SCO resolves to tackle spread of terrorism, disrupt terror financing

The top leaders of SCO resolved to check spread of terrorism and disrupt terror financing while coming down hard on states using extremist groups to advance their political and geopolitical goals

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Press Trust of India New Delhi

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The top leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on Tuesday resolved to check spread of terrorism and disrupt terror financing while coming down hard on states using terrorist and extremist groups to advance their political and geopolitical goals.
A declaration issued at the conclusion of the virtual SCO Summit hosted by India said the member states will eliminate "sleeper cells" and terrorist safe havens, and counter the radicalisation of youth and dissemination of terrorist ideology.
The SCO states, subject to their national laws, also agreed to develop common principles and approaches to form a unified list of terrorist, separatist and extremist organisations whose activities are prohibited on the territories of the member nations of the grouping, it added.
The declaration said the SCO leaders reaffirmed their commitment to peaceful settlement of disagreements and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultations.
The leaders also came out with a separate statement on countering radicalisation that reiterated that any act of terrorism is criminal and unjustifiable.
It said the leaders emphasised the "inadmissibility of states using terrorist, separatist and extremist groups and their accomplices to implement particular political and geopolitical goals."

In his opening remarks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the grouping must not hesitate to criticise countries supporting cross-border terrorism as an instrument of state policy and there must not be any "double standards" in combating terrorist activities.
The summit, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was joined by Chinese President Xi Jinping, his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif and other leaders of the grouping.
At a media briefing, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said India has been strongly highlighting the threat of terrorism including cross-border terrorism.
The New Delhi Declaration said the member states are determined to continue taking active measures to "eliminate the conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, to disrupt the terror financing channels, to suppress recruitment activities and cross-border movement of terrorists."

It said the member states note the "inadmissibility of interference in the internal affairs of states under the pretext of countering terrorism and extremism, as well as unacceptability of using terrorist, extremist and radical groups for mercenary goals."

"The member states consider it important to build up joint coordinated efforts by the international community to counter the attempts to involve young people in the activities of terrorist, separatist and extremist groups," the declaration said.
The statement on radicalisation said the leaders vowed to enhance cooperation in dealing with radicalisation as the spread of radical ideologies by terrorist groups and their sponsors, including on the Internet, have a negative impact on the minds of young people.
It said the member states, while strongly condemning terrorism in all its forms "committed by whomever, wherever and for whatever purpose", stressed that terrorism should not be associated with any religion, civilisation, nationality or ethnic group.
"The member states will further develop cooperation in countering radicalisation that leads to terrorism, separatism and extremism, including by sharing experiences and best practices, in accordance with the SCO Charter," it said.
The statement said the member states intend to make joint efforts to block and remove radical and terrorist content from the Internet and initiated necessary measures against identified individuals and entities in accordance with the domestic laws.
"The member States will continue to cooperate in countering radical ideology and propaganda by promoting ideas of peaceful coexistence of states, respect for religious and cultural diversity, social cohesion and dialogue among civilizations," it said.
According to the New Delhi Declaration, the member states have expressed their concern about the growing threats posed by increased production, trafficking and abuse of narcotic drugs and using the proceeds of illicit drug-trafficking as a source of funding for terrorism.
It said the member states also advocated "respect for the right of people to an independent and democratic choice of the paths of their political and socio-economic development."

They emphasised that the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity of states, equality, mutual benefit, non-interference in internal affairs and non-use of force or threats to use force, are the basis of sustainable development of international relations.
The SCO leaders also issued a separate statement on cooperation in digital transformation.

First Published: Jul 04 2023 | 11:14 PM IST

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