President Addresses Pressing Issues During SCO Summit in Dushanbe

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev attended the Sept. 12 summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

БезымянныйThe event was also attended by the heads of SCO member states, including Xi Jinping of China, Almazbek Atambayev of Kyrgyzstan, Vladimir Putin of Russia, Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan and Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan.

During the meeting, the Kazakh President pointed out issues he felt should be a priority for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation given the world’s current geopolitical and geo-economic realities.

One of the items he stressed is unresolved border issues between SCO member states. In this respect he drew attention to the importance of compliance with the basic documents of the SCO such as Shanghai and Moscow agreements providing confidence-building measures and the reduction of armed forces in border areas.

The President also noted that food security is an important area of ​​economic cooperation for SCO member states. “According to the predictions of the experts, by 2050, the world population will reach nine billion people. Whereas, food production in the world in the next 10 years will be reduced due to weather anomalies. Such a perspective favours the reopening of Kazakhstan’s initiative to establish a mechanism to ensure food safety and approval of the relevant cooperation programmes,” he said.

In addition, Nazarbayev stressed that the problem of water scarcity is a major factor affecting stability and security in the region. In this regard, he said that the proposal of Kazakhstan to create a water committee could become a practical mechanism in cooperation on this issue.

The heads of state also exchanged views on the situation in Ukraine and Afghanistan. Nazarbayev said that the conflict in Ukraine requires an immediate solution. “A major concern we all have is the situation in Ukraine. The scale of the impact of the crisis has long gone beyond the country. The situation in eastern Ukraine requires immediate action. The only long-term solution to the problem is political dialogue and consensus,” he said.

The SCO unanimously supports peaceful dialogue and a speedy resolution of the conflict. The leaders of the participating countries also voiced support for the Russian President’s recent initiative to peacefully settle the conflict in Ukraine’s southeast.

Also, Nazarbayev suggested the establishment of a constructive intra-Afghan dialogue to ensure stability in Afghanistan.

In addition, the President of Kazakhstan pointed to the complexity of the current situation in the Middle East.

“Syria, Libya, Iraq, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict have turned into an uncontrolled source of instability. The region is mired in an abyss of terrorism. Destructive elements are a direct threat not only to regional but also international security,” Nazarbayev said.

“Working in the interests of safety and for the benefit of all member states and their peoples is our common duty and task. We have a common desire to always be together and help each other. We intend to strengthen our cooperation,” President Xi Jinping said.

Another issue President Nazarbayev drew attention to is deepening cooperation with the observer states and dialogue partners of the SCO, suggesting to convert a mechanism of the national coordinators meeting with representatives of the Observer States to the Coordinating Council of the SCO. It is possible that next year India and Pakistan may change their current observer status into full participants.

At the summit in Dushanbe, the heads of state signed 10 documents, and updated the memorandum on the obligations for granting membership into the SCO and approved its procedures. The adoption of these documents provides an opportunity for a practical expansion of the organisation. Also, the parties signed the document on cooperation between SCO member states through 2025.

On the sidelines of the summit, an intergovernmental agreement on the creation of favourable conditions for international road transport was signed and the plan of joint events tomark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

Concerning projects and initiatives that are being discontinued, President Nazarbayev noted that this problem exists due to the different priorities of individual national interests of member countries of the SCO, as well as a lack of financial resources needed for promotion.

Chinese President Xi Jinping announced the decision to provide the SCO member states credit assistance in the amount of $5 billion for the implementation of joint projects. He noted the creation of a fund for Economic Cooperation called “China – Eurasia” and said that the fund’s initial capital amounts to $1 billion but that it will be increased to $5 billion in the future.

“In order to strengthen cooperation, China has decided to give SCO member states a loan of five billion dollars to finance joint projects,” Xi Jinping said.