18 December 2017
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AMBASSADOR'S ARTICLES

03.08.2015

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization Ufa summit: a major step forward (by Ambassador Yakovenko, for RT)

The SCO summit just held in Ufa, Russia, marked a major step forward in the development of this regional forum. For the first time in its 15-year history the decision was made to increase the number of members. The process of the accession of India and Pakistan was formally launched. It was decided to upgrade the status of Belarus to that of an observer. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia and Nepal have become SCO dialogue partners. Several more states have expressed willingness to join as observers and dialogue partners. The geography is rather impressive - from South and Southeast Asia to the Middle East and Eastern Europe. As a result of the summit, the SCO's capabilities to react to modern threats and challenges and to find regional solutions to regional problems, will grow. The organisation's political and economic potential will be significantly enhanced.

The summit adopted the SCO Development Strategy that outlines the priority areas until 2025. These include all major areas of cooperation - from creating conditions to boost cooperation in trade and economy to ensuring regional stability and prompt responses to conflicts and crises. The strategy envisages strengthening the SCO as an efficient Asia-wide organization capable of countering regional security challenges, ensuring trade, economic and investment interaction, joint projects for sustainable development, expansion of cultural and humanitarian ties, including in the areas of science and technology, health, environment and education.

This cooperation is fully voluntary and preserves the independence and sovereignty of all participants: the organization does not provide for a formation of a military-political union or an economic integration organization with supranational institutions.

The Ufa Declaration describes joint approaches to the most relevant international and regional problems and gives an assessment of the organisation's day-to-day activities. The SCO members had an in-depth discussion on the situation in Afghanistan. They noted that ISIS had stepped up its activities and spread its tentacles to that country, which increases the security threats on the southern borders of the Organisation.

The SCO members expressed deep concern over the growing threats of terrorism and extremism, illegal drug trafficking and other forms of transnational organized crime and called for a build-up of international efforts combating these global challenges and threats. The Programme of Cooperation in the Fight Against Terrorism and Separatism for 2016-2018 was adopted to tackle these issues.

The SCO member-states emphasized the importance of the 70th Anniversary of the Victory over Nazism in World War II and the creation of the United Nations for drawing lessons from history and uniting all states in the cause of ensuring a safe life and human dignity for all. It is vital to maintain the existing mechanisms of global governance, first of all the central role of the United Nations and its Security Council. That is all the more important as the principles of common and indivisible security and mutually beneficial and equal cooperation gain prominence in contemporary stage of international relations. The process of reshaping the old geopolitical order is accompanied by growing instability both on global and regional levels as well as expansion of conflict hotbeds. All that makes SCO a key element of a new security and cooperation architecture that is developing in the region.




LATEST EVENTS

29.11.2017 - Afghan opium production jumps to record level (by Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko for RT)

According to the latest Afghanistan Opium Survey released by the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in 2017 opium production in Afghanistan increased by 87 per cent to a record level of 9,000 metric tons. The area under opium poppy cultivation also grew by 63 per cent to its highest level of 328,000 hectares. Afghanistan is the world's top cultivator of the poppy from which opium and heroin are produced. The 2017 record levels of opium production and poppy cultivation create multiple challenges for the country, its neighbours and many other countries that serve as a transit for or a destination of Afghan opiates. The significant levels of opium poppy cultivation and illicit trafficking of opiates fuel instability, insurgency and increase funding to terrorist groups in Afghanistan.


19.10.2017 - Why to fight with memorials (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The campaign in Poland against World War II memorials to Soviet officers and soldiers, who had liberated the country from the Nazi occupation, is gaining momentum. Warsaw has created a legal framework allowing the disposal of Soviet/Russian memorial objects or taking them out of public sight, including the most widespread monuments of gratitude to the Red Army. Why?


18.10.2017 - Syria: collective humanitarian efforts, not sanctions, are needed more than ever (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The situation in Syria is undergoing serious transformation. Due to the de-escalation process, it has now become possible to drastically reduce the level of violence, to improve the humanitarian situation as well as to fight terrorists more efficiently. The ISIS-controlled territory is shrinking. On 14-15 September, at the international meeting in Astana all four de-escalation zones were finalized.


05.10.2017 - What You Have to Know about Status of Crimea (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The coup d’état in Kiev in February 2014 backed by the West tore up the constitutional space in Ukraine. The legitimate President of the country was overthrown. It was marked by a severe lack of democracy and violence that posed a direct threat to the well-being of Russian-speaking population of Crimea. Citizens of Crimea faced the choice of becoming an oppressed minority or severing their ties with the hostile regime to secure a future for themselves and their children. The decision to hold a referendum was made by legitimate local authorities. The independence of Crimea was proclaimed and an appeal to enter the Russian Federation was made based on the indisputable results of the popular vote. Standards of international law were fully observed as the right of nations to self-determination enshrined in the UN Charter was exercised freely by the Crimeans. Crimea was recognized as an independent and sovereign state by Russia and on 18 March 2014 in Moscow the two countries signed a Treaty of Unification, under which the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol became two new regions - subjects of the Russian Federation.


05.10.2017 - NATO increased military presence in Europe: road to nowhere (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

As part of the implementation of the conclusions of the NATO Summit in Warsaw, four multinational battlegroups have been deployed in Poland, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia with the total number of troops exceeding 4500. The idea of creating similar rotating units in Bulgaria and Romania in 2018 is being widely discussed by NATO members. If put together, these battlegroups amount to a motorized infantry brigade with heavy weapons.


30.09.2017 - Russia’s initiative on protecting SMM OSCE in South-East of Ukraine (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

On 5th September, at the 9th BRICS Summit in Xiamen President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin has announced an initiative to establish the United Nations Mission on Support in Protecting the Special Monitoring Mission (SMM) OSCE in the South-East of Ukraine.


25.09.2017 - Eurasian Economic Union today (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Though hardly noticeable in the Western media, the Eurasian economic cooperation is booming, with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) becoming an increasingly effective integration project. The unique format of enhanced economic coordination along with the EAEU member states’ retained political sovereignty and cultural identity is proving itself.


25.09.2017 - On Russia's assistance to Central Asia (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

Russia attaches great importance to the issue of sustainable development as it is underlined by the UN. Among our priorities in this area is the development of Central Asia. We contribute to the development of this region on a regular basis, regardless of the global economic crisis and its negative effect on Russia’s economy. In today’s world, international aid is often politically motivated and aimed at exerting one’s influence. Russia has a different approach.


25.09.2017 - IX BRICS Summit – turning into a global organisation (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

The 9th BRICS summit in Xiamen, China, has emphasized the proximity of positions of the member states on the current global problems. It demonstrated that over the last 10 years BRICS has grown into a full-fledged international mechanism for global cooperation.


08.09.2017 - SCO sets standards for countering extremism (by Ambassador Yakovenko for RT)

In June 2017, the leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) signed the SCO Convention on Countering Extremism, which will help strengthen the international legal framework to address new challenges and threats as well as increase the effectiveness of cooperation between relevant authorities of the member states and to improve legislation in this area.



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