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SCO members for concerted effort against cross-border terror

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Bishkek, June 14 (IANS) The SCO on Friday called for closer coordination among the international community over terrorism’s cross-border threat and sought comprehensive measures to intensify efforts against terrorism and its ideology and to eliminate the factors that promote it.

The Bishkek declaration adopted at the conclusion of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meeting, dwelt at length on terrorism, a key concern of India.

The member states – India, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – also expressed concern that the process of economic globalisation is being hindered by “growing unilateral protectionist policies and other challenges in international trade”.

The declaration also said as the modern world continues to change rapidly, the global balance of forces is going through a reconfiguration, primarily due to emergence of new development centres in Asia.

The section pertaining to terrorism reflected India’s concerns.

“The member states believe that increasing challenges and security threats that are becoming cross-border in their nature such as terrorism, the spread of terrorist and extremist ideology, including on the internet, returning foreign terrorist fighters, proliferation of the weapons of mass destruction, the risk of an arms race, unsettled regional and local conflicts undermining the international security system, illicit drug trafficking, organised crime, human trafficking, cybercrime, development imbalances, food market instability, climate change, lack of potable water and the spread of infectious diseases require special attention, close coordination and constructive cooperation of the entire international community,” the declaration said.

Stressing that the member states “condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations”, it called to promote global cooperation in combating it “with the central role of the UN”, especially Security Council resolutions and the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, and in line with the principles of international law.

The SCO members also called for consensus on adopting the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.

Underlining “that acts of terrorism and extremism cannot be justified”, SCO members termed it key to “intensify efforts against terrorism and its ideology, as well as to determine and eliminate the factors and conditions that promote terrorism and extremism”.

They however termed “interfering in other countries’ domestic affairs under the pretext of fighting terrorism and extremism as well as using terrorist, extremist and radical groups to achieve one’s own mercenary ends” as “unacceptable”.

The SCO also marked, as a priority, joint global efforts to “counter the attempts to involve young people in the activities of terrorist, separatist and extremist groups”.

On Afghanistan, they supported the efforts of the government and people of the country aimed at restoring peace, economic development, countering terrorism, extremism and drug crime.

The declaration also sought “consistent strengthening of the multilateral trading system based on the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), and through opposition to the fragmentation of global trade and trade protectionism in all its forms”. “Unilateral protectionist actions” in violation of WTO rules and regulations undermine the multilateral trade system and threaten the world economy and trade, they warned.



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