“Sustainable development is impossible to secure without providing security.” SCO Secretary General speaks at a round table discussion at the Munich Security Conference

SCO Secretary General speaks at a round table discussion at the Munich Security Conference

On 18 February 2017, as part of a round-table discussion of economic cooperation in the Eurasian space, including recent trends in security and stability, SCO Secretary General Rasid Alimov in his role as a key speaker presented the Organisation's achievements in prioritized areas of multi-faceted cooperation and interaction within the SCO.

The discussion focused on the problems facing the establishment of the "New Silk Road" as a comprehensive initiative, capable of connecting countries and regions across a vast space stretching from the Pacific to the Atlantic. The participants paid special attention to security as the main factor providing the necessary conditions for developing economic cooperation.

"In the past 15 years, the SCO member states have built relations around their positive strategic partnership. These relations are based on trust and mutual respect and allow members to take advantage of their geographical proximity and complementing economies, prompting a continued active search for areas of joint growth, mutually advantageous cooperation projects and collaboration, including with external actors," Rashid Alimov underlined.

The participants in the discussion emphasised the importance of transport interaction in the Eurasian space, which makes up a crucial component of developing and sustaining trade relations, ensuring the uninterrupted flow of goods from Asia to Europe and back. In this respect, SCO Secretary General aroused keen interest from the audience with his presentation on the Organisation's work regarding transport, primarily on the implementation of the SCO member states' Agreement on International Road Transportation Facilitation.

"Signed in 2014 at the SCO Summit in Dushanbe, the SCO Agreement among the Governments of the SCO Member States on International Road Transportation Facilitation laid the legal groundwork of the parity conditions for truck companies and established a unified basis for carrying on international road transportation from Eastern Europe to the eastern coasts of Russia and China in both directions. The Agreement took effect on 20 January 2017, and it will undoubtedly assist with the laying of new roads and reconstruction of parts of existing ones along the international transportation routes. Let me stress that the Agreement is open for any country to join in its implementation," — the SCO Secretary General stressed.

Mr Alimov underscored that "solving the issues of reviving the Silk Road and long-tern sustainable growth is impossible without ensuring security and stability. Countering terrorism, separatism and extremism, fighting illegal drug trafficking and trans-border organised crime have been and still remain among the SCO priorities," he stated.

"In ancient times, the Silk Road crystallised owing to the mutually beneficial contacts of the peoples residing along its main routes, their aspirations to develop trade and economy, as well as a cultural dialogue. Thus under the current conditions, enhancing mutual trust, building up joint approaches to countering the challenges and threats on the whole space from the Pacific to the Atlantic is the only way to ensure a successful joint long-term progress. The SCO is set on that," the Secretary General underscored.

Taking part in the discussion were also Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikahvili, Mongolian Presidential Advisor Perevsuren, head of Schaeffler AG Georg Schaeffler, Duisburger Hafen AG head Erich Staake, a number of prominent diplomats and members of the European expert community.

The Munich non-government independent conference to discuss the most important security issues was established in 1963 as "an international meeting of defence experts" of the NATO member-states. Currently it is an international discussion forum upon the completion of which no official documents are adopted. At the same time politicians and diplomats of the world level see the conference as an important venue for meetings and discussions of current problems.