Russian President Vladimir Putin’s address on Russia assuming the SCO Presidency in 2014-2015
Russia is about to take over the SCO Presidency. More than ten years ago, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan decided to join forces to ensure peace, security and stability in Eurasia. Since then, we have witnessed the correctness of that decision on more than one occasion.
The SCO has a strong legal framework and an array of mechanisms for political, economic and humanitarian cooperation. The international reputation of the organisation is growing. And SCO member states are joined by observer states, such as Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia, Pakistan, and dialogue partners, such as Belarus, Turkey, and Sri Lanka, who make a meaningful contribution to the organisation.
The rapidly changing international situation calls for a more effective SCO. The SCO Development Strategy towards 2025 is being developed to this end - a process that will be completed during the Russia's Presidency.
The priorities of the SCO continue to be ensuring regional security and combating terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking, with a particular focus on the challenging situation in Afghanistan.
Russia is committed to expanding economic cooperation within the SCO and developing joint measures on financial, food, energy and transport security. We propose creating a streamlined project funding mechanism, increasing the role of the SCO Business Council and the SCO Interbank Consortium, and expanding interregional relations.
We see great promise in future cooperation between the SCO and the Eurasian Economic Union. And we believe it's important to promote contacts in education, healthcare, culture and tourism, including through the Youth Council and SCO Forum.
Russia has planned over 100 different events for its Presidency, with a particular emphasis on the joint celebrations of the 70th anniversary of victory in WWII.
The SCO Council of Heads Meeting in Ufa on 9-10 July 2015 will conclude Russia's Presidency.
We look forward to working productively with our partners to achieve our common goal of strengthening cooperation and mutual understanding between our countries and peoples.