By Muhammad Zamir Assadi · 2023-07-13 · Source: China Focus
The historic 23rd Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has unanimously delivered an impactful and important message on togetherness and globalization amid the so-called wave of suppression and containment.
Following the unprecedented challenges in the regional and international arena during the chaos and disruptions pushed by the Western protectionist forces, the SCO summit has paved a way of strengthening strategic communication, multilateral cooperation, and coordination.
The SCO summit, widely acknowledged as a symbol of bilateral interest, consultation, equality, and spirit of mutual trust with deepening respect for diversified civilizations, has been addressing the complicated issues faced by the world, including disorder, turmoil, instability, and other unpredictable factors.
In this uncertain situation, the SCO summit has emerged as a beacon of hope for achieving the pursuit of common development based on mutual consultation to steer the world out of the crisis that already causes a turbulent environment.
Attended by member countries that believe in the vision of friendliness and good neighborhood, the SCO summit has laid a solid foundation for maintaining regional and global balance by rejecting the narrative of de-coupling.
The platform has advanced regional, sub-regional and interregionalcooperation that is continuously deepening. Solid steps have been taken to maintain long-term peace and stability regarding the security situation.
Regional security cooperation mechanism of various types established on the platform has expanded the cooperation from nontraditional security areas such as counter-terrorism to cyber security and disaster prevention and relief.
Facing the drastically changing regional situation and intricate security challenges, the SCO member countries need to consider how to embark on a path to build a new type of security in the region for the benefit of all countries, to forge enduring peace for the development and prosperity of the region.
In this evolving situation, a multipronged approach that covers economic, scientific, technological, social, cultural, and security fields is required as the SCO member countries have a long way ahead to achieve enduring peace and common development.
Common security and development mean that every country’s process of achieving durable peace and development should be respected and ensured. The purpose of the SCO is providing a platform to improve people’s livelihood, end unjustified distribution of resources, promote common development, and to make security durable by addressing both the symptoms and root causes of the problems.
The regional and global challenges need immediate attention for solution and this is only possible when the regional countries become self-dependent by pushing back the manipulated growing interests of non-regional countries.
It has been witnessed that the SCO has injected more momentum for securing common development and protection of regional and global peace as it is the fact that peace and development are directly connected.
The narratives presented by the head of states show that they all strongly believe in unity, comprehensive support of inclusive global development and want to inject more energy in it.
In his keynote speech, Chinese President Xi Jinping highlights that the desire of people for a better and prosperous life is a common pursuit of all countries that can be achieved with unity and better understanding as peace, development, cooperation, and win-win situation has become the trend of the times globally.
It has been noted that China is working with all countries at the SCO platform and in the region to explore a new path of dialogue instead of confrontation and partnership instead of alliance.
China upholds the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit, and inclusiveness in its neighborhood diplomacy, seeks friendship and partnership with its neighbors, and works to build a neighborhood of harmony and prosperity.
The accomplishments of the SCO clearly demonstrate that China has played a key role in boosting cooperation and coordination among member countries for common prosperity and security and President Xi’s address exactly narrates the same vision of harnessing harmony for the platform that is open to new members as well.
The inclusion of new member countries in the SCO like Iran shows that openness and inclusiveness is the unique feature of this non-political platform that is ensuring the building of a shared future for mankind.
The joining of Iran in the SCO shows the confidence and tremendous trust of all member countries in the charter of the SCO. The widening of the SCO delivers a clear message that regional integration is the future that has been pushing up the new era of trust and regionalism and the concept of shared destiny and win-win cooperation for the region is ticking up that also values the principles of this platform.
Opening the door of SCO membership to other countries elaborates that the organization has emerged as a center point of attraction for countries looking for cooperation rather than geopolitical conflicts.
The move of welcoming new full members has been raising the substantial value of the SCO as a comprehensive and effective organization that is playing a central role in connectivity, security, and regional development, and in the same process Belarus will be joining the SCO as a full member in 2024.
The development of expanding the SCO platform has opened up new avenues and dynamics of regional convergence that have strengthened the concept of “look to Asia” which is advancing thoughts of acquiring common, comprehensive, and sustainable security based on common understanding.
Muhammad Zamir Assadi is a researcher on diplomacy and a media fellow of the China-South Asia and South East Asia Press Centre.