Press Releases

    16 January 2004

    UN Looks Forward to Working with Shanghai Cooperation Organization to Further Common Goals, Secretary-General Says at Inauguration

    NEW YORK, 15 January (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the message of Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the inauguration ceremony of the secretariat of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, delivered today in Beijing by Geir O. Pedersen, Director for Asia and the Pacific, United Nations Department of Political Affairs:

    I am delighted to convey warm greetings to the distinguished Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the six member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, as well as to your organization’s Secretary-General, at this ceremony marking the inauguration of the SCO secretariat.

    The profound geopolitical changes that took place in Europe and Asia in the early 1990s provided a unique opportunity to strengthen security in Asia in all its dimensions -- political, military, economic and environmental.  And in the past few years, an institutionally strengthened SCO has been evolving into an increasingly important regional security organization. The six Shanghai Cooperation Organization member States have accumulated valuable experience in dialogue and cooperation, developed mutual understanding and strengthened the sense of collective responsibility for a common future in the region.  The establishment of the SCO secretariat is the logical extension of that progress, and the United Nations looks forward to multifaceted cooperation with our new regional partner.

    Over the past decade, some member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization have achieved great economic success and prosperity, while others are working hard to find ways to realize their potential.  For all of you, however, the menaces of terrorism, instability and conflict exist as potential threats to development, prosperity and the advancement of universal human values.  Our work for conflict prevention must therefore aim not merely to postpone violence for a few weeks or months, but to build the foundations of sustainable peace.  This requires a comprehensive prevention strategy, which encompasses a range of instruments, from the political to the diplomatic, from the humanitarian to the developmental.  We look forward to working with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and its secretariat to further these goals.  In that spirit, I wish you a most successful inauguration and an auspicious beginning in your work.

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