Declaration on Establishment of SCO

Updated: 2006-06-12 15:14

The heads of state of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan,

Highly appraise the positive role played by the "Shanghai Five", in the five years since its founding, in promoting and deepening mutual trust, relations of friendship and good-neighborliness among the member states, consolidating regional security and stability and facilitating common development;

Unanimously recognise that the founding and development of the "Shanghai Five" have conformed to the post cold-war historic trend that mankind aspires to peace and development, shown the great potentiality of peaceful and friendly coexistence, unity and cooperation realized through mutual respect and confidence by countries with different civilization backgrounds and traditional cultures;

Point out, in particular, that the two agreements signed by the five heads of state of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation and the Republic of Tajikistan respectively in Shanghai in 1996 and in Moscow in 1997, on confidence-building in the military sphere in border areas and on mutual reduction of military forces in the border areas, and the summary documents signed during their meetings in Alma-Ata (1998), Bishkek (1999), Dushanbe (2000), have made important contributions to preserving regional and world peace, security and stability, greatly enriched contemporary diplomatic and regional cooperation practices and exerted extensive and positive influence in the international society;

Firmly believe that against a background of the rapid development of the process of political multipolarisation and information globalization in the 21st century, it is conducive to the member states more effectively jointly making use of the opportunities and replying to the new challenges and threats;

And hereby solemnly declare:

1. The Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan have founded the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

2. The purposes of the SCO are: strengthening mutual trust and good-neighborly friendship among the member states; encouraging effective cooperation among the member states in political, economic and trade, scientific and technological, cultural, educational, energy, communications, environment and other fields; devoting themselves jointly to preserving and safeguarding regional peace, security and stability; and establishing a democratic, fair and rational new international political and economic order.

3. The SCO shall hold a formal meeting of heads of state of the member states a year, hold meetings of heads of government regularly; the meetings shall be held in rotation among the member states. With a view to expanding and strengthening cooperation in all fields, in addition to the established meeting mechanisms for the leaders of the relevant departments, new meeting mechanisms may be set up in accordance with circumstances, and permanent and temporary expert groups may be formed to study work plans and proposals for further developing cooperation.

4. The "Shanghai Spirit" formed during the "Shanghai Five" process, with "mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for multicivilisations, striving for common development" as its basic contents, has been precious treasure accumulated in the cooperation among the countries of the region in recent years. This spirit should be carried forward so that it will become the norm governing relations among the SCO member states in the new century.

5. The SCO member states shall abide by strictly the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, mutually respect independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, not interfere in each other’s internal affairs, not use or threaten to use force against each other, adhere to equality and mutual benefit, resolve all problems through mutual consultations and not seek unilateral military superiority in contiguous regions.

6. The SCO has been evolved on the basis of the two agreements signed respectively in 1996 in Shanghai and in 1997 in Moscow on confidence-building in the military sphere in the border areas and on mutual reduction of military forces in border areas. Its cooperation has been expanded to political, economic and trade, cultural, scientific and technological, and other areas. The principles embodied in the above-mentioned agreements have determined the basis of the mutual relations among the SCO member states.

7. The SCO adheres to the principle of non-alignment, does not target any other country or region, and is open to the outside. It is ready to develop various forms of dialogue, exchanges and cooperation with other countries, international and regional organisations. On the basis of consensus, it shall admit as its new members those countries which recognise the cooperation purposes and tasks within the framework of the organisation, the principles expounded in Article 6 of the this declaration and other articles, and whose joining will facilitate the realisation of cooperation.

8. The SCO sets special store by and makes all necessary efforts to ensure regional security. The member states will cooperate closely to implement the Shanghai Convention on Combating Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism, including setting up an Antiterrorist Center of the SCO in Bishkek. Moreover, relevant multilateral cooperation documents will be formulated to restrain illegal weapons and narcotics smuggling, illegal immigration and other criminal activities.

9. The SCO will make use of the huge potential and extensive opportunities in the mutually beneficial cooperation in economic and trade fields among its member states, strive to enhance further development of both bilateral and multilateral cooperation among the member states and plurality of this cooperation. For this purpose, a negotiating process on trade and investment facilitation will be initiated within the framework of the SCO to formulate an outline of long-term, multilateral economic and trade cooperation and relevant documents will be signed.

10. The SCO member states will strengthen their consultations and coordination of activities in regional and international affairs, support and cooperate with each other closely on major international and regional issues, and jointly promote and consolidate peace and stability of the region and the world. In the current international situation, it is of particular significance to preserve global strategic balance and stability.

11. To coordinate the cooperation of the departments in charge of the SCO member states and organise their mutual collaboration, a National Coordinators Council of the SCO member states is hereby set up and foreign ministers of the SCO member states will approve the council’s temporary rules to regulate its activities.

The heads of state instruct the National Coordinators Council, on the basis of this declaration and the documents signed by the heads of state of the "Shanghai Five", to start drafting the Charter of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation which, among other things, shall clearly enunciate the purposes, goals and tasks of future cooperation of the SCO, the principle and procedures for the admission of new members, legal effect of the decisions made and the way to conduct mutual coordination with other international organisations. The document will be signed at the 2002 meeting of heads of state.

Summarising the past and looking forward into the future, the heads of state firmly believe that the founding of the SCO marks the entry into a brand new development phase for the cooperation of the member states. This is in conformity with the trend of the times, the realities of this region and the fundamental interests of the peoples of the member states.

June 15, 2001, Shanghai

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