10 July 2020 marks five years since the adoption of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Development Strategy Towards 2025. In this context, SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov gave an interview to Daily Islamabad Post, DNA News Agency, Centreline journal, Jenmin Jibao, the TASS news agency and the Russia-China news website.
In the interview, Mr Norov noted the significance of the date. The strategy may be compared in importance to the SCO Charter and the Treaty on Long-Term Good-Neighbourliness, Friendship and Cooperation of the SCO member countries. The document is a roadmap for 10 years, and each of its provisions meets the national interests of all member countries and the goals of long-term joint development in the wide SCO space.
The strategy was drafted in accordance with the 2014 decision of the Heads of State Council. Experts of ministries and departments as well as representatives of research and analytical circles of the member countries were involved in this work. The document was officially signed at the SCO Ufa Summit on 10 July 2015.
Mr Norov believes the first five-year term of the strategy "demonstrated its effectiveness and its goal to further strengthen and develop mutual trust and facilitate long-term peace in the region and the world as a whole." He added that the strategy continues promoting multi-sided regional cooperation, political stability and security, expanded economic cooperation, joint development and the prosperity of the SCO nations.
The document forecasts the development of the international and regional situation and the activities of the organisation, as well as its role in the region and the world. It confirms the invariable commitment to the goals, tasks and principles fixed in the fundamental SCO documents.
The provisions of the strategy are aimed at helping the SCO member states to ensure regional security, promote trade and economic dialogue and cultural and educational ties, and develop international contacts.
Mr Norov emphasised that one of the practical results of the adoption of this document was India and Pakistan joining the SCO, which made the organisation transcontinental and consolidated its position in the world arena.
The strategy confirms that the SCO activities will not be aimed against third countries and international associations. The SCO member countries proceed from the principle of its Charter on preventing any illegitimate acts directed against the SCO interests. The document makes it clear that the organisation does not strive to be a military political bloc or an economic integration association with supranational government bodies.
According to Mr Norov, the success of the SCO's steady development lies in the strict observance by its member countries of the Shanghai Spirit, which embodies mutual trust and benefit, equality, mutual consultations, respect for different cultures and a striving for joint development.
To implement the strategy, the SCO member countries adopted in 2016 a five-year action plan that includes 75 hands-on events aimed at improving the organisation's multifaceted activities.
Mr Norov noted that the analysis of the results of the plan shows that its tasks have been fulfilled. In this context, the SCO member countries have started drafting a plan for another five years. It already has about 150 events, which shows that the SCO member states have expanded their cooperation. The plan is expected to be endorsed at the next SCO Summit in St Petersburg.
In conclusion, Mr Norov emphasised that the strategy continues to effectively promote multifaceted regional cooperation, political stability, security, expanded economic cooperation, joint development and the prosperity of the SCO nations.