The participants of a limited attendance meeting focused on ways to promote cooperation in transport, trade, energy, telecommunications, science and technology, emergency prevention and response, and other spheres.
After the meeting, the SCO heads of government gathered for a group photo.
Then Dmitry Medvedev attended the expanded meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of Government.
Dmitry Medvedev's speech at a meeting of SCO prime ministers in expanded format
Mr Chairman and colleagues, we have discussed key aspects of cooperation at the limited format meeting. Now in the expanded format, I would like to present the Russian Federation's vision of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation's role in regional affairs and in the international arena.
The first thing I would like to say is that the current economic situation is difficult, but the SCO member states have generally been able to cope with the most serious phase of the financial crisis – this is due in part to Government – and there have been increases in the main economic growth indicators. Nevertheless, we do not live in a vacuum. The slowdown in the world economy still affects our countries. According to the International Monetary Fund, the growth rate of the global GDP will decline to almost 3% this year, which is why the task of ensuring sustainable development through the cooperation and coordination of our economic policies, as mentioned by my colleagues, comes to the fore in our organisation.
Since the SCO's inception in 2001, its priority is to ensure security and stability, and I will talk about that later. We talked about the need to give new impetus to trade and investment cooperation. I would like to talk again about this matter in the expanded format. The successful resolution of this issue will enable both our partners in the dialogue and the observers to connect to the process more dynamically and there are good opportunities here. Today, a list of measures will be adopted for further development of project activity within the SCO. We are talking about such activities and areas as trade, investment, science, information and communications technology, agriculture, environment and customs. We also expect that our partners are interested in the Russian-Chinese proposal for a system of personal mobile satellite communications, which offers additional opportunities ranging from mobile phone support to distance learning to telemedicine.
The biggest issue for us is transport infrastructure, something our colleagues have spoken about – the creation of a reliable, modern transport and supply chain, which will cut the time involved in transporting goods between our countries. The agreement to establish favourable international road transport conditions is almost ready. I think we should ensure the early signing of this important for our countries document.
Another area and another step in the development of cooperation in the field of transport will be the adoption of a co-ordinated programme for motorway development among the SCO member states. This document has also been agreed upon.
We are also actively supporting the work of the SCO Energy Club, which should be a useful venue for a dialogue between representatives of our governments, academia and businesses. This is also a common international energy security problem.
Creating public-private partnerships will also be a key factor in economic development. I hope that the Business Council, the Interbank Association, and other SCO structures will make a major contribution to this work.
The need was mentioned to ensure funding for project activities. I discussed this at the core meeting, and I will repeat what I said there. We have different options, but it is time to get the work finalised. It is time to coordinate our final position so as to allow us to use the existing loan issuing banking institutions and the opportunities that may arise later. This will make funding economic projects more effective.
There is a good area of humanitarian cooperation. The SCO Network University is working successfully. It comprises 65 universities in the SCO member countries. I hope this area of cooperation will endure. Cooperation in the sanitary and epidemiological sphere is being developed. Russia is organising a meeting of the heads of the services concerned which will take place in Moscow in 2013.
Another important issue is that Russia's members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation's Youth Council have suggested giving young people a young person's card that will ease their travel to other member countries. This is an interesting idea.
I completely agree with everything that was said on international cooperation, which my colleague Wen Jiabao, Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, just spoke of. The SCO region faces major challenges and threats with regards to security – these are the three evils that were mentioned. And we consider this an extremely important area of our cooperation. We welcome observers at the meeting today and fully support the efforts of the Government of Afghanistan in restoring peace and national consensus. We hope that Afghanistan will not only be given assistance bilaterally, but will also join important international projects, including the construction of a gas pipeline, and the CASA-1000 transmission line.
Resolving our tasks effectively and improving the coordination of our activities will boost the potential of our organisation. We prioritise consolidation within the SCO, based on the principles laid out in our charter. A number of related proposals have already been made, which I mentioned at the core meeting.
I'd also like to say that we highly appreciate Wen Jiabao's contribution to the development of our bilateral relations and the entire organisation, and to the strengthening of the friendship and cooperation between our countries. I sincerely thank Mr Wen Jiabao for his collaborative work and wish him the best of health and success. I would also like to thank our colleagues, Mr Muratbek Imanaliyev and others, who also worked on this. And, of course, I wish the new secretary general great success.
And to finish off, I would just like to thank our Kyrgyz friends and personally thank Kyrgyz Prime Minister Zhantoro Satybaldiyev for the hospitality and favourable working conditions we were provided with. Thank you very much!
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a regional organisation established in 2001 by Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Iran, Pakistan, India, Mongolia and Afghanistan have observer status.