The President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon delivered the following message on the occasion of SCO summit. In his speech the Tajik president dilated upon various aspects of regional and global issues and gave a roadmap to grapple with those issues. Here are excerpts from his speech. It has passed exactly one year since our last Summit. During this short period there have been a lot of changes in the world. Some changes have cardinal character and affect the prevailing world order as a whole. They create new problems, the solutions of which require collective exploration and efforts, including in the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
We have also witnessed both skillful diplomatic resolution of complicated conflicts and the emergence of new hotbeds of violence at the external borders of the SCO.
Complicated and contradictory situation in the “hot spots” of the world is reflected in the SCO area which differs by stability and sustainable development.
This confirms a simple truth about the high level of our interconnectedness, when economic progress of one country have a positive impact on economic growth of other countries, first of all the neighboring countries and emerging problems in one country directly affect other countries.
An example can be international terrorism and transnational crime, illegal arms and drugs trafficking, environmental pollution and communicable diseases.
The reality becomes anxious, when a group of persons possesses those modern technical means for military purposes which previously have been possessed only by the states. Such changes are cardinally changing the nature of the challenges that we face, as well as approaches to their solutions. First of all, it concerns the issues related to ensuring security in our region.
It is quite obvious that the issues of ensuring security, maintenance of peace and stability in the region, an uncompromising fight against the “three evils” should remain a top priority for the Member States of the Organization.
In the conditions of globalization our Organization should keep an eye on any meaningful processes nearby, particularly in the regions adjacent to the area of responsibility of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
We all should remember that the events taking place, for example, in the Middle East related to the creation of the so-called “Islamic Caliphate”, could have a direct impact on our region, although they have nothing to do with the true Islam.
Such attitude to similar events should be an imperative of our not so quiet time.
Events of the past year once again highlighted all fatal consequences of the activities of terrorist groups, organized crime and illegal drug trafficking for the world, security and development both in our countries and in the region as a whole. They also indicated those inevitable difficulties that our organization is facing in its efforts, aimed at effectively countering these threats and challenges.
International terrorism and cross-border crime have not gone underground; “three evils” manifest themselves boldly and defiantly, do not abandon their attempts through violence and killing of civilians to create an atmosphere of fear.
Our common goal is to counterpose new challenges and threats with the high level of regional cooperation, broad exchange of information, including with our partners.
In this regard, we welcome the outcome of the Minsk meeting of stakeholders to resolve the situation in the Eastern Ukraine, which is based on the implementation of the Plan of the President of Ukraine and the initiatives of the President of Russia and aimed at peaceful settlement of this acute problem.
Tajikistan will fully support the activities of the Regional Counter-Terrorism Structure, as well as actively developing cooperation of law enforcement and defense agencies in the framework of the SCO.
Carrying out activities focused on counterterrorism and counternarcotics is of great importance. Terrorism and drugs feed off each other. It is necessary to redouble our efforts in fight against the production and trafficking of drugs, the demand for which is growing during the last ten years.
In the past year, the SCO has taken some positive steps to improve the capacity to respond and to combat illegal drug trafficking.
At the same time, this work requires continuous improvement, establishment of cooperation with a wide range of partners, beginning with the United Nations. As you know, in 2016 there will be convened a special session of the UN General Assembly on the drug issues in the world.
Its purpose is to explore new ways of solving the increasingly sophisticated problem of illegal drug trafficking.
Our organization has gained solid experience in the fight against narcotic evil. The SCO can and should make its contribution to the development of an effective anti-drug programme of global scale.
In this respect, I propose to hold a regional conference on drugs with the participation of the SCO Member States, observer states and partners, as well as relevant international organizations in 2015 in Dushanbe.
The past year has demonstrated certain progress in trade and economic cooperation. The volume of bilateral trade is continuing to increase. At the same time we were not able to achieve tangible breakthrough in economic cooperation.
It is obvious that relying on the impressive figures of foreign trade turnover, we need to consistently go to the production and scientific-technical cooperation, to create common economic interests.
This process has gradually, with uneven speed, already gaining momentum in economic cooperation of the SCO Member States.
It is necessary to give it an additional acceleration. The initiative of the President of the People’s Republic of China, H.E. Mr. Xi Jinping on the establishment of an economic belt along the Silk Road deserves our full support.
In this context, the issues of development of transport and communication networks of the SCO, ensuring the free movement of goods and services in the whole area of the Organization are of vital importance.
In our view, first of all, we should pay attention to the establishment of industrial cooperation and cooperation in the field of industrial production.
It is necessary to study the feasibility of establishing in the SCO area economic growth zones (EGZs). Such zones may include industrial and technological parks, transportation hubs and research and training centers.
Benefiting from cross-border economic relations, in the framework of them there can be carried out joint industrial production, construction of infrastructure units, personnel training and research.
Development and implementation of joint investment projects on infrastructure character could become one of the key factors for the acceleration of economic growth, employment of the population and solving social problems in the SCO space.
There is a need to create favorable conditions for attraction of investment in such perspective production of the region, such as energy, mining, light and food industries, agriculture. The indicated directions of cooperation may be a subject of the “road map” of main areas of mid-term development strategy of the SCO, the work on which is in full swing.
In our view, the consolidation of efforts in the formation of new industrial capacities of the Central Asian region, including in the field of industrial cooperation, meets the fundamental interests of all SCO Member States.
In this regard, the necessity of establishment of the SCO Fund and Development Bank is growing.
14 years ago, here in Dushanbe, for the first time, there was made a proposal to establish a regional organization of a new type, as reflected in the Dushanbe Declaration and adopted by the “Shanghai Group of Five”.
At the dawn of the 21st century, it was difficult to suppose that the new regional organization in a short historical period can take a special place in the architecture of international relations.
Today, the authority of the SCO, as ever, is high, as well as expectations of the people, in particular the young people, who need ample opportunities for education, employment and creative self-realization.
It is important to create conditions for the peoples of our countries to learn more about the rich history and culture of each other through the cultural and humanitarian programmes and to ensure that the friendship between our peoples will remain unbreakable.
New realities dictate the need for adaptation of our Organization to them so that the SCO could make contribution to changing people’s lives for the better.
Based on the fundamental principles enshrined in the Charter of the SCO, by comprehensively strengthening “Shanghai Spirit”, we need to consistently address the interrelated problems of security and peace in the area of responsibility of the SCO, to develop communication and cooperation, in order through joint development to lead our peoples to prosperity.
In our view, our joint work in the past period has demonstrated a common desire to achieve this goal.