MOSCOW, September 10. /ITAR-TASS/. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) fully corresponds to the realitits of the 21st century, unlike the archaic organizations with a rigid bloc discipline, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said. He pointed out that Russia, during its presidency in the SCO after the Dushanbe Summit of September 11-12, intends to give priority attention to raising the effectiveness of the organization "in the present-day uneasy international situation".
"The SCO has already become an authoritative association and a tangible factor in the formation of a new polycentric system of the world order," Lavrov pointed out in an article published in the Rossiiskaya Gazeta on Wednesday under the headline "The Shanghai Cooperation Organization: Through Security and Stability to Peace and Prosperity".
"The organization activities are characterized by tangible results in ensuring security and in strengthening multi-aspect political, economic and humanitarian cooperation among the member-countries," he added.
As a consequence, the role of the SCO in global and regional affairs rises, which "generates mounting interest in it on the part of many countries and international organizations," the minister pointed out. "Pakistan, India, and Iran have exprssed a desire to become full members of the SCO, and an increasing number of countries apply for the status of SCO Observer or Dialogue Partner Country," he added.
"It is often asked what are the makings of the association's successful development and attention-getting capacity?" the minister went on to point out. "The answer is simple: A consistent adherence to the United Nations Charter and basic international-legal norms, first of all, the principles of equality, mutual respect, consideration for the interests of one another, a settlement of conflicts and disputes by political-diplomatic methods, and the recognition of the right of states to a choice of their own pattern of development".
"These principles accord with the tasks of ensuring a steady and democratic character of present-day international relations," Russia's foreign minister emphasized. "This is why the SCO fully corresponds to the realities and requirements of the 21st century unlike the archaic organizations inherited from the past era, based on a rigid bloc discipline".
Ensuring regional security
Lavrov writes that Russia, during its presidency in the SCO, also intends to devote priority attention to "consolidating efforts in the interests of ensuring an adequate response to events in the region and the world".
"Coordinated approaches to looking for responses to common challenges will find reflection in the SCO Development Strategy for a period until 2025, which is to be prepared for a session of the Council of the Heads of State in (the Russian city of) Ufa in 2015", he wrote.
"The document is intended to give an additional impetus to interaction within the SCO framework and to expansion of its cooperation with foremost multilateral organizations, primarily the United Nations and its specialized agencies. Provision is also made for the establishment of contacts with the Eurasian Economic Union".
SCO main tasks
At the same time, Lavrov pointed out that efforts to ensure regional security remain an invariable priority of the SCO. Other first-priority tasks are to augment resources for a joint fight against terrorism, extremism, the trafficking of narcotics, particularly against the background of the retrogressing situation in Afghanistan, he added.
"This refers, in particular, to the strengthening of the potential of the SCO Regional Counterterrorist Organization, the implementation of the drug control strategy, a regular holding of counterterrorist training sessions," he explained. "The SCO regular exercises codenamed Peace Mission-2014 and held in China from August 24 to 29, confirmed a high preparedness of SCO member-states to parry arising threats".
"It is known that the organization's activities do not mean the establishment of a military-political alliance," the Minster pointed out. "At the same time, one of the SCO's basic principles is to prevent unlawful actions spearheaded against the interests of the member-countries".