Priorities of Russia’s Presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in 2019-2020

The SCO has been successful in its development efforts and expanding the space of cooperation. A solid legal and regulatory framework and an extensive network of inclusive cooperation mechanisms have been enacted. The SCO has established itself as an influential actor in the current international landscape and is increasingly recognised around the world as a reliable and predictable partner.

At the same time, the build-up of negative global and regional trends requires proactive steps to strengthen SCO’s potential in order to fulfil the interests of its member states in all areas. Against this backdrop and as part of its SCO Presidency in 2019-2020, Russia plans to prioritise the following goals:

– to consolidate SCO member states and promote stronger foreign policy coordination with a view to devising common positions on the key international and regional matters and coming up with joint initiatives;

– to promote the integration of the SCO into the regional network of partner international organisations and associations, share SCO’s practical experience of cooperation on various platforms, including in countering new challenges and threats;

– to launch an inter-parliamentary track within the SCO and organise the first meeting of heads of legislative bodies of SCO member states;

– to strengthen SCO’s leadership in ensuring security and stability and expand the array of tools for countering terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking, including by upgrading and enhancing the functional capability of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS);

– to promote synergies among the national development strategies and multilateral integration projects in order to establish the SCO as one of the foundations for building an inclusive, equal and open Eurasian space;

– to expand economic cooperation, primarily in transport and logistics, infrastructure, science and technology, and innovation;

– to launch inter-regional cooperation mechanisms within the SCO and hold the first Forum of the Heads of Regions from SCO Member States in Russia;

– to facilitate cooperation among small and medium-sized enterprises within the SCO;

– to promote ties among civilisations and common moral and ethical values, and to step up cooperation in education, healthcare, environmental protection, culture, tourism and youth contacts;

– together with SCO partners, to hold large-scale events to mark the 75th anniversary of victory in the Second World War;

– to enhance the SCO’s role in international and regional affairs, and establish a broad partnership for reliable security and sustainable development based on the principles of openness, mutual respect, equality, neighbourly relations and respect for each other’s interests;

– to strengthen coordination among SCO member states within the UN and its specialised bodies based on the shared understanding of the key role played by the UN and its Security Council in maintaining international peace and stability;

– to step up substantive cooperation between the SCO and ASEAN, CSTO, CIS and ECO, including for exchanging experience and devising joint projects and initiatives; to promote contacts with the EAEU;

– to strengthen the SCO’s institutional foundation and further improve its legal and regulatory framework and functioning of its permanent bodies.

In order to ensure that the objectives listed above are effectively implemented, an Action Plan for Russia's SCO Presidency has been drafted and approved. It contains more than 90 items and is designed to promote cooperation among SCO member states in political, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian affairs, as well as on security matters.