in the meeting.
Heads of delegations from the SCO observer states – President of the Islamic Republic of Iran M.Ahmadinejad, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas of the Republic of India M.Deora, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia S.Oyun, Advisor to the Prime Minister with the rank of Federal Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan M.A.Durrani, as well as guests of the host state – President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan H.Karzai, Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations M.Jenca, Chairman of the Executive Committee – Executive Secretary of the Commonwealth of Independent States S.N.Lebedev, Deputy Secretary-General of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation T.I.Buzubaev were in attendance.
The heads of state exchanged opinions on international issues and the regional situation. Broad convergence or similarity of positions was noted which was reflected in the Dushanbe Declaration.
Plenipotentiary representatives of the member states of the Organisation signed the Agreement on the order of organisation and staging of joint counterterrorism exercises by the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and the Agreement on cooperation among the governments of the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation on combating illegal circulation of weapons, ammunition and explosives. The Memorandum on partnership relations between the Interbank Association of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the Eurasian Development Bank was also signed.
In the course of the meeting in a traditional spirit of friendship, mutual understanding and constructivism the achievements of the activity of the Organisation in the period following the Bishkek summit were considered, development priorities were set for the period until the next meeting of the CHS and longer term perspective.
It was stated that the tasks set at the CHS meeting in Bishkek as well as the reached agreements were being successfully fulfilled.
The heads of state approved the report of the SCO Secretary-General on the work of the Organisation in the past year and the report of the RATS Council on the work of the Regional Antiterrorist Structure in 2007.
The heads of state congratulated President of the People’s Republic of China Hu Jintao on successful staging of the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. The Chinese side expressed gratitude to the SCO member states for extensive support in the period of their preparation and staging. Cooperation in the SCO framework in ensuring security at the Olympics was highly evaluated.
The heads of state were in attendance at the opening of the Fourth Art Festival of the SCO member states.
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The heads of state underlined the importance of the Treaty on Long-term Good-neighbourly Relations, Friendship and Cooperation signed in August 2007 in Bishkek in terms of strengthening interaction in the framework of the Organisation in joint counteraction against new challenges and threats, cementing international peace and security, maintaining global and regional stability.
Practical implementation of the Treaty will also promote the improvement of socioeconomic conditions and deepening of integration processes in the SCO space.
The heads of state noted a gradual increase in the activity of the SCO Regional Antiterrorist Structure in the field of fighting new challenges and threats as an effective mechanism of coordination of interaction among the competent agencies of the SCO member states and its information and analytical support. The process of practical implementation of the Cooperation Plan on combating terrorism, separatism and extremism for 2007-2009 was evaluated positively. The joint drills of the member states including the Peace Mission 2007 counterterrorism exercise staged in Chelyabinsk Region of the Russian Federation contributed to the enhancement of counterterrorism capabilities. The practice of conducting joint drills will be continued. The parties will consider at an early date a possibility of holding the first meeting of ministers of internal affairs and public security at the beginning of 2009.
The heads of state reiterated their concern over threats related to the possibility of using modern information and telecommunication technologies for purposes incompatible with the tasks of ensuring international stability and security. In this regard they noted the successful work of the SCO member states’ International Information Security Expert Group on the fulfillment of the Action Plan on Ensuring IIS adopted in 2007. At the same time with the aim of creating legal framework for cooperation in this field it was considered expedient to draft an intergovernmental agreement in the SCO framework in the field of international information security.
In the process of implementing the Agreement among the SCO member states on cooperation in the fight against illegal circulation of narcotics, psychotropic substances and their precursors emphasis will be put on comprehensive fulfillment of the task of discovering and cutting off the channels of illegal movement of narcotics across the borders of the SCO member states, as well as on the earliest possible launch of practical cooperation in this field.
Heads of counternarcotics agencies of the member states were instructed to hold in the first half of 2009 a special meeting to consider issues of creating in the SCO framework a mechanism of fighting illegal circulation of narcotics, working out a strategy and a programme for stopping the trafficking of drugs from Afghanistan and precursors for their production in that country.
The need to enhance the activity of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group was noted.
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The heads of state expressed their support for further expansion of international ties of the Organisation. Work with the SCO observer states – India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan – will be lifted to a qualitatively new level and with due regard for their considerations.
For the sake of providing additional opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation with interested states and international organisations the heads of states approved the Regulations on the Status of Dialogue Partner of the SCO.
A decision was taken to set up a special expert group to consider a whole range of issues related to the expansion of the Organisation.
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The heads of state welcomed the positive dynamics which had appeared in a number of areas of common interest in trade and economic cooperation, namely the creation of favourable trade and investment conditions, development of transportation routes and transit potential, modern information and telecommunication technologies. Attention was drawn to the need of making greater use of the potential of the SCO Business Council and Interbank Association with the aim of consolidating in the SCO region a favourable investment environment and involving business communities in the implementation of major joint economic projects. The importance of cooperation in the field of customs was underlined in the context of promoting business partnership within the framework of the Organisation.
The heads of state expressed satisfaction at the start of dialogue in the SCO framework on agricultural issues.
The heads of state particularly stressed the significance of interaction in the field of people-to-people exchange as one of the key factors of steady consolidation and expansion of the social base for friendship, good-neighbourliness and mutual understanding among the peoples of the SCO member states. An intention to establish contacts among the legislative bodies of interested member states of the Organisation was noted.
The heads of state underlined the significance of establishing interaction in the framework of the Organisation in the field of healthcare, including the fight against infectious diseases, which is vitally important in terms of providing a suitable environment for steady economic development and raising the living standards of population in the region.
An intention was expressed to continue cooperation in the fields of education and science, development of cultural and youth exchanges for the sake of strengthening understanding and friendship among peoples of interested member states of the Organisation.
A positive development of cooperation in the field of ecology was noted. The importance of continuing the work on the preparation of an SCO concept on environmental protection was underlined.
The pace of cooperation among the departments responsible for emergency prevention and disaster relief was highly rated. It was opined that it is expedient to speed up the work on founding an SCO Centre for Prevention of Natural and Man-made Disasters.
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The heads of state highly appreciated the chairmanship of the Republic of Tajikistan at the SCO and expressed gratitude to the Tajik side for hospitality during the Dushanbe summit.
The next meeting of the SCO Heads of State Council will be held in 2009 in the city of Yekaterinburg. According to the SCO Charter the duties of a state holding chairmanship of the Organisation in the coming period are to be taken over by the Russian Federation.