MOSCOW, June 7 (Xinhua) -- The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has become an effective tool of ensuring security, stability and sustainable development in the modern system of interstate relations, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov said.
"The key factor in the advance of the SCO is the readiness of the member states to build its activities on the principles of mutual trust, equality, dialogue, respect for interests of each other and for the diversity of civilizations and cultures, or, in short, on what we call the 'Shanghai Spirit' in the organization," he said in a recent interview with Xinhua.
The relevance of this model of cooperation is evidenced by a growing number of countries and international organizations that are striving to participate in the SCO activities, including in the status of an observer or a dialogue partner, he added.
The SCO is a Eurasian political, economic and security organization founded in 2001 with headquarters in Beijing. It currently includes China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan as full members, six observers and six dialogue partners.
India and Pakistan are expected to become full members of the SCO at its forthcoming summit, which is to take place in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Thursday and Friday.
"The importance of this event has yet to be assessed, but it is already clear that the accession of these countries will open additional opportunities for giving a powerful impetus to the development of the SCO format, which will raise it to a qualitatively new position in regional and world affairs," Morgulov said.
According to the diplomat, the summit is expected to adopt a declaration reflecting joint approaches of the member states to further consolidation of the association and to the deepening of the multifaceted cooperation, as well as to various regional and international problems.
Currently, new risks are added to traditional security challenges and threats. Serious concern is caused by the ongoing attempts by some individual states to shake the system of international relations and to impose their own vision of the world agenda, as well as to interfere in the internal affairs of other sovereign states, Morgulov said.
As a result, the tension is increasing and crisis phenomena are accumulating in many regions of the world.
All these represent a breeding ground for the unprecedented intensification of international terrorism that is currently being observed, he said.
In the context of building up anti-terrorist efforts, it is planned that the leaders of the organization will make a special statement on joint combat against international terrorism at the Astana summit, Morgulov said.
The participants are also expected to sign the Convention on Countering Extremism, which aims to make a weighty contribution to the legal framework for international cooperation in this area, and to promote practical cooperation in combating this global threat through competent bodies involving civil society institutions, he said.
"I am convinced that the results of the summit in Astana will make an important contribution to the further development of the SCO and the strengthening of peace and stability in the region," Morgulov said.