8th International Scientific and Practical Conference of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO RATS) on the topic: “Contemporary Security: Challenges and Solutions” took place on November 8-9, 2022, in the city of Tashkent, Republic of Uzbekistan.

The conference was attended by representatives of the competent authorities of the SCO member states: the Republic of India, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People's Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan; the SCO observer states: the Republic of Belarus and Mongolia; SCO dialogue partner states: the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Armenia, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Turkey; SCO Secretariat; specialized structures of international organizations, namely the United Nations (UN) Office of Counter-Terrorism, the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, the UN Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team, the Interpol, the UN Cyber ​​Security and New Technologies Group, the Eurasian group on combating money laundering and financing of terrorism (EAG), the Federal Financial Monitoring Service of the Russian Federation (Rosfinmonitoring), the Central Asian Regional Information and Coordination Center for Combating Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Their Precursors (CARICC), the Secretariat of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA), the Secretariat of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), the Commonwealth of Independent States Anti-Terrorism Centre (CIS ATC) and Coordination Service of the Council of Commanders of the Border Troops of the Commonwealth of Independent States, as well as the Institute for Strategic and Regional Studies under the President Republic of Uzbekistan, SCO Center for Public Diplomacy, Tashkent State University of Oriental Studies and Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) under the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Conference participants:

exchanged views on countering current challenges and threats posed by the international terrorist and radical extremist organizations;

discussed possible steps to strengthen international cooperation to combat terrorism and extremism by improving mechanisms and ways of countering modern tools used by terrorists, extremists, as well as by terrorist and extremist organizations;

expressed their concern with the fact that the process of normalization and improvement of life in Afghanistan is going much slower than it could be, and the FTO members who are staying in Afghanistan or move to this country are coming close to the borders of the SCO member states, creating hotbeds of tension;

unanