THE THIRD MEETING OF THE SCO HAS BEGUN ITS WORK IN BEIJING
The third meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization has opened on 19th May in Beijing (China).
The representatives of the SCO Secretariat and other divisions, and also the scientific and expert community, diplomatic missions of the Member States, and observer countries of the organization have taken part in this meeting. Before the opening of the summit, its participants in a moment of silence paid tribute to the memory of victims of the powerful earthquake in southwestern China.
During the two-day session, some questions of development of SCO will be discussed:
- Perspectives of development of the organization;
- Cooperation of the Member states of the SCO in a sphere of security;
- Cooperation in economic issues;
- Active cooperation of the Member states in education projects;
The important theme is the strengthening of widespread cooperation of the Member States with the observer countries.
Usually the meeting of the SCO is held once a year. The first Constituent session of the organization took place on 22-23 May 2006 in Moscow (Russia). The second one took place on 15-16th June 2007 in Alma-Ata (Kazakhstan).
THE MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF MEMBER STATES OF SCO WILL TAKE PLACE IN RUSSIA
Russian Federation will lead the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in 2008-2009. The most important event will be the meeting of the Council of Member States of SCO in Yekaterinburg in 2009. The successful result of the work of this Council will depend on the effective organization of this event. For successful solution of this task the coordinate actions of different organs of Russian government with the representatives of the public officials and business structures of the federal and regional levels are required.
NEW KAZAKH CHAIR OF SHANGHAI ORGANIZATION OUTLINES PRIORITIES
Bolat Nurgaliev, the new Kazakh secretary-general of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), outlined on January 25 the organization's priorities for the coming year, according to Khabar TV. Nurgaliev said the SCO is committed to "ensuring peace and stability" in the region and will focus on fostering greater cooperation "in the fight against terrorism, separatism, and extremism." He also highlighted the need for economic cooperation between the six SCO member states (Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan), noting the approval of a "comprehensive development program" to create a new "free-trade area" that would include new measures to promote the unfettered "movement of goods, capital, technologies, and services." He said there will also be discussions within the SCO on forming an energy alliance based on a new "Asian energy strategy within the SCO."
KAZAKH FOREIGN MINISTER HAILS SCO
Kazakh Foreign Minister Qasymzhomart Toqaev told an international conference on the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO: China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan) in Almaty on November 30 that "the SCO has all the prerequisites to become a foundation of the future world order," ITAR-TASS reported. Stressing that he believes the SCO will soon become an internationally influential organization, Toqaev said that the development of Kazakh-SCO relations is a top priority in Kazakhstan's foreign policy, Xinhua reported. DK
Shanghai Hosts 1st Meeting of Heads of Supreme Courts of SCO Member States
20-22 September 2006, Shanghai hosted the first meeting of Heads of Supreme Courts of SCO member states. The Heads of the Supreme Courts of Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan participated. SCO Deputy Secretary-General Political Serik Naryssov attended at the invitation of the organisers. At the opening ceremony of the meeting he read out a welcoming statement of Secretary-General Zhang Deguang to participants of the first meeting of Heads of Supreme Courts of SCO member states, and delivered a speech at the closing ceremony. The issue of fair justice and legal cooperation was on top of the agenda. The Heads of the Supreme Courts of SCO member states signed a joint declaration. The parties agreed to hold their next meeting in Moscow.
SCO Summit Concludes in Tajikistan
A prime-ministerial summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) concluded in the Tajik capital Dushanbe on September 15, RFE/RL's Tajik Service and Asia-Plus reported. Delegates of the SCO summit issued a statement pledging to improve the transport network connecting their countries and vowing to develop new energy export routes that would serve SCO member states. The statement also called for the formation of a new "SCO Energy Club," in order to coordinate regional energy policy and promote cooperation in the energy sector among SCO members. The summit was attended by the prime ministers of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan and the Uzbek deputy prime minister, as well as representatives from SCO observer states Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia, and Pakistan. Tajik President Imomali Rakhmonov also met with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of the summit and reviewed plans for expanding bilateral trade and investment, as well as discussing details of the upcoming joint military exercises, Tajik state television reported.
Kazakh President Calls for Closer Economic Ties Among SCO States
In comments during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit meeting on June 15, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev called for closer economic cooperation among SCO member states, according to Interfax. Nazarbaev explained that "economic cooperation" is an important way to help "maintain security and stability in Central Asia." He also expressed support for a proposal to create a multilateral banking vehicle within the SCO aimed at promoting greater investment and trade.
Meeting of SCO Legislators
Legislators from Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, which belong to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), arrived in Moscow on May 29 for a meeting of their parliament speakers, RFE/RL reported. Russian Prime Minister Fradkov said that "we consider the first meeting of the heads of parliaments of [the SCO] member states as a landmark event in the development of this organization." Sergei Mironov, who is chairman of the upper chamber of Russia's parliament, the Federation Council, said on May 30 that "the problems of drug trafficking, illegal migration, trade in people, and illegal weapons trafficking are at the top of our priorities now. Experience shows that only on a collective and good-neighborly basis can we eliminate the consequences of natural disasters [and ensure] the protection of transborder natural resources and the environment."
Central Asian Ministers Argue Against Iran Joining SCO
Speaking in Shanghai at a meeting of foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on May 15, the Kazakh and Tajik ministers ruled out the possibility of Iran joining the SCO, agencies reported. Tajik Foreign Minister Talbak Nazarov told reporters, "So far this issue has not been discussed as the SCO is not able to expand indefinitely and there is no document which would regulate the membership of this or that state, including Iran," RIA Novosti reported. Kazakh Foreign Minister Qasymzhomart Toqaev said, "Kazakhstan finds it necessary to temporarily refrain from SCO enlargement through permanent members and observers because the organization lacks the legal basis...for admitting new members," Interfax-Kazakhstan reported. Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mohammadi said last month that Iran hopes to join the SCO this summer. Iran currently holds observer status in the SCO, as do India, Mongolia, and Pakistan. SCO members are China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
Putin Welcomes Shanghai Delegations
Prime Ministers from member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) convened in Moscow on 26 October and agreed at their one-day meeting on a "road map" that will include agreements on mutual cooperation in emergency situations and several economic accords, RIA Novosti and ITAR-TASS reported. Receiving the visiting heads of government at the Kremlin, President Putin said the group - which comprises Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan - has "outgrown its original goal." Observers to the SCO Mongolia, Pakistan, India, and Iran all sent their most senior representatives to date to the meeting - including Mongolian Prime Minister Tsakhiagiyn Elbegdorzh, Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, Indian Foreign Minister Natwar Singh, and Iranian First Vice President Parviz Davudi. Putin also held a separate meeting with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, RIA-Novosti reported. "The Christian Science Monitor" asked on 25 October whether Russia and China are seeking to create a "NATO of the East" through the Shanghai group.