JOINT ADDRESS of the heads of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation for the Youth

We the heads of the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, which has established itself as an authoritative multilateral association whose aim it is to maintain security and stability in the Organisation's space, standing up jointly to new threats and challenges, strengthening trade-economic and cultural-humanitarian cooperation, tapping the huge potential of good neighbourly relations and interaction among the SCO states and their peoples, guided by the goals and principles of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Charter, the Shanghai Convention Against Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism, the SCO Convention Against Terrorism, the SCO Convention on Countering Extremism, the Statement of the SCO Member States on Joint Counteraction to International Terrorism, the Agreement Between the Governments of the SCO Member States on Cooperation in Ensuring Information Security and other documents of the Organisation, as well as the United Nations Charter and the relevant resolutions of the Security Council and other UN documents, noting with profound concern that the current international situation marked by growing terrorist activity, escalation of extremism and religious fanaticism, expansion of conflict zones and the volume of drug trafficking, today poses a serious threat to peace and security, territorial integrity and socio-economic stability of states and the peoples inhabiting them, recognising that in the context of growing hotbeds of instability in the space of vast regions and states, including those adjacent to the SCO countries, the youth is targeted by various terrorist organisations and extremist groups which seek, through manipulation of the yet not fully mature consciousness of young men and women, to draw them into their destructive activities, stating that on the territory of the SCO member states some members of the younger generation, owing to various external and internal factors and exposed to massive information, ideological and psychological influence and imposition of alien values and false religious ideas, are also becoming involved in terrorist, separatist and extremist activities, being firmly convinced that the involvement of the broad circles of young people in the activities of various terrorist, separatist and extremist groups poses a major threat to peace and stability, contributes to the emergence of conflicts, the growth of religious and ideological confrontation, undermines traditional social patterns by depriving the young generation of hope for a decent future with possibilities, pointing out that purposeful influence of ideology that is alien to the national values on the consciousness and morality of youth through the mass media, including social networks and other means of communication, storage and transmission of information via Internet destroys the moral foundations and universally accepted norms of behavior of the young generation, declare the following:
We condemn in a resolute and principled way the involvement of youth in the activities of terrorism and in separatist and extremist groups, which must be resisted in accordance with the rule of law, fundamental rights and freedoms as well as universally recognised principles and norms of international law. We stress the need to adopt coordinated and immediate measures to stem the spread of radical and destructive ideologies among the young generation, including prevention and stopping of terrorist, separatist and extremist propaganda, incitement to terrorism, separatism and extremism as well as recruitment, including through the Internet. We note the particular importance of further strengthening international cooperation in combating the involvement of youth in the activities of terrorist and extremist groups and call on the world community to unite in a broad international coalition to counteract global terrorism and extremism, including in the information space. We note the importance of promoting, in the UN framework, initiatives to prevent the involvement of young people in the activities of terrorist, separatist and extremist groups, including through improvement of the legal framework and full exercise of the right of youth and the creation of favorable conditions for stimulating the young generation's striving to gain knowledge and education. We stress that the key role in counteracting the spread of terrorism, separatism and extremism among youth groups is played by the states and their competent bodies, including through their close interaction within the SCO regional counter-terrorist structure. We express our confidence that to effectively counter the terrorist, separatist and extremist threats to youth and strengthen civic immunity to radical ideas, it is necessary to contribute to the efforts of states with the potential of social groups, the media, religious communities, education and scientific institutions of the SCO member states. We reaffirm the intransient significance of spirituality, education and upbringing of youth in the spirit of honouring such immutable values as patriotism, high morality, tolerance, humanity and mutual respect. We single out the rich and unique historical, cultural and civilisational heritage of the peoples inhabiting the SCO member states, appreciate their respect for the traditional foundations and universally recognised rules of behavior as an alternative to the norms and values of alien morality. We note the exceptional importance of ensuring favourable socio-economic conditions, opportunities for education, self-expression, the opening up of the creative potential and labour opportunities for the young social strata. We express our firm conviction of the need to counteract the radicalisation of the youth in the SCO countries and its involvement in the destructive activities through joint implementation of the following priority tasks and goals of the youth policy of the SCO member states: the formation of an all-round harmonious personality, strengthening of the intellectual potential, development of immunity and protective measures against extremism and fanaticism of any kind as well as other ideologies that are alien to national values, exposure of youth to modern knowledge, encouragement of interest in education, science and technology, arts and literature, as well as legal education of the youth, including in the use of information and communication technologies, the ability to resist various destructive forces that influence the minds of young people and seek to inculcate the ideas of extremism, fanaticism and violence, the development of a culture of tolerance and humanism, the strengthening of international and civic harmony and mutual understanding, the fostering of patriotism and internationalism, the ability to conduct dialogue between civilisations, promotion of joint economic and humanitarian initiatives aimed at involving youth in entrepreneurial activities and innovative projects to provide them with more jobs, enhance their spiritual potential and well-being, stimulating scientific and technological exchanges and conduct joint research under corresponding programmes approved by the SCO, establish cooperation among youth organisations for the joint struggle against various manifestations of international terrorism, separatism and extremism in order to prevent the involvement of the young generation in the activities of terrorist and extremist organisations. We express our confidence that the youth in the SCO member states, by taking an active part in society's life, will make a worthy contribution to the development and prosperity of their countries, the strengthening of regional and global stability and security, to the dialogue among peoples, cultures and religions. We are convinced that effective interaction within the SCO on youth issues will contribute to the creation of international mechanisms of all-round cooperation in this area and in this connection stress the importance of promoting the initiatives set forth above in the framework of other international and regional organisations.
Qingtao, June 10, 2018.