Leaders of SCO member states sign Samarkand Declaration

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Leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states on Friday signed and released the Samarkand Declaration of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO.

The 22nd meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO also released a number of statements and documents on safeguarding global food security, international energy security, addressing climate change, and maintaining a secure, stable and diversified supply chain.

The world today is undergoing global changes and has entered a new period of rapid development and major transformation, with the trend towards a multi-polar world intensifying, countries increasingly interdependent, and informatization and digitalization accelerating, said the declaration.

Meanwhile, the current international challenges and threats are becoming more complex, the international situation is deteriorating, and regional conflicts and crises keep emerging and escalating, it read.

Based on the principles of the Charter of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the member states oppose grouping, and ideological and confrontational approaches to solving international and regional issues, and stick to a coordinated manner to security threats and challenges in traditional and non-traditional fields.

Considering the views of the SCO member states, the declaration reaffirms that it is of great practical significance to work together to build a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness and justice as well as win-win cooperation, and to build a community with a shared future for mankind.

The member states stand for respecting the right of the people of all countries to independently choose their own paths of political, economic and social development.

They stress that the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, equality and mutual benefit, non-interference in internal affairs, and non-use of force or threat of force are the basis for the sustainable development of international relations.

They reaffirm that differences and disputes between countries should be resolved peacefully through dialogue and consultation.

The member states underlined the significance of the 15th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty on Long-Term Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation of the Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The leaders of the member states adopted the Comprehensive Plan for the Implementation of the SCO Treaty on Long-Term Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation for 2023-2027.

The member states reaffirmed their steadfast commitment to combating terrorism, separatism and extremism.

They pointed out that the interference in the internal affairs of other countries under the pretext of combating terrorism and extremism is unacceptable, as well as the use of terrorist, extremist and radical groups for one's own purposes.

The member states said they will strengthen cooperation among their national authorities in the field of digital literacy in order to bridge the digital divide.

The member states underlined the key role of the United Nations in responding to threats in the information space, calling for creating a safe, fair and open information space on the basis of respect for sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.

They expressed firm opposition to the militarization of information and communication technologies.

The member states called on the international community to give full play to the central role of the United Nations.

The member states stressed the importance of forming a common and balanced position on combating illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs and their precursors, and pointed out that it is important to implement international drug control conventions and other relevant legal documents.

The member states that are signatory to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons are committed to strict compliance with the provisions of the treaty and consolidating the international nuclear non-proliferation regime.

The member states support the prevention of the weaponization of outer space.

They underlined strict compliance with the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), and called on all signatories to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) to fully implement the document.

The member states said that the only solution to regional conflicts is through political and diplomatic means on the basis of adherence to universally recognized principles and norms of international law.

They said that the coordination of the situation in Afghanistan at an early date is one of the important factors for maintaining and consolidating security and stability in the SCO region. The SCO member states support Afghanistan to become an independent, neutral, united, democratic and peaceful country, which is free of terrorism, war and drugs.

During the SCO Summit in Samarkand on Sept. 16, 2022, leaders of the SCO member states signed a memorandum of obligations on Iran's SCO membership. The member states stressed the importance of the decision to start the procedure for Belarus' accession.

The member states noted with satisfaction that during the summit an agreement was reached on admitting Bahrain, the Maldives, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Myanmar as new dialogue partners. Relevant parties noticed that MOUs granting Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Qatar the status of SCO dialogue partners had been signed.

The member states reaffirmed the importance of continuing to improve the global economic governance system. They advocated carrying out various forms of regional economic cooperation, and adopted a resolution on the establishment of task forces on innovation, entrepreneurship, poverty reduction and traditional medicine.

The member states said they will continue to strengthen cooperation in the digital economy.

In order to establish efficient and competitive transportation and technology infrastructure, they have adopted a document for infrastructure development of the SCO member states.

To smooth international industrial and supply chains, relevant member states adopted a statement on maintaining the stability and diversification of supply chains.

The member states said they will continue industrial and sector-based cooperation within the SCO framework and deepen energy cooperation among member states.

They will carry out cooperation in environmental protection and tackle climate change, strengthen food security, and jointly address the political, economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The member states will continue to strengthen cooperation in such areas as joint disaster relief and rescue exercises, education, science and technology, women, culture, tourism, media and sports.

The member states highly commended the achievements of Uzbekistan during its SCO rotating presidency from 2021 to 2022.

India will assume the next SCO rotating presidency and hold the next Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO in 2023.

The Council of Heads of State of the SCO also issued a statement on preserving international food security.

The statement said achieving food security is one of the goals of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and is an important foundation for all countries to achieve economic development, social stability and national security.

The statement said the leaders support the United Nations in playing a central role, support the work of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme.

It also said the leaders propose to improve business environment in the agriculture sector, promote international investment in manufacturing and processing of agricultural products and agricultural machinery, and develop cross-border trade.

The leaders call on the major food producing and net exporting countries to release export potentials, reduce tariff and non-tariff barriers, relieve the pressure of market supply, avoid undue fluctuations of food prices at the international market, it said.

The statement said that the leaders regard unilateral restrictive measures that are against international laws and the exterritorial use of them as unacceptable, calling for reduction of other factors that would influence the fluctuation of international food prices, and curb the use of food as energy resources.

The Council of Heads of State of the SCO issued a statement on preserving international energy security.

It said the leaders emphasize that to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy is the seventh goal listed in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

It said the leaders emphasize that the rights of energy security for all countries and rights for peoples of all countries to utilize energy should be respected and guaranteed. It said the leaders recognize the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative put forward by China, and support cooperation on jointly ensuring energy security within the SCO framework.

The Council of Heads of State of the SCO issued a statement on tackling climate change.

The statement underlined the importance of enhancing international cooperation on the basis of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

It said the member states agree that the implementation of the Paris Agreement is on the principle and basis of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.

The member countries support Tajikistan's proposal to name 2025 The International Year for Preservation of Glaciers.

The Council of Heads of State of the SCO also issued a statement on protecting security, stability and diversification of supply chains.

The statement said in the context of global challenges including the pandemic, the leaders seek to further deepen regional economic cooperation with an aim of accelerating regional economic recovery and recovery of all countries.

The statement calls for strengthening infrastructure construction for logistics, promoting reduction of trade barriers and simplification of trade procedures.

It also calls for continuously expanding cooperation in local currency settlement, creating conditions for e-commerce development, supporting micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises in SCO member states to tap the potential of their e-commerce, strengthening cooperation on the establishment of high-end industrial chain and deep processing, and advancing investment cooperation in digital economy and green, sustainable development.

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