Dmitry Medvedev: Cooperation within the Framework of SCO is one of the Priorities of Russiaís Foreign Policy
16.06.2009 10:59
Openings speech at the enlarged meeting of the Council of Heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states

I welcome all the participants of the meeting of the Council of Heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states. Today it is our second event Ė a plenary meeting. We take our meeting as a culmination event of the Russian Federation presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

The active participation in the SCO activity, in the development of multi-field cooperation within this association has long been one of the key priorities of the Russian foreign policy. We see the sense of work in the partnership enhancement, the organization solidarity consolidation, common tasks solving, and our organizationís international authority enhancement.

Certainly, all the SCO member and observer states have to take account of non simple political and economic situation in the world. There have been main discussions today about it. Nevertheless, at the beginning of our plenary meeting I would like to express general confidence that as a result of the joint work, including joint projects implementation, we can overcome the problems our countries are facing today.

Dear Colleagues, yesterdayís and todayís discussions showed that our assessments in whole of the situation at hand in the global financial and economic space in connection with the crisis that still continues, are substantially similar or even coincide, which means that our answers to the difficulties we have faced are similar.

A mutual opinion is also the fact that it is necessary to react systematically to the present difficulties both within closer cooperation of our organization, and with engagement of other international organizations and institutions.

Today it is of utmost importance to define the order of development of new standards of financial markets and financial institutions regulation. There is a great deal of talk about it on different platforms. We have made a number of important decisions in the format of the worldís twenty leading economies, but the work is not completed by this but just opened.

I believe that within the scope of our work in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, it is possible to develop mechanisms that will make it possible to meet the crisis. Certainly, we believe that we should cooperate on all kinds of platforms, to use various instruments.

In this connection the Russian party suggests holding within the framework of SCO a special expert meeting with the participation of financial agencies, representatives of the SCO Business Council and Interbank Association. This idea has something in common with the proposals made by the People's Republic of China, Kazakhstan and some of our other colleagues concerning holding of meetings with the participation of ministers of finance, chairmen of national and central banks. All these mechanisms can be quite actual.

Certainly, we should think not only about recovery from the current financial crisis but also about our ties development and security assurance in other spheres, including the energy one. Today we have already discussed the need for a new cooperation base preparation, but I think that also within the framework of SCO we could continue the discussion of various countriesí initiatives, including those of the Russian Federation. It can be done either within the Energy club or the special forum of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. As far as I can see, we should continue these discussions without fail in one form or another.

There are other issues our colleagues have raised today, including the discussion of food security, because, in point of fact, the food crisis is the continuation, as was correctly said, of the economic crisis. And I think, here we will also have to make certain efforts.

We have spoken about the promotion of a number of economic programs, as well as about using various financial instruments. Yesterday we began to talk about it; I think the colleagues are sure to talk about it again. The question is about an increase in payments in national currency, also in order not to be dependent on problems with some reserve currencies or other, as well as about the involvement of a part of our exchange reserves in our partnersí financial instruments.

I think that it is also of utmost importance, because no exchange system, still less the world one can be successful if the used financial instruments are nominated in the only currency. And today we understand that this is even so: this currency is the U.S. dollar.

And, of course, we should strengthen the international exchange system not only by consolidation of dollarís positions, but also by creation of new reserve currencies and, eventually, of an opportunity, may be in prospect, to establish supranational means of payment and payment methods.

In spite of all difficulties, our Program of multilateral trade and economic cooperation and the plan of actions on this program implementation remain in force. Yesterday interesting ideas were expressed in the field of mutual protection of capital investments. I think that the colleagues will develop this thought. We can also use additional mechanisms of the state-private cooperation as a factor of economic cooperation. The colleagues assign additional means for this. I think that it is a topic of discussion too.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is aimed to improve our contacts, enhance our work not only in the economic sphere, though today it is really very important for everybody and, perhaps, most importantly, but also in other spheres determining the security status.

