The event chaired by the Indian side was also attended by the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Zhaparov, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, and SCO Secretary-General Zhang Ming and Director of the RATS Executive Committee Ruslan Mirzayev.
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Ebrahim Raisi, President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, President of Mongolia Khurelsukh Ukhnaagiin and President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov, and United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and heads of international organizations attended the summit as observer countries and guests of honor.
In accordance with the agenda, an exchange of views took place on the current issues of regional and international themes, and prospects for further enhancing multifaceted and mutually beneficial cooperation were discussed.
The President of Uzbekistan, in his speech, assessed the ongoing fundamental changes in the system of international relations – the increase in geopolitical tension and escalation of conflicts, the emergence of new risks and threats to global stability and sustainable development, the growing challenges in ecology, food, and energy security.
“In this regard, there is an obvious urgent need to establish a constructive and trusting dialogue”, the Leader of Uzbekistan noted.
It was emphasized that Uzbekistan takes a principled position regarding the central role of the United Nations in settlement of disputes and conflicts and in the search and adoption of compromise solutions to ensure peace and stability.
Referring to the activities of the SCO, the President of Uzbekistan drew attention to the fact that the success of this organization is ensured by strict observance of its basic principles. It is a non-bloc status, a strong commitment to openness, equality, and consensus-based decision-making.
“And most importantly, our cooperation is based on mutual respect and constructive perception of different interests, positions, views, cultural differences of the member states”, the Head of state said.
To further maintain and strengthen the leading role of the SCO as an effective international structure in addressing the most pressing issues on the regional agenda, it was proposed to conduct an inventory of the agreements and decisions adopted, audit the activities of institutions and cooperation mechanisms, and accelerate the implementation of agreements on the modernization of the SCO. The need to implement a joint research project on the prospects for the organization’s development within the framework of the SCO expert forum was noted.
Taking into account the agenda of the Summit, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan put forward specific proposals for further development of cooperation within the framework of the organization.
In particular, the Leader of Uzbekistan put forward an initiative to develop a multilateral political document – the Code of Good Neighborliness, Trust and Cross-Border Partnership of the SCO.
“Its adoption will allow defining priority tasks, developing common approaches and comprehensive measures to further deepen cooperation in the new conditions”, Shavkat Mirziyoyev said.
The President of Uzbekistan stressed that the SCO states are leading in industrial and innovative development and have a huge intellectual potential, rich energy, and agricultural resources.
“Today, more than ever, the initiative to form a common space for increasing intra-regional trade, industrial and technological cooperation is relevant”, the Leader of Uzbekistan noted.
In this context, the President of Uzbekistan proposed adopting the SCO New Economic Dialogue Program covering innovative development, digitalization and robotics, artificial intelligence, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and other industries of the future.
To promote projects in these areas, the President of Uzbekistan proposed to hold in Uzbekistan the Innovative Partnership Week of the regions of the SCO member states with the organization of a joint exhibition of high technologies.
Touching upon transport and communication issues, the President of Uzbekistan initiated the development of the Single Map of Transport Connectivity of the SCO States.
“This will allow defining “bottlenecks” and “gaps”, to identify priority measures and projects for the formation of a common, integrated transport and transit system”, he said.
Supporting the announcement of the next year as the Year of Ecology across the SCO space, the Leader of Uzbekistan proposed, as part of implementing the Green Belt Program, to prepare a Joint Action Plan to promote regional environmental projects and introduce green technologies.
“We need closer coordination and practical interaction on the SCO platform on issues of adaptation to climate change, decarbonization through alternative, solar and wind energy, the development of smart agriculture and water conservation”, the President of Uzbekistan said.
The President of Uzbekistan expressed his readiness to hold a scientific and practical conference on the development of the SCO tourism industry within the framework of the anniversary session of the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization in October 2023 based on the “Silk Road” International University of Tourism and Cultural Heritage in Samarkand.
The Head of State dwelled separately on the relevance of conducting a coordinated policy to fully unlock the richest cultural and humanitarian potential of the SCO. In this regard, it was proposed to introduce the practice of forming an annual calendar of intensive cultural exchange and prepare a program of activities to expand youth exchange – “SCO – a space for creative ideas and initiatives of the future”.
Highlighting the efforts to intensify the activities of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure, the Leader of Uzbekistan spoke in favor of continuing the practice of visiting meetings of the RATS Council, allowing this structure to increase its competence in matters of prompt response to modern security threats.
The difficult situation in Afghanistan was highlighted as another important issue.
The President noted that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization states, Afghanistan’s immediate neighbors, are most interested in finding a long-term political solution.
In this regard, it was proposed to resume joint work and consultations in the “SCO – Afghanistan” Contact Group format.
Following the event, the heads of the SCO member states signed the following documents:
– New Delhi Declaration of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO Member States;
– Decision on approval of the Economic Development Strategy in the SCO region until 2030;
– Decision to complete the procedure for admitting the Islamic Republic of Iran to the SCO and granting it the status of an SCO member state;
– Decision to sign the Memorandum of Obligations of the Republic of Belarus to obtain the status of a member state of the SCO.
In addition, ten documents were adopted to further enhance economic interaction and digital transformation, ensure regional security, and enhance cultural and humanitarian ties.
The chairmanship in the SCO was transferred to the Republic of Kazakhstan.