SCO’s Samarkand Declaration a Roadmap for Economic Cooperation, Independent Development
Sept. 16, 2022 (EIRNS)—While this news service doesn’t yet have the complete text of the Samarkand Declaration signed today by the Heads of State Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), reports from other sources highlight some of the central issues addressed and agreed to by the group.
Chief among them is the statement that the SCO as an organization is open to cooperation with other states—that it is not directed against any other states or international organizations and seeks broad cooperation with them “in accordance with the goals and principles of the UN Charter, the SCO Charter and international law on the basis of mutual interests and common approaches to solving regional and global problems.”
The Declaration states that the SCO seeks to ensure peace, security and stability, “joint countering of new challenges and threats in the territory of the organization,” strengthening trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian relations among countries. Moreover, SCO members intend to further develop cooperation in politics and security, trade, economy, finance and investments, cultural and humanitarian relations “in order to build a peaceful, safe, prosperous and environmentally friendly planet Earth.” Central Asia is considered to be the core of the SCO, and efforts will be made to ensure “prosperity and peace, sustainable development and the formation of a space of good neighborliness, trust and friendship.”
Central to the issue of independent economic development, unfettered by intrusive demands of foreign powers or financial institutions, is the Declaration’s statement that its member nations have agreed to expand the practice of gradually increasing the share of national currencies in mutual payments. This discussion is taking place among many developing nations seeking to free themselves from the straitjacket of the dollar system.
The Declaration states that SCO countries “noted the acceptance of the Roadmap on gradually increasing the share of national currencies in mutual payments by concerned SCO member states and declared for expansion of these practices.” In addition, member states “stressed the necessity to ensure financial support of project activities for fully untapping the investment potential of the organization and in this respect continuing consultations on the issue of the creation of the SCO Development Bank and the SCO Development Fund.”
There was great concern expressed about the threat to security posed by terrorism, separatism and extremism in all its forms, and member nations committed themselves to taking active measures to eliminate the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism and suppress recruitment activities and cross-border movement of terrorists, counter extremism, the radicalization of youth, and the elimination of “sleeper cells”—or locations that terrorists use as safe havens.
The Declaration also emphasized the urgent need for resolving the situation in Afghanistan as soon as possible, to contribute to maintaining and strengthening security in the SCO region. It called for establishing Afghanistan as an “independent, neutral, united, democratic and peaceful state free of terrorism, war and drugs.”
(The Indian Ministry of External Affairs has posted its English translation of the Samarkand Declaration from the Russian original.)