Talking points of the Deputy Director of the Center for Strategic Research under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, D.Sc. in Political science, Muhammadzoda P.A.
At the XIV meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Forum (April 16-18, 2019, Beijing)
Dear participants of the Forum!
Ladies and Gentlemen!
First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to President of the Academy of International Problems under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China and Director of the SCO National Research Center of the PRC distinguished Qi Zhenhong for the invitation, warm welcome and high level organization of this event.
We are deeply convinced that the initiative of the Chinese side is timely and relevant and will make its positive contribution in providing strong intellectual support and achieving the expected results for the upcoming Summit of the SCO Heads of States Council in Kirghizstan this year.
We are witnessing significant changes in the world situation at current stage accompanied by increasing tensions. In this regard, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which is a universally recognized and authoritative multilateral organization, needs to adapt to the new conditions, to counter contemporary challenges and threats, to reveal and enhance the potential for cooperation.
In this context, the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan supports theAction Plan for 2018-2022 to implement the provisions of the Treaty of Long-Term Neighbourliness, Friendship and Cooperation between the Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization
One of the key issues on the agenda of our Forum and our Organization is ensuring security in the SCO area. In this regard, I would like to draw your attention to the situation in Afghanistan bordering with the SCO countries, which, despite all taken measures continues to be difficult and unpredictable.
Recently, militants, especially members of ISIS (banned in the Russian Federation) from Syria and other “hot spots” moved to the Northern regions of Afghanistan, which cannot stay out of our serious concern. The intensification of terrorist groups on a background of domestic political problems further intensifies the difficult situation in Afghanistan.
In this regard, we support and consider that the Programme of Cooperation between the Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Countering Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism for 2019-2021 was signed on time.
I should note that in Tajikistan there has been approved the National Concept on countering money-laundering and financing of terrorism for 2018-2025, and the Plan for its implementation adopted by the Decree of the President on 5 March 2018.
Consequently, we welcome the strengthening of coordination and cooperation of law enforcement agencies on security matters.
At the same time, we consider that it is necessary to direct efforts to expand targeted support to Afghanistan aimed at peace-building and economic revival of that country.
In this context, we hope for an early resolution of the issue of holding the third meeting of the SCO – Afghanistan Contact Group in Bishkek this year and its active work in the coming period.
It is also necessary to focus on the problem of illicit drug trafficking and intensifying cooperation in this direction in the SCO region. According to our Anti-drug Agency, only in 8 months of 2018, due to the increasing of opiates production in Afghanistan, Tajikistan withdrew from illicit trafficking more than 3.1 tons of narcotic substances, which is 23.5 kilograms more than in 2017.
In this regard, supporting the SCO Anti-Drug Strategy for 2018–2023 and the Action Plan for its implementation, we consider urgent implementation of our country’s proposal to create the SCO Anti-Drug Center in Dushanbe to coordinate actions in this area.
In recent years, ideological work has been actively carried out in cyberspace, including attract of young people into the ranks of terrorists and extremists.
Positively assessing the overall work of the SCO member states in implementing the Agreement between the governments of the SCO member states on cooperation in ensuring international information security of 2009, we consider it as an important document to strengthen the coordination of our countries to prevent the use of media and social networks for promoting of organizations recognized as a terrorist and extremist.
We also consider timely the adoption of the Joint Appeal of the Heads of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to youth and the Program of Action of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on preventing youth involvement in the activities of destructive unites.
In order to consolidate the efforts of the world community to combat the above-mentioned negative phenomena, the Republic of Tajikistan is planning to hold the high-level conference “International and regional cooperation on countering terrorism and its financing through illicit drug trafficking and organized crime” on May 16-17 of this year in Dushanbe.
We welcome the active participation of high-level delegations of the SCO member states in this international event.
In the current conditions of instability of the world economy, the relevance of the further development of the economic component of our Organization’s activities is increasing.
A broad trade, economic and investment partnership, mutual support and joint implementation of mutually beneficial projects should remain among the priority areas of SCO regional cooperation.
Another important field is the transport transit cooperation in the SCO area.
With the accepting of new member states, the Organization is expanding its capabilities and opens up the new horizons for the implementation of various projects in this direction.
The creation of a unified transport system and the effective use of the transit potential of our countries are important for the region.
In this regard, priority should be given to the implementation of projects for the reconstruction and construction of roads and railways, as well as the creation of regional transport corridors with access to seaports.
In this context, we consider it as a timely decision of the Council of Heads of States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on the approval of the Concept of interaction between railway administrations (railways) of the SCO member states in the field of railway transport in the upcoming Summit in 2019.
We also consider the timely decision of the Council of Heads of States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on the approval of Highway Program of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
The SCO space unites both the largest producers and consumers of energy resources.
In the conditions of the dynamic development of the economy and the rapidly growing demand for electricity, the establishment of stronger and mutually beneficial cooperation in this area within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is very important and timely.
We reiterate our readiness to cooperate in the implementation of hydropower projects for the benefit of the entire region, which will undoubtedly contribute to the development of integration processes within the SCO and beyond.
In the field of agriculture, of paramount importance, in our opinion, are measures aimed at promoting food security issues and introducing innovative technologies in the agricultural sector.
We are convinced that the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO Secretariat) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), as well as the Plan for the implementation of the SCO Food Security Cooperation Program within the framework of the upcoming Summit will deepen our cooperation.
We support cooperation within the framework of regional financial organizations.
At the same time, our government supports the creation of a specialized financial institution of the SCO.
Strengthening cooperation in the field of tourism is another important factor in strengthening ties between our nations.
Regarding the issue of cooperation in the field of tourism, I would like to note that taking into account the announcement of 2019-2021 as the Years of Rural Development, Tourism and Folk Crafts in Tajikistan, we intend to work closely to continue the implementation of the Joint Action Plan for the implementation of the SCO Member States Cooperation Program on tourism for the period of 2019-2020.
We hope that the signing of Memorandum of Understanding between Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO Secretariat) and the World Tourism Organization in the framework of the upcoming summit, as well as its subsequent implementation, will close our joint fruitful work.
In conclusion, I would like to once again thank the Chinese side for creating the favorable conditions for holding today’s meeting and confirm the readiness of Tajikistan for further mutually beneficial cooperation in achieving common goals.
Thanks for your attention.