'Shanghai Summit Aims to End the Unipolar World': Anticipates More New Member States

The initiative "Global unity for just peace, harmony and development" was adopted at the summit, which defines the organization's intention to create conditions for strengthening international security

by Sededin Dedovic
'Shanghai Summit Aims to End the Unipolar World': Anticipates More New Member States
© Firstpost / Youtube channel

In the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana, the 24th summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) concluded on Thursday with the signing of a declaration outlining the main directions for the organization's development and the cooperation of its members.

At the summit, an initiative called “Global Unity for Just Peace, Harmony, and Development” was adopted, defining the organization's intention to create conditions for strengthening international security and order, and inviting countries worldwide to join.

In the final declaration, member states emphasized that they would not participate in any decisions aimed at interfering in the internal affairs of other states or those that are contrary to international law. They committed to taking measures to prevent any activities that contradict the principles of state sovereignty and territorial integrity, writes Al Jazeera.

Multipolar World

The final declaration highlighted the need to increase the influence of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as one of the main associations in a multipolar world, by taking necessary measures to eliminate the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism and extremism, and by increasing joint efforts to prevent the spread of extremist ideologies, all forms of religious fanaticism, xenophobia, aggressive nationalism, and ethnic discrimination.

The declaration called for comprehensive reform of the United Nations to ensure the representation of developing countries and opposed unilateral sanctions and trade restrictions that undermine the multilateral trading system.

On the topic of the “Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” the statement expressed concern over the escalation of the conflict, strongly condemning actions that led to numerous civilian casualties and a catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.

A missile strikes behind a minaret in Gaza© Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

It warned that the unilateral strengthening of the global missile defense system by some countries negatively affects international security, advocating for a world without weapons, and emphasized the need for a legally binding international instrument to prevent an arms race.

The statement expressed the SCO's readiness to support international efforts to ensure peace and development in Afghanistan, the importance of implementing the action plan on the Iranian nuclear program, and joint efforts to prevent the risks of using artificial intelligence to continuously improve the safety, reliability, and fairness of these technologies.

New Members and Bilateral Meetings

Among the significant events witnessed by the summit was the approval of Belarus’s accession to the organization, increasing the number of members to ten. On the sidelines of the summit, Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani discussed the situation in Gaza with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in addition to ways to strengthen bilateral relations.

Putin extended an invitation to Emir Tamim to visit Russia. Qatar is considered a “dialogue partner” in the organization, along with Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka.

Alexander Konkov, an associate professor at the Department of Political Science of the Russian State Financial University, stated that the SCO has enormous potential for development and more countries are showing interest in joining.

He added in an interview with Al Jazeera Net that the SCO's ability to allow countries to overlook some of their bilateral contradictions in favor of real common interests and ideas about the future makes this organization very promising in current circumstances.

In this context, he referred to the “wave of enthusiasm” triggered by the simultaneous accession of India and Pakistan to the organization in 2017, two countries with complex mutual relations.

Ambitious Goal

Konkov believes that the summit demonstrated that the SCO is strengthening its position economically, besides gathering more participants within Eurasia, and has become a counterbalance to Western organizations, as Russia, as the driving force, has made efforts to build multilateral dialogue among the organization's participants, which, according to him, has debunked the myth of Moscow's international isolation.

On the other hand, political analyst Sergei Bersanov noted that the summit achieved a qualitative leap in consolidating Russia's "eastward" orientation and showed that the ambitious goal of changing the Western-dominated world order is achievable and should continue to be pursued.

In his opinion, the accession of Belarus to the organization as a new member represents a victory for Russia and personally for President Putin, who promoted the initiative for Minsk's accession. He described the Astana Declaration as an “important document” that will be studied in Western research centers, as it indicates that Central Asia will become the base of the SCO, from where the “rays of a multipolar world order” will spread, strengthening a new pole that the West will eventually have to consider.

He concluded by highlighting the importance of the point mentioned in the statement regarding the need for United Nations reform, explaining that it indicates the seriousness of discussions both in the West and in the Eurasian space about the need to expand the list of permanent members of the UN Security Council.

Source: Reuters, AFP