Focus on security of the SCO

On November 18, the 2nd Scientific-Practical Conference of SCO member states and observer states on Cooperation in Combating International Terrorism and Extremism was held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Mr. Zhang Xinfeng, Director of the Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO RATS) chaired the conference.

The participants exchanged views on the situation in SCO member states in the context of growing threats posed by international terrorist and extremist organisations, and made their forecasts for the future.

In particular, they agreed that the activity of international terrorist organisations in different parts of the world, including Southeast Asia and the Middle East, along with persistent instability in Iraq and Syria, are the factors that threaten the security of SCO member states. The parties also discussed the involvement of SCO's nationals in such organisations, and the serious threat they can pose to the security of SCO member states upon their return to the places of their permanent residence.

The conferees agreed that concerted efforts, collection and exchange of information on terrorist organisations and their leaders will be an effective tool in their confronting new challenges.

An agreement was reached on the immediate formalisation of cooperation and creating working mechanisms of interaction between SCO RATS and competent bodies of SCO observer states.

The parties also exchanged views on the implementation of agreements reached at their first conference. They agreed that great progress has been made in strengthening partner relations.

SCO member and observer states reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening the pivotal and coordinating role of the UN in mounting global action against the terrorist threat, to consistent implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and prompt consensus building on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.