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The Ad Hoc Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

2017/09/22

On September 20, 2017 local time, the Ad-hoc Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was held in New York on the sideline of the 72nd UN General Assembly. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj of the Republic of India, Foreign Minister Kairat Kudaybergenovich Abdrakhmanov of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Foreign Minister Wang Yi of the People's Republic of China, Foreign Minister Erlan Abdyldaev of the Kyrgyz Republic, Foreign Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov of the Russian Federation, Foreign Minister Sirojiddin Aslov of the Republic of Tajikistan and Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov of the Republic of Uzbekistan attended the meeting.

The meeting was chaired by Foreign Minister Wang Yi of the People's Republic of China.

SCO Secretary General Rashid Alimov and Director Yevgeniy Sysoyev of the Executive Committee of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure were present at the meeting.

Foreign Ministers pointed out that over the past 16 years since the foundation of the SCO, it has become a force of important influence on the international stage, with its great contribution to maintaining regional peace and safety, achieving sustainable development and consolidating good-neighborly friendship and partnership between countries. On June 9, 2017, Pakistan and India were officially accepted as members of the SCO in the SCO Astana Summit. Now the SCO is facing new opportunities and prospects of development, as well as the improvement of international prestige and role.

Foreign Ministers exchanged views on some issues including development prospects of the SCO, urgent international and regional issues, strengthening the SCO's cooperation with the UN and other multilateral organizations, deepening cooperation among SCO member states within the framework of the UN, as well as of other international and regional organizations.

Foreign Ministers emphasized that the SCO member states should continue to pursue "Shanghai Spirit" featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respecting diverse civilizations and seeking common development, and pointed out that the SCO Charter, Treaty on Long-Term Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation and other basic legal documents are of great importance.

Foreign Ministers supported the SCO member states to comprehensively deepen cooperation in politics, security, economy, people-to-people and cultural engagement, external exchanges and mechanism construction for the sake of further development of the SCO.

Foreign Ministers pointed out that related procedures are unstoppable against the background that a multi-polar world is forming, with new political and economic centers being increasingly consolidated. At the same time, the principle of international laws for non-interference in the internal affairs of other states is under attack because of the increase of global unstable factors and the revival of groupthink and Cold War mentality. Based on the adverse situation of economic globalization, as well as the unstable growth of global economy, the conflicts caused by imbalanced development and distribution injustice are continuously aggravated.

Foreign Ministers expressed that despite the uncertainty in the current international situation, the peaceful co-existence and sustainable development are still the themes of the times. We must resolve vital issues by upholding multilateralism and address various challenges and threats by jointly perfecting the global governance mechanism to build a community of common destiny for mankind and establish new type of international relations.

Foreign Ministers stressed that the UN is the most universal, representative and authoritative international organization. All parties indicated that they will firmly hold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and be ready to strengthen coordination within the UN framework and consolidate the UN's core role in international cooperation on global governance, safeguarding world peace, promoting common development, fighting terrorism, separatism and extremism. All parties supported the SCO's further cooperation with the UN and its special agencies to safeguard world peace, resolve hotspot issues and maintain peace, stability and sustainable development of the SCO regions and the whole world at large.

Foreign Ministers reiterated that they opposed to using "double standards" for terrorists as well as to any attempt to interfere in other countries' internal affairs and damage the leading roles of all countries' authorities by using anti-terrorism as an excuse.

In this respect, Foreign Ministers agreed that the SCO should approve the SCO Anti-extremism Convention as soon as possible, and determined to take further coordination actions and strengthen cooperation so as to address common security challenges and threats and protect national interests.

Foreign Ministers expressed concerns towards the situation of the Korean Peninsula, pointing out that the UN Security Council Resolution 2375 adopted on September 11, 2017 is a reasonable response to the nuclear test conducted by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on September 3, 2017, calling on the SCO member states to obey the items of this resolution strictly to promote a political and diplomatic solution for the Korean Peninsula issue. Foreign Ministers stressed that it is necessary to launch the negotiation to ease the situation at an early date and to attach great importance to the opinion proposed by China and Russia.

Foreign Ministers pointed out that the government and people of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan are endeavoring to achieve national peace, stability and economic prosperity while shaking off terrorism, extremism and drug crimes, and held that the UN should play a core coordination role in international cooperation on promoting stability and development of Afghanistan. Foreign Ministers welcomed that Afghanistan takes part in regional cooperation process and stressed that the SCO should carry out the consensus on the continuing work of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group reached by the heads of the SCO member states after the expansion.

Given the current economic climate, Foreign Ministers agreed to further develop and enlarge the economic and trade cooperation within the framework of the SCO and stressed that the intention of utilizing the unilateral restriction measures as a political and economic pressure tool to set barriers for economic, trade and investment cooperation among countries is of no constructive significance and in vein. Foreign Ministers supported the creation of advantageous conditions to gradually achieve the free transportation for commodities, capitals, services and technologies required by the SCO Charter.

In order to effectively implement prior cooperation projects of economic and investment within the SCO framework, Foreign Ministers were in support of active discussion on the topics about establishing SCO Development Bank and SCO Development Funds (special accounts).

Foreign Ministers believed that the meeting of the Council of Prime Ministers (the Heads of Government) of the member states of the SCO to be held in the Russian Federation in 2017 will propose prior tasks and specific measures to further strengthen economic, people-to-people and cultural cooperation.

Foreign Ministers emphasized that it is important to implement the achievements of the meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the member states of the SCO (June 9, 2017, Astana). They also welcomed the incoming presidency of the People's Republic of China during 2017-2018 and reiterated their support for it.

As the outcome of this meeting, all Foreign Ministers signed a series of documents related to international cooperation and administrative affairs of the SCO and its permanent bodies.

Foreign Ministers highly appreciated China's effective work to this ad hoc meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the member states of the SCO and thanked the UN Secretariat for its assistance.

This meeting was held in the atmosphere of traditional friendship and mutual understanding among the SCO member states.

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