SCO to focus on promoting stability in Central Asia: expert

08:53, June 09, 2011      

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The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will pay special attention to promoting stability and development in Central Asia, a Chinese scholar told Xinhua on Wednesday.

Sun Zhuangzhi, secretary-general of the SCO research center of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said in an interview that to improve economic and security cooperation will continue to be the focus of the SCO.

Terrorism, drug-trafficking, and ethnic and religious conflict, are some of the problems haunting Central Asia, Sun said. "The SCO's efforts to solve these problems will help the entire world."

Founded in 2001, the regional organization comprises of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The SCO will hold a summit to mark its 10th anniversary in the Kazakh capital of Astana on June 15.

"The SCO has helped its member states strengthen cooperation in such sectors as security, economy, culture, education, agriculture, science and technology as well as disaster relief," said Sun.

Sun lauded the SCO's practical measures in security and economic cooperation, such as a series of anti-terrorism exercises, the fight against the "three evil forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism, as well as the prepared signing of investment agreements.

The SCO's contribution to setting up a new-type of mode for regional cooperation could play an exemplary role for international cooperation pattern, Sun said.

The organization has also enjoyed increasing influence in the international arena.

"In a future multi-polar world, the SCO can serve as a backbone to balance western influence," Sun said.

In recent years, the SCO has accepted Mongolia, Pakistan, Iran and India as observers, and its dialogue partners include Belarus and Sri Lanka.

Sun said China has always been committed to strengthening the organization's efforts to carry out comprehensive external cooperation, including receiving new members.

Sun said he hoped the SCO would soon establish a guiding principle about the future expansion of the organization.

The SCO approved procedures for the admittance new members in June 2010, although no new members have been admitted yet.

The SCO is currently drafting a standard memorandum for nations applying for membership, according to previous reports.

Source: Xinhua
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