SCO – Bishkek Declaration 2019
The leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Member States (hereinafter the SCO or the Organisation), following the meeting of the SCO Heads of State Council in Bishkek on 14 June 2019, declare the following. The modern world continues to change rapidly, the global balance of forces is going through a reconfiguration, primarily due to the emergence of new development centres in Asia, and the connectivity and interdependence between participants in international relations is deepening. However, the situation in global politics and economy remains turbulent and tense, and the process of economic globalisation is being hindered by the growing unilateral protectionist policies and other challenges in international trade.
The SCO is a reliable platform for fruitful cooperation in the interests of creating a polycentric world order that ensures the supremacy of international law, above all the UN Charter; equal, mutual, indivisible, integrated and sustainable security; the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; respect for nations’ independent choice of their political and socioeconomic development; and the interests of each and every state. The Member States emphasise the importance of initiatives to promote cooperation in building international relations of a new type, based on the principles and standards of international law, primarily mutual respect, justice, equality, mutually beneficial cooperation, and a common vision of creating a community with a shared future for humankind. The Member States will continue to develop multifaceted and diversified cooperation in the interests of ensuring peace, security, sustainable growth and prosperity in the SCO space. In this regard, they, supporting the efforts of the Central Asian countries to deepen interaction in the political, economic, cultural, humanitarian and other spheres, welcome the adoption of the resolution of the UN General Assembly “Strengthening regional and international cooperation to ensure peace, stability and sustainable development in the Central Asian Region” of 22 June 2018 and the second consultative meeting of the leaders of Central Asian states to be held in Tashkent in 2019.
The Member States reaffirm their support for the efforts of the United Nations as a universal multilateral organisation in maintaining international peace and security, advancing global development, and promoting and protecting human rights. They advocate strengthening of the key role of the UN Security Council, which, in accordance with the UN Charter, is entrusted with the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security. The Member States have noted the intentions of the Republic of India, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Republic of Tajikistan to seek to become non-permanent members of the UN Security Council, as well as the intention of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Uzbekistan to seek to join the UN Human Rights Council.
The Member States praised the outcome of the high-level special event “UN-Shanghai Cooperation Organisation: Cooperation Aimed at Strengthening Peace, Security and Stability,” hosted by the Kyrgyz side in New York on 27 November 2018. The Member States consider it important to accelerate the adoption of the UN General Assembly Resolution “Cooperation between the UN and the SCO.” The Member States, relying on the Shanghai Spirit, which embodies mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, mutual consultations, respect for cultural diversity, common development, the goals and objectives of the SCO Charter and the SCO Development Strategy until 2025, intend to continue to develop cooperation in politics, security, trade and the economy, finance and investment, and their cultural and humanitarian ties.
The SCO, as an influential and responsible participant in the modern system of international relations, will enhance its participation in efforts to ensure peace and security, consistently advocating the resolution of international and regional conflicts by exclusively peaceful political and diplomatic means, based on the principles of equality, respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries, the non-use of force or the threat of force.
The Member States believe that increasing challenges and security threats that are becoming cross-border in their nature such as terrorism, the spread of terrorist and extremist ideology, including on the internet, returning foreign terrorist fighters, proliferation of the weapons of mass destruction, the risk of an arms race, unsettled regional and local conflicts undermining the international security system, illicit drug trafficking, organised crime, human trafficking, cybercrime, development imbalances, food market instability, climate change, lack of potable water and the spread of infectious diseases require special attention, close coordination and constructive cooperation of the entire international community.
The Member States emphasise their intention to extend and deepen cooperation in addressing threats to stability and security in the SCO space. The Member States noted the SCO Convention on Countering Extremism coming into effect, as well as the results of the SCO Defence Ministers Meeting (Bishkek, 29 April 2019) and the meeting of SCO Security Council Secretaries (Bishkek, 14–15 May 2019).
The Member States condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. They call on the international community to promote global cooperation in combatting terrorism with the central role of the UN by fully implementing corresponding UN Security Council resolutions and the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in compliance with the UN Charter and the principles of international law without politicisation and double standards and with respect for the sovereignty and independence of all countries, as well as to work towards a consensus on adopting the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.
