Good afternoon, esteemed members of the media.
The session of one of the SCO’s supreme bodies, the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation’s member states, has just concluded. As the leader of the principal executive body, I would like to use this opportunity to share the outcomes of the meeting of the heads of foreign ministries from the SCO member states.
The plane crash on 19 May tragically claimed the lives of His Excellency President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, and other Iranian officials. We join in mourning with the people and the Government of Iran. At the initiative of the Kazakhstan chairmanship, a minute of silence was observed. In their addresses, the ministers also conveyed their condolences to the leadership of Iran for the loss of the President, the Foreign Minister, and the officials of the delegation, as well as to their families and friends.
Throughout the event, there was a detailed exchange of perspectives regarding current international and regional issues. Emphasis was placed on topics related to security and the fight against the “three evil forces” within the SCO space.
The meeting participants unanimously agreed that the Organisation, now in its third decade, serves as a robust platform for fostering mutual trust and cultivating amicable, neighbourly relations. It serves as a cornerstone for expanding multilateral dialogue and enhancing mutually beneficial cooperation. Given the challenging geopolitical landscape, the Organisation has been an influential entity in contemporary international relations, playing a key role in preserving regional stability.
The ministers underscored the commitment of the SCO member states to upholding the goals and objectives outlined in the SCO Charter, while actively advancing the enduring principles of the Shanghai Spirit.
They are dedicated to enhancing practical cooperation across diverse sectors to foster sustainable development and prosperity throughout the SCO region.
One of the primary goals of this meeting was to thoroughly prepare and outline the agenda for the upcoming Astana Summit, scheduled to take place in the capital of Kazakhstan in July. A list of topics and documents to be presented for consideration by the member states’ leaders was approved. This includes the draft Astana Declaration by the heads of the SCO member states, the SCO Initiatives on World Unity for Just Peace and Harmony, the Roadmap for enhancing cooperation with SCO dialogue partners, and several other documents.
Special emphasis was placed on the expansion of the Organisation, underscoring the appeal and positive reputation of the SCO among other nations and international partnership bodies.
With the participation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus Sergei Aleinik, we coordinated the procedure for Belarus’s admission to the SCO.
During the meeting, the parties discussed enhancing the SCO’s activities, specifically focusing on boosting the effectiveness of SCO bodies and mechanisms amidst a changing environment.
Since assuming the chairmanship of the SCO in July 2023, the Republic of Kazakhstan has coordinated over180 events spanning diverse sectors. Throughout this mission, our Kazakh partners prioritised economic, investment, transportation, cultural, and humanitarian issues, alongside environmental considerations, particularly within the framework of the declared Year of Ecology in 2024.
We also acknowledge the swift actions and efforts of the current chairmanship in establishing a unified position of the Organisation during significant political events, such as the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the recent terrorist attacks in some SCO member states. We commend the high professional standards demonstrated by the Secretariat in organising events.
In our view, the Republic of Kazakhstan’s chairmanship of the Organisation has been highly substantive and engaging. I am confident that, with the support of the SCO member states, the Astana Summit will be successful, provide new momentum for the Organisation, and mark another significant milestone in its development. We are prepared to offer our utmost assistance in its preparation and holding.
The meeting participants also addressed the holding of the SCO Council of Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) Meeting, scheduled for autumn 2024 in Islamabad. I would like to note that this marks Pakistan’s first chairmanship of the Council in the SCO history, and we wish them success in this honourable and important role.
Following the meeting, 22 decisions were made concerning multilateral cooperation in the political, diplomatic, trade, economic, and cultural and humanitarian spheres. Additionally, the Report of the Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation on the activities of the SCO Secretariat from May 2023 to May 2024 was endorsed.
The meeting was attended by representatives from all nine member states at the level of Minister of Foreign Affairs or their deputy. Additionally, Ruslan Mirzayev, the Director of the SCO RATS Executive Committee, and Sergei Aleinik, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, were invited to the meeting.
In conclusion, I want to express my gratitude to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Murat Nurtleu, the staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, and all Kazakh partners for hosting the SCO Foreign Ministers Council Meeting with exceptional professionalism. I appreciate the support and assistance provided to me and the Secretariat delegation throughout our work, as well as the warm and gracious hospitality extended to us.
Thank you for your attention.