Bishkek   -    The member states of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Friday resolved to accelerate efforts to promote socio-economic and anti-corruption cooperation as well as to introduce the use of local currencies in mutual financial transactions and settlements.

The member states also resolutely condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and urged the international community to strengthen global cooperation in efforts against terrorism under the UN.

The heads from the SCO member and observer states met in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz capital on June 13-14, for a meeting of the SCO's Heads of State Council, wherein they underscored their intention to continue to rely on the goals and objectives of the SCO Charter and to follow the Shanghai Spirit that embodies mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, mutual consultations, according to a statement issued by the SCO Secretariat.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of China Xi Jinping, President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbay Jeenbekov, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon and President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev attended the summit. President of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, President of Iran Hassan Rouhani, President of Mongolia Khaltmaagiin Battulga as well as UN Under-Secretary-General Rosemary A DiCarlo were also in attendance.

The member states resolved to continue to promoting practical cooperation in politics, security, trade and the economy, including finance, investment, transport, energy and agriculture, as well as the development of intra-SCO cultural and humanitarian ties.

The member states emphasised that the SCO was an effective and constructive mechanism for multilateral cooperation that played an important role in maintaining regional peace and stability.

The participating leaders resolved to focus on deepening diverse mutually beneficial cooperation with all interested states, primarily the SCO observer states and dialogue partners.

They emphasised the need for expanding joint efforts to ensure reliable security and sustainable development in the SCO region.

They reaffirmed the SCO Member States' commitment to enhancing the central coordinating role of the UN and its Security Council as a body vested with the main responsibility for maintaining international peace and security under the UN Charter.

In this context, they noted the intentions of the India, the Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan and Tajikistan to be elected as rotating members of the UN Security Council, as well as the intentions of Kazakhstan, China, Pakistan, Russia and Uzbekistan to be elected to the UN Human Rights Council.

The member states resolutely condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and urged the international community to strengthen global cooperation in efforts against terrorism under the UN's central role by fully implementing the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, in line with the UN Charter and the principles of international law, without politicisation and double standards.

While stressing that there could be no justification for any acts of terrorism and extremism, the Member States consider it important to implement comprehensive measures to more effectively counter terrorism and its ideology, to expose and eliminate various factors and conditions that facilitate terrorism and extremism.

They noted the unacceptability of interfering in the domestic affairs of states under the pretext of countering terrorism and extremism, as well as the unacceptability of using terrorist, extremist and radical groups for mercenary purposes.

The SCO Member States that have signed the Code of Conduct to Achieve a Terrorism-Free World, advocated the consistent implementation of its provisions.

The leaders considered it necessary to ensure the earliest possible enactment of a protocol on security guarantees to the Central Asian Nuclear-Weapons-Free Zone Treaty for all signatory states.

They emphasised the unacceptability of attempts to ensure one country's security at the expense of other counties' security and noted that the unilateral and unlimited buildup of missile defence systems by certain countries or groups of states was detrimental to international security and a destabilising factor in the world.

The SCO states noted the importance of keeping outer space free from weapons and the top-priority importance of unfailingly complying with the current regulatory-legal framework that stipulates the exclusively peaceful use of outer space.

They called for addressing various high-priority tasks, including the illegal cultivation, production, circulation, sales and dissemination of narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors. They reaffirmed their intention to step up joint efforts to fight the narcotic drug threat, including under the three international drug control conventions and other related legal documents.

The SCO member states called for unfailingly honouring the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction.

The SCO Member States reaffirmed their determination to ensure regional security and stability. In this context, they supported the work of the government and people of Afghanistan, with support from the international community, for restoring peace and ensuring the country's sustained development.

The SCO member states once again expressed their willingness to facilitate a political settlement under the guidance of the people of Afghanistan and with their involvement on a bilateral basis and within the framework of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group.

The SCO Member States consider it important to steadily implement the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action regarding the Iranian nuclear programme under UN Security Council Resolution 2231 that calls on all the parties to fulfil their obligations unfailingly.

