SCO summit convenes to formulate future mission

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, June 15, 2011
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Leaders of the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) met in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan, Wednesday to celebrate the 10th birthday of the organization and formulate the SCO's missions for the next decade.

At the Astana summit, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and other leaders of the SCO members will review the achievements of the organization made in the past decade, and work out strategies for its future.

President Hu is expected to deliver a speech at the summit to expound China's propositions on the development of the SCO in the next decade, including how to strengthen good-neighborly friendship, the regional security, practical cooperation, and people-to-people and cultural exchanges, according to Chinese officials.

"The heads of state of the SCO members will make arrangements for expanding cooperation in the sectors of politics, security, economy and people-to-people and cultural exchanges and for strengthening capacity building of the SCO," said Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping at a press briefing last week.

President Hu will discuss with leaders of other SCO member states how to expand economic cooperation, Cheng said, adding that China will provide more financial assistance to other member states within its ability.

He said that China will take advantage of the SCO's rotating presidency after the Astana summit to boost security and law-enforcement cooperation under the framework of the SCO, in an effort to fight the "three evil forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism.

At the end of the summit, the leaders are expected to issue a political declaration and a press communique.

"The declaration is a very important political document, as it is a guide to action for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization for a period of time in the future," Cheng said.

In a signed article published last week, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said that the Astana summit will be a meeting of historic significance as it will help review the institution's development over the past decade and chart a blueprint for the future.

"We have every reason to believe that, with the common care and joint efforts of all the sides concerned, Wednesday's SCO summit will be a great success," said the Chinese foreign minister.

Founded on June 15, 2001, the SCO groups China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Mongolia, Pakistan, Iran and India are observers of the organization.

In the past decade, the SCO has played a positive role in promoting regional peace and stability and in advancing economic and social development of member states. It has become one of the most influential constructive institutions in Eurasia.

The SCO cooperation has so far covered wide-ranging areas such as security, economy, transportation, culture, disaster relief and law enforcement, with security and economic cooperation being the priorities.

However, as the international and regional situations today are much more complex and fluid than 10 years ago, the SCO faces a more arduous task of consolidating regional security and promoting common development.

Political analysts said that in the next 10 years, the SCO should put in place a full-fledged system for security cooperation in the region.

The organization should continue its efforts in fighting terrorism, separatism and extremism, drug trafficking and other transnational crimes, so as to ensure peace and development of the region, they said.

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