Culture, ecology and fight against crime – President Tokayev meets SCO foreign ministers

Culture, ecology and fight against crime – President Tokayev meets SCO foreign ministers
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President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has held a meeting with the ministers of foreign affairs of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states, Kazinform News Agency learned from the Akorda press service.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has held a meeting with the ministers of foreign affairs of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member states, Kazinform news Agency learned from the Akorda press service.

On behalf of Kazakhstan, which is currently chairing the SCO, and on his own behalf, the Head of State expressed his deepest condolences to the people and leadership of Iran over the tragic deaths of the President and Foreign Affairs Minister of this country.

Addressing the participants, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev noted that today’s meeting of the Foreign Ministers’ Council is one of essential formats of the SCO for tackling the relevant issues of the agenda.

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev
Photo credit: Akorda

The Kazakh President pointed out, that the representatives of Iran, despite the difficult times for the country, and Belarus, which will join the SCO soon, are participating in the ministerial meeting for the first time. He expressed confidence that these countries would significantly contribute to further strengthening the “Shanghai spirit” and deepening the multilateral cooperation within the SCO.

He reminded that the Organization unites already 10 countries of the Eurasian continent, where almost half of the population of the planet lives, and which account for a quarter of the global GDP and 15% of the global trade.

“Being the SCO presiding country, Kazakhstan exerts every effort to further strengthen the Organization’s potential,” said the Head of State.

The President thanked the member states for the support of Kazakhstan’s initiatives and fruitful joint work. As Kassym-Jomart Tokayev noted, more than 100 large-scale events including digital, tourism and energy forums of the SCO, were organized.

SCO Ministerial Meeting in Astana
Photo credit: Akorda

“The work on Spiritual Shrines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization project is coming to an end. On our initiative, 2024 was proclaimed the Year of Ecology in the SCO countries. The Government of Kazakhstan continues preparations for a number of additional important events to be organized in the field of energy, transport, and culture. Of course, in the focus of attention is the upcoming SCO Summit in Astana. The Council of Foreign Ministers is charged with high responsibility for a quality organization of this important forum for our countries. I highly appreciate your work on preparing a solid package of documents and decisions. More than 20 similar documents were submitted for the consideration of the Heads of State Council. I am sure their effective implementation will contribute to strengthening all-round partnership within the SCO,” said Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

According to the President, the application of a comprehensive approach, consideration of the interests of all parties and constant search for compromises gain a special importance amid global strategic uncertainty.

SCO Ministerial Meeting in Astana
Photo credit: Akorda

The Head of State believes that it is high time to collectively promote the ideals and values of a peaceful and harmonious development for the benefit of humankind.

“Namely for this reason, Kazakhstan proposed to develop the SCO initiative "On World Unity for a Just Peace and Harmony." The adoption of this document, as well as the Astana Declaration during the upcoming summit, will, in our opinion, help consolidate international efforts to regulate the conflicts in different regions of the world,” said the President adding that “further steps in reforming the SCO require special attention.”

The Head of State highly appraised active involvement of the member states in the elaboration of certain decisions on improvement of the SCO activity and expressed hope for further support of Kazakhstan’s initiatives.

According to the President, the SCO should focus its activity on the fight against the so-called three evils [terrorism, separatism (or splittism) and religious extremism - edit].

“Kazakhstan is committed to deepening the interaction in this area. The Programme of Cooperation in Fight against Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism approved by you can become a practical step here. Finalization of the SCO Anti-Drug Strategy will strengthen the mutual measures taken to fight against drug threat, including blocking funding channels. All these achievements are an evident example of harmonized and concrete steps of ensuring stability and security within the SCO space. It is important from the viewpoint of strengthening positions in the global architecture of international relations, raising the authority and role of the SCO in the world,” the Head of State said.

The President also touched upon cybersecurity issues saying that timely identification of cyber-threats, elaboration of the mechanisms to ensure stable operation of the SCO states’ information infrastructure should remain in spotlight

Speaking on Afghanistan, the Kazakh President said the situation in this country “deserves closer attention.”

He emphasized that it is crucial to continue the efforts of preventing humanitarian crisis in this country and creating conditions for a long-term stabilization.

In his words, support of Kazakhstan’s initiative to set up the UN Regional Center for SDGs for Central Asia and Afghanistan in Almaty gains special relevance.

“Particular attention should be given to the climate change issues. Without urgent preventive measures, this problem can plunge our planet into a dramatic period of the global natural disasters. The extreme weather conditions are turning into the major global challenges. In this connection, we need to update the approaches of the SCO to the fight against natural disasters,” said the President having reminded of the devastating spring floods which hit Kazakhstan in spring 2024.

“Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my cordial gratitude to your countries for the solidarity and assistance demonstrated during the large-scale unprecedented floods in Kazakhstan. We highly appreciate this support,” Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said.

The Head of State said the upcoming SCO Summit in Astana will be held under the slogan “Strengthening multilateral dialogue - striving for sustainable peace and development.”

“This agenda fully reflects one of the major goals of the SCO – ensuring peace, security and stable development in the region. The great expectations in this context are laid upon the Council of Foreign Ministers. I am confident that the results of your work will contribute to successful organization of the upcoming summit of the SCO Heads of State Council in Astana,” the Kazakh President said.

The President thanked the foreign ministers for active work on the threshold of Astana SCO Summit.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev expressed hope that this summit will write a vivid page in the history of the SCO activity, “which holds an important place in the global architectonics.”

“Indeed, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization gets more and more attention in the entire world. Other powers are interested in our activity. In April 1996, I witnessed the establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization called as the Shanghai Five. It was then that the so-called spirit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization was laid, and it is good that we consistently strengthen the basic principles of our interaction for the name of peace, security in Asia, in the Eurasian continent, and in the entire world,” the President concluded.

Those attending the meeting are the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Wang Yi, Deputy Prime Minister -Minister of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan Mohammad Ishaq Dar, Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan Murat Nurtleu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kyrgyzstan Jeenbek Kulubaev, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan Sirojiddin Muhriddin, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan Bakhtiyor Saidov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belarus Syarhey Aleynik, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of India Ravi Dammu, Deputy Foreign Minister for Economic Diplomacy Mahdi Safari, SCO Secretary General Zhang Ming, and Director of the Executive Committee of the SCO RATS Ruslan Mirzaev.

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