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Press Release on the Extraordinary Meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization
22.09.2017 13:24

On 20 September 2017, the Extraordinary Meeting ofthe Council ofMinisters ofForeign Affairs ofthe Shanghai Cooperation Organization (hereinafter refered toas "the SCO" or "the Organization") was held inNew York duringthe 72nd Session ofthe United Nations (UN) General Assembly. Foreign Minister ofthe Republic ofIndia Sushma Swaraji, Foreign Minister ofthe Republic ofKazakhstan Kairat Abdrakhmanov, Foreign Minister ofthe People's Republic ofChina Wang Yi, Foreign Minister ofthe Kyrgyz Republic Erlan Abdyldayev, Foreign Minister ofthe Islamic Republic ofPakistan Khanwaja Asif, Foreign Minister ofthe Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov, Foreign Minister ofthe Republic ofTajikistan Sirodjidin Aslov and Foreign Minister ofthe Republic ofUzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov attended the meeting.

Foreign Minister ofthe People's Republic ofChina Wang Yi chaired the meeting.

SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov and Director ofthe Executive Committee ofthe SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure Yevgeny Sysoyev also took part inthe meeting.

The foreign ministers noted that forthe past16 years sinceits establishment, the SCO has made a major contribution toregional peace, security and sustainable development, strengthened good neighborliness and partnership amongcountries, and become a force withsignificant influence onthe international stage. On 9 June 2017, the meeting ofthe SCO Council ofHeads ofState inAstana decided onthe membership ofIndia and Pakistan, which has opened new opportunities and prospects forthe Organization's development, and enhanced its international prestige and role.

The foreign ministers exchanged views onthe SCO's prospects, pressing international and regional issues, and onhow toenhance the SCO's coordination withthe UN and other multilateral organizations, and deepen cooperation amongthe SCO member states underthe framework ofthe UN and other international and regional organizations.
The foreign ministers stressed that it is important tocarry forward the "Shanghai Spirit" ofmutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect forcultural diversity, and pursuit ofcommon development, and pointed outthat the Charter ofthe Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Treaty onLong-term Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation betweenthe Member States ofthe Shanghai Cooperation Organization aswell asother fundamental legal documents are ofgreat significance.

The foreign ministers supported comprehensive and deeper-level cooperation ofthe SCO inpolitical, security, economic, people-to-people exchanges, external communication, institutional building and other fields inorder forthe Organization toachieve new progress.

The foreign ministers pointed outthat asthe world becomes increasingly multi-polar, the strengthening ofnew political and economic centers is irreversible. Meanwhile, global uncertainties are onthe rise, block thinking and the Cold War mentality are resurging, and principles ofinternational law such asnon-interference ininternal affairs are undermined. Economic globalization is facing headwinds, global economic growth is not yet steady, and conflicts arising fromunbalanced development and unfair distribution have worsened.

The foreign ministers noted that despiteincreasing uncertainties inthe current international situation, peaceful coexistence and sustainable development remains the theme ofthe times. It is imperative touphold multilaterism inaddressing major issues, and tackle various threats and challenges throughby jointly improving the global governance mechanism, and work towarda community withshared future ofmankind and a new model ofinternational relations.

The foreign ministers stressed that the UN is the most universal, representative and authoritative international organization. They expressed readiness tofirmly uphold the purposes and principles ofthe Charter ofthe United Nations, enhance coordination withinthe UN framework, and strengthen the UN's central role ininternational cooperation insuch fields asglobal governance, safeguarding world peace, promoting common development, and combating terrorism, separatism and extremism. They support the SCO indeepening cooperation withthe UN and its specialized agencies tosafeguard world peace, solve hot issues, and safeguard the security, stability and sustainable development ofthe SCO region and beyond.

The foreign ministers reiterated their opposition toany "double standards" vis-a-vis terrorists and any attempt tointerfere inother countries' internal affairs or toundermine the leading roles ofcompetent departments ofthe countries inthe name ofcounter-terrorism.

In view ofthis, the foreign ministers agreed onthe need toexpeditiously ratify the Anti-extremism Convention ofthe Shanghai Cooperation Organization signed on9 June 2017; and they resolved totake further coordination measures tostrengthen cooperation indealing withcommon security challenges and threats and safeguarding national interests.

The foreign ministers expressed concern overthe developments onthe Korean Peninsula. They noted that Resolution 2375 adopted bythe UN Security Council on11 September 2017 was a reasonable response toDPRK's nuclear test on3 September. They called forstrict implementation ofthe resolution bySCO member states topromote a political and diplomatic settlement ofthe Korean Peninsula issue. Recognizing the importance ofthe relevant proposals put forward byChina and Russia, the foreign ministers emphasized that the negotiation process must be launched asquickly aspossible toease the situation.

The foreign ministers noted the efforts ofthe government and people ofthe Islamic Republic ofAfghanistan toachieve peace, stability and prosperity oftheir country and toget rid ofterrorism, extremism and drug-related crimes; and they believed that the UN should play a core role incoordinating international cooperation forpromoting stability and development inAfghanistan. The foreign ministers welcomed Afghanistan's participation inregional cooperation processes and stressed the need toimplement, assoon aspossible, the consensus reached bythe heads ofSCO member states inrespect ofthe continuous work ofthe SCO Afghanistan Liaison Group afterthe expansion.

In view ofthe current state ofthe world economy, the foreign ministers agreed tofurther develop and expand economic and trade cooperation withinthe SCO framework, and stressed that the use ofunilateral restrictions asa tool forpolitical and economic pressurizing would only set upbarriers foreconomic and investment cooperation betweencountries and prove tobe unconstructive and futile. The foreign ministers expressed their support forthe creation ofenabling conditions togradually realize the free flows ofgoods, capital, services and technologies asenvisioned inthe SCO Charter.

In order toeffectively implement the priority economic and investment projects withinthe SCO framework, the foreign ministers expressed their support foractive discussions onthe establishment ofan SCO development bank and an SCO development fund (special account).

The foreign ministers considered the upcoming Meeting ofthe SCO Council ofHeads ofGovernment tobe held inthe Russian Federation in2017 asan opportunity tooutline the priorities and specific measures forfurther cooperation inthe economic and cultural fields.
The foreign ministers underscored the importance toimplement the outcomes ofthe meeting ofthe SCO Council ofHeads ofState (9 June 2017, Astana). They welcomed the work plan proposed bythe People's Republic ofChina asthe Chair ofthe SCO for2017-2018, and reiterated their support.

A number ofdocuments oninternational cooperation and administrative affairs bythe SCO and its standing bodies were signed asan outcome ofthe meeting.

The foreign ministers spoke highly ofChina's organization ofthis extraordinary meeting and thanked the UN Secretariat forits assistance.

The meeting was held ina traditional atmosphere offriendship and mutual understanding amongSCO member states.

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