President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Ladies and gentlemen,
I want to begin by thanking Mr Karimov and all of our partners in Uzbekistan for their hospitality and for ensuring excellent conditions for our work. The atmosphere created and the work accomplished over the months of Uzbekistan’s presidency, and today’s work too, will help us to preserve the spirit of this organization and will, I hope, bear fruit.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is showing rapid and steady development. The diverse contacts that we hold benefit our organisation. The SCO has gained increasing influence and is playing an ever bigger part in world affairs, as we can see from the growing number of faces at this table, and from the results achieved from our hard work to implement in practice earlier decisions, including those from last year’s summit, in Yekaterinburg in Russia. Uzbekistan’s presidency has been a success job in this respect.
Keeping in mind the mission we set for ourselves right from the outset, the SCO has made stability and security in each member country and in the region as a whole the central focus of its attention. It is for this reason that we could not remain indifferent to the events that took place in Kyrgyzstan. The organization made a swift and clear response to these events.
We discussed this matter at our meeting in narrow format today. This is obviously a very important subject. Our countries lost no time in providing assistance to the people of Kyrgyzstan. We discussed today how to coordinate our future efforts to help Kyrgyzstan through the SCO. The relevant agencies will pursue this work.
”It is important to ensure that Kyrgyzstan’s statehood develops in legitimate fashion. We therefore think it would the right move to send a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation mission to observe the upcoming referendum on the country’s new constitution on June 27.“
There is no doubt whatsoever that it is important to ensure that Kyrgyzstan’s statehood develops in legitimate fashion. We therefore think it would the right move to send a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation mission to observe the upcoming referendum on the country’s new constitution on June 27, and to monitor in general developments underway in the country.
Kyrgyzstan is one of the SCO’s founding members, our ally and close partner, and we have a sincere interest in helping it through this time of internal upheavals as swiftly as possible and seeing it put in place a modern new government able to resolve the country’s social and economic development problems.
The world now recognises the SCO’s potential to combat what our Chinese colleagues have metaphorically called the “three forces of evil” – terrorism, extremism and separatism. The cooperation mechanisms we have established between the secretaries of our security councils and heads of our security and law enforcement agencies are working effectively in this area, as is the regional anti-terrorist organisation that we have set up. We think it would be useful to get other interested parties involved in this work, including observer countries and our partners in dialogue.
I want to note in particular our joint efforts to combat drug trafficking, which poses a particularly serious threat to our countries’ security. The problem is not just that drugs destroy our citizens’ health and undermine our people’s futures. This is indeed a threat we all face, including in Russia. But the problem is also that the drug trade has long since become a rich source for international terrorism to feed on. This is the case everywhere, in all countries. The flow of opium and heroin is therefore not a regional but a global threat, and therefore requires a global response. It makes no sense to divide countries into good and bad here. We simply need to work together.
In order to combat terrorism with success (I think we should work using the base that we have established within the SCO framework) we need to bring into force as soon as possible the SCO Anti-Terrorism Convention and the Agreement on Training Personnel for Anti-Terrorist Teams of the SCO Member States, which were signed last year in Yekaterinburg, and adopt the SCO member states’ anti-drugs strategy for 2011–2016, and the action plan for its implementation.
”In order to combat terrorism with success, we need to bring into force as soon as possible the SCO Anti-Terrorism Convention and the Agreement on Training Personnel for Anti-Terrorist Teams of the SCO Member States,and adopt the SCO member states’ anti-drugs strategy for 2011–2016, and the action plan for its implementation.“
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation remains as committed as ever to working together with other interested countries and international organisations in Afghanistan. We set out our main priorities in this area in the final documents from the special Moscow conference in March this year. We want to play an active part in helping the friendly people of Afghanistan to build an independent, peaceful, neutral and flourishing country. In this respect we think it important to use the platform this organisation provides to strengthen the regional aspect of joint efforts to help Afghanistan. At the same time, we recognise the need to consolidate our efforts with other forums working in this area, including the high-level international conferences on Afghanistan. We are ready to continue working on this matter and we will continue our contacts on it.
Economic cooperation is without question one of our organisation’s top priorities, especially during the global financial crisis. We realise that in a number of cases we can successfully address the problems that have built up in the global economy and in our individual economies only by carrying out joint programmes. We therefore think it would be useful to carry out pilot projects in a number of areas such as energy, transport, and high technology.
It is worth noting in this context the initiative to establish the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Business Council and corresponding discussion forums to examine the problems in various economic sectors, including the energy dialogue. But we must not focus on the energy dialogue alone. We must work on developing new technology too. In Russia we are working now on modernising our economy. It is therefore important that we work together actively on developing science-intensive and innovative projects in high-tech communications systems and other areas. I think that all initiatives in these areas merit our support and encouragement. We also need to develop transport infrastructure, including the well-known routes within the region shared by our countries, and develop international logistics centres.
Another important initiative is the proposal to set up a special development fund for financing SCO projects. We have discussed proposals along these lines, including the one put forward by China.
For our part, we too will soon be able to present to our partners the Russian proposals setting out our vision of this fund, what its money should be spent on, and how it could be managed. Of course, we invite everyone to take part in discussing all of these proposals.
The efforts to develop humanitarian ties between our peoples deserve a positive assessment. This is an area that requires coordinated efforts on a whole number of issues, including training for various specialists in various professions.
This is one of the missions of the SCO University, which will begin working in pilot regime this September. This is a good event. The university unites a number of education establishments in the SCO member countries. The university and the countries represented here might as well think about how to expand this network to the SCO observer countries and our dialogue partners too.
Another important milestone in developing practical cooperation within the SCO was the launch of the mechanism bringing together the heads of our science and technology ministries and agencies for regular meetings. This was a good decision and it fits in with the economic modernisation objectives that are a priority for most of the countries present here today. I think this will be a useful undertaking.
Finally, the work accomplished by our youth organisations, who together have established the SCO Youth Council, also deserves the highest praise. I hope this council will develop fast and soon make a more visible contribution to strengthening the friendship and understanding between our countries.
Colleagues, today, the Asia-Pacific region has become one of the world’s most important political and economic centres. We are all aware of this. We all take active part in events in this region. This makes it all the more important to develop an equal and transparent security system, develop our diplomatic network, and create a system of regional organisations and forums acting in partnership with each other. This is one of the tasks the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation will address too.
”Once again, I want to note the part Uzbekistan has played in getting these documents ready, including our internal regulations on procedures for admitting new members to the organisation. These steps affirm our organisation’s open nature and creates the conditions we need to expand its framework.“
Of course we are ready to build full-fledged and friendly dialogue with the observer countries here today and with our dialogue partners, who have held this status since its introduction last year. This year we will adopt a number of long-awaited documents.
Once again, I want to note the part Uzbekistan has played in getting these documents ready, including our internal regulations on procedures for admitting new members to the organisation. These steps affirm our organisation’s open nature and creates the conditions we need to expand its framework. But we hope that the approval of the practical, financial and administrative aspects of admission will go ahead rapidly on a consensus basis and in the interests of all the SCO member states.
I want to conclude by thanking our friends in Uzbekistan once more, and Mr Karimov, the president of Uzbekistan, personally for the work accomplished during Uzbekistan’s presidency, and for the wonderful, hospitable welcome that we have received here.
Kazakhstan now takes the baton and the initiative. Mr Nazarbayev, Russia wishes you every success in this honourable mission. The organisation will mark its first decade during your presidency. We look forward to the closest cooperation in the interests of all countries and hope to see our organisation flourish.
Thank you for your attention.