CHINA / National

SCO 'committed to peace, prosperity'
By Xing Zhigang (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-06-16 05:55

Declaration on the Fifth Anniversary of the
Shanghai Cooperation Organization

SHANGHAI: The leaders of the Shanghai Co-operation Organization (SCO) yesterday reiterated their commitment to lasting peace and common prosperity.

President Hu Jintao (sixth from right) poses with other leaders during a group photo session at the Shanghai Co-operation Organization's summit yesterday. [Wu Zhiyi]

At the conclusion of the organisation's one-day summit, President Hu Jintao and his counterparts from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan signed the Declaration on the Fifth Anniversary of the SCO, reaffirming their commitment.

The paper elaborates on the member states' common stance on a host of international issues, while outlining prospects for the SCO.

It was one of 10 documents endorsed at the summit, expanding co-operation in a wide range of areas including education, business, finance, information security and the battle against terrorism.

The annual summit, held at the Shanghai International Convention Centre, coincided with the fifth anniversary of the organization's foundation.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Tajik President Emomali Rakhmonov and Uzbek President Islam Karimov attended the summit.

Also present at the meeting were Mongolian President Nambaryn Enkhbayar, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad and Indian Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Murli Deora representing the four SCO observer countries.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai were also present.

The SCO members will join together to make the region "peaceful, co-ordinated in development, open, prosperous and harmonious," the declaration says.

They will not join any alliance or international organization or allow the use of their territories in any way that could undermine the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of other SCO members, it adds.

"They (the members) prohibit activities by organizations or gangs in their territories that are detrimental to the interests of other member states."

The declaration also emphasizes that the SCO will continue to follow its principles of being open, non-aligned and not targeting any other country.

It states clearly the SCO's hope of pursuing a new and non-confrontational model for international relations, a model that discards the Cold-War mentality and transcends ideological differences.

In the declaration, the six countries express their support for the primary responsibility of the United Nations (UN) in international affairs.

"No time limit should be set for UN reform, nor should a vote be forced on any proposal over which there are major differences," it notes.

It adds: "The SCO holds that the next UN secretary-general should come from Asia."

During his speech at the summit, President Hu proposed forming a convention to promote lasting good relations and co-operation within the SCO.

"We should respect and support the interests and concerns of all SCO member countries, and enhance co-ordination and co-operation on international and regional issues," Hu told the other heads of state.

On economic co-operation, he said: "We should carry out at an early date a number of economic and technological co-operation projects that will benefit all the parties involved, especially in the fields of energy, electricity, transportation and telecommunication."

Hu reaffirmed China's firm adherence to the path of peaceful development and the foreign policy of building a harmonious, secure and prosperous neighbourhood.

"China's peaceful development will in the first place bring huge opportunities to our neighbouring countries, especially SCO member states," he said.

Hu added that China has been smoothly implementing its plans to provide US$900 million in loans in the form of preferential buyer's export credit to the other SCO members, and to help them train 1,500 experts and managers.

On the SCO's external relations, Hu said including Mongolia, Pakistan, Iran and India in the SCO as observers was conducive to the organization's role in promoting peace.

China will join hands with other member countries to push forward the SCO's substantial co-operation with observers, with Afghanistan, and with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

During their summit speeches, the presidents of the other five SCO members spoke highly of the organisation's contribution to promoting regional economic growth and maintaining peace and stability.

At a later news conference, President Hu said the successful summit signified a new era for the SCO's growth.

The "Shanghai Spirit," which embodies mutual trust and benefit, equality, respect for cultural diversity and a desire for common development, is the common treasure of all sides and the principle guiding the SCO's further development, he said.

"We will carry forward the 'Shanghai Spirit' and work for an SCO that features more pragmatic co-operation, more efficient action and a more important international role," he said.

The next SCO summit will be held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, which assumed the organization's presidency following the end of yesterday's meeting.

Page: 12345


Related Stories