PARTICIPATION OF THE REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN IN THE SHANGHAI COOPERATION ORGANIZATION (SCO)
The declaration on the creation of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was signed by the heads of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, China, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan on June, 15th, 2001.
Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia have observer status with the Organization. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka have the status of SCO dialogue partner. Joint declaration on cooperation between the secretariats of the SCO and the UN was signed in Tashkent in 2010. Official contacts were established with the UN ESCAP, UNODC, ASEAN, CSTO, CICA, EurAsEC and the CIS.
The organization has two permanent functioning bodies - the SCO Secretariat in Beijing and the Executive Committee of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure in Tashkent.
The SCO represents a mechanism for multilateral cooperation aiming to strengthen stability and security, development of economic cooperation in Central Asia; it is a platform for an open and constructive dialogue as well as a tool for developing partnerships in various areas. During the periods of the SCO’s activity an immense political and organizational work on strengthening the SCO has been done, practical steps on building up multifaceted cooperation for implementing its main objectives and tasks were taken.
In accordance with the SCO Charter member states adhere the following principles in the implementation of cooperation:
- Mutual respect of the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and inviolability of frontiers, non-aggression, non-interference in the internal affairs, non-use of force or threat of its use in international relations, freedom from unilateral military superiority in adjacent areas;
- Equality of all member states, search of joint angles on the basis of mutual understanding and respect for the opinions of each of them;
- Gradual implementation of the collaborative actions in the common interest areas;
- Peaceful settlement of possible disputes between the member states;
- Non-targeting of SCO against other states and international organizations;
- Prevention of any unlawful actions directed against the interests of the SCO;
- Fulfillment in good faith of obligations arising from the Charter of the SCO and other documents adopted within the framework of organization.
The highest decision-making body is the SCO Council of the Heads of State (CHS), which examines and develops the strategy, prospects and priorities for the development of multifaceted cooperation and activities of the Organization. CHS meet once every year, the chairmanship at the summit is given to the Head of the hosting state.
The second most important body is the SCO Council of the Heads of Government (CHG). It gathers once every year to discuss a strategy for multilateral cooperation and priority directions within the Organization’s framework, to solve principal and important issues of cooperation in economic, as well as to adopt the Organization’s annual budget.
Besides sessions of the CHS and the CHG there are also mechanisms for meetings on the level of Secretaries of Security Councils, Foreign Ministers, Ministers of Defense, Emergency, Economy, Transportation, Culture, Education, Healthcare, Heads of Law Enforcement Agencies, Supreme Courts, Prosecutors General and others.
The Council of National Coordinators coordinates and manages day-to-day activities of the SCO as well as carries out necessary preparation for sessions of the CHS, CHG, COFM and other SCO bodies.
Mechanisms, such as Business Council and the SCO Interbank Association work in economical direction.
Uzbekistan is one of the founders of the Organization and together with other Member States establishes the strategy of cooperation within the SCO framework. Tashkent considers necessary to concentrate efforts within the framework of the Organization in the areas of maintaining regional stability and developing economic and investment cooperation.
Within the framework of the Republic of Uzbekistan chairmanship in the Organization in the course of the SCO summit the Regulation on observer status in the SCO and the Order of the SCO interaction with observers were signed in Tashkent in 2004. The introduction of the institute of observers was an important step towards the realization of the SCO’s objectives and tasks. It also strengthened the prospects of the SCO, significantly expanded the capacity of the Organization, and substantially affected its role and prestige in the global community.
The Regulation on the admission of new members to the SCO and the Rules of the SCO procedures were approved at the SCO summit in Tashkent in 2010. Agreements on cooperation in the field of agriculture and crime prevention between the governments of the SCO member states were signed.
The 12th summit of the Council of Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) of the SCO Member States was held in Tashkent in November 2013. In the course of the summit parties exchanged opinions on a wide range of global and regional economic development issues, discussed aspects of trade-economic and humanitarian cooperation within the SCO framework.
The decision on continuing the activities related creating the SCO Development Bank and Development Fund (Special Account) was signed; also the Joint Statement of the Heads of the Governments of the SCO Member States on further development of cooperation in the field of transport was adopted.
On July 9-10, 2015 in Ufa was held the next SCO summit, in which the sides exchanged views on topical issues of international security and regional problems, discussed the prospects of development of multifaceted cooperation within the framework of SCO and priorities of the Organization.
At the end of the summit of SCO Heads of States signed the Ufa Declaration, approved the development strategy of SCO towards 2025, the Program of cooperation of SCO member states in the fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism for 2016-2018, decided to initiate the procedure admission of India and Pakistan as a member SCO.
Heads of States confirmed the statements in connection with the 70th anniversary of the victory over fascism in World War II and on the issue of the threat of drugs, as well as an Agreement on cooperation and collaboration of SCO member states on border issues.
Upon completion of the Ufa summit the chairmanship of the Organization for 2015-2016 passed to Uzbekistan.
Uzbekistan as a chairman-state intends to adhere strictly and follow the principles of continuity and consistent strengthening of mutually beneficial development, meeting the interests of the SCO member states, as well as the continued growth of the prestige of Organization in international arena.
It will continue to be an urgent task to develop measures to enhance the joint fight against terrorism, extremism, separatism preparing adequate responses to modern challenges of international, regional security, sustainable economic development, human development of all countries that are members of the SCO. Great importance will be given to measures to expand cooperation between the member countries in order to strengthen the role of the SCO as a reliable guarantor of stability and development in the region, as well as the further development of relations with the UN, other international organizations and interested countries.