"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] PRESS RELEASE Meeting of the Council of Heads of SCO Member States Commemorating the Tenth Anniversary of the SCO

[Place] Astana
[Date] June 15, 2011
[Source] Shanghai Cooperation Organization Secretariat
[Full text]

A meeting of the Council of Heads of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (hereinafter referred to as the SCO or the Organization) commemorating the tenth anniversary of the SCO was held on June 14 and 15, 2011 in Astana.

The meeting was attended by President N. Nazarbayev of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Chairman Hu Jintao of the Peoples' Republic of China, President R. Otunbaeva of the Kyrgyz Republic, President D. Medvedev of the Russian Federation, President E. Rahmon of the Republic of Tajikistan, President I. Rarimov of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

The meeting was chaired by President N. Nazarbayev of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The SCO Secretary General M. Imanaliev and Director of the Executive Committee of the Regional Antiterrorist Structure (RATS) of the SCO D. Dzhumanbekov participated in the meeting.

The meeting was attended and addressed by the heads of delegations of the SCO observer states - President M. Ahmadinejad of the Islamic Republic of Iran, President A. Zardari of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Foreign Minister of the Republic of India M.Krishna, Head of the Administration of the President of Mongolia D.Battulga, and as a guest of the host - President H. Karzai of the Islamic Republic of A Afghanistan.

Also present were United Nations Under-Secretary-General - Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime Y. Fedotov, Chairman of the Executive Committee - Executive Secretary of the Commonwealth of Independent States S. Lebedev, Secretary General of the Eurasian Economic Community T. Mansurov, Secretary General of the Collective Security Treaty Organization N. Bordyuzha.

The meeting participants had an in-depth exchange of views on the current situation in the region and the world at large, as well as on the state and prospects for cooperation in the SCO region. In view of the Organization's anniversary the meeting summarized the experience and results of its operations in the past period.

It has been noted that, despite major global and regional changes, over the ten years of its existence, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization proved fit to stand the test of time as an important mechanism for deepening good-neighborly, friendly and partnership relations between the SCO member countries. The Organization has become an effective multilateral institution facilitating maintenance of security and socio-economic development and prosperity in the region, an example of a dialogue between civilizations and an active factor in the global efforts aimed at the democratization of international relations.

Assessments of the Organization's operation, member states' approaches to further improvement of mechanisms for practical cooperation and its formats, as well as short term benchmarks of the joint work have been recorded in the Astana Declaration on the tenth anniversary of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

The meeting approved an Anti-Drug Strategy of the SCO member states for 2011-2016 and the Program of Actions in support of its implementation that would enhance the effectiveness of joint efforts to counter the drug threat in the SCO region.

The legal framework for future expansion of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will be further improved by a Memorandum on commitments of a state applying to obtain the SCO membership, elaborated as a follow-up to the Regulation on Admission of New SCO Members. The Council of National Coordinators and the Working Group of Experts will continue reviewing a set of issues related to the SCO expansion, including harmonization of necessary legal, administrative and financial terms for new members to be admitted.

The authorized representatives of the SCO member states signed an Agreement between the governments of SCO member states on cooperation in public health.

The Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime signed a Memorandum of Understanding between the SCO Secretariat and the UNODC.

The meeting heard and approved the reports of the SCO Secretary-General on the Organization's activities over the past year and of the RATS Council on the work of the Regional Antiterrorist Structure in 2010.

The member states confirmed their intention to continue cooperation in combating terrorism, separatism and extremism in all their manifestations, combating illicit trafficking in drugs and arms and other forms of transnational crime and illegal migration.

Given emerging substantial security threats in the field of information, the meeting confirmed the relevance of cooperation between the SCO member states in advancing within the global community of the common rules of conduct in the field of international information security.