The Member States, stressing that acts of terrorism and extremism cannot be justified, believe it important to take comprehensive measures to intensify efforts against terrorism and its ideology, as well as to determine and eliminate the factors and conditions that promote terrorism and extremism. They note that interfering in other countries’ domestic affairs under the pretext of fighting terrorism and extremism as well as using terrorist, extremist and radical groups to achieve one’s own mercenary ends is unacceptable.
The SCO Member States signatories of the Code of Conduct towards Achieving a World Free of Terrorism speak out in favour of its consistent implementation (New York, 28 September 2018). The Member State believe the consistent implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear programme to be a priority and, in compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 2231, call on all the participants to strictly fulfil their obligations for the comprehensive and effective implementation of the document.
The Member States condemn the propaganda of the ideology of terrorism, extremism and religious intolerance, as well as manifestations of intolerance and discrimination based on religion or convictions in any form, and welcome the adoption of the resolution on Enlightenment and Religious Tolerance at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly.
The Member States believe it a priority to step up the international community’s joint efforts to counter the attempts to involve young people in the activities of terrorist, separatist and extremist groups and in this respect will continue to fulfil the provisions of the Joint Address of the SCO Heads of State to the Youth and the Action Plan on its implementation (Qingdao, 10 June 2018), focusing on preventing the spread of religious intolerance, xenophobia and racial discrimination.
The Member States will continue their cooperation on disarmament, control and nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, arms control and peaceful use of nuclear energy, as well as political and diplomatic responses to regional challenges to non-proliferation regimes.
The Member States reaffirm that unilateral and unlimited build-up of missile defence systems by countries or groups of states jeopardise international security and destabilize the situation in the world. They believe the attempts to provide one’s own security at the expense of other states’ security to be unacceptable.
The Member States parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons speak out in favour of strict compliance with the provisions of the treaty, comprehensive and balanced promotion of all goals and principles envisaged by it, strengthening the global non-proliferation regime, continuation of the nuclear disarmament process with consideration for all factors affecting international stability and promotion of the equal and mutually beneficial cooperation in using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
The Member States believe that the earliest possible coming into effect of the Protocol on Security Guarantees to the Treaty on Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone in Central Asia for all the states that signed it will make a significant contribution to the regional security and strengthening the nuclear non-proliferation regime.
The Member States state the importance of keeping outer space free from all types of weapons as well as the crucial importance of strict compliance with the current legal system, which provides for exclusively peaceful uses of outer space. They also welcome the work carried out by the UN Government Expert Group on examining and submitting recommendations on substantive elements of a legally binding international document preventing an arms race in outer space and envisaging solid guarantees of no first placement of weapons in outer space.
The Member States stand for strict compliance with the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction, including by adopting the Protocol to the Convention with an effective control mechanism.
The Member States call on the signatories of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction to join efforts in order to overcome the deep split within the Organisation for the Prohibition of the Chemical Weapons, restore the integrity and ensure the effectiveness of the Convention.
In response to the threat of chemical and biological terrorism, the SCO Member States reaffirm and emphasise the need to launch multilateral talks at the Conference on Disarmament on an international convention to combat acts of chemical and biological terrorism.
The Member States are actively and persistently countering international terrorism, separatism and extremism, transnational organised crime, illegal trade in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors, as well as weapons, munitions and explosives, threats to biological and information security and illegal migration. They advocate further improvement of the legal and regulatory framework for cooperation in these areas.
The Member States believe that one of the key factors of preserving and enhancing security and stability in the SCO space is a prompt settlement of the situation in Afghanistan. They support the efforts of the government and people of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan aimed at restoring peace, economic development of the country, countering terrorism, extremism and drug crime. The Member States stress that there is no alternative to settling the conflict in Afghanistan through political dialogue and an inclusive peace process conducted and led by Afghans themselves, and urge to step up cooperation of all the nations concerned and international organisation, with the central coordinating role of the UN, for the stabilisation and development of that country. In this context vital importance is given to further interaction in different multilateral formats, including the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group, the Moscow format consultations and others.
