Press release on the results of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Heads of State Council Meeting

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Heads of State Council Meeting

The meeting of the Heads of State Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (hereafter SCO or Organisation) was held on 8-9 June 2017 in Astana. President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, Chairman of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping, President of the Kyrgyz Republic Almazbek Atambayev, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, and President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev attended the meeting.

President of the Republic of Kazakhstan N. Nazarbayev chaired the meeting.

SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov and Director of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (SCO RATS) Executive Committee Yevgeny Sysoev participated in the meeting.

Other participants included heads of the SCO observer states' delegations President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani, President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, Prime Minister of the Republic of India Narendra Modi, President of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Also in attendance were Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres, Chairman of the Executive Committee and Executive Secretary of the Commonwealth of Independent States Sergei Lebedev, Deputy Secretary-General of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation Amanzhol Zhankuliev, Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Le Luong Minh and Executive Director of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia Secretariat Gong Jianwei.

The heads of state highlighted the historical significance of the SCO's enlargement. They believe that granting full SCO membership to India and Pakistan at the current meeting of the SCO Heads of State Council will facilitate the further development and enhance the potential of the SCO.

The heads of state advocated the further deepening of multifaceted mutually beneficial cooperation with SCO observer states and dialogue partners.

Within the context of the implementation of the SCO Development Strategy Until 2025, the heads of state discussed the present condition and the prospects of the Organisation's development including the progress of implementing the 2016 Tashkent Summit decisions.

The heads of state noted the importance of the Organisation's further consolidation as an effective full-fledged regional platform aimed at active participation in building a more equitable, polycentric model of the world order that meets the interests of each and every state, promoting the process of democratisation of international relations, creating an effective global and regional architecture of security and cooperation, and forming a human community linked by a common destiny.

The heads of state reaffirmed the importance of implementing the SCO Treaty of Long-Term Neighbourliness, Friendship and Cooperation among Member States with the purpose of further developing relations of mutual understanding, respect and fruitful cooperation in areas of common interest, making interstate borders of eternal peace and friendship.

The heads of state exchanged views on a wide range of the most important areas of cooperation within the SCO framework as well as current regional and international issues, including the situation in Afghanistan, the Middle East, North Africa, and Ukraine.

They reaffirmed their commitment to the view that there is no alternative to the political and diplomatic settlement of conflicts in various regions of the world on the basis of strict adherence to universally recognised norms and principles of international law.

The heads of state expressed support for the efforts of the government and people of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan aimed at establishing a peaceful, stable and economically prosperous state free of terrorism, extremism and drug crime, based on the central coordinating role of the UN in matters related to the stabilisation and development of Afghanistan.

The heads of state spoke in favour of a political settlement in the Syrian Arab Republic through broad inter-Syrian dialogue based on the provisions of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. They are convinced that the Astana process will help create the necessary conditions for all stakeholders to find an acceptable solution to the Syrian crisis within the framework of the Geneva process and under the aegis of the United Nations.

The heads of state praised the efforts to implement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to resolve the issue of the Iranian nuclear programme between the Islamic Republic of Iran and six international mediators plus the European Union.

The heads of state called for the crisis in Ukraine to be settled as soon as possible based on full implementation of the Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements of 12 February 2015.

The heads of state stressed the importance of further developing the SCO's multilateral cooperation with the UN and its specialised agencies, CICA, CSTO, CIS, ASEAN, as well as with other international and regional organisations and structures.

The heads of state called for strict adherence to the goals and principles of the UN Charter, above all the equality and sovereignty of states, non-interference in internal affairs, mutual respect of territorial integrity, inviolability of borders, non-aggression, peaceful settlement of disputes, non-use of force or threat of force as well as other generally recognised norms of international law aimed at maintaining peace and security, developing cooperation between states, strengthening independence, ensuring the right of countries to determine their own future and their own path of political, socioeconomic and cultural development.

The heads of states welcomed the activities of the Republic of Kazakhstan as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2017-2018.

The heads of state reaffirmed the commitment of the SCO member states to strengthening the central coordinating role of the UN in international relations. They believe that intergovernmental negotiations on reforming the UN Security Council, aimed at making it more representative and effective, should be carried out through the broadest possible consultations as part of the search for a "package solution" to ensure the unity of the UN member states, without setting artificial deadlines and imposing options that have not been widely supported by UN members.

