UN chief says SCO a leading player in regional diplomacy


  United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a leading player in regional diplomacy.

  Noting that the SCO represents the largest combined population of any regional grouping in the world with over 3 billion women and men, the UN chief told the second high-level special event "UN-Shanghai Cooperation Organization: Cooperation Aimed at Strengthening Peace, Security and Stability" that the SCO is very important in promoting multilateralism and fostering cooperation to address the most pressing peace and security issues in Eurasia.

  "Member and observer states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization make important contributions to the United Nations, including to our peacekeeping operations which are a concrete demonstration of global solidarity," the secretary-general said.

  "The world is changing in rapid and profound ways. Transnational challenges and threats including climate change, terrorism and violent extremism, and the trafficking of people, drugs and weapons require immediate, creative, coordinated solutions," he said, noting that the SCO is "a vital partner of the United Nations."

  "Our partnership contributes to peace and stability in Central Asia, including in counterterrorism and the prevention of violent extremism," the secretary-general noted.

  "I also look forward to the engagement of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in the implementation of the third phase of the Joint Plan of Action for Central Asia, which aims to operationalize the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in the region," the UN chief added.

  Noting that the cooperation between the UN and the SCO "goes far beyond counter-terrorism," the UN chief particularly commended the support provided by the SCO through its revitalized Contact Group to advance security and stability in Afghanistan.

  "The United Nations is committed to work closely with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization towards a stable and prosperous Eurasia region where people can enjoy peace, sustainable development and respect for human rights - the fundamental values that led to the development of the United Nations," the UN chief said.