The Member States highly praise the outcomes of the regular meeting of the SCO Afghanistan Contact Group (Bishkek, 18-19 April 2019) and the signing with the Afghan side of a roadmap for further steps by the Contact Group. They also noted the intention of the Republic of Uzbekistan to host a Ministerial Meeting of the Eighth Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA VIII) in Tashkent in the second half of 2019.
The Member States reaffirm their common stance on the lack of alternatives to Syria settlement through dialogue on the basis of ensuring sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the country.
They believe that interaction within the Astana format created the necessary conditions for implementing UN Security Council Resolution 2254, promoting an inclusive process of political settlement by Syrians themselves and under their leadership in order to search for solutions meeting the interests of the people of the SAR and of the international community. In this context, they stress the significance of continued international efforts to assist Syria in the post-conflict restoration of the country. The Member States will continue regular Peace Mission military command-post antiterrorist exercises and similar events held by relevant agencies. In this connection they noted the successful results of the Unity 2018 joint border operation (20 July – 20 October 2018).
The Member States will continue cooperation in defence and security, interaction in ensuring safety and security of large-scale events, and in training personnel for increasing the capability of the armed forces and competent agencies of the SCO Member States.
The Member States will counter the use of information and communications technology to undermine political, economic and public security in the SCO countries, and curb propaganda of terrorism, separatism and extremism online. They oppose discriminatory measures imposed under any pretext, which impede the progress of digital economy and communications technology. They deem it necessary to work out universal rules, principles and standards of responsible behaviour in the information space, and will actively cooperate in this area in order to ensure information security in the SCO space.
The Member States welcome the adoption of the resolutions “Developments in the field of information and telecommunications in the context of international security” and“Countering the use of information and communications technologies for criminal purposes” by the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly and call on all UN Member States to continue cooperation to elaborate the rules of responsible behaviour of states in the information space and a universal, legally binding document to counter the use of information and communications technology for criminal purposes.
The Member States note the effective activities of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure to contribute to cooperation between competent agencies in fighting terrorism, separatism and extremism. In view of the growing scale and interconnectedness of security threats and challenges, they emphasise the need to further enhance the interaction potential of the competent bodies in these fields.
The Member States emphasise the need to continue work on building within the SCO of a system for monitoring possible threats in the global information space and countering them. In this regard, the importance of further implementation of the relevant resolution of the SCO RATS Council (Bishkek, 18 October 2018) was underscored.
The Member States emphasise the need to expand international relations of the SCO RATS and in this regard, welcome the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation between the Executive Directorate of the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee and the SCO Regional Antiterrorist Structure (Bratislava, 25 March 2019).
The Member States believe that illegal cultivation, production, trafficking, sale and distribution of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors pose a serious threat to the stability, security, health and well-being of the people in the region.
Underlining the importance of the three international drug control conventions and other relevant legal documents, they consider it necessary to take action to form an effective cooperative system to fight the drug threat and establish a reliable barrier to the cultivation, production, manufacture and illegal trafficking of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors, as well as to counter the spread of drug addiction, including through the elaboration of a draft Concept on the Creation of the SCO Anti-Drug Centre in Dushanbe.
The Member States support intensive cooperation with other interested states, regional and international organisations and agencies on this matter. In this regard, they also state the need to draft a Memorandum of Understanding between the SCO Secretariat and the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Centre for Combating Illicit Trafficking of Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and their Precursors.
A positive assessment was given to the Joint Statement of the SCO Member States at the 62nd session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (Vienna, 14-15 March 2019), as well as to the joint event of the SCO and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, “United Nations and SCO in the fight against drugs: Cooperation for strengthening international drug control” held on the sidelines of its ministerial segment on 14 March 2019. The importance of the SCO’s involvement in the implementation of the Paris Pact Initiative was also underscored.
The Member States express their readiness to step up the practical implementation of the provisions of the Agreement between the SCO Member States on cooperation in combating illicit trafficking of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors, the SCO Anti-Drug Strategy for 2018-2023 and the Programme of Action for its implementation, as well as the SCO Concept to Prevent the Abuse of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, with a view to deepening their anti-drug cooperation at various levels and develop joint solutions to regional and international drug problems. In this context, they noted the approval of the Action Plan on the implementation of the SCO Anti-Drug Strategy for 2018-2023 and the results of the meeting of the Senior Officials of Competent Authorities for Combatting Illicit Drug Trafficking (Cholpon-Ata, 25 April 2019).
