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Shanghai Cooperation Organization Celebrates Ninth Anniversary at Shanghai Expo
Source: Xinhua
Source Date: Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Created: Jun 21, 2010

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) celebrated its Honor Day at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 on Tuesday, which was also the ninth anniversary of the organization' s founding. Addressing a ceremony at the World Expo park, Muratbek Sansyzbayevich Imanaliev, Secretary-General of the SCO, said the SCO has had a glorious history in the past nine years and at the 10th annual summit of the organization, which concluded on Friday, leaders of the member states issued a declaration and signed important documents pointing towards the direction of the SCO's future development. Leaders of the SCO member states met in Tashkent, Uzbekistan last week to discuss key regional and global issues. They pledged, in a declaration issued after the summit, to build an effective and open multilateral organization dedicated to regional peace, stability and prosperity.

Also at the summit, the SCO also approved regulations for admitting new members to the organization, thus laying the foundation for its future expansion. The SCO currently has six member states including China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. In recent years, the organization admitted India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan as observer states along with Belarus and Sri Lanka as dialogue partners. The organization's member states encompass a territory of more than 30 million square kilometers, almost three-fifths of the Eurasian continent, with a population of 1.5 billion, about one-quarter of the planet's total.

Viewing the World Expo as a great stage for the entire human race to carry out exchanges, Imanaliev said the SCO hoped to take advantage of this stage to showcase the achievements of the SCO and its outlook for future developments and expand the organization's influence in the world. "With the theme of 'World Harmony Begins in the Neighborhood' at the SCO Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo, we are aiming at building a harmonious region, and promoting the region's collective development, thus, realizing our aim to make the world more harmonious," said Imanaliev.

Imanaliev called for more people to visit the SCO Pavilion, which would help them better understand the organization. Speaking at the ceremony, Zhou Xiaopei, deputy representative of the Chinese government, said the World Expo provided a great opportunity for the human race to promote exchanges and self-understanding and face up to its history and future. Zhou said the SCO was born in Shanghai and its main goal is shared by the World Expo, through the platform of the World Expo, the SCO and its cause could still be better understood by the world. The SCO is a permanent intergovernmental international organization founded on June 15, 2001 in Shanghai with the aim to strengthen member states' cooperation in politics, economics, security and culture.
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