The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has become an important and influential international organization after more than 10 years of development, Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev has said.
"Today, we can confidently say the SCO is an important and influential international group committed to developing effective cooperative mechanisms to safeguard regional peace and stability, enhance economic and trade exchanges and boost humanistic cooperation," he said.
"We focus our efforts on jointly solving urgent regional and international issues," he said in an exclusive interview with Xinhua ahead of the SCO summit to be held in Beijing on June 6-7.
Atambayev said SCO's development in the past decade fully displayed its progressive nature.
"It is known that the SCO was initially planned as an organization to solve issues in border demarcation and build confidence in the military sphere," he said.
However, in light of developments in global politics and economy, the SCO constantly adjusted its activities in relation to modern challenges and threats, leading to new cooperative areas and missions, Atambayev said.
One of the most remarkable results of the SCO cooperative mechanism was that member countries were able to harmonize efforts in time to minimize the impact of the first wave of the global financial crisis, he said, adding continual development of economies such as China, Russia and Kazakhstan was strong proof.
Furthermore, "a considerable number of states and international organizations becoming increasingly interested in the SCO is also clear evidence of the growing prestige and influence of the organization," the president said.
Major events in the world in recent years and the new geopolitical situation made it necessary to intensify common efforts in multilateral diplomacy, particularly in international and regional security, he said.
Undoubtedly, the main task facing the SCO member countries now was the fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism, he said, adding it was therefore of vital importance to improve the mechanism of consultation and enhance information exchanges and coordination of joint efforts to deal with potential threats and challenges.
Talking about economic cooperation in the SCO, Atambayev said the protracted global financial crisis posed a serious threat to regional security and stable development of the SCO member states.
Kyrgyzstan supported economic integration as it was impossible to cope with this global economic woe alone, he said.
Another main task facing the SCO member states was to promote comprehensive and balanced economic growth to improve the living standards of their peoples as well as to coordinate integration into the global economy, he said.
In this regard, Atambayev expressed gratitude to the leadership of China for the $10-billion-loan to SCO member states in 2009 to deal with the consequences of the global economic crisis.
"We attach great importance to the creation of the development fund and the development bank of the SCO as a mechanism of financial support for major projects," he said. "The peoples of our countries should fully feel the benefit from the partnership within the SCO framework."
On the outlook for the SCO, Atambayev called on member countries to further strengthen political mutual trust, deepen security cooperation and promote practical multilateral cooperation in trade and the economy and other fields.
In addition, "closer cooperation with other international and regional organizations and countries could bring good opportunities for the SCO in further upgrading its position on the international arena," Atambayev said.
The Beijing summit would adopt the Strategic Plan for the Medium-Term Development of the SCO, to further identify the direction for SCO's development and major tasks for the next decade, he said.
Founded in 2001, the SCO groups China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
(Xinhua News Agency June 4, 2012)