SCO leaders pledge to enhance anti-terrorism efforts

August 28th, 2008 - 9:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Dushanbe, Aug 28 (Xinhua) Leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states Thursday pledged to strengthen the organisation’s regional anti-terrorist structure and raise thier cooperation in the field of security to a new height. The leaders of SCO member states, who kicked off their summit in Tajik capital Dushanbe Thursday, expressed their satisfaction with the increased cooperation among themselves in their fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism.

In a joint declaration issued at the end of their summit, the SCO leaders also reiterated their efforts to maintain the central coordinating role of the UN in the global fight against terrorism.

They expressed their willingness to implement steadfastly the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and to finalize a comprehensive convention on fighting global terrorism at an early date.

“External threats and challenges to security have become the factors destabilising the situation in the region,” said the leaders of SCO, which was set up in 2001 by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to counter NATO influence in the strategic Central Asia region.

The latest developments in Afghanistan, the expanding drug trafficking and rampant transnational organised crime have made it imperative to strengthen cooperation, they noted.

The leaders also pledged to establish a mechanism of joint assessment, prevention and response to these threats and challenges.

They said efforts within the SCO framework in creating an international legal framework for ensuring international information security cooperation have proved to be fruitful, and so has been the work aimed at setting up practical cooperative mechanism.

The leaders also reiterated that it was imperative to respect the history and cultural tradition of every country and ethnic group.

It is also imperative to respect the efforts to safeguard national unity and territorial integrity of a nation, the leaders said.

On the issue related to the creation of a global anti-missile defence system, they stressed that the establishment of such a system will not help in maintaining a strategic balance, as it is against the international efforts towards arms control and nuclear non-proliferation, and not conducive to enhancing trust among countries and regional stability.

The declaration was signed by Chinese President Hu Jintao, his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon and his Uzbek counterpart Islam Karimov.

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