SCO outlines new norm of international relations
Updated: 2006-06-16 15:43

SHANGHAI -- Five years after its birth, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has outlined a new norm of international relations aiming at ensuring the equal rights for all countries worldwide.

The new norm, proposed in the form of a new global security architecture, is centered on the "Shanghai Spirit" featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for multi-civilizations and pursuit of common development.

The norm is of critical importance to the international community's pursuit of a new and non-confrontational model of international relations, a model that calls for discarding the Cold War mentality and transcending ideological differences, said a SCO declaration signed at Thursday's annual summit meeting.

The new concept enriches the theory and practice of contemporary international relations and embodies the shared aspiration of the international community for the democratization in international relations.

The proposed norm of international relations and global security architecture is based on the widely recognized principles of international law. It discards "double standards" and demands respect of the diversity of civilization and models of development.

It opposes interference in other countries' internal affairs, using the excuse of the differences in cultural traditions, political and social systems, values and model of development formed in the course of history.

Established in June 2001, the regional organization comprises China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Its member states take up 60 percent of Euroasia and a quarter of the world's population.

Security remained in prior agenda for the SCO members. Of the 10 documents signed by the heads of state of the six SCO members Thursday, four are about security cooperation, including an anti- terrorism resolution for 2007-2009 period, an agreement on joint anti-terrorism actions among member countries, and an agreement on cutting off the infiltration channels of terrorists, separatists and extremists.

The six SCO members also vowed to enhance international information security and eliminate possible dangers of using information and communication technologies for criminal or terrorist purposes -- a move indicating the SCO's security cooperation has gone far beyond regional disarmament and border issues to tackle conventional as well as unconventional threats and challenges facing the whole humanity.

Despite its readiness to carry out international cooperation, the SCO holds it is the right and responsibility of the countries in the region themselves to decide what specific means and mechanism should be taken to safeguard their security.

The six member states also vowed to safeguard each other's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity and in case of emergencies that threaten regional peace, stability and security, they will have immediate consultations and respond effective to protect the interests of both SCO and its member states.

They have sought to maintain security and harmony in Euroasia and the entire world through all-round cooperation and exchanges in trade, economic and cultural sectors.

"Terrorism sometimes originates from poverty," said Zhao Changqing, a researcher with the SCO research center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. "Trade and economic cooperation within the SCO framework will enhance regional security and eventually benefit the people in these countries."

The Euroasia boasts diversity in cultural traditions and religious, including Buddhism, Taoism, Islam and Orthodox. Enhanced cultural and humanistic cooperation among the SCO members have provided a platform for dialogues among peoples of different ethnic groups, and make different cultures boom in peaceful context instead of conflicts.

The new norm of international relations is timely, constructive as well as feasible and will help strengthen security, peace and harmony in Euroasia and the world at large, said Sun Zhuangzhi, secretary-general of the SCO research center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.