A summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization was held on 14 June in Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek where they signed a declaration that included pledges to keep outer space free of an arms race.
“They (the SCO member countries) also welcome the work of the group of UN government experts … on an international instrument to prevent an arms race in outer space,” the declaration reads.
The SCO countries also called on all parties to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and to join forces and see to their destruction. A split cannot be allowed in the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the Bishkek Declaration states. “The SCO confirms the need to launch multilateral negotiations on an international convention aimed at combating acts of chemical and biological terrorism at the Conference on Disarmament,” the text reads.
The leaders of the bloc, which include Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, India, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan – also reaffirmed their commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan, commonly known as the Iranian nuclear deal.
The SCO’s leaders also waded into Middle East politics and called for the territorial integrity of Syria to be respected. “It is important to continue international efforts to assist Syria in the post-conflict reconstruction of the country,” the declaration read.
Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev said in Bishkek that his government remains ready to provide a platform for resolving the eight-year civil war in Syria while adding that the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union and the EU can become reliable partners of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.