Russia is planning to use its year-long SCO Presidency to invite new members, Secretary-General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Dmitry Mezentsev told the MIR 24 Channel.
Trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation has emerged in recent years as one of the SCO's main activity areas, with observer states and dialogue partners being increasingly active in joining. The previous chair, Tajikistan, did a lot to strengthen multilateral cooperation within the SCO.
According to Mr. Mezentsev, the SCO Development Strategy towards 2025 can be regarded as a bid for more influence in the world. "We expect that the Ufa Summit will approve a SCO Development Strategy for 10 years, an important document that will outline stages in the strengthening and development of the organisation. The strategy is not just a document but, in a sense, a bid for a new, larger-scale and more important position in the region, and a new level of influence in international affairs," he said.
Mr. Mezentsev is confident that through its Dushanbe Declaration, the SCO has demonstrated its maturity: "It has provided very balanced, ample and consistent assessments of the situation emerging in the Middle East and threats represented by terrorism, separatism and extremism, illegal drug trafficking, trans-border organised crime and illegal migration."
During its 13-year history, the SCO has consistently implemented the goals enshrined in its 2002 Charter. "This testifies to the SCO's stability and the fact that the resolutions of its summits will be systematically put into practice," Mr. Mezentsev said in conclusion.
Full video version of the interview you can find here (only Russian version)