President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Have you completed your job, Mr Mezentsev?
Dmitry Mezentsev: Yes, three years have flown by; it was a very dynamic time.
Mr President, I would like to express my special gratitude to you as Chairman of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Council of Heads of State during Russia’s Presidency last year. You ensured a new level of interaction between the parties: cooperation between the founding nations, the observer states and dialogue partners has become stronger.
Obviously, all the countries in the SCO family share the view that the Ufa summit was of historic significance. Its results included the organisation’s development strategy until 2025 and the first SCO expansion resolution in 14 years, first to bring in India and Pakistan, to enhance the status of Belarus, and the accession of new states – Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia and Nepal – all this speaks of the organisation’s new standing in the region, of its intention to take a more active part in resolving international issues.
Ties between the SCO and the United Nations, as well as UN institutes, programmes and organisations have become stronger in the run-up to the 70th UN General Assembly Session, where you took part along with the heads of the SCO states, the heads of the founding nations.
Shortly before that, the 69th Session passed a broad resolution on cooperation between the United Nations and the SCO. This obligates us to work with the global organisation on a totally different level to ensure a serious and in-depth approach.
The strategy is a living document today; the parties have already made proposals regarding the implementation of all the tasks within the SCO Strategy through 2025. If earlier we spoke of the SCO’s main priority as being regional security and stability, now trade and economic cooperation have become a reality.
The recent meeting of the Council of Heads of State in December in the People’s Republic of China not only spoke of the significance of trade and economic cooperation, but also issued instructions to expand the implementation of the programme of multilateral trade and economic cooperation between the SCO member-states, with observer and partner states already invited.
Investment cooperation is becoming a reality, as well as the regional component. The heads of the regions and states of the majority of the organisation’s members have met twice – in the past year and in 2014. Judging by the outcomes of the latest meetings and of the meeting of the Council of Heads of State we are convinced the regional component will continue to expand, along with cooperation with such organisations as the UN, ESCAP, with which a memorandum has been signed, with the CIS, ASEAN, the Economic Cooperation Organisation with headquarters in Tehran, and with the CSTO.
Vladimir Putin: In turn, I would like to thank you for your work.
We give great attention to the development of our relations with our partners within the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. I would like to recall that it was actually set up to resolve certain very specific issues, important ones, but not of a global nature, such as border issues between the founding states.
Now, however, it has taken on a different significance. At the fore are not only matters of regional security, which we always bear in mind, but also economic cooperation in the areas that are developing especially rapidly now.
Therefore, as we have agreed with our partners, especially after the Ufa summit, we will work to achieve all the goals we agreed on with the member-states. I strongly hope that the executive bodies of this organisation will continue working as efficiently as they did under your leadership.
Dmitry Mezentsev: Thank you.
Vladimir Putin: We will also rely on your experience in this and other areas. Thank you very much once again.
Dmitry Mezentsev: Mr President, I can only thank you for such a high assessment. It also applies to the work of the entire international staff of both the headquarters and the counterterrorist organisation. All our efforts were directed at acting on the resolutions adopted by the Council of the Heads of State during the Presidency of the Russian Federation, and now during the Presidency of Uzbekistan, and at upholding the traditions that took shape in the development of the principles of the Shanghai spirit.
Vladimir Putin: When is the summit?
Dmitry Mezentsev: June 23–24 in Tashkent.
Vladimir Putin: I am certain our Uzbekistani friends and colleagues will do everything to hold it at the highest possible level.
Dmitry Mezentsev: Of course, Mr President. The Tashkent summit is also to confirm the start of the accession to the organisation by India and Pakistan, which required a great deal of work on the part of those countries.