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SCO Denounces Confrontation And Protectionist Policies

Vows To Work For A Just And Multipolar World Order.

The New Delhi declaration signed by SCO members declared Central Asia to be its core region and emphasized that resolution of the conflict in Afghanistan is significant for its security and stability

The New Delhi Declaration was adopted on Tuesday, July 4, after a virtual meeting of the leaders of the nine-member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). The declaration underlined the need for stronger and more effective international regimes and vowed to work for a more “just, democratic and multipolar world order.”

The 23rd meeting of the Council of Head of States was hosted by India virtually. Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in the meeting along with leaders from Central Asian countries. Iran, which was inducted as a full member of the grouping on Tuesday, was represented by President Ebrahim Raisi.

The meeting was also attended by Belarus and Mongolia, who currently hold observer status. Belarus signed the memorandum of commitment on Tuesday to join SCO as a full member.

The New Delhi declaration noted that given the rapid changes in global politics and technology and the complexities of ongoing conflicts and economic problems, it is necessary to have “effective global institutions” and “new approaches to promote a more equitable and effective international cooperation.”

A Just And Democratic Multipolar World

The SCO members agreed to work for the formation of a more “representative, just, democratic and multipolar world order based on universally recognized principles of international law, multilateralism” with “equal, joint, indivisible, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security.” It also advocated protection of “cultural and civilizational diversity, mutually beneficial and equal cooperation of states with a central coordination role of the UN.”

The declaration claimed that SCO is opposed to “bloc, ideological and confrontational approaches” and strongly backs approaches based on mutual respect and cooperation, equality, cultural and civilization diversity, and international law to deal with international issues.

Speaking during the meeting, President Xi warned the member countries of “external attempts to foment a new Cold War or camp based confrontation in our region.”

The member countries of the SCO expressed their strong opposition to economic protectionism and trade restrictions by some countries, such as the US. They declared their joint commitment to work for “improving and reforming the architecture of global economic governance” and building “an open, transparent, fair, inclusive and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system based on” the principles of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The WTO’s agenda of free world trade has come under tremendous strain due to the trade war initiated by the US against China.

The SCO members also criticized the “unilateral and unrestricted strengthening of global anti-missile systems” and “militarization of information and communication technologies” by NATO and countries in the West, claiming that it would jeopardize global security and stability.

Central Asia Is The Core Region

The SCO members identified Central Asia as the “core region” of the group’s activities and vowed to find solutions to issues affecting the region as early as possible. It noted that the Afghan issue is “one of the most important factors in maintaining and consolidating security and stability in the SCO region.”

Most of the countries, except India, expressed their support for China’s Belt and Road initiative. They also agreed to gradually increase the share of their national currencies in mutual settlements by interested member states as a move towards ending their dependence on the US dollar.

They identified international drug trafficking and terrorism as the other major issues which need joint and concerted efforts by the SCO members.

The New Delhi declaration also emphasized that the SCO countries are working for an early entry into force of “the protocol on security assurances to the agreement on nuclear weapons free zone in Central Asia.”

The declaration also called for the effective implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or the Iran nuclear deal. It vowed to promote cooperation among members in the field of peaceful use of atomic energy.

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