The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries issued a joint communiqué in Shanghai Thursday. The following is the full text of the communiqué.
Joint Communiqué of the Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization
Shanghai, 15 June 2006
On 15 June 2006, the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (hereinafter referred to as the Organization or SCO) met in Shanghai, the People's Republic of China. The meeting was attended by President N. Nazarbayev of the Republic of Kazakhstan, President Hu Jintao of the People's Republic of China, President K. Bakiyev 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.
Secretary-General Zhang Deguang of the Organization and Director V. T. Kasymov of the Executive Committee of the SCO Regional Anti-terrorist Structure attended the meeting.
Representatives of the Observer States of the Organization, namely, Shri Murli Deora, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas of the Republic of India, Mahmud Ahmadi-Nejad, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Nambaryn Enkhbayar, President of Mongolia, Pervez Musharraf, President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Vladimir Rushailo, the Chairman of Executive Committee of the Commonwealth of Independent States and Wilfrido V. Villacorta, Deputy Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations as guests of the host country participated in the meeting and made statements.
During the meeting, the heads of state signed the Declaration on the Fifth Anniversary of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Statement of Heads of State of Member States of Shanghai Cooperation Organization On International Information Security, approved a new version of the regulations of the SCO Secretariat and a cooperation program of SCO members on combating terrorism, separatism, extremism from 2007 to 2009, adopted a series of resolutions concerning personnel arrangement and the structure of the Organization, and agreed that Mr. Bolat K. Nurgaliyev (from Kazakhstan) will be the Secretary-General of the Organization from 2007 to 2009.
The plenipotentiary representatives of member states of the Organization signed an agreement on the procedure of organizing and holding joint anti-terrorism actions in the territories of SCO member states, an agreement on identifying and severing infiltrating channels of people engaged in terrorism, separatism and extremism in the territories of SCO member states, an inter- governmental educational cooperation agreement of SCO member states, a resolution of the SCO Business Council, and an action plan of SCO Interbank Association member banks on supporting regional economic cooperation.
The heads of state of SCO met with the participants of the Inaugural Meeting of the SCO Business Council and attended the opening ceremony of the art festival of member states of SCO.
In a constructive and cordial atmosphere, the Council of Heads of State summarized the achievements and experience of the Organization in its growth, discussed pressing issues and tasks in the work of SCO, and had an in-depth exchange of views on a wide range of international issues of common interest.
The heads of state of SCO pointed out that the Organization has done a remarkable job in implementing the agreement reached in the Astana Summit held in the summer of 2005, and this has created favorable conditions for the Organization to conduct more robust multilateral cooperation in various areas.
At the meeting of the Council of Heads of State, the Resolution on strengthening the role of the SCO Secretariat in the structure of the Organization and changing the title of the head of the Secretariat into Secretary-General was adopted. This shall instill new vigor into the work of the Organization and enhance the efficiency of SCO's permanent body in fulfilling tasks of growing importance. In accordance with this principle, the Council of National Coordinators of SCO Member States shall hold consultation and make decision by the end of 2006 on the institutional reform of the SCO Secretariat and the rotation of staff for SCO's permanent body in a way that ensures balance and the continuity of its work.
Having taken note of the fact that member states of SCO have reached consensus on the principled position of formulating a mechanism for the Organization to adopt measures in response to developments that threaten regional peace, stability and security, the heads of state believed that the SCO Secretariat should draft the relevant agreement as soon as possible, to ensure that all measures as under the mechanism are law-based.
It remains the top priority of the Organization to combat the threats posed by terrorism, separatism and extremism as well as illegal drug trafficking, which have not diminished but aggravated in scale and degree. Various forms of joint anti-terrorism military exercises within the territories of the SCO member states involving, among others, their defense authorities, will help enhance the efficiency of member states' joint anti-terrorism operations. The heads of state spoke positively of the work done by the SCO regional anti-terrorism structure, and were convinced that this structure has the potential to better perform its duties and carry out its mission.
The heads of state pointed out that there is already a legal basis and an organizational structure for carrying out economic cooperation. The implementation of the Program of Multilateral Economic and Trade Cooperation among SCO Member States and its Action Plan has begun. To establish the SCO Business Council and the Interbank Association will greatly enhance the development of economic cooperation of the Organization. The credit fund of US$ 900 million provided by China will help expand regional cooperation. All member states agreed to give priority to cooperation in the fields of energy, information technology and transportation, which have entered the phase of carrying out pilot projects and is of special significance for deepening economic cooperation within the SCO framework.
The heads of state expressed their satisfaction with the progress made in areas of multilateral cooperation, i.e. environmental protection, culture, education and sports. They were also happy to see that the Expert Forum of SCO had begun functioning. The heads of state emphasized that the progress would be increasingly significant for enhancing mutual understanding among member states and conducting non-governmental exchanges within the SCO framework.
The heads of state expressed full support for the agreement (the SCO Parliamentary Initiative) signed at the Meeting of Parliament Speakers of the Member States of SCO held in Moscow on 30 May 2006, believing that the agreement is a good innovating action to consolidate the Organization and develop the inter- parliamentary relations among the member states.
The heads of state considered that as the international situation evolves and SCO becomes more dynamic, it is necessary to strengthen the Organization's public information so as to create a public opinion favorable for its development. The SCO Secretariat should coordinate the drafting of specific proposals on this matter.
Threats of a military-political, criminal or terrorist nature to information security constitute common challenges for all member states that need to be dealt with through prompt joint measures. The experts' panel was entrusted with the task of producing a long-term plan of action for the maintenance of information security before the next Summit in 2007, including ways of solving this problem within the SCO framework.
In light of SCO's lofty purposes and long-term interests and in pursuance of the declaration on the fifth anniversary of SCO, the heads of state instructed the Council of National Coordinators to conduct consultations on concluding a multilateral legal document on long-term neighborly and amicable cooperation within the SCO framework.
SCO will try to expand cooperation among member states in the international arena in various forms and by various means. It will hold regular consultations with observers and international organizations concerned. This is fully applicable to the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group which is already functioning.
The heads of state pointed out with satisfaction that the initiative endorsed by the Council of Heads of State in Tashkent 2004 on establishing cooperative relations among international organizations in the Asia Pacific was warmly and widely received. They welcomed the signing of cooperation documents between SCO and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Eurasian Economic Community (EURASEC). They reiterated that SCO is ready to forge similar ties with other international organizations and financial institutions on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
The SCO Secretariat should, together with the Executive Committee of the SCO Regional Anti-terrorist Structure, closely follow the implementation of cooperation documents signed between SCO and other organizations and energetically promote concrete cooperation with the observers.
The heads of state also entrusted the Council of National Coordinators to make recommendations on the procedure of SCO membership enlargement. This procedure should fully conform to the purposes and goals set forth in the Charter of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, ensure the effectiveness of all treaties that form the legal basis of SCO, help strengthen its unity and guarantee the applicability of the principle of consensus to consultations on all matters and at all levels of SCO.
The next meeting of the Council of Heads of State will be held in Bishkek in 2007. Kyrgyzstan will assume SCO presidency next year.
(Xinhua News Agency June 15, 2006)