On 28 July 2021, Tajikistan chaired a meeting of the defence ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states in Dushanbe.
In a traditionally friendly and constructive atmosphere, the ministers exchanged views on urgent issues of international and domestic security and noted the strong understanding between the SCO member countries.
They emphasised that the SCO was celebrating its 20th anniversary as an important international organisation, which was able to exert a tangible influence on promoting peace and security.
The ministers agreed to continue cooperation in enhancing security and sustainability in the SCO space in conditions of mounting potential forconflict in the world, including the coronavirus infection (COVID-19) and the persisting high level of terrorist threat.
The ministers noted the SCO members' cooperation in countering the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges and threats and in exchanging security information.
They resolutely denounced attempts to falsify the historical truth about the causes and outcome of World War II and to justify and glorify the Nazi criminals and their accomplices.
The ministers unanimously agreed that the practice of concerted actions by the armed forces of the SCO countries during the joint counterterrorist command-and-staff training exercise, Peace Mission 2021, would enhance cohesion of military command and control bodies and military units in the fight against armed forces of international terrorist organisations, and they emphasised their intention to continue similar exercises.
They agreed to continue providing comprehensive assistance from all SCO countries to India and Pakistan in acceding to the SCO international military documents.
In expressing the desire to further develop cooperation between the armed forces, the defence ministers welcomed Russia's invitation to other SCO members to take part in the West-2021 joint strategic exercise to be held by the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation.
They discussed ways of promoting peace, stability and security. Having expressed concern over the rapid deterioration of the situation in Afghanistan, the defence ministers noted the need to prevent the destabilisation of the situation in the SCO space and a tangible increase in the activity of terrorist groups in the region after the withdrawal of NATO military contingents and those of other countries from Afghanistan.
The defence ministers supported closer practical cooperation with regional partner organisations with a view to promoting friendship and good relations between the SCO members and maintaining peace, security and stability in the region.
They approved a new Plan for Cooperation between the SCO Defence Ministries for 2022-2023.
The defence ministers noted the special importance of holding this year, which had been declared the Year of SCO Culture, a festival of military orchestras, Fanfares of Peace, in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on 18-23 October 2021.
They agreed to continue expanding cooperation with a view to ensuring regional stability and creating favourable conditions for reliable and sustainable SCO development.
The defence ministers agreed to hold their next meeting in the Republic of Uzbekistan in 2022.