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China Daily Website

SCO's role for peace

Updated: 2012-12-04 08:01
( China Daily)

The prime ministers meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is scheduled to be held in Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan, on Tuesday and Wednesday. The meeting will inject new vitality into the future development of the regional organization as it sets out to turn the pledges and commitments of the SCO Summit held in Beijing in June into concrete actions.

Premier Wen Jiabao is expected to put forward China's recommendations on deepening practical cooperation within the group during the meeting in Bishkek. Prime ministers of the SCO members will approve a list of measures for advancing multilateral projects between 2012 and 2016, which will bring real benefits to all participating countries and improve their capability to address external risks.

Since its establishment 11 years ago, the SCO, which groups China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, has thrived to be a constructive force playing a major geopolitical role in the Euro-Asia region. Driven by the common desire to safeguard regional peace and stability, the SCO has conducted multifaceted security cooperation and expanded collaboration into such fields as trade, education, culture and health.

The SCO's commitments to mutual trust, reciprocity, equality, consultation, respect to the diversity of civilizations and pursuit of common development have laid a solid foundation for it to prosper.

What the SCO has accomplished and upheld over the years has made it increasingly influential in the region and beyond. Since 2004, Mongolia, Pakistan, Iran, India and Afghanistan have been successively admitted as an observer, while Sri Lanka, Belarus and Turkey have been taken in as dialogue partners.

While the trend for peace, development and cooperation is gaining momentum in the region, signs of uncertainty and instability have also emerged, the SCO's rising clout enables it to play a bigger role in regional security and development.

Given that the United States-led NATO forces are set to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014, the central Asian country faces a formidable task rebuilding the nation and striving for national reconciliation. NATO's withdrawal will inevitably further complicate the regional security outlook.

It is natural that the SCO, as the only regional organization that commits itself to security cooperation and has accumulated valuable experience in this regard, be looked upon as an important force shouldering greater responsibilities in the region. The SCO regional mechanism can provide better solutions to the emerging new security, political and economic challenges Afghanistan will have to face in the years to come.

(China Daily 12/04/2012 page8)