Rashid Alimov: “The entire international community must pool its efforts to effectively fight international terrorism and extremism.” SCO Secretary General addresses plenary meeting of high-level Dushanbe conference

The meeting of high-level Dushanbe conference

On 4 May 2018, a high-level conference dealing with efforts to combat terrorism and extremism, involving over 400 delegates from 46 countries and international organisations, including the SCO, opened in Dushanbe.

President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rakhmon greeted conference participants.

Foreign, Interior and Defence Ministers of Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Bahrain, Libya, Hungary, Kazakhstan and Pakistan, senior UN, OSCE and EU officials as well as SCO Secretary General Rashid Alimov spoke at the plenary meeting.

"International terrorism and extremism remain urgent matters of acute concern despite expanding collective efforts to counter these most dangerous contemporary developments," Mr. Alimov said, noting that the time-tested Shanghai Convention on combating the three evil forces, enacted 15 years ago, had now proved its practical significance.

Mr. Alimov focused on the high level of coordinated joint efforts of SCO member-states' law enforcement agencies to expose, prevent and thwart terrorist and extremist threats. "Over a period of the past five years, over 600 terrorist crimes have been prevented, over 500 terrorist training camps have been eliminated, and the activity of over 2,000 members of international terrorist organisations has been thwarted. The SCO also attaches great significance to holding regular joint counter-terrorism exercises of special services, as well as Peace Mission military maneuvers," he noted.

Mr. Alimov singled out the role and significance of the SCO's Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure that regularly updates databases on terrorist and extremist organisations, as well as the common search databse of persons involved in terrorist activity.

"During the past two years, our joint systematic cyberspace projects made it possible to eliminate over 100,000 websites containing over four million units of terrorist and extremist data or to limit access to such websites. We have stopped the activity of 360 members of terrorist and religious-extremist online communities," Mr. Alimov noted. In this connection, he added that the SCO Convention on Countering Extremism, signed in 2017, and the Shanghai Convention on Combating Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism aim to strengthen the international-law framework to cope with new challenges as well as threats.

According to Mr. Alimov, the entire international community must pool its efforts to effectively fight international terrorism and extremism. "The SCO focuses on expanded cooperation with the UN and advocates expanded agreed-upon SCO-UN efforts to counter common challenges and security threats, to help further wide-ranging dialogue and international cooperation based on generally recognised principles of international law and the UN Charter, as well as in the execution of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions," Mr. Alimov said.

The Dushanbe Declaration was passed after the conference.

The Government of the Republic of Tajikistan is holding the high-level international conference in cooperation with the UN, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the European Union (EU).