The Member States reaffirm the importance of the SCO anti-drug Operation Spider Web to be held at the initiative of the Republic of Kazakhstan (8-12 July 2019). The Member States noted the holding of the 11th Ministerial Meeting of the States Parties to the Memorandum of Understanding on Sub-regional Drug Control Cooperation (Tashkent, 2-3 May 2019) and the high-level international conference on International and Regional Cooperation on Countering Terrorism and Its Financing through Illicit Drug Trafficking and Organised Crime (Dushanbe, 16-17 May 2019).
The Member States note that corruption in all its manifestations is a threat to national and regional security, and leads to lower effectiveness of public administration, adversely affects countries’ international prestige and investment appeal, and hampers their socioeconomic development. They advocate further development of international anti-corruption cooperation.
The Member States reaffirm their commitment to develop practical cooperation in the oversight over compliance with the legislation, abiding by law and justice, and strengthening the independence of the judiciary and forensic investigations. They also noted the results of the SCO Meeting of Ministers of Justice (Cholpon-Ata, 24 August 2018) and the SCO Meeting of the Prosecutors General (Dushanbe, 20 September 2018).
The Member States highly assess the practice of sending SCO missions to observe presidential and parliamentary elections and referendums.
The Member States consider it important to intensify contacts and cooperation between their legislative bodies, and to exchange experience in public administration and development. The meeting of the heads of parliamentary committees of the SCO Member States (Bishkek, 14 December 2018) was noted in this regard.
The SCO Member States stress the importance of further improving the architecture of global economic governance, and deepening cooperation to build a transparent, predictable and stable environment for the development of trade, economic and investment cooperation through the consistent strengthening of the multilateral trading system based on the rules and regulations of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and through opposition to the fragmentation of global trade and trade protectionism in all its forms. They believe that unilateral protectionist actions in violation of WTO rules and regulations undermine the multilateral trade system and threaten the world economy and trade.
The SCO Member States note that the WTO remains a key body for the discussion of the multilateral trade agenda and the formulation of the multilateral rules of international trade. While confirming their commitment to the fundamental principles and rules of the WTO, the SCO Member States support greater efforts to improve the efficiency of the Organisation, including the ability of the WTO to respond to present day challenges to global trade in a timely and effective manner.
The Member States stress the importance of further deepening cooperation in order to bring forth an open world economy, consistently strengthen an open, inclusive, transparent, non-discriminatory and rule-based multilateral trading system, maintain the authority and effectiveness of WTO rules, and to prevent any unilateral protectionist actions in international and regional trade.
The Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan reaffirm their support for China’s Belt and Road Initiative and praise the results of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (Beijing, 26 April 2019). They note the ongoing work to implement this initiative together, including the efforts to align the Eurasian Economic Union projects with those under the Belt and Road initiative.
The Member States agree that since its foundation, the SCO has built up a considerable potential for trade, economic, and investment relations that contributes to the improvement of economic cooperation at the Organisation. The Member States believe that expanding and deepening cooperation of the SCO nations in finance, investment, transport, energy, agriculture and other areas meet the interest of sustainable economic growth in the region as a whole.
The Member States support the establishment of a favourable environment for the development of the trade and investment that is necessary in order to gradually ensure the free movement of goods, capital, services and technologies, as provided for by the SCO Charter. They favour further efforts to coordinate approaches to facilitate trade in the region in accordance with the Joint Communique of the SCO Heads of States on Simplifying Trade Procedures of 10 June 2018.
Recognising the importance of innovation and the digital economy as a key factor for medium- and long-term economic growth and global sustainable development, the Member States express their readiness to harmonise the SCO Member States’ innovation policies and to promote cooperation between the elements of the innovation ecosystem. Based on the adopted Concept of Cooperation of the SCO Members States in the Field of Digitalisation and Information Technology, the Member States intend to join efforts to implement innovative programmes and projects, as well as to promote effective cooperation in science, technology and innovation, joint research, knowledgesharing by scholars at research centres, and special competitions within the SCO in order to find new sources of social and economic growth. In this context, ongoing efforts to develop the analytical component of the SCO’s economic activities found support.
