Prime Minister Vladimir Putin addressed an expanded meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation’s Council of Heads of Government (Prime Ministers)
Vladimir Putin's introductory remarks:
Vladimir Putin: Mr. Chairman,
Like the other colleagues, I would like to thank our hosts for their warm reception and for the organisation of our work.
We are meeting in an extremely involved international situation. The world has entered an important transitional phase highlighted by the creation of a multi-polar financial and economic system. Consequently, the entire multi-polar system of international relations will be strengthened.
New geopolitical relations linked with the strengthening of new centres of economic growth and political influence are shaping before our eyes. We will witness the transformation of global and regional security and development and will also participate in the process. These changes must be adapted to new 21st century realities where stability and prosperity are becoming indivisible concepts. Current problems plaguing the global economy and international financial markets highlight a "tectonic shift" in the structure of international relations, as well as the lop-sided nature of global financial monopolism and the policy of economic egoism.
Russia plans to be a part of modifying the global financial system that would facilitate real worldwide stability, prosperity and progress.
In this situation, collective global administration organisations will have to act as arbiters facilitating the compatibility of economic strategies. Solutions for global problems must now become part of national development strategies. This will require new opinions and approaches and an ability to heed and integrate the interests of all groups of countries. This will guarantee the creation of a more stable, democratic and equitable system of international relations where every state will receive an opportunity to develop in conditions of peace and security.
The current global and regional conditions necessitate the need for enhancing the potential of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and its ability to promptly and adequately react to important developments. This issue was discussed in detail at today's closed-door meeting. I hope all colleagues will agree with the following conclusion: more closely-coordinated actions, including approaches to the development of national economies, are becoming more important today. In order to accomplish these objectives, we must use available cooperation mechanisms and, if necessary, create new ones. There are plans to finalise political-diplomatic measures and joint-reaction mechanisms for coping with situations that threaten regional peace, stability and security. Today, we are approving a modified version of an action plan to implement the trade and economic cooperation programme. This action plan will also be duly amended.
We have charted an entire range of long-term concepts discussed at the closed-door meeting. Emergency-prevention measures are a promising cooperative venue. We have agreed to establish the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation's centre for facilitating joint disaster-prevention efforts and clean-up and relief operations. It is important to hold regular joint exercises involving all rescue units of SCO member-states and to establish close contacts between border-region rescue teams. All of us realize the importance of these problems. On behalf of the Russian Government, I would like to express condolences to our Pakistani colleagues in connection with the loss of life after a major earthquake.
Environmental-protection issues are becoming an important aspect of the global agenda. Owing to geographic, historical and other factors, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation cannot afford to overlook this issue. The first meeting of the heads of national environmental-protection agencies will serve as a good platform for coordinating our approaches and searching for points of contact. We are ready to hold this meeting in Moscow before the year is out; and we expect our partners to take an active part in it.
I believe the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation should facilitate joint work on migration issues. Most importantly, we must obtain the maximum positive social and economic effect from migration. In order to accomplish this, we should create an effective system for countering illegal migration and provide incentives for legal migrants. The creation of an ad hoc working group would facilitate practical cooperation on migration issues. Our earlier meeting considered this and our Tajik delegate had every reason to say that global economic problems could also affect migrants working in foreign countries, including SCO member-states, and that national economic problems would also influence their condition. Naturally, we must be prepared for this, and we must start working toward this now. We must try to prevent any social and economic problems within the context of the current turbulent global financial system. We must tackle this issue in a comprehensive manner, involving migration departments, employers, insurance agencies and other concerned parties. We consider it important to support the SCO Business Alliance's initiative on organising national insurance-company pools and working groups that would draft recommendations on creating an insurance system combining national and regional interests.
The heads of state at the Dushanbe summit have supported the social and economic development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. In economic cooperation, priorities belong to transport, telecommunications and high-technology projects. Together with the business and financial community, we must encourage joint projects in developing ground infrastructure, transcontinental transportation, energy, and modern information technologies. A public-private partnership and joint efforts by an interbank association of the SCO and the Eurasian Development Bank will expand the scope for economic development in the region.
Positive results have been achieved in customs cooperation. A protocol being signed today on an information exchange in energy movement is another step in this direction. When we speak of high technologies, I think it would be timely, bearing in mind the scientific and technical potential and experience of our countries, to examine cooperation in the space effort, in drafting a programme for the practical application of space-based communications, navigation and remote sensing systems. We have good bilateral cooperation with practically all SCO countries in these areas.
In humanitarian cooperation, special attention should be paid to health, and particularly to control infectious diseases and to ensure a favourable sanitary and epidemiological atmosphere in our countries. The threat of new infections is a serious problem for SCO member-countries, and one of the reasons is a growing exchange in people and goods. We are ready to help our partners deal with infectious diseases. Currently, such aid is rendered through ministries and departments, including supplies of equipment, training of personnel, and joint expeditions. The Business Council has helped send groups of doctors and special health trains, and render skilled medical assistance, to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. The SCO University is called upon to become a sort of innovation laboratory, an incubator of personnel for all our countries. This shared project fully reflects the fundamental idea of our organisation: cooperation in the interest of all participants taking part in integration.
Our countries are working together in a new geopolitical, civilisation and cultural context. Access to one another's cultural achievements becomes especially important. I would like to refer to such traditional form of cooperation as cultural festivals of SCO member-countries. The next, sixth meeting, will take place in the summer of 2009, as part of the SCO summit.
Our organisation adheres to the principle of openness. Over recent months first steps have been taken to involve observer countries in the practical efforts of SCO bodies. It is necessary to continue this practice. Implementation of our projects could attract more participants, including international organisations. They have expressed interest. It is important to reach out to them, using the possibilities opening up with the adoption of regulations on an SCO dialogue partner.
Now, Russia holds the presidency of the SCO. We have drawn up and are implementing an extensive programme of measures in this connection. We are depending on your support. Russia's principled strategic policy of active participation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation remains unchanged.