Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in Qingdao

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Belarus is ready to contribute to expanding cooperation in Greater Eurasia, Belarus’ President Aleksandr Lukashenko said at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in Qingdao on 10 June.

The Belarusian head of state noted that against the backdrop of ongoing global geopolitical and economic transformations, disagreements between states are getting increasingly tense. Uncertainty has become a new ‘normality’.

“Hostility and confrontation lead to the escalation of tensions; serious conflicts may emerge leading to unpredictable consequences. Against this backdrop, Belarus sees in the SCO an organization that should make a considerable contribution to maintaining multilateral security, protecting international rules and regulations, and ensuring the supremacy of common sense in interstate relations,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The President noted that the new waves of protectionism in global trade directly or indirectly affect virtually all the countries participating in the SCO Summit. This situation threatens to push countries into trade wars.

“Therefore it is absolutely relevant to adopt joint measures in order to strengthen the global trade system by taking advantage of the economic opportunities offered by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization,” the Belarusian leader added.

The Belarusian head of state underlined that it is practical economic cooperation of the SCO member states with observer states and dialogue partners, as well as effective use of their transit and logistic capacities that can drive the development of the organization.

“Moving towards this goal, within the framework of the joint action plan, we have already made the first step towards synchronizing national development strategies and aligning the EAEU with the Belt and Road Initiative. Being an initiator and strong supporter of the integration of integrations idea, Belarus is ready to help identify new areas of common interest and expand cooperation in Greater Eurasia,” the President noted.

Aleksandr Lukashenko cited an example of the China-Belarus Industrial Park Great Stone in Belarus. It is for a reason that this project is hailed as the gem of the Silk Road.

Successful development of the park garners increasing attention of foreign companies from around the world, in particular, from the European Union.

“Belarus has a traditionally strong and efficient agricultural sector, high-technology manufacturing and agricultural machinery industry. We suggest tapping into the opportunities these sectors offer to boost food security of the SCO,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

He drew attention to the fact that after India and Pakistan joined the organization in 2017, its area expanded to cover nearly a quarter of the land with nearly half of the world’s population. In these conditions, adequate food supplies are crucial for the SCO’s development and for maintaining security in this huge region, the President underlined.

“China’s President, President Putin, all the attending heads of state said everything right about security and about stability of our organization. However, it will never exist if people are poorly fed and clad,” the Belarusian leader noted.

Aleksandr Lukashenko suggested arranging a specialized exposition AgroSCO at the Belagro international agricultural forum that is held in Minsk every year. He invited all the SCO friends and partners to take part in this expo in 2019.

The President noted that today’s technological development pace offers new opportunities, but also poses challenges and threats. No state can afford closing or banning something in this field.

“I suggest considering the development of a common electronic platform, let us say, SCO’s IT ecosystem that will incorporate the possibilities of electronic mass media, social networks, e-trade and many more,” the head of state said.

In his words, this will help boost cooperation and increase competitiveness of national economies against the backdrop of globalization. “This will also help us maintain security in our countries,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

“Belarus totally supports control over peaceful use of nuclear energy and equitable and mutually beneficial cooperation while using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes as it is envisaged in the Astana Declaration of the SCO Heads of State,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The President believes that further cooperation in boosting nuclear security, peaceful uses of nuclear energy and research in this field can become one of the areas of considerable mutual interest for the SCO states.

“The organizational level and the form of our today’s work can serve as an example for all international organizations suggesting that one should work instead of making the rounds from hall to hall forgetting about the need to listen to each other,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The President reviewed the results of China’s presidency in the SCO that is coming to an end this year. Aleksandr Lukashenko believes that it was of historic importance. “As China came forward with its Community of Common Destiny concept for all the states, it has made a considerable contribution to overcoming new challenges and threats and making the world a safer and more prosperous place,” the Belarusian head of state noted.

In conclusion he wished success to Kyrgyzstan that will assume presidency in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.