SCO speeding up establishment of special account

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is to speed up the establishment of a special account and development bank so as to enhance members' ability to cope with new threats and challenges, reported Xinhua.

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi made the announcement at a press briefing on Friday after meeting with counterparts from the other five SCO members -- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

Yang said the foreign ministers agreed to improve the organization's capability in crisis warning and emergency management, so to maintain their countries' sovereignty and security interests.

The member countries should also deal with the impact of issues including finance, energy and food safety, according to Yang.

He said the foreign ministers agreed that the SCO should continue to deepen relations with its observers and dialogue partners, as well as friendly organizations such as the United Nations (UN).

The SCO will attach importance to some countries' wishes to obtain legitimate status in the SCO and make some preparations in this regard, he vowed.

China's foreign minister said the SCO members will pay attention to the situation in Afghanistan, West Asia and North Africa. They will continue to play a constructive role to promote peaceful reconstruction of Afghanistan, appeal for adherence to the principles of the UN Charter and international laws, respect the choices of countries and peoples in the region, and maintain peace, stability, prosperity and progress.

Yang said the next decade is a key period for the development of the SCO. All member countries agreed to submit a completed strategic plan on the organization's medium-term development to the SCO summit to approve.

According Yang, this upcoming summit, scheduled to be held in Beijing in June, will witness the signing of several cooperation deals in areas including politics, security, economy and culture.

He said the member countries will also strengthen the construction of the SCO standing institutions. On Friday afternoon, the foreign ministers will unveil a new building for the SCO Secretariat.

Yang added the SCO is one of the priorities of China's foreign policy. The Chinese side will make joint efforts with other SCO members to make the organization an effective platform for regional cooperation, as well as a strong link for long-lasting friendship among all members.

The meeting of the SCO foreign ministers opened on Friday morning in Beijing to review and discuss cooperation among all SCO members, formulate further measures and suggestions, and prepare for the June summit.

Observers of the SCO include Mongolia, Pakistan, Iran and India. Its dialogue partners are Belarus and Sri Lanka.