The participation of the South Ossetian delegation at the Sochi International Forum of the SCO has resulted in the expansion of international relations of South Ossetia

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The participation of the South Ossetian delegation at the Sochi International Forum of the SCO has resulted in the expansion of international relations of South Ossetia 25.04.2016 18:26

The Delegation of South Ossetia, led by the Speaker of Parliament, Anatoly Bibilov, took part in the International Forum “On the second track. The role of civil society and public diplomacy in the further development and expansion of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization” held on April 19-20 in Sochi.

At the initiative of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation and the Institute of the CIS countries in the southern capital of Russia gathered more than 300 participants - representatives of member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization observer countries, SCO partner countries in dialogue and promising for the organization of 26 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa - Nepal, Pakistan, Syria, Sri Lanka, China, Mongolia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Iran, India, Israel, Indonesia, Egypt, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Laos, Russia, and others. Among them were the first representatives of South Ossetia. The Organizing Committee of the Forum, as part of which was the first RSO Ambassador to Russia, the head of the Caucasus Department of the CIS Institute, Dmitry Medoev, provided all the necessary conditions for fruitful work of such a representative international event.

The two-day work of the Forum began with a plenary meeting to consider the major challenges facing the organization in the context of growing international tensions and the further expansion of the SCO due to the admission of new members - India and Pakistan, and eventually Iran.

Executive Secretary of the Forum and moderator, head of the working group of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation in the Eurasian integration and the development of the SCO, the director of the CIS Institute Konstantin Zatulin, read the address by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov to the participants. In addition, Konstantin Zatulin noted that the event is held for the first time on such a scale and international representation.

“I want to express my respect for the representatives present and satisfaction that we have gathered today in such numbers - more than 300 people. We have never conducted such a representative international forums, with the target - not only on “how to live well”, but also how to develop a specific organization, which unites already today in fact more than half the globe. Nowadays competition is becoming tougher in the world, the United States is in a hurry - the creation of New Zealand was recently announced, the Europeans are “arm-twisted” so that Trans-Pacific community would be created- all this seems to be economic unions, but behind them there are, as we know, not only economic interests. This is done to ensure that transnational corporations, mostly American, have absolutely free space for the realization of their plans and ideas, profit, etc. the United States does not want to see Russia and China there. We cannot ignore this challenge”- said Konstantin Zatulin.

The participants of the Forum were greeted by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation Igor Morgulov, deputy governor of Krasnodar region Yuri Burlachko and Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov.

Then with the reports on the development and prospects of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization were presented by the Russian Presidential Adviser Sergei Glazyev, director of the Institute of Russia, Eastern Europe and Central Asia of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Yongquan Li (China), Senator, Member of the Committee on Defense, Military industry, Human Rights and Federal education, president of the Center for the study of Pakistan and the Persian Gulf countries Sehar Kamran (Pakistan), director of the Center for East Asian and SCO MGIMO Alexander Lukin, deputy chairman of the national part of the SCO Business Council of the Russian Federation Azat Fazlyev, head of the research program in the field of energy and an expert in Asian affairs of the Center for Political and Strategic Studies in Egypt Ahmed Mohamed Kandil.

According to Sergei Glazyev, the expansion and growth of the influence of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization plays an important role in the response to the current geopolitical challenges. According to him, regional cooperation on the basis of the SCO could become an alternative center of power, opposing American hegemony and the unipolar world order. Based on equality and respect for the national interests of the member-states of the Eurasian integration, SCO differs favorably from the economic and military blocs, created by the United States and NATO countries, as does not involve the introduction of the country’s external control, the abolition of the national currency and the subordination of the interests of citizens interests of a particular economic or political union.

Li Yongquan, in turn, spoke about the dynamics of relations between Russia and China, and the strategic importance of the SCO organization. During his speech classical thesis were voiced about the benefits of the SCO and the desire to develop relationships within this community. Li Yongquan also remembered that it all began with the Shanghai Five, and the resumption of productive dialogue between Russia and China. The cooperation of these two great powers Li Yongquan called an example of how to resolve disputed issues, including the fact that the decision regards cross-border conflicts. SCO, in his view, could become a platform for resolving such issues. The representative of China expressed the view that before joining the SCO Pakistan and India need to resolve the contradictions. According to him, the actions of Turkey, which once sought to cooperate with the SCO and then hit a Russian bomber, show what can cause conflicts between the SCO member states.