In counteraction to terrorism, narco-crime the events have been lately held that, in my opinion, confirm our organization's potential in difficult problems solving. Particularly, a special conference on Afghanistan was held in Moscow last March. Representatives of 36 states and international organizations took part in it, the outcome documents were adopted and, as far as I can see, not bad prerequisites were created for joint work on this track along with other events concerning Afghanistan and in the partnership with other international organizations.

The integrated system of struggle against challenges and threats began to form efficiently enough. A number of formats are functioning; I mean the format with the participation of Secretaries of the Security Council, Defense Ministers meetings.

Afterwards new forms of cooperation appeared, such as the Ministers of the Interior and the heads of the counter-narcotics agencies meetings. I think that all these activities are useful and create additional space for the coordination of our joint anti-terrorist and anti-narcotic efforts.

Today the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Convention against terrorism, Cooperation Program for the struggle against terrorism, separatism and extremism for 2010Ė2012, Provision of the organization political and diplomatic measures and response mechanisms will be adopted. It will undoubtedly enrich the legal basis of our work and create a stable foundation for a number of very important problems solving.

A great contribution, in my opinion, is an agreement for cooperation in anti-terrorist personnel training, ensuring international information security. This work will be continued without fail.

I will also single out the work being conducted between the agencies engaged in the prevention of emergency situations: meetings of heads, joint exercises and special equipment exhibitions took place. I suppose that this kind of work must be continued as well. And we are expecting the early implementation of the arrangement on creation of the SCO special emergency response center.

The ideas about our cooperation in the field of disaster medicine are worthy of support, which, unfortunately, is actual for any country because disasters occur everywhere and everywhere we have to act without delay, promptly, and we try to do it efficiently.

There is a movement in the field of health care: during Russiaís chairmanship chief public health physicians meetings, international conferences and special discussions were held. I think that intergovernmental and interdepartmental coordination of counteraction to various infectious diseases is also an imperative direction.

Meetings and discussions in relation to ministries of cultural affairs, joint exhibitions and festivals organization are worthy of support too. I think that this kind of programs is also very and very useful for our organization.

It is important to promote the founding of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization network University. And, perhaps, in this context we have to complete the selection of main universities. The conducted in Moscow Weeks of education, Forum of Rectors of the leading universities of our countries were useful. I suppose that this experience will have to be developed in the future as well.

We are engaged in our organizationís authority strengthening, partnership development with the interested states, multilateral associations. Today we are making decisions on granting the dialogue partner status to the two states: Byelorussia and Sri Lanka. And accordingly these decisions will also enhance possibilities of our organization.

At the same time - I would like to specially say it, we have discussed this question, here we are all unanimous Ė we have to speed up the preparation of a draft document that will define the mode of admission of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization new members. The same work is already being conducted. The mission was set, but we have to complete this work and prepare a normative procedural framework of the corresponding activity procedure.

Since January 1, 2010 the SCO Secretariat and Regional anti-terrorist structure Executive committee will be headed by representatives of Kirghizia and Kazakhstan, respectively, and, on this occasion, I would like to thank the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Secretary-General Bolat Kabdylkhamitovich Nurgalijev and Director of the Executive Council of the SCO Regional Antiterrorist Agency Myrzakan Usurkanovich Subanov for their strenuous work and efficient contribution to strengthening of cooperation between the SCO member states. I think that it is our common position.

Today the functions of the chairmanship of SCO will pass to Uzbekistan. I would like to congratulate our colleague, the President of Uzbekistan Islam Abduganievich Karimov on this mission, certainly to wish every success to the Uzbek colleagues. Of course we will actively support Uzbekistan in this work carrying-out.

In conclusion I would like to express sincere gratitude to all our colleagues, all partners for the assistance they have rendered to the Russian Federation during the chairmanship. Everything we did was aimed at the development of friendship and cooperation between our countries, the organization consolidation, counteraction to the very difficult challenges and threats we are all facing today.

I am sure that we will continue to work in this context. Anyway, I would like to emphasize once again that the work in SCO will remain one of the key priorities of the Russian foreign policy.