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Group playing vital role in ensuringดูสดpptv security, stability

int'l cities | ดูสดpptv | Updated: 2024-07-19 19:06:13

The world in which we live today is not becoming any safer. The ongoing conflicts in Ukraine, the Gaza Strip and the Red Sea, as well as tensions in the South China Sea, South Caucasus and the Korean Peninsula, are not helping to bring peace and stability to humanity. With major powers in acute confrontation, the conflict resolution mechanisms of the United Nations have become less effective. United States-led military alliances like NATO and the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue are pursuing aggressive policies that threaten the security of many other countries. In addition to these foreign policy threats, there are specific regional issues related to international and domestic terrorism, separatism and religious extremism.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization plays a crucial role in ensuring security in the Eurasian continent and beyond, particularly in the face of the rapidly changing global geopolitical landscape. As one of the largest regional organizations in the world, the SCO's nine members — China, India, Russia, Pakistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan — are at the forefront of addressing and tackling these pressing issues.

The SCO's proactive efforts, a beacon of hope in these turbulent times, underscore its adaptability and relevance in the current global security scenario, instilling confidence in its ability to respond to changing global security scenarios.

After the meeting of SCO foreign ministers on May 21, it became evident that the summit in Astana on July 3 and 4 will address a few critical issues. Firstly, there will be a specific emphasis on security matters, particularly the efforts to combat terrorism, separatism and religious extremism, collectively referred to as the "three forces of evil". Particular attention will be paid to fighting terrorism and maintaining stability in member countries. Recent events, such as the terrorist attack at the Crocus City Hall concert venue near Moscow on March 22 and the attack by Islamic militants on Orthodox churches, synagogues and police officers in Dagestan's Makhachkala and Derbent on June 23, have underscored the significance of these issues.

In March this year, a suicide bomber killed five Chinese workers of the Dasu hydropower project in Pakistan. Pakistan has urged the SCO to reestablish the Afghanistan Contact Group as a means of collaborating on security and humanitarian matters in Afghanistan. This suggests that Pakistan believes the measures taken by the Taliban government against terrorist groups are currently inadequate. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi stressed that recent attacks in Russia and Pakistan show there is "still a long way to go" in the fight against terrorism.

Furthermore, the upcoming summit will focus on the expansion of the organization. The ministers in attendance have agreed on a procedure for Belarus' admission to the SCO, underscoring the organization's commitment to inclusiveness and collaboration. Currently, the SCO has three observer states: Afghanistan, Belarus and Mongolia. With Belarus likely to be accepted as a full member and Afghanistan and Mongolia in line for membership, the organization's future looks promising. The SCO also has 14 dialogue partners that may become full members. This group includes several Arab states such as Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as other countries from the Eurasian continent, such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkiye.

It is also evident that the summit will address broader cooperation issues between individual member countries and the entire organization with Afghanistan, which is surrounded by SCO member countries and maintains good relations with all of them. In a problematic situation where most countries do not recognize their government, Afghanistan needs the support of its neighbors, and it seems that it will be provided.

When asked about Russia's support for Afghanistan's candidacy to join SCO, Russia's special representative for Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, expressed optimism. However, he outlined a crucial condition, stating that Afghanistan's economy must be stabilized for the rest of the SCO members to consider its entry expedient. This condition sets the stage for a potentially significant development. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in a separate statement, also mentioned that the initiative to exclude the Taliban from the list of terrorist organizations possibly "reflects the current objective reality". Foreign Minister Wang Yi also stated that the SCO should maintain constant interaction with Afghanistan and lead it to "good neighborliness".

Under Kazakhstan's presidency, the SCO has made significant strides in addressing global security concerns. The 2024 Year of the Environment saw the successful organizing of over 180 events focusing on the economy, investment, transportation, culture, humanitarian efforts and environmental aspects. These well-organized events, which received high praise from SCO Secretary-General Zhang Ming, have bolstered confidence in the organization's capabilities and underscored its progress. Additional evidence of the organization's growing authority is the fact that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres confirmed his participation in the summit.

The SCO's growing influence highlights Central Asia's increasing importance in the global arena. Central Asia serves as the group's hub, bringing together various partners into a unified entity. The constructive and nonaligned nature of the SCO has led to the amplification of the role and potential of middle powers, such as the Central Asian countries, on the global stage. Consequently, it is unsurprising that countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar are expressing interest in collaborating with the SCO, recognizing it as a favorable platform for dialogue and an emerging center of power. The stability, absence of double standards, adherence to the principles of international law and cultural diversity make the SCO attractive to many countries in the Global South.

The author is a former prime minister of the Kyrgyz Republic and a distinguished professor at the Belt and Road School at Beijing Normal University.

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