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Press Communiqué of the Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

2016/05/24

On May 23 and 24, 2016, the Meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was held in Tashkent. The meeting was hosted by Uzbekistan.

Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Foreign Minister Wang Yi of the People’s Republic of China, Foreign Minister Abdyldaev Bekeshovich of the Kyrgyz Republic, 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.

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

In preparation for the Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO in Tashkent from June 23 to 24, 2016, the Foreign Ministers discussed the current situation and prospects of strengthening cooperation in the SCO in various fields and improving its role and status in international and regional affairs. The Foreign Ministers stressed that since its establishment 15 years ago, the SCO has been upholding the “Shanghai spirit” featuring “mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respecting diverse civilizations and seeking common development”, and has become one of the influential participants in contemporary international relations system. All parties reiterated that they will jointly consolidate the principles held by the SCO in the international arena, i.e., non-alignment, non-confrontation and non-target against other countries or international organizations in addressing major regional and international issues.

All parties exchanged views on implementing the fruits of the Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO held in Ufa from July 9 to 10, 2015. The Foreign Ministers pointed out that all parties have done a lot of work since the Ufa summit on further improving the SCO and deepening highly productive cooperation in the SCO in fields of politics, security, economy and people-to-people and culture exchanges. The Foreign Ministers pointed out that it is of great significance to pass the “Action Plan on the Implementation of the ‘SCO Development Strategy Towards 2025’” and submit it to the Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO for approval.

The Foreign Ministers decided to submit the memorandum of obligations on the entry of the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the SCO to the Council of Heads of State for deliberation and signing.

The Foreign Ministers welcomed the signing of the memorandum on giving the SCO dialogue partner status to the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Armenia, the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal.

The Foreign Ministers pointed out that it is necessary to attract the SCO observers and dialogue partners for more extensive participation in practical cooperation within the framework of the SCO and support the continued improvement of the regular consultation mechanism with the observers and dialogue partners so as to earnestly improve the effectiveness of cooperation in various fields.

The Foreign Ministers reiterated that it is still one of the priorities in cooperation in the SCO to formulate and implement relevant measures according to the provisions of the SCO Charter and other documents to jointly strike various forms of terrorism, separatism and extremism, combat illegal drug production and trafficking, transnational organized crimes, modern information technology crimes, illegal immigration, human trafficking, illegal sales of weapons, ammunition and explosives, and prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.

The Foreign Ministers stressed that it is very important to continue formulating the “SCO Anti-Extremism Convention” according to the resolution adopted by the Council of Heads of State on July 10, 2015. The Convention will consolidate the legal basis for cooperation in this field along with the “Shanghai Treaty on Cracking Down on Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism” and the “Cooperation Program of the SCO Member States on Cracking Down on Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism (2016-2018)”.

The Foreign Ministers pointed out that the international community should be urged to formulate responsible universal codes of conduct for all countries in the field of information, including principles of respecting national sovereignty, not interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, solving conflicts peacefully, and respecting human rights and fundamental freedom. The Foreign ministers expected that all parties continue to carry out constructive discussions on this issue within the framework of new United Nations (UN) Group of Governmental Experts on International Information Security.

The Foreign Ministers pointed out that internet management is transnational, and all countries’ equal right to engage in internet management and their sovereignty of managing internet in their countries should be maintained. They reiterated the willingness of the SCO member states to cooperate in this field.

The Foreign Ministers stressed that the SCO’s international exchanges should be further expanded, and its cooperation with international and regional partner organizations should be deepened.

The Foreign Ministers exchanged views on major regional and international issues, their development tendencies and issues of strengthening regional security and stability.

The Foreign Ministers pointed out that it is of great significance to improve the global governance mechanism on the basis of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, promote the development of international order toward more justice and equity, and maintain political and economic stability.