The member states have noted that the unresolved situation of persistent tension and confrontation in Afghanistan continues to be a major threat to security and stability in the region. Highlighting the lack of prospects for settling the Afghan conflict solely by military means, the member states unanimous agree on the need to assign priority to the solution of Afghanistan socio-economic issues, including rehabilitation of communications and social infrastructure. In this regard, the SCO supports the efforts of the member states that take part in the implementation of economic recovery project in the IRA in collaboration with international institutions and other stakeholders.

In the context of confronting new challenges and threats, in the period that had elapsed since the SCO CHS meeting in 2010, the following events were held: the meeting of secretaries of security councils (April 29, 2011 in Astana), of attorneys general (October 22, 2010 in Xiamen, and June 8, 2011 in Almaty), of ministers of the interior and public security (April 28, 2011in Astana), of defense ministers (March 17, 2011 in Astana), of chiefs of general staff (April 26-26, 2011 in Shanghai), of heads of anti-drug agencies (March 30, 2011 in Astana,), the anti-terrorist exercises "Peace mission – 2010" (September 9-25, 2010 in Zhambyl oblast of the Republic of Kazakhstan) and "Tianshan - 2 – 2011" (May 6, 2011 in Kashgar), and international research and practice conference (February 22-23, 2011 in Almaty) and the sixth meeting of the SCO Forum (May 27-28, 2011 in Tashkent).

The meeting noted with satisfaction the intensified activities of the RATS as an effective mechanism to coordinate practical cooperation between the competent authorities of the SCO member states. The implementation progress of the Program of cooperation in combating terrorism, separatism and extremism for 2010-2012 was rated positively.

The meeting underlined the active role of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in assisting the Kyrgyz party in normalizing the situation in the country and in providing considerable humanitarian and financial aid to Kyrgyzstan.

The results of the meeting of the Council of Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) of the SCO member states held on November 25, 2010 in Dushanbe have been rated positively. The meeting noted a significant intensification of the economic activity of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization carried out through the relevant ministries and agencies. The Business Council and the Interbank Association have been recommended to take agreed practical steps aimed at the implementation of multilateral projects that contribute to the socio-economic development of the member states and strengthen their investment and financial cooperation. The review of potential financial support mechanisms for such projects will be expedited.

The heads of state noted the positive outcome of the meeting of ministers responsible for external economic and trade activity, meeting of agriculture ministers and meeting of heads of supreme audit institutions. Based on the experience gained, the practice of organizing the SCO special events at various international economic platforms will be continued.

The member states noted the important role of the cultural and humanitarian component of the Organization's activities for strengthening good-neighborly relations, friendship and cooperation. In the Organization's future activities, an increased attention will be given to strengthening cooperation in the field of culture, environment, science, technology, innovation, healthcare, tourism and sports.

These goals were supported by regular events in the field of education, the culture ministers meeting (May 18-19, 2011, Astana) and the first meeting of health ministers (November 18, 2010, Astana).

The meeting underscored the importance of consistent development of cooperation in the SCO region in emergency prevention and mitigation.

The member states called for further expansion of cooperation with SCO observer states - India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan, and the dialogue partners - Belarus and Sri Lanka, whose potential can provide a significant impetus to continued intensification of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization activities.

The heads of state have noted with satisfaction that the adoption on December 13, 2010 by the 65th session of the UN General Assembly of Resolution on "Cooperation between the UN and SCO" contributes to further strengthening of cooperation between the two organizations on issues of security and stability, economic, social and human development, as well as in other areas of mutual interest.

The meeting underlined the positive trend of developing SCO links with the CIS, CSTO, EurAsEC, ASEAN, ECO and ESCAP on the basis of existing memoranda of understanding. Work will continue to further expand the SCO international relations.

The heads of state highly appreciated the chairmanship of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the SCO and expressed gratitude to the Kazakh side for its hospitality during the summit in Astana to commemorate the SCO tenth anniversary.

The next meeting of the Council of Heads of SCO member states will be held in 2012 in the People's Republic of China. In accordance with the SCO Charter, the chairmanship in the Organization in the coming period will be assumed by the People's Republic of China.