Sehar Kamran in her speech emphasized the positive effects of the entry of Pakistan into the SCO. Sehar expressed the hope that the SCO has a chance to grow even more than the EU, referring to the positive experience of European integration. She expressed Pakistan’s ability to become an important transit transport and energy “corridor” of the new integration association for easier access of Eurasian partners to the Asia region. The representative of Pakistan stressed that the SCO will get in the face of her country’s reliable ally, which could be the key to increased influence in the region and partner of the SCO in solving the most acute problems: terrorism, extremism and cross-border drug trafficking. To guarantee a positive experience she called Islamabad’s membership in other international organizations related to cooperation with China. According to her, full membership in the SCO will allow Pakistan to participate in the many useful programs, but also help to resolve the conflict with India.

Alexander Lukin, in turn, noted the need for the further development of the SCO organization to comply with the formula, according to which “the SCO = security + economy + culture and education”. According to him, the issues of economic cooperation within the SCO should be paid with greater attention. At the end of his speech, Alexander Lukin touched prospects for the adoption of the Organization of Iran, from which sanctions were lifted.

The representative of Egypt Kader Farid focused on counter-terrorism issues, appealing to the experience of Egypt. According to him, the UN should pay more attention to this problem, and to take appropriate coordinated measures, including cutting off all the way the financing of terrorism in the world.

After the plenary session work of the Forum sections began.

Work of the first section dealt with such important topics as: - "The world order, security and the fight against terrorism”. The second section discussed issues of economy and entrepreneurship, as well as the ecology and conservation of the environment. Forum participants, who took part in the third section, spoke about the interaction between cultures and religions, as well as the theme of education and science in the countries of the SCO and the Eurasian space as a whole.

For two days in the format of the three sections 300 participants of the Forum discussed the current problems and prospects of development of the SCO, making analysis of the situation and the elaboration of expert assessments and recommendations, based on which the work will continue, including political and diplomatic structures. There were heard more than 120 expert reports on the world order, security and counter-terrorism, economy and entrepreneurship, the environment and the preservation of the environment, education and science, the interaction of cultures and religions. Forum is actually a platform for exchange of views between representatives of the expert community, businesses and institutions, scientific and public organizations from 26 countries.

The result of two-day work of politicians and public figures from 26 countries was the signing of “Sochi Declaration”. The exact dates of the next forum in Sochi are not fixed yet, but according to its initiator, Konstantin Zatulin, the Sochi area will now work on a regular basis. The final declaration noted that the cooperation within the SCO framework is aimed at preserving peace in the region, ensuring the Eurasia economic growth and the preservation of traditional cultures.

Important results were achieved by participating of the South Ossetian delegation in the Forum. For two days, the head of the delegation, the Speaker of the Parliament of South Ossetia Anatoly Bibilov held on the sidelines of the Forum series of meetings with representatives of a number of CIS countries, Asia and the Middle East. During the conversations opinions on regional security were exchanged. Speaker of the Parliament of South Ossetia emphasized the role of Russia as a factor of stability in the Eurasian region, particularly in the Caucasus region. According to Anatoly Bibilov, Russia is consistently fulfilling peacekeeping functions in the Caucasus and in Syria and elsewhere, holding back the expansion of international terrorism and attempts to force redistribution of the world. The head of the supreme legislative body of South Ossetia and the Republic designated position on a number of topical issues of the international agenda.

Besides, Anatoly Bibilov in a meeting with the representatives of Abkhazia, in particular with the famous Abkhaz politician and diplomat, leader of the party “United Abkhazia”, the deputy of the Parliament of the Republic of Abkhazia Sergey Shamba has discussed the possibility of expanding inter-parliamentary and inter-party cooperation between the two friendly republics. Sergei Shamba, on his side expressed readiness to intensify contacts with the party “United Ossetia”, including through the youth branches of the two parties.

Thus, the South Ossetian delegation’s participation in the Forum has led to the expansion of international relations and the establishment of contacts with representatives of the diplomatic circles and expert community of a number of states.