Prime Minister Narendra Modi chairing the 23rd Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Heads of State (Image courtesy: PIB)
The ‘New Delhi Declaration’ adopted on Tuesday following the 23rd Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Heads of State on Tuesday has called for increased joint efforts of the international community to counter the activities of terrorist, separatist and extremist groups.
Held under the Indian chairmanship, the virtual meeting also paid special attention to preventing the spread of religious intolerance, aggressive nationalism, ethnic and racial discrimination, xenophobia, fascism and chauvinism.
Led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the outgoing chair of the grouping, the leaders firmly committed to eliminate the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, block the channels financing it, suppress the recruitment activities and cross-border movement of terrorists, counter extremism, the radicalization of youth, the spread of terrorist ideology, as well as the elimination of “sleeper cells” and places that are used as shelters for terrorists.
“The member states, in accordance with their national laws and on the basis of consensus, will strive to develop common principles and approaches to the formation of a unified list of terrorist, separatist and extremist organisations whose activities are prohibited on the territories of the SCO member states,” the joint statement released after the meeting mentioned.
Russian President Vladimir Putin recalled his country’s proposal to transform the regional anti-terrorist structure of the SCO into a universal centre that would be responsible for responding to the entire spectrum of security threats.
“The priority of the SCO should remain anti-terror, countering extremism and religious radicalism, curbing drug trafficking and other types of smuggling, and combating bandit formations,” said Putin.
Supporting the New Delhi Declaration, the Kremlin backed consolidated approaches to topical international issues, emphasising that it is especially significant in the current conditions when geopolitical contradictions are becoming more acute and the risks of a new global economic and financial crisis are increasing.
Putin in his speech spotlighted that the share of the Russian currency in export transactions with all SCO countries in 2022 exceeded 40 percent.
“Russia takes an active part in the implementation of the SCO road map on the transition to national currencies in mutual trade, approved at the previous summit in Samarkand in Uzbekistan. It is important to continue this work, to take coordinated measures to remove regulatory barriers, establish the necessary payment infrastructure, and create an independent financial system,” he said.
Besides Putin, the meeting was also attended by Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov, President of China Xi Jinping, President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif.
#Watch: Decisive actions are necessary to fight terrorism. Some countries use cross-border terrorism as an instrument for their policies and provide shelter to terrorists. SCO shouldn’t shy away from criticizing such countries: PM Modi at SCO summit https://t.co/mLUt939Zis pic.twitter.com/WtKEOfvB0c
— INDIA NARRATIVE (@india_narrative) July 4, 2023
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi and President of Mongolia Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh were invited to the meeting as heads of observer states to the SCO and Turkmenistan President Serdar Berdimuhamedov as a guest of the presiding side.
In addition, the summit was attended by the heads of the permanent SCO bodies and the heads of delegations of a number of invited international organisations and associations.
It is under India’s chairmanship that Iran – an observer state till now – was admitted as a full member of the organisation on Tuesday, joining India, China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Pakistan.
The process of Belarus obtaining the status of a SCO member state was also accelerated since India assumed the rotating Chairmanship of SCO at the Samarkand Summit last September.