DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY OF THE SHANGHAI COOPERATION ORGANIZATION UNTIL 2025
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (hereinafter referred to as the SCO or the Organization) has established itself as one of the most influential partners in the modern system of international relations. A solid legal framework for its operation has been formed, and mechanisms of multilateral cooperation have been successfully functioning. The Organization has established partnerships with states, international organizations and institutions that share the SCO principles and values.
Currently, the SCO is set to reach a qualitatively new level distinguished by the increased effectiveness of cooperation in politics, security, economy, development of cultural and humanitarian relations, and of its enhanced participation in the affairs of the region and in the process of global governance.
The complex nature of this task has necessitated the elaboration of the SCO Development Strategy until 2025 (hereinafter referred to as the Strategy) - a document defining the benchmarks and parameters of the Organization’s further evolution. The strategy has been developed pursuant to Decision No 3 approved by the Council of Heads of SCO member states on September 12, 2014 in Dushanbe entitled “On a draft Strategy for the development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization until 2025”, and with due regard to the provisions of the “Main Directions of the SCO Mid-Term Development Strategy” approved at a meeting of the Council of Heads of SCO member states held in 2012 in the city of Beijing. It is based on the provisions of the SCO Charter and the Treaty on Long-Term Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation of SCO member states.
This document takes into account the forecasted evolution of the international and regional situation, as well as assessments of the activities of the SCO itself, its role in the region and the world, and its relationship with other international players.
The member states will carry out SCO practical cooperation in 2015-2025 in compliance with this Strategy and other legal documents related to the various aspects of its activities.
GLOBAL AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT TRENDS
The modern world is undergoing a profound transformation distinguished by a determinant trend of the Eastward shift of the global development potential.
Pursuit of peace and development, of equal and mutually beneficial cooperation, of community of universal peace and prosperity is increasingly gaining importance. At the same time, there are growing global challenges and threats, as well as factors of uncertainties and unpredictability. Existing regional and local conflicts remain unsettled and new ones are emerging.
The coming decade will be a period of a dynamic change in international relations associated with the establishment of a polycentric world, strengthened regional level of global governance and consolidated position of the developing countries. Globalization and technological progress will contribute to the increased interdependence of nations.
There will be a stronger correlation between security and prosperity of states. The complex nature of threats and challenges requires a collective approach to addressing them, as well as an awareness that it is impossible to ensure one’s own security at the expense of others. In these circumstances, it becomes imperative for all the states to comply with the universal principles of equal and indivisible security uniformly applicable to the Euro-Atlantic, Eurasian and Asia-Pacific region.
Despite the trend towards the recovery from the global crisis, the world economy is still at risk. Its recovery has been uneven and unsustainable and the threat of new recessions persists. High unemployment and reduced consumer demand remains a serious obstacle to sustainable development. There are emerging additional factors of the global economy destabilization, including those related to the increased volatility of world prices for raw materials. The situation is complicated by the lack of a proper level of cooperation among the leading economies of the world in overcoming the crisis impacts and insufficient coordination of the monetary policy at the international level.
The world is facing is a growing complex of security threats, escalated struggle in the information space, and continued deterioration of the environment. There are persistent grounds for radical sentiments, including those based on inter-faith and intra-religious contradictions, which is fraught with internal political excesses and increased tensions in the international relations.
Emergencies are become particularly acute and they impact, in a complex and simultaneous way, many dimensions of public life, threaten national security and have cross-border, inter-regional or global effects that directly or indirectly damage one or more states.
In these circumstances, the defense of peace and common development remain the most important and urgent tasks. It is becoming imperative to build in the region a universal comprehensive inclusive and transparent architecture of indivisible and reliable security and sustainable growth, based on the rule of international law, non-use of force or threat of force, respect for territorial integrity, national sovereignty and independence of countries, open equal and mutually beneficial cooperation. In this regard, the role of regional associations, such as SCO, is increasing.
Thus, SCO is entering a crucial period of its development against a challenging global and regional background and it needs a long-term thought through strategy that would enable to fully use the competitive advantages of the Organization and its capacity for addressing emerging challenges and threats.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Reaffirming their commitment to the goals and objectives of the SCO Charter, the member states consider as their common goals for the coming period the following:
strengthening mutual trust and good-neighborliness between the member states;
strengthening the SCO as an effective, full format regional organization;
ensuring regional security, countering challenges and threats to the security of the member states, including emergency prevention and relief;
enhancing trade, economic and investment cooperation, as well as of joint project activities in priority areas of cooperation aimed at sustainable development of the member states and improved welfare and living standards of their population;
expanding cultural and humanitarian ties, inter alia, in science and technology, health, environment, education, and developing communication between people;
consistently implementing the principle of SCO openness pursuant to the Charter and other legal documents of the Organization;
enhancing SCO international prestige and, to this end, building cooperation with the United Nations and its specialized agencies, as well as with the CIS, CSTO, ASEAN, ECO, CICA and other international organizations and associations;
strengthening the SCO institutional foundation, including enhancing the role of the permanent representatives of the SCO member states to the Secretariat and the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) of the SCO.
To achieve the above goals, the member states will focus on the following objectives:
turning the SCO region into a one of peace, sustainable development, economic growth and progress, mutual trust, good-neighborliness, friendship and prosperity;
improving SCO as a multi-format regional organization not envisaged as a military and political block or economic integration association with supranational governance bodies;
creating within SCO favorable conditions for sustainable growth of trade and investment cooperation, developing and implementing joint infrastructure projects, as well as strengthening business cooperation with the engagement of the SCO Business Council and SCO Interbank Association;
developing common approaches of the SCO member states to the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative as one of the tools for creating an enabling environment for the promotion of economic cooperation in the SCO region;
building an indivisible security space, developing cooperation with the UN and other international and regional associations in various fields, inter alia, in addressing traditional and new security threats;
improving the Organization’s legal and regulatory framework;
consistently improving the efficiency of cooperation mechanisms within the SCO;
strengthening practical cooperation with the SCO observer states and dialogue partners.
PRINCIPLES AND VALUES
The SCO member states favor compliance with the commitments set forth in the Charter, the Shanghai Convention on Combating Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism, the Agreement on Long-Term Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation of the Member States and other SCO documents.
The cooperation within SCO is distinguished by its spirit of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, mutual consultations, respect for cultural diversity and aspiration for common development. These principles, known as Shanghai Spirit, will continue to serve as the basis for the relations between the SCO member states.
The member states will provide full support to each other on the issues affecting sovereignty, security, development and other vital interests. They cannot participate in the alliances or organizations directed against the SCO member states, or support any actions hostile to any of them. They will not allow in their territory any activity contrary to the principles of respect for the state sovereignty and territorial integrity of each other.
The equality of SCO member states remains an unchanged pillar of the Organization’s activities. It is supported by a provision regarding a consensus-based decision-making which will continue to be applied in accordance with the SCO Charter. In the course of their practical cooperation, the member states will use opportunities for the development of cooperation between interested states.
The member states will settle disputes between them through political and diplomatic means on the basis of a constructive dialogue and norms of international law.
The SCO activities will continue not to be directed against third countries and their associations. The member states believe in an inalterability of the principle of prevention of any illegal actions directed against the SCO interests, as enshrined in the SCO Charter.
The member states respect the right to choose the path of political, economic, social and cultural development with due account of the historical experience and national peculiarities of each state, contribute to the dialogue between civilizations, to common peace, progress and harmony. They are guided by the principles of non-interference in internal affairs, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of the SCO member states, and do not support the use of unilateral measures of pressure taken without the approval of the UN Security Council.