The heads of state stressed the importance of strict compliance with the provisions of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, the comprehensive and balanced promotion of all the goals and principles enshrined therein, and the strengthening of its role, effectiveness and universal character.

The heads of state are convinced that the expedited entry into force of the Protocol on Security Assurances to the Treaty on a Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia for all signatories will significantly contribute to ensuring regional security and strengthening the global non-proliferation regime.

The heads of state underscored their determination to step up coordinated efforts to counter common security challenges and threats, deepen dialogue and cooperation in ensuring comprehensive security, particularly in combatting terrorism, separatism and extremism, and the spread of related ideology and propaganda, cross-border organised crime, as well as in strengthening international information security and emergency response.

The heads of state praised the activities of the competent bodies of SCO member states and the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure in combating terrorism, extremism, separatism ("the three evils"), and advocated further stepping up their activities in the sphere.

They stressed the importance of intensifying work toward the expedited adoption of the UN Comprehensive Convention on Combatting International Terrorism, as well as ratification of the 19 UN universal legal instruments against terrorism with the SCO member states interests taken into an account.

The heads of states stressed that the SCO Convention on Countering Extremism, signed on 9 June 2017 in Astana, will help strengthen the international legal framework for countering new challenges and threats along with the Shanghai Convention on Combatting Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism, the SCO Convention against Terrorism and the 2016-2018 SCO Member States Programme on Cooperation in Combatting Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism, as well as core UN documents — the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. The SCO Convention on Countering Extremism is aimed at strengthening security of all the SCO member states, increasing the effectiveness of cooperation between their competent bodies and improving the legal framework in this sphere.

The heads of state supported the elaboration of a universal code of rules, principles and standards of responsible behaviour by states in the information space within the UN framework and believe that an important step in this direction is the new version of the Rules of Conduct in the Field of International Information Security disseminated in January 2015 on behalf of the SCO member states as an official UN document.

The heads of state stressed the importance of developing cooperation in combatting crime in the information and communications sphere and called for the development of an appropriate international legal instrument with the UN playing a central coordinating role.

The heads of state advocated strengthening bilateral and multilateral anti-corruption cooperation, including the sharing of experience and information. It was noted that corruption, as a threat to national and regional security in all its forms and manifestations, leads to a decrease in the effectiveness of public administration, adversely affects investment appeal and impedes progressive socioeconomic development.

The heads of state consider it important to intensify the policy of strengthening their own economic potential and implementing long-term development strategies, as well as stimulating the recovery of the world economy, ensuring economic and financial stability, and supporting sustainable, dynamic, balanced and inclusive growth. They advocated developing broad international cooperation to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The heads of states highlighted the importance of initiatives aimed at shaping beneficial conditions for the development of regional economic interaction and facilitating the search for new models of international cooperation.

The heads of state praised the results of the SCO Member States Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) Council Meeting on 2-3 November 2016 in Bishkek and noted the significant increase in the economic activities of the Organisation conducted through the relevant ministries and departments.

The heads of state welcomed the "One Belt, One Road" initiative, praised the results of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held on 14-15 May 2017 in Beijing and spoke in favour of their implementation, including by means of coordinating international, regional and national projects aimed at cooperation in maintaining sustainable development based on the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit.

The heads of state noted the importance of continuing consultations on the establishment of the SCO Development Bank and the SCO Development Fund (Special Account) at the expert level in accordance with the SCO Member States Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) Council decision of 3 November 2016 (Bishkek) with the purpose of financing joint projects within the SCO framework.

They advocated enhancing multilateral cooperation in the transport sector, including by expanding the transport and communication capacity of the region, developing rail transport, high-speed lines, creating multimodal logistics centres, introducing advanced and innovative technologies, and implementing joint infrastructure projects of common interest.

In this context, they emphasised the need for the systematic practical implementation of the Agreement between the Governments of the Member States of SCO on Creating Favourable Conditions for International Road Transportation.

The heads of state stressed the importance of rapidly implementing the SCO Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) Decision on the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Roads Development Programme of 3 November 2016 with the purpose of coordinating the formation of road networks, improvement of transport accessibility, and optimisation of transport links between main production zones and consumption zones in the SCO states.

The heads of states noted the active work to implement the agreements aimed at stimulating cooperation between the SCO member states in the agricultural and customs spheres.