The Member States believe that the development of the service industry and trade in services are essential for the growth and transformation of the economy. They emphasise the need to promote cooperation among the SCO Member States in trade in services and electronic commerce, based on mutual benefit, including the examination of prospects and modes of cooperation in this area and the continued work on draft documents pertaining to trade in services and electronic commerce.
The Member States will deepen regional cooperation, create favourable conditions for the expansion of mutual investment by improving the investment and business climate, make efforts to promote peaceful development, prosperity and the stability of all the Member States and the region as a whole, and contribute to increasing the pace of global economic recovery.
The Member States note the importance of cooperation on economic issues between the research and analytical centres of the SCO Member States in order to study and comprehensively analyse the factors that affect economic cooperation within the SCO, taking into account global and regional processes.
The Member States consider it a priority to improve the well-being and living standards of the population by further strengthening cooperation in trade, production, transport, energy, financial, investment, agricultural, customs, telecommunications, innovation and other areas of mutual interest for the purpose of inclusive, green and sustainable development. In this regard, the Member States aim to promote favourable conditions for the development of trade, economic and investment activities within the SCO.
The Member States emphasise the importance of the further promotion of multilateral cooperation in transport, including the development of new and the upgrade of existing international vehicle and railway routes, multimodal transport corridors, international multimodal logistics, trade and tourism centres, the implementation of innovative and energy efficient technologies, the improvement of cross-border procedures in accordance with the best international practices and the implementation of other joint infrastructure projects to provide for the effective use of the SCO Member States’ transport potential. The Member States will focus on implementing projects that can expand the region’s transport and communication capacities, including those involving the potential of the observer states and dialogue partners. They express the need to continue working to coordinate the draft agreement between the SCO governments on the establishment and functioning of a transport integrated management system as well as the draft Concept of Cooperation between Railway Administrations (Railways) of the SCO Member States.
The Member States will continue to promote cooperation in agriculture focusing on the effective implementation of the SCO Programme of Cooperation in Food Security (Dushanbe, 12 October 2018). In this respect the Member States believe it necessary to develop a package of measures that will upgrade cooperation in food security including, above all, the development of a corresponding legal framework, information and analytical work in this sphere, cooperation in training experts and establishing cooperation with interested states and international organisations. Further agreement and adoption of the Programme Implementation Plan will become an important practical step in this area.
The Member States note the work being carried out to examine issues related to the establishment of the SCO Development Foundation (Special Account) and the SCO Development Bank and favour the continuation of related consultations. They believe it important to expand the practice of using national currencies in transactions between theSCO Member States. In this respect, the development of the draft Road Map to increase the share of national currencies in mutual settlements between the SCO Member States will be continued.
The Member States note the results of the latest Forum on Small Business of the SCO and BRICS Regions (Ufa, 18-19 October 2018) and the SCO Business Forum (Bishkek, 17 May 2019) that were attended by representatives of the business communities from the Member States, observer states and dialogue partners. They emphasised the importance of holding regular forums and exhibitions to help increase the export and import of products manufactured in the SCO countries as well as to promote cooperation between businesses and entrepreneurs, especially in small and mediumsized businesses.
The Member States note the positive results of the introductory meeting of the Forum of the SCO Member States’ Heads of Regions (Chelyabinsk, 4-6 December 2018) and representatives of regions from the SCO Member States (Chongqing, 14-16 May 2019).
They welcome the adoption of the Regulation of the Forum of the SCO Member States’ Heads of Regions and the Development Programme of the Interregional Cooperation between the SCO Member States.
The Member States will continue their efforts to progressively unlock the potential of the Business Council and the Interbank Association. They support the business communities’ joint initiatives to step up their cooperation to implement projects in finance, high technology, transport and communications infrastructure, energy and investment in the SCO space.
