Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, as a special representative of Chinese President Xi Jinping, attends the 21st meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, Sept. 17, 2021. (Kazakhstan's presidential press service/Handout via Xinhua)
DUSHANBE, Sept. 17 (Xinhua) -- The member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) vowed on Friday to further boost cooperation in political, security, economic, cultural and other fields.
In the Dushanbe Declaration released after the 21st Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO, the SCO members laid out the broad consensus they have reached and pledged to continue to work together for regional peace and development.
As the SCO celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, its members noted that the organization has entered a critical phase of development, and that it is necessary for the SCO to deepen and expand internal cooperation while not seeking to build a political-military alliance or a supranational organization of economic integration.
They reaffirmed that it remains one of the SCO's priorities in defending regional peace and stability to crack down on all forms of terrorism, separatism and extremism.
They pointed out that no attempt will be allowed to interfere with other countries' internal affairs in the name of combating terrorism and extremism.
As to the Afghanistan issue, the SCO members agreed that the only solution is to solve regional conflicts through political and diplomatic means on the basis of sticking to widely recognized principles and norms in international law.
They said they support Afghanistan in becoming an independent, neutral, unified, democratic and peaceful country, and in rooting out terrorism, war and drugs.
On economic issues, the SCO members noted that the world economy is still facing multiple challenges, with sustainable and balanced growth held back, and the COVID-19 pandemic and the resurgence of protectionism dimming the global economic prospect.
While highlighting the need to strengthen SCO cooperation in tackling the crises and mitigating their negative impacts, they reiterated that it is important to continue improving the global economic governance system.
They pledged to continue to defend and reinforce the open, transparent, fair, inclusive and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system based on the principles and rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
They also vowed to facilitate the development of an open world economy and oppose unilateral protectionist moves that undermine the multilateral trading system and threaten the world economy.
Meanwhile, they stressed that it is imperative to implement inclusive reforms of the WTO as soon as possible and adapt its development to today's economic situation.
Besides, the SCO members agreed to strengthen cooperation in a variety of other areas, including international information security, defense, culture, education, science and technology, health care, climate change, sports and tourism. Enditem