Comment by the Information and Press Department on the upcoming SCO Council of Foreign Ministers meeting

Saturday, 21 April 2018 06:06

On April 24, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will participate in a meeting of the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers in Beijing.

The agenda of the meeting consists of pressing matters and priority areas of the SCO activity as well as global and regional topics.

The meeting will open the final stage of the preparations for the SCO Heads of State Council Meeting that will take place on June 9-10 in Qingdao, China.

The ministers will review the progress in the approval of the documents and decisions to be submitted for consideration by the heads of state. Currently, the list prepared under China’s Presidency includes more than 20 projects.

According to the existing practice, common approaches to further SCO consolidation and expanding practical cooperation within the SCO, as well as the international and regional agendas will be included in the Qingdao declaration. The meeting participants are also to approve the Action Plan for 2018-2022 on the implementation of the Treaty on Long-Term Neighbourliness, Friendship and Cooperation between the SCO Member States. The outcome of the dialogue in the format of the  Heads of State Council will be reflected in a press release.

Security remains the SCO’s priority vector of activity. A cooperation programme is being developed in the fields of counter-terrorist, counter-separatist and counter-extremist measures for 2019-2021, the joint address by the heads of state to the youth and the action plan to prevent young people from getting involved in destructive groups, the SCO anti-drug strategy for the period up to 2023 and an action plan enforcing the strategy. 

Russia sees it particularly relevant to intensify SCO’s activity in the said spheres.

Extra attention will be given to further coordination of the SCO members’ stance on such subjects as the situation in Afghanistan and Syria, fulfilment of the joint comprehensive plan of action on Iran’s nuclear programme, the Korean Peninsula’s nuclear issue as well as other topics.

The SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group resumed its operation at the October 2017 meeting in Moscow, in a new format at the level of deputy foreign ministers. The next meeting planned shortly in Beijing is to move forward the issues of practical cooperation in this area. It is important to note that the contact group’s activity will rely on the efforts made by other international formats and primarily the Moscow format.

The ministers will discuss the development of SCO’s links with other international and regional associations. The summit participants will sign a memorandum of understanding between the SCO Secretariat and UNESCO. Another drafted document is a roadmap driving cooperation between the SCO and ASEAN. The SCO is also considering the establishment of meetings between heads of regional associations that currently exist in Eurasia.

We strongly support our Chinese partners’ efforts to fulfill the plans of China’s SCO Presidency and look forward to further working together in order to ensure success of the upcoming summit.

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