The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is comprised of six members, namely Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. India, Iran, Mongolia, and Pakistan were invited to attend this year’s summit as observers and dialogue partners.
SCO leaders agreed that the organization plays a key role in boosting cooperation and connection in the fight against dangers and risks, as well as maintaining peace and stability in the region.
According to SCO Secretary-General Muratbek Imanaliev, the summit gave priority to considering and approving a program with measures to fight terrorism, separatism, and extremism for 2013-2015.
Prior to the summit, Chinese President Hu Jintao said that to deal with security challenges, SCO members should improve their capacity to meet threats and dangers, control regional problems themselves, and play a greater role in the peace reconstruction process in Afghanistan.
He added that the organization will establish a renovated security cooperation mechanism to ensure the security and development benefits of its members. He urged SCO members to introduce long-term policies to maintain peace, development and cooperation under the new circumstances.
The expansion of SCO is inevitable. SCO members have decided to grant Afghanistan the observer status. Commentators say the organization’s relationship with Afghanistan will bring SCO chances to extend its influence over the Central Asian region, especially after the US and NATO withdraw their troops from there in 2014.
Also topping the summit’s agenda is economic cooperation among member countries. President Hu said transportation is one of the key items and a feasible agreement will make international traffic more convenient.
Meanwhile, Russian president Vladimir Putin called on member countries to pay more attention to cooperation in energy, transportation, infrastructure, agriculture, and especially telecommunications.
SCO leaders are aware that a stronger network of businesses will bring greater benefits to the organization, helping increase internal cooperation.
Statistics show that the total trading turnover of SCO member countries reaches nearly US$4.7 trillion, an increase of 25 percent annually. Despite the global economic slowdown last year, SCO member countries fetched more than US$9.3 trillion in GDP. Currently, they are working on a project to establish a SCO Development Bank. Founded in 2001, after a decade of development, SCO has affirmed its important role in solving regional issues and is targeting a comprehensive cooperation among member countries.