The 14th Meeting of Security Council Secretaries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Member States, chaired by Kyrgyzstan, took place in Bishkek on 15 May, 2019.
The meeting was attended by Deputy National Security Adviser of the Republic of India Pankaj Saran, Presidential Aide and Security Council Secretary of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kalmukhanbet Kasymov, Member of the State Council of the People's Republic of China Zhao Kezhi, Security Council Secretary of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan Damir Sagynbaev, Secretary of the National Security Division of Pakistan Zafar Iqbal, Security Council Secretary of the Russian Federation Nikolai Patrushev, Security Council Secretary of the Republic of Tajikistan Mahmadali Watanzoda, Secretary of the Security Council under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Viktor Makhmudov, SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov and Director of the Executive Committee of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure Jumakhon Giyosov.
Delegation heads were received by President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbay Jeenbekov.
The meeting was held in the traditionally friendly and constructive atmosphere.
In preparation for the meeting of the SCO Heads of State Council, the National Security Councils Secretaries discussed the maintenance of security and stability within the SCO space, as well as the promotion of cooperation between the SCO member states in combatting terrorism, separatism and extremism, weapons and drug trafficking, and transnational organised crime, as well as in providing international information security.
The participants noted that instability and uncertainty are increasing around the globe, as are risks related to the escalation of conflicts in a number of regions and the continued growth of threats of terrorism, separatism, extremism, weapons and drug trafficking, transnational organised crime and cybercrime. Such serious challenges to security and stability in the SCO member states require joint comprehensive actions on the basis of equal cooperation and mutual trust.
The participants denounced terrorism in all its forms. They also stressed the importance of effort to create a unified global front against terrorism with the UN playing a central coordinating role, based on international law and free from politicisation and double standards.
The participants emphasised that it is unacceptable to interfere in the domestic affairs of any states under the pretext of combating terrorism and extremism, or to make use of terrorist, extremist and radical groups.
The parties noted the importance of consistently fulfilling the requirements set by respective UN Security Council resolutions with regards to fighting terrorism, along with the efforts to counter any forms of financing or material support of terrorists.
They stressed the importance of comprehensive implementation of the SCO cooperation programme against terrorism, separatism and extremism for 2019-2021, and promulgation of the SCO Convention on Countering Extremism.
Delegation heads supported further development of cooperation between the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure and the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism.
The participants expressed their intention to intensify coordinated efforts of competent agencies in the SCO member states in exposing, preventing and suppressing unlawful activity at state borders, as per the 2015 Agreement on Cooperation and Interaction of the SCO Member States on Border Issues.
The parties agreed to continue cooperation in preventing the dissemination and propagandising of terrorist ideology via the internet and other information and communication technologies, including public justification of terrorism, recruiting members for terrorist groups, abetting terrorist attacks and terrorism-related training via the internet.
The delegates also confirmed the importance of consolidating the efforts of the international community against attempts to involve young people in the activities of terrorist, separatist and extremist groups. In this connection, they noted the need for consistent implementation of the Joint Address of the Heads of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation for the Youth and the action plan on its implementation, both signed in Qingdao on 10 June 2018.
The parties expressed concern over escalating threats caused by the growing illegal production, trade and abuse of narcotic drugs, as well as over the use of proceeds from illegal drug trafficking to finance terrorism. They stressed the importance of developing a joint and balanced approach to countering drug trafficking.
In the same context, the meeting participants noted the importance of the SCO Anti-Drug Strategy for 2018-2023 and the action plan on its implementation, as well as the Concept to Prevent the Abuse of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances adopted at the 2018 SCO Summit in Qingdao.
The parties agreed to continue improving cooperation within the SCO against drug trafficking at the level of heads of competent authorities, senior officials and expert working groups, and to hold regular joint operations to prevent illegal trafficking of drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors.
They also stressed the importance of expanding cooperation with international and regional organisations against the drug threat coming from the territory of Afghanistan.
The participants reaffirmed the importance of keeping outer space free of weapons, and expressed support for practical measures to prevent an arms race in space.
They noted the need to strengthen cooperation in the fight against corruption in all forms.
The parties supported further work on the SCO legal framework regarding the provision of legal assistance to individuals and legal entities in civil and criminal cases by concluding an appropriate SCO convention.
They noted that one of the most important factors in maintaining and strengthening security and stability in the SCO space is the earliest possible resolution of the crisis in Afghanistan. They expressed support for the efforts of the government and the people of Afghanistan to ensure the security and economic development of their country, and their standing in opposition to terrorism, extremism and drug-related crime. In this regard, they welcomed Uzbekistan's proposal to host the Ministerial Meeting of the Eight Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA VIII) in Tashkent in the second half of 2019.
The parties underscored the importance of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group's activities and expressed support for the results of its regular meeting in Bishkek on 19 April 2019.
They praised the positive role of the Astana process in facilitating a political settlement in the Syrian Arab Republic. They reaffirmed the need to comply with the UN Security Council resolutions on the restoration of peace in Syria, as well as the intention to continue to support the Geneva process under the auspices of the UN for the sake of establishing an inclusive political process consisting of and led by Syrians, while ensuring Syria's independence and territorial integrity.
The participants consider it important to consistently implement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to resolve the situation around the Iranian nuclear programme.
They pointed to the need to respect the non-proliferation regime and arms control. The participants called for the preservation of the Treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union on the Elimination of Their Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles (INF) because of its historical significance in ensuring strategic stability.
They reaffirmed the importance of a political settlement of the crisis in Ukraine on the basis of the strict implementation of the Minsk Agreements of 12 February 2015.
They also noted the need for strict compliance with the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone (CANWFZ) treaty and the early entry into force of the protocol on security assurances for states in the CANWFZ.
The parties agreed to step up cooperation to promote international information security based on the corresponding agreement signed by the SCO member states. They also noted the central role of the UN in developing universal international norms, rules and principles of responsible behaviour of states in the information space. They agreed to continue to create, within the SCO, a system for monitoring and countering potential threats to the global information space.
The parties reiterated their commitment to cooperation aimed at countering illegal migration and creating conditions to prevent the involvement of migrants in illegal activities.
They took under advisement the information provided by the SCO Secretary-General and the Director of the RATS Executive Committee on security activities.
The parties emphasised the important role of RATS in facilitating the coordination of work of the SCO member states' competent agencies in countering terrorism, separatism and extremism.
The heads of delegations spoke highly of Kyrgyzstan's SCO Presidency with respect to ensuring security and stability in the SCO space, expressed their support for its efforts to prepare the SCO Heads of State Council Meeting to be held in Bishkek on 14 June, and expressed gratitude to Kyrgyzstan for its warmth, hospitality and high level of organisation.
The Protocol of the 14th Meeting of Security Council Secretaries of the SCO Member States was signed following the meeting.
The next meeting of Security Council Secretaries of the SCO Member States will take place in Russia next year.