On November 1, 2022, Beijing hosted the 21st meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), an international organization founded in 2001, via videoconference chaired by Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China Li Keqiang. Currently, it includes Russia, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
At the last September 15-16 this year. at the SCO summit in Samarkand, a memorandum was signed at the level of heads of member states on the obligations of the Iranian side in connection with joining the SCO, after which Iran must fulfill the relevant obligations and complete the official procedure for joining. There was the process of registering membership in the organization of Belarus has been launched. SCO dialogue partners are Azerbaijan, Armenia, Egypt, Cambodia, Qatar, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Sri Lanka. At the Organization’s summit in Samarkand, it was also decided to start the procedure for granting dialogue partner status to Bahrain, Kuwait, the Maldives, Myanmar and the United Arab Emirates.
At the Council meeting in Beijing participated Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation M.V. Mishustin, Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan A.A.Smailov, Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Kyrgyz Republic A.U.Zhaparov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Tajikistan K.Rasulzoda and Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan A.N.Aripov. India was represented by Minister of Foreign Affairs S. Jaishankar, and Pakistan – by Minister of Foreign Affairs B. B. Zardari. In addition, SCO Secretary General Zhang Ming, Director of the Executive Committee of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure R. E. Mirzaev, Chairman of the Board of the Business Council SCO D.A.Vakhabov, Chairman of the Council of the Interbank Association of the SCO A.K.Mirsoatov
The meeting was also attended by representatives of the SCO observer states: Prime Minister of the Republic of Belarus R.A.Golovchenko, First Vice-President of the Islamic Republic of Iran M.Mokhber, Prime Minister of Mongolia L.Oyuun-Erdene, Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan Х .Geldimyradov as a guest of the presiding side, as well as the Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission of the United Nations for Asia and the Pacific A.S. Alishakhbana, the Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission M.V. Myasnikovich, the Secretary General of the Economic Cooperation Organization H. Noziri, Chi Fan, Deputy Secretary General of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia; IT Nematov, Deputy Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
During the meeting, its participants discussed topical issues of developing cooperation within the SCO. Particular attention was paid to deepening cooperation in trade, economic, investment, cultural and humanitarian spheres, including in the context of improving the activities of the organization at the present stage.
In his speech to his colleagues, Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation M.V. Mishustin suggested creating in the SCO its own system of electronic exchange of financial information and bank payments, which will help achieve independence from the influence and actions of third countries in the financial sector. The transition to settlements in national currencies should also help in this …
Growing pressure continues to be exerted on Russia, more than 12,000 unilateral restrictive measures have been taken against it, which have affected key financial institutions, technology, oil and gas, mining, transport and other economic sectors. But the Russians were able to overcome negative scenarios and create conditions for the stabilization of economic dynamics, took measures to ensure the sustainability of public finances, as well as for a gradual recovery in consumer demand and investment activity. By the end of October, inflation in Russia was 13% against about 18% in April this year. It is also indicative that, from January to August, the turnover of Russia’s trade with the SCO member states increased by more than a third and exceeded 150 billion US dollars…”.
As a result of the meeting, its participants adopted a Joint Communiqué, which noted that today the world is entering a new era of rapid development and large-scale transformation. These fundamental processes are accompanied by increased interconnectedness, accelerating the pace of informatization and digitalization. In this regard, the Member States, relying on the similarity or coincidence of assessments of the current regional and international agenda, reaffirmed their commitment to the formation of a more representative, democratic, fair and multipolar world order based on the universally recognized principles of international law, multilateralism, equal, joint, indivisible, comprehensive and sustainable security, cultural and civilizational diversity, mutually beneficial and equal cooperation of states with the central coordinating role of the UN. The heads of delegations reaffirmed that the SCO is in favor of increasing the effectiveness of the WTO as a key platform for discussing the international trade agenda and adopting the rules of the multilateral trading system. They stressed the need for an inclusive reform of the organization as soon as possible, with an emphasis on its development and adaptation to modern economic realities, as well as the effective implementation of monitoring, negotiation and dispute resolution functions.
The heads of delegations stressed the need for consistent implementation of the Program of Multilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation of the SCO Member States and the Action Plan for its implementation. They called for the expansion and deepening of cooperation in the financial, investment, industrial, transport, energy, agricultural and other fields, in the interests of sustainable socio-economic development in the SCO region. The heads of delegations stressed the need to implement the Action Plan for 2021-2025 to implement the SCO Development Strategy until 2025 (Moscow, November 10, 2020). They welcomed the adoption of the Comprehensive Plan for 2023-2027 for the implementation of the provisions of the Treaty on Long-term Good Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation of the SCO Member States (Samarkand, September 16, 2022).
The next meeting of the Council of Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) of the SCO Member States will be held in 2023 in the Kyrgyz Republic.
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