On November 10, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev took part in the Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization via videoconference.
The meeting, chaired by the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, was also attended by the Prime Minister of the Republic of India Narendra Modi, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, Acting President and Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Japarov, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Imran Khan, President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon.
Others taking part in the summit were heads of SCO observer states: President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani, President of Mongolia Khaltmaagiin Battulga, Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus Roman Golovchenko, as well as SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov and Director of the Executive Committee of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure Jumakhon Giyosov.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivered a welcome address via video.
In accordance with the agenda of the meeting, issues of further deepening multifaceted interaction within the SCO were discussed.
Heads of delegations of member states and observers analyzed the current level and prospects for development of multilateral relations in priority areas, as well as exchanged views on the current international and regional issues.
In his speech, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan emphasized that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is at a new stage of its development.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev called to preserve and enhance the traditions of good neighborliness, equality, trust and consideration of each other’s interests. According to him, “today it is more important than ever to strengthen the “Shanghai Spirit” – this unique experience of multilateral cooperation, which is our common heritage and expresses our desire for joint development, respect for the diversity of cultures”.
Mutual support and joint search for compromises on key issues on the agenda of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization were named as the main condition for ensuring security and sustainable development in the vast Eurasian space. “The SCO is strong only when each of us is strong”.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has forwarded a number of relevant initiatives aimed at further developing practical cooperation within the SCO.
In particular, in order to minimize the negative consequences of the pandemic, it was proposed to strengthen trade, economic and investment ties through the adoption of long-term documents in trade-economic cooperation of the SCO, as well as in food security and stimulation of industrial cooperation.
The leader of Uzbekistan, noting the growing role of information technologies in ensuring economic growth, spoke in favor of development of the SCO Program for Development of Digital Literacy, aimed at training highly qualified specialists and educating the population.
The leader of Uzbekistan highlighted the relevance of establishing close cooperation on poverty reduction. It was proposed to create a mechanism for meetings of the heads of relevant ministries and agencies within the SCO and prepare a corresponding program document. The readiness was expressed to hold an International Forum in Uzbekistan to develop coordinated measures to combat poverty.
Welcoming the approval of the Comprehensive Plan of Joint Actions of the SCO Member States to counter threats of epidemics, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev called for further intensification of cooperation to combat the spread of dangerous infections, the creation of a network of medical institutions for infectious diseases and the development of a Concept for cooperation in telemedicine.
The President of Uzbekistan noted that issues of combating the threats of terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking, which are acquiring new forms, should remain in the focus of the SCO.
This will be facilitated by the adaptation of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure to the solution of fundamentally new tasks to ensure security in the organization and further building up contacts between the competent agencies.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev called on the summit participants to support the peace process in Afghanistan and involvement of this country in regional trade and economic ties.
In this context, it was proposed to promptly adopt a Plan of Practical Measures to Assist the Socio-Economic Recovery of the IRA within the framework of the “SCO – Afghanistan” Contact Group. Particular attention was paid to transport corridor initiatives that will help restore Afghanistan to its historic role as a connecting bridge between Central and South Asia.
These and other issues can be included in the agenda of the International Conference “Central and South Asia: Regional Connectivity. Challenges and Opportunities”, to be held in April 2021 in Tashkent at the initiative of Uzbekistan.
Next year, the 20th anniversary of the SCO will be celebrated. On the eve of this significant date, the President of Uzbekistan proposed holding an International Forum “The role of the SCO in the system of modern international relations”.
Following the summit, the Moscow Declaration of the Council of Heads of the SCO Member States was adopted. Documents aimed at enhancing further mutually beneficial multifaceted cooperation within the organization were signed.
At the initiative of the Uzbek side, the Statement of the Heads of the SCO Member States on Cooperation in the Digital Economy was adopted at the summit.