The Foreign Ministers reiterated that the SCO member states support continuing to strengthen the UN’s central role in international relations, which should be established on the basis of international law including the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. Special attention should be paid to jointly safeguarding international stability and security, developing international cooperation, ensuring the independence and equality of each country and their right to choose their own social system and development path, respecting each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity instead of aggressing each other or interfering in each other’s internal affairs, settling international disputes peacefully instead of resorting to force or threat of force, and abiding by the recognized principles and norms of the UN on fighting terrorism, separatism, extremism and other crimes as well as dealing with relevant challenges and threats.

The Foreign Ministers supported an early adoption of the “United Nations Comprehensive Convention Against International Terrorism” and the establishment of a cooperation platform of extensive effectiveness to solve regional security challenges and threats.

The Foreign Ministers firmly believed that only by taking unified and coordinated measures, addressing both the symptoms and root causes and joining efforts on the solid basis of international law can the international community overcome and eradicate the evil force of terrorism.

The Foreign Ministers stressed that in order to pave the way for expanding anti-terrorism cooperation in the new circumstances, we should promote a consistent political stance and develop cooperation with international and regional organizations, the SCO observer states and dialogue partners as well as other countries.

The Foreign Ministers supported further enhancing the UN’s leading role in maintaining international peace and security, and agreed to conduct extensive consultations on the reform of Security Council and seek for a package solution so as to improve its transparency and efficiency. We should not set a time limit to the work or implement a program that does not win universal support of the member states so as to maintain unity among the member states.

The Foreign Ministers pointed out that an early restoration of peace and stability in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan plays an important role in maintaining and strengthening regional security. They supported the settlement of Afghanistan’s internal conflicts through promoting the inclusive national reconciliation process under the “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” principle. The UN should play the central coordinating role in international cooperation in the Afghan issue.

The Foreign Ministers reiterated that it is very important to achieve a political solution to the Ukrainian crisis on the basis of earnestly implementing the Minsk agreement reached on February 12, 2015.

The Foreign Ministers firmly believed that crises in West Asia and North Africa should be settled through extensive political dialogues by all parties in conflict on the basis of observing the recognized principles of international law and respecting each other’s interests.

The Foreign Ministers reiterated that the unity, sovereignty, territorial integrity and stability of Syria should be maintained, and the future of Syria should be determined by its people themselves. They held that the Syrian crisis can only be peacefully resolved on the basis of political process led by the UN and Resolution 2254 adopted by the UN Security Council.

The Foreign Ministers pointed that close cooperation is of great importance in aspects of disarmament, arms control, non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and peaceful use of nuclear energy. They held that an early validity of the protocol to the “Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty” to all parties will make great contributions to consolidating the global non-proliferation mechanism.

The Foreign Ministers confirmed that maritime law and order should be maintained on the basis of principles of international law including the “United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea” (UNCLOS). All relevant disputes should be peacefully resolved by the relevant parties through friendly negotiations and consultations, and internationalization and external intervention are opposed. To this end, the Foreign Ministers called for abiding by all articles in the UNCLOS, the “Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea” (DOC) and the “Guidelines for the Implementation of the DOC”.

The Foreign Ministers welcomed the earnest implementation of the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” of the Iranian nuclear issue, which they believed is a major step to consolidating regional and world security and stability and developing international cooperation.

The Foreign Ministers held that individual states or state groups ignoring other states’ interests and unilaterally reinforcing anti-missile system without limit will harm international and regional security and stability. They firmly believed that to achieve one’s own security should not be at the cost of other states’ security.

The Foreign Ministers passed the “Tashkent Declaration on the Fifteenth Anniversary of the SCO”, “Press Communiqué of the Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO” and the report on the work of the SCO Secretariat in the past year submitted by Secretary General Rashid Alimov of the SCO, and listened to the report on the work of the Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure from Director Yevgeniy Sysoyev.

The Foreign Ministers also passed a series of resolutions on the SCO and on the related issues of the Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO which will soon be held in Tashkent.

The Foreign Ministers spoke highly of the efforts made by Uzbekistan as the host state of the SCO in preparing the Tashkent Meeting of the Council of Heads of State.

The meeting was held in the atmosphere of traditional friendship and mutual understanding long-existing among the SCO member states.

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