 Earlier addressing the SCO Summit, Prime Minister Imran Khan proposed an eight-pronged course of action for Shanghai Cooperation Organization calling for a peaceful co-existence, regional trade, soft and infrastructure connectivity and a framework against corruption and white collar crimes among the member states.

He suggested the reinforcement of the SCO’s vision of cooperation rejecting the confrontation and to advance the imperatives of peaceful co-existence at the regional and international levels.

Imran called for galvanizing the “Shanghai Spirit” to strengthen SCO’s core mandate of mitigating the risks of conflict, fostering confidence and promoting stability.

He emphasized upon the early finalization of arrangements for trade in local currencies and set up SCO Fund and SCO Development Bank to catalyze the trans-regional development agenda.

He also proposed setting up of SCO Culture and Tourism Corridors, clustering multiple SCO destinations into a single package.

Calling for making SCO more relevant to the daily lives of citizens by promoting food security and enhancing cooperation in health and humanitarian sectors, he asked the organization to take the lead role in establishing a comprehensive framework for combating corruption and white collar crime to prevent the laundering of billions of dollars through offshore accounts.

He stressed upon prioritizing women and youth empowerment by focusing on strengthening the Women Forum and the Youth Council and mandating them to promote gender mainstreaming, skills acquisition and jobs mobility.

Imran also called for bridging the gap between region-specific research and policy by launching feasibility studies for creating SCO Centres of Excellence on Poverty Alleviation, De-radicalization, Connectivity, and New Technologies.

Imran told the summit that Pakistan provided the vital connectivity between the Middle East and China and Central and South Asia. He said Pakistan was an attractive investment destination and a large market, endowed with a rich array of resources and its predominantly young population was imbued with immense energy and creativity. “We build partnerships based on mutual respect, sovereign equality and equal benefit,” he remarked.

Imran said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the flagship project of President Xi’s far-sighted Belt and Road Initiative, was fast reaching fruition. Gwadar Port, at its southern end, marks the only point of convergence of the maritime Belt and the overland Road, he added.

He said during his visit to China in April, Pakistan and China launched the next phase of CPEC, and concluded an upgraded Pakistan-China Free Trade Agreement. In time, CPEC is destined to catalyze the creation of an integrated pan-Asian sphere of shared prosperity, he added.

“The world stands at a crossroads. For the first time in ages, we are seeing the advent of a multi-polar global order. Epicentres of economic power and growth momentum are shifting eastwards. Regional integration is speeding up. Disruptive technologies are maturing,” he remarked.

He said the threats, from terrorism to climate change to narcotics to bacterial resistance, continued to loom large and there were increasing barriers to open trade and innovation.

He said the growing intolerance and Islamophobia were threatening to accentuate religious fault-lines. “For its part, Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including state-terrorism against people under illegal occupation,” he said.

Imran said Pakistan was among the few countries to have successfully turned the tide against terrorism and it was ready to share its experience and expertise in counter terrorism. The country would also remain actively engaged in SCO’s counter-terrorism initiatives, he added.

He told the summit that there was finally a realization that the conflict in Afghanistan has no military solution. Pakistan was fully supporting the efforts for peace and reconciliation, through an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned process, he added.

He appreciated the positive contributions, being made by China, Russia and Afghanistan’s immediate neighbours. He underscored that SCO’s support for post-conflict Afghanistan would remain crucial.

Imran said South Asia continued to be challenged by common enemies including poverty, illiteracy, disease and under-development. “Enduring peace and prosperity in South Asia will remain elusive until the main dynamic in South Asia is shifted from confrontation to cooperation. It is important to seize the opportunities for peaceful resolution of outstanding disputes and collective endeavours for regional prosperity,” he said.

Terming the evolving situation in the Gulf and Middle East as a matter of concern, he urged the parties to exercise restraint, take steps to deescalate the situation, and find solutions through diplomatic means.

He said being a sportsman, he always considered the playground to be a remarkable teacher which taught that opportunities knocked at our door in the shape of challenges.