Members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on Thursday issued a declaration on its fifth anniversary of founding. The following is the full text of the document:
Declaration on the Fifth Anniversary of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization
(Shanghai, 15 June 2006)
On the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the founding of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (hereinafter referred to as SCO), the heads of state of SCO members -- President N. Nazarbaev of the Republic of Kazakhstan, President Hu Jintao of the People's Republic of China, President K. Bakiev of the Kyrgyz Republic, President V. Putin of the Russian Federation, President E. Rakhmonov of the Republic of Tajikistan and President I. Karimov of the Republic of Uzbekistan -- met in Shanghai, SCO's birthplace, and stated as follows:
SCO was founded in Shanghai five years ago pursuant to a strategic decision made by its member states to meet challenges and threats of the twenty-first century and bring about durable peace and sustainable development of the region. This decision, which ushered in a new historical phase of regional cooperation, is of great importance to the establishment and maintenance of peace and stability and the creation of an inclusive environment for cooperation in the SCO region.
With volatile changes taking place in the international and regional environment, SCO has become an important mechanism for deepening good-neighborly cooperation, friendship and partnership among its members. It is a good example of dialogue among civilizations and an active force for promoting democracy in international relations.
Through its endeavor over the past few years, SCO has laid a solid foundation for its steady and sustained growth and gained extensive international recognition.
1. SCO has completed building of institution and legal framework which ensures its effective functioning.
2. It has carried out close security cooperation focusing on addressing non-traditional security threats and challenges such as fighting terrorism, separatism, extremism and drug trafficking.
3. It has adopted a long-term plan, set direction for regional economic cooperation and identified the goal, priority areas and major tasks of economic cooperation among member states. It has set up the SCO Business Council and the Interbank Association.
4. Following the principles of openness, non-alliance and not targeting at any third party, it has actively engaged in dialogue, exchange and cooperation of various forms with countries and international organizations that, like SCO, are ready to carry out cooperation on an equal and constructive basis with mutual respect to safeguard regional peace, security and stability.
SCO owes its smooth growth to its consistent adherence to the " Shanghai Spirit" of "mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for multi-civilizations and pursuit of common development". This spirit is the underlying philosophy and the most important code of conduct of SCO. It enriches the theory and practice of contemporary international relations and embodies the shared aspiration of the international community for realizing democracy in international relations. The "Shanghai Spirit" is therefore of critical importance to the international community's pursuit of a new and non-confrontational model of international relations, a model that calls for discarding the Cold War mentality and transcending ideological differences.
SCO will remain dedicated to the purposes and principles established at its founding and strengthened in the documents, declarations and statements adopted thereafter.
The world and international relations today are going through unprecedented and profound changes. There is increasing trend toward multipolarization and economic globalization amid twists and turns. The establishment of a new international order in the twenty-first century is a slow and uneven process. Interdependence among countries is growing. The international community faces favorable opportunities for ensuring stability, peace and common development, but is also confronted with complicated traditional and non-traditional security challenges and threats.
SCO is committed to enhancing strategic stability, strengthening the international regime of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and upholding order in international law, and will contribute its share to accomplishing these important missions.
SCO holds that the United Nations, being the universal and the most representative and authoritative international organization, is entrusted with primary responsibility in international affairs and is at the core of formulating and implementing the basic norms of international law. The United Nations should improve efficiency and strengthen its capacity for responding to new threats and challenges by carrying out proper and necessary reforms in light of the changing international environment. In carrying out Security Council reform, the principles of equitable geographical distribution and seeking the broadest consensus should be observed. No time limit should be set for the reform, nor should a vote be forced on any proposal over which there are major differences. SCO holds that the next Secretary-General of the United Nations should come from Asia.
Threats and challenges can be effectively met only when there is broad cooperation among all countries and international organizations concerned. What specific means and mechanism should be adopted to safeguard security of the region is the right and responsibility of countries in the region.
SCO will make constructive contribution to the establishment of a new global security architecture of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and mutual respect. Such an architecture is based on the widely recognized principles of international law. It discards " double standards" and seeks to settle disputes through negotiation on the basis of mutual understanding. It respects the right of all countries to safeguard national unity and their national interests, pursue particular models of development and formulate domestic and foreign policies independently and participate in international affairs on an equal basis.
Diversity of civilization and model of development must be respected and upheld. Differences in cultural traditions, political and social systems, values and model of development formed in the course of history should not be taken as pretexts to interfere in other countries' internal affairs. Model of social development should not be "exported". Differences in civilizations should be respected, and exchanges among civilizations should be conducted on an equal basis to draw on each other's strengths and enhance harmonious development.
There is general stability in Central Asia. Countries in this region have achieved historic success in political and economic reforms and social development. The unique historical and cultural traditions of Central Asian nations deserve respect and understanding of the international community. The governments of Central Asian countries should be supported in their efforts to safeguard security and stability, maintain social and economic development and improve people's livelihood.
SCO member states will continue to tap potential of the organization, enhance its role and work to turn this region into one that is peaceful, coordinated in development, open, prosperous and harmonious.
SCO member states will remain friends from generation to generation and will never be enemies against one another. They are committed to the all-round growth of good-neighborly relations of mutual respect and mutually beneficial cooperation. They support each other in their principled positions on and efforts in safeguarding sovereignty, security and territorial integrity. They will not join any alliance or international organization that undermines the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of SCO member states. They do not allow their territories to be used to undermine the sovereignty, security or territorial integrity of other member states, and they prohibit activities by organizations or gangs in their territories that are detrimental to the interests of other member states. To this end, SCO member states will conduct, within the SCO framework, consultation on the conclusion of a multilateral legal document of long-term good-neighborly relations, friendship and cooperation.
SCO member states will continue to strengthen coordination and cooperation in international and regional affairs and take a common position on matters involving SCO's interests.
SCO has the potential to play an independent role in safeguarding stability and security in this region. In case of emergencies that threaten regional peace, stability and security, SCO member states will have immediate consultation on effectively responding to the emergency to fully protect the interests of both SCO and its member states. Study will be made on the possibility of establishing a regional conflict prevention mechanism within the SCO framework.
To comprehensively deepen cooperation in combating terrorism, separatism, extremism and drug trafficking is a priority area for SCO. SCO will take steps to strengthen the regional anti-terrorism agency and carry out cooperation with relevant international organizations.
To expand economic cooperation among them, SCO member states need to coordinate their efforts in implementing the Cooperation Program on Multilateral Economic and Trade among SCO Member States by carrying out major priority projects of regional economic cooperation. They need to work together to promote trade and investment facilitation and gradually realize the free flow of commodities, capital, services and technologies.
SCO welcomes participation by relevant partners in specific projects in priority areas like energy, transportation, information and communications and agriculture. SCO will endeavor to actively participate in international campaigns against communicable diseases and contribute to environmental protection and rational use of natural resources.
To strengthen and expand the social foundation for friendship and mutual understanding among SCO member states is an important way to ensure SCO's resilience and vitality. To this end, SCO member states need to institutionalize bilateral and multilateral cooperation in culture, arts, education, sports, tourism and media. With the unique and rich cultural heritage of its member states, SCO can surely serve as a model in promoting dialogue among civilizations and building a harmonious world.
This Declaration is issued on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of SCO. We, heads of state of SCO members, are firm in the belief that SCO will fully realize the noble objective and mission declared at its founding and contribute to the cause of peace, cooperation and development.
President of the Republic of Kazakhstan
President of the People's Republic of China
President of the Kyrgyz Republic
President of the Russian Federation
President of the Republic of Tajikistan
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan
(Xinhua News Agency June 15, 2006)