The Member States consider the sustainable development and effective management of water resources to be an important and urgent task, one of particular importance for the preservation of the natural environment, ecosystems and biodiversity, and for the achievement of the social Sustainable Development Goals. In this context, they welcome the adoption of the UN General Assembly Resolution 73/226 of 20 December 2018 Midterm Comprehensive Review of the Implementation of the International Decade for Action, “Water for Sustainable Development,” 2018-2028, aimed at facilitating coordination and increasing the effectiveness of measures and steps taken towards this end. They expressed concern about the widespread consequences of the ongoing desiccation of the Aral Sea and noted the importance of advancing interaction with the UN, and the countries and institutions interested in solving this problem.
The Member States consider it important to utilise the potential of the region’s countries, international organisations and multilateral associations to create a space in Eurasia for broad, open, mutually beneficial and equitable cooperation aimed at providing stable security and sustainable development.
The Member States confirm their intention to strengthen foreign policy coordination in the SCO format at the UN and its specialised agencies, as well as at other international platforms. The Member States will strengthen cooperation, hold consultations and develop contacts through the ministries of foreign affairs, embassies and permanent missions of the SCO Member States to the UN and other international organisations. In this regard, the Member States note the initiative of Pakistan to improve the coordination between the SCO Member States on issues related to cooperation with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna.
The Member States express the need to continue to involve the observer states and dialogue partners as well as partner international organisations in economic, humanitarian and other activities, including through the SCO Business Council and the SCO Interbank Association. The Member States welcome the adoption of the Roadmap for the Development of Interaction of the SCO Secretariat with Observer States and Dialogue Partners, and support the further expansion of ties with international and regional organisations and associations.
The Member States will strengthen ties in the scientific, technical, cultural, humanitarian and tourism areas, contributing to the further strengthening of neighbourliness, friendship and cooperation. They will promote intercultural dialogue in the interests of the people living in the SCO space, preserve and promote diversity of cultures, cooperate in the study of the cultural and natural heritage of the region, hold international festivals and contests, deepen cooperation in the fields of music, theatre, fine arts, cinema, television and radio broadcasting, archiving, museum and library work, as well as promote people-to-people contacts, especially among young people, as well as tourist exchanges, including along the historical Great Silk Road.
The Member States intend to advance cooperation on the prevention and control of infectious diseases, including particularly dangerous diseases, and to ensure the safety and quality of food products in the SCO space. In this regard, the Member States intend to continue holding regular meetings of the SCO Member States’ heads of services responsible for sanitary and epidemiological protection.
The Member States commend the ongoing cooperation in healthcare, including through the implementation of the Statement by the SCO Heads of State on Joint Efforts against the Threat of Epidemics in SCO space (10 June 2018, Qingdao).
The Member States welcome the signing of the Action Plan for Cooperation of the SCO Member States in the field of Healthcare for 2019-2021. Joint work will continue in areas such as capacity-building in combating the spread of infectious and non-communicable diseases, health emergency response, healthcare worker exchanges, telemedicine and the promotion of cooperation between medical institutions in the SCO countries.
The Member States support the consistent implementation of the Programme for the Development of Cooperation in Tourism (Tashkent, 24 June 2016) and the corresponding Action Plan for 2019-2020. They welcome the signing of the Memorandum of Cooperation between the SCO and the World Tourism Organisation (to be signed).
The Member States praise the Kyrgyz Republic for initiating the World Nomad Games that popularise and promote ancient nomad culture and traditions. They note the successful holding of the 3rd World Nomad Games (Cholpon-Ata, 2-8 September 2018) and the role played by the Republic of Uzbekistan in the organisation of the Maqom and Bakhshi international art festivals (Shahrisabz, 6-10 September 2018; Termez, 5-10 April 2019, respectively), which aim to preserve and further develop these unique music genres.
The Member States attach great importance to the further development of the SCO Forum as a public consultation and expert mechanism. They stress the importance of public diplomacy tools to strengthen mutual understanding, cultural and people-to-people ties between the Member States, and note the work of the SCO Public Diplomacy Centre in Uzbekistan in this regard, as well as the initiative of the Kyrgyz Republic on a cultural integration centre of the SCO countries and the Silk Road.
The Member States welcome the results of the SCO Women’s Forum (Bishkek, 15 May 2019). The Member States welcome the signing of the Agreement between the Governments of the SCO Member States on Mass Media Cooperation. They praise the SCO Mass Media Forum (Bishkek, 23-26 May 2019) while noting the importance of encouraging interaction between media outlets.
