On 15 April 2021 the SCO Secretary-General made a video address to the interparliamentary conference Global Challenges and Threats in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic: Terrorism and Violent Extremism.
The virtual format event was co-organised by the Interparliamentary Assembly of the Commonwealth of Independent States (IPA-CIS), the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM), the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), and the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT). The topics discussed were dedicated to finding mechanisms for boosting international cooperation in countering terrorism and the extremism that nourishes it.
Taking part in the conference were also Speaker of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Valentina Matviyenko, Director of the Russian Federal Security Service and Chair of the Council of CIS Heads of Security Agencies and Special Services Alexander Bortnikov, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Rik Daems, Chairman of the National Assembly (Milli Majlis) of Azerbaijan Sahiba Gafarova, President of the National Assembly of Armenia Ararat Mirzoyan, Speaker of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of the Republic of Belarus Natalya Kochanova, Speaker of the Jogorku Kenesh of the Kyrgyz Republic Talant Mamytov, Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova Zinaida Greceanîi, Speaker of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan Tanzila Narbaeva, Deputy Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of Kazakhstan Nurlan Abdirov, President Emeritus of PAM Alia Hatoug-Bouran, Chairman of the Executive Committee and Executive Secretary of the Commonwealth of Independent States Sergei Lebedev, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) Vladimir Voronkov, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Ghada Wali, WHO Regional Director for Europe Hans Kluge, Secretary General of the International Criminal Police Organisation Jürgen Stock.
The SCO Secretary-General noted in his video address that contributing to the consolidation of multilateral efforts to counter terrorism and extremism has been among the priorities of the Organisation's activities since its inception.
Vladimir Norov noted that there has been increasing interconnection between transnational security challenges including terrorism, separatism, extremism, drug trafficking, organised crime and cybercrime.
In this context he expressed readiness to ratchet up further efforts in order to effectively face these threats while following respective UNSC resolutions.
The Secretary-General said that all international initiatives in this area must take into account national experience and the peculiarities of the nations, and must be in line with the UNSC counter-terrorism resolutions and the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
In this connection he called for all sides to reach consensus on adopting the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
He stated that the SCO countries have come to rely on the central role of the states and their competent bodies in pursuing counter-terrorism policies in tandem with concerned and voluntary assistance from civil society.
He also underscored the importance of boosting joint efforts in preventing terrorism and its financing including in view of the current world standards being introduced in this area.
Vladimir Norov singled out the need to build up international efforts on preventing youth involvement in terrorist and extremist organisations.
In this aspect, he highlighted the need for steady progress in the implementation of the Joint Address of the SCO Heads of State for the Youth and the Programme on its implementation.
He highlighted the inadmissibility of any informational support for terrorism and the urgent need to take coordinated and prompt measures to suppress any possibility for disseminating the ideology of terrorism on the internet.
The Secretary-General also proposed that all interested partners consider joining the SCO Convention on Countering Extremism, which came into force in 2019.
In addition, he urged the SCO member states to pay special attention to the rehabilitation and reintegration of terrorism victims.
Vladimir Norov called on international and regional partners to expand cooperation with the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure. In this vein he stressed the significance of continuing to hold counter-terrorism exercises including the Peace Mission command-and-staff exercise.