The OSCE Forum for Security Cooperation in Vienna
Rashid Alimov: The SCO is not a military bloc but will continue to strengthen mechanisms for eradicating terrorist activity. The SCO Secretary General addresses the OSCE Forum for Security Cooperation in Vienna

On 10 May 2017, a delegation from the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation headed by SCO Secretary General Rashid Alimov and Yevgeny Sysoyev, Director of the Executive Committee of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), attended the OSCE Forum for Security Cooperation in Vienna.

As chief Forum speaker, the SCO Secretary General reported on expanded multi-faceted intra-SCO cooperation in the name of peace, stability and prosperity in the vast Eurasian region to the heads of the OSCE member-country delegations.

"Since the first days of its inception, the SCO has pursued a policy that rules out bloc, related, ideologised and confrontationist approaches towards international and regional issues. It unfailingly adheres to the SCO Charter's principles, including the fact that it is not directed against other states and international associations," Mr Alimov stressed.

The SCO focuses on maintaining security and stability in the Eurasian region. "The SCO was established for the development and prosperity of the nations in its territory. However, sustained development is impossible without maintaining adequate security," Mr Alimov noted. While elaborating on this thesis, Mr Alimov discussed the concerted work of the SCO member-states to jointly combat all manifestations of terrorism, separatism and extremism, to wage an uncompromising fight against illegal drug trafficking and arms trade and other kinds of trans-border crime.

Mr Alimov emphasised that the SCO was not a military bloc. "At the same time, the uncompromising fight against the terrorist threat dictates the need to develop and strengthen mechanisms for eradicating terrorist activity," he added.

Mr Alimov drew the attention of forum participants to the upcoming SCO summit, scheduled for 8-9 June 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan. "The leaders of the SCO member states will formulate consolidated assessments of the state of international security in the context of regional and global developments, and they will chart topical aspects of further broadening intra-SCO international cooperation. The admission of India and Pakistan as full SCO members is an important issue of the upcoming summit's agenda," Mr Alimov noted.

Mr Alimov also said that the June summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation would open a new era in the SCO's development. "At the same time, we will reiterate our firm commitment to peace, joint development and equitable relations, to strengthen cooperation for maintaining security and stability and sustained development in the SCO region," he noted.

Forum participants watched a video on the practical work of SCO member states in combating illegal drug trafficking.

The OSCE Forum for Security Cooperation was established in 1992 by a decision of the top-level OSCE meeting in Helsinki. This independent OSCE body has the authority to discuss issues of maintaining military security and stability in the OSCE region and to adopt politically binding decisions on these issues.