Central Asia bloc has important role in ‘peace, stability and prosperity’ beyond region, says Deputy UN chief

UN in China
The UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed (centre) visits Qingdao Port in China

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed addressed the Heads of State summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on Sunday, stressing that the organization’s impact in the political, economic and security realm, extends well beyond the large Eurasian region that its members represent.

Noting that the SCO represents “more than half of humanity,” Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said the eight-nation bloc is assuming even greater importance whose “expanded range of activities will have implications for peace, stability, and prosperity across the region and far beyond.”

“You are playing a growing role in shaping the global agenda, based on cooperation and dialogue,” Ms. Mohammed told the group in Qingdao, China.

The “Shanghai 5” was established in 1996 to cement peaceful cross-border relations between Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Russia and Tajikistan. It has since metamorphosed into the SCO, which now includes Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.

“The world needs a recommitment to multilateralism, and we need it now,” Ms. Mohammed stressed.

“Regional and international threats to security and stability, from transnational crime to climate change to violent extremism and terrorism, cannot be resolved by any one country alone,” she added.

The deputy UN chief called the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SCO’s Development Strategy 2025 “our blueprints for joint action.”

She flagged last year’s SCO joint communique as underscoring the 2030 Agenda’s implementation and as an important step toward strengthening cooperation in mutual sectors.

“Your joint commitment to support the promotion of innovative technology; to sharing experiences in the formulation and implementation of national development strategies, as well as to working together towards the creation of a favourable investment and business climate are crucial and we are here to support you in those endeavours,” Ms. Mohammed said.

“To ensure a fair globalization, we must ensure nations are able to have the necessary domestic resources and capacities to steer their economies and development agendas towards our common goals as outlined by the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Agreement,” she added.

The Deputy Secretary-General commended the bloc’s commitment to counter regional threats and its revitalization of the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group as a strong contribution to support the Afghan-led peace process.

Turning to cross-border cooperation, she hailed China’s Belt and Road initiative as “promoting connectivity, economic prosperity and diplomatic ties across the region.”

“The UN continues to support stronger collaboration between developing countries by catalyzing, brokering and facilitating South-South cooperation across many spheres,” she asserted.

Ms. Mohammed noted that UN-SCO relations, based on the 2010 Joint Declaration, “provide a solid foundation for future cooperation to benefit of people of this region and the world.”

“Let us take every opportunity, starting with the first-ever UN Conference of Heads of Counter-Terrorism Agencies later this month, to build and strengthen our partnership and cooperation at the global, regional and local level,” she said.

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