The heads of state stressed the importance of the active participation of the SCO Business Council and the SCO Interbank Consortium in the implementation of multilateral projects that promote the socioeconomic development of the Organisation's member states and enhance their investment and financial cooperation.

The heads of state noted the expediency of involving governmental structures and business communities of observer states and dialogue partners in SCO project activities.

The heads of state noted the importance of the cultural and humanitarian sphere in the Organisation's activities for strengthening relations of neighbourliness, friendship and cooperation. Increased attention will further be paid to strengthening cooperation in the fields of health, culture, environmental protection, science, technology, innovations, sports, and tourism, based on the Action Plan for Implementation of the SCO Member States Programme for the Development of Cooperation in Tourism.

The heads of state heard and approved the SCO Secretary-General's report on the activities of the Organisation over the past year and the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure Council report on the activities of the SCO RATS in 2016. They praised the efforts of the SCO permanent bodies to promote practical interaction and coordination of cooperation within the Organisation, as well as to bolster its international authority.

During the chairmanship of the Republic of Kazakhstan the following events were held: the SCO Member States Heads of Government Council Meeting (2-3 November 2016, Bishkek), the Ministers of Foreign Affairs Council Meeting (20-21 April 2017, Astana), the National Coordinators Council meetings (August 2016 — June 2017, Astana, Beijing, Bishkek), the RATS Council meetings (13 September 2016, Almaty and 30 March 2017, Tashkent), Prosecutors General Meeting (29-30 November 2016, Sanya), Supreme Courts Chairmen Meeting (22 September 2016, Dushanbe), the Security Council Secretaries Meeting (5-6 April 2017, Astana), Ministers of Finance and Central (National) Banks Chiefs Meeting (29-30 September 2016, Bishkek), Ministers of Education Meeting (20 October 2016, Dushanbe), Ministers of Justice Meeting (28 October 2016, Almaty), Ministers of Culture Meeting (2 June 2017), Ministers of Defence Meeting (7 June 2017, Astana), Ministers of Foreign Economy and Trade Meeting (12 October 2016, Bishkek), Ministers of Science and Technology Meeting (4 September 2016, Issyk Kul District), Meeting of the Heads of Competent Authorities for Combatting Illicit Drug Trafficking (14 April 2017, Astana), joint anti-terrorism exercises "Peace Mission 2016" (5-12 September 2016, Balikchi), Meeting of the Chiefs of the General (Joint) Staffs of the Armed Forces of the SCO Member States (20 September 2016, Cholpon-Ata), joint anti-terrorist military exercises "Cooperation 2016" (19 October 2016, Dushanbe), Meeting of Heads of Border Services of Competent Authorities of SCO Member States (8 June 2016, Shymkent) and the joint border operation "Solidarity 2016" (25 September-1 November 2016, SCO member states border regions), Meeting of the Board of the SCO Business Council (7 June 2016, Astana), SCO Interbank Consortium Council Meeting (8 June 2017, Astana), Joint Business Forum of the SCO Interbank Consortium and the SCO Business Council (8 June 2017, Astana), and SCO Forum (11-12 May 2017, Tashkent), XI Education Week (25-27 April 2017, Astana)), Youth Forum of the SCO "Development of Green Economy, Tourism and Sport" (7-11 June 2017, Astana), Symposium of Leading Scientists of SCO Member States (6 June 2017, Astana), and other events at different levels.

The heads of state praised the results of the Ministers of Justice Meeting of 28 October 2016 in Almaty and issued instructions to continue implementing the agreements reached at the meeting, including creating mechanisms of cooperation among forensic examination institutions of the SCO member states.

The heads of state stressed the importance of the SCO's participation in the International Specialised Exhibition EXPO-2017 with the theme "Energy of Future" (10 June — 10 September 2017, Astana).

The heads of state congratulated President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbaev on successfully hosting the 28th Winter Universiade (29 January — 8 February 2017, Almaty). Kazakhstan expressed its gratitude to the other member states for their comprehensive support during the organisation and holding of the event.

The heads of state highly praised the Republic of Kazakhstan's chairmanship in the SCO and expressed gratitude to Kazakhstan for the hospitality extended during the events held in Astana.

The next meeting of the SCO Heads of State Council will be held in June 2018 in the People's Republic of China. The chairmanship of the SCO now passes to the People's Republic of China for the forthcoming period.