The Member States stress the significance of sport as an effective tool for promoting dialogue between nations and welcome the signing of the agreement between the relevant agencies of the SCO Member States on cooperation in physical fitness and sport.
The Member States note the holding of the Kunming and Issyk-Kul SCO Marathons (9 December 2018 and 11 May 2019, respectively) and favour holding them regularly as a contribution to enhancing friendship and mutual understanding between the peoples of the SCO Member States and also to positioning the SCO in the global arena. The Member States advocate stepping up cooperation in education within the SCO. They deem it important to expand information exchange on the steps taken to modernize national education systems both as part of cooperation between relevant ministries and universities, at university rector forums, scientific conferences and symposia of researchers, educators and students.
The importance of further promoting the activities of SCO University is stressed, including through the involvement of interested states in the Agreement between the Governments of the SCO Member States on the Establishment and Functioning of SCO University.
The Member States note the significance of enhancing the potential for preventing natural disasters and mitigating their aftermath, as well as a joint response to them. The Member States praise the performance of the SCO Youth Council and note the results of its regular meeting in Bishkek on 13-14 June 2019. They stress the need to further step up the Youth Council’s participation in implementing the provisions of the SCO Heads of State’s Joint Appeal to the Youth and the Roadmap on its implementation of 10 June 2018.
The Member States support the development of technology parks and business incubators in the SCO space to improve the business climate in the region and to support youth startups, including the SCO International Youth Business Incubator project under the SCO Youth Council.
The Member States praise the initiative of the Republic of Uzbekistan on preparing a UN Convention on Youth Rights, and are set to pursue coordinated activities on this issue.
The SCO Member States note the launch of the international project SCO Youth Map at the 29th Winter Universiade (Krasnoyarsk, 2-12 March 2019), and the outcomes of the 4th Forum of SCO Universities (Belgorod, May 2019 ) as well as the hosting of the 3rd SCO and BRICS Student Spring International Festival (Stavropol, 4-9 June 2019).
The Member States, in view of the importance of preserving environmental balance in the SCO space and restoring biodiversity for future generations, ensuring favourable conditions for the wellbeing of the people and for sustainable development, welcome the signing of the Action Plan on implementing the Concept of Cooperation in Environmental Protection.
The Member States welcome the agreements reached at the 24th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Katowice on the guiding principles for the practical realisation of the Paris Agreement. They confirm their commitment to fighting climate change.
The Member States stress the significance of establishing interaction between research and analysis centres in the SCO Member States on socioeconomic issues, as well as promoting cooperation in science, research and innovation, and underscore the necessity to implement the Roadmap on Cooperation of SCO Scientific and Research Institutions for 2019-2020 (Dushanbe, 12 October 2018). They express the necessity to support the expansion of the SCO’s scientific, research and innovation potential by pursuing joint scientific and technical projects, research, contests, and the exchange of experience between research and education centres.
The Member States believe the 75th anniversary of Victory over Nazism, to be widely celebrated in 2020, will reaffirm its lasting significance and the current challenge to prevent new tragedies with mass casualties, as well as the need to actively counter attempts to revive the ideology of Nazism, to spread xenophobia and intolerance. The Member States support Russia’s initiatives to adopt a joint statement of the leaders on the 75th anniversary of Victory over Nazism at the next SCO Heads of State Council Meeting, as well as to jointly advance the proposal to recognise Victory over Nazism in World War II as humankind’s world heritage, and monuments to the fighters against Nazism in all countries as a world memorial for humankind to remember, to be included in the 74th UN General Assembly resolution Combatting the Glorification of Nazism, Neo-Nazism and Other Practices that Contribute to Fuelling Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.
The Member States highly recognise the Kyrgyz Republic’s SCO Presidency in 2018- 2019, which helped improve mutual trust and understanding, constructive and successful cooperation, neighbourly relations and friendship among the SCO nations. The Member States, drawing on a high level of mutual trust, will strive to provide security, stability, neighbourliness, friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation in the region.
The Member States will continue to enhance cooperation within the Organisation so as to advance it to a brand new level and turn the SCO space into a region of lasting peace,friendship, prosperity and harmony.
Signed – All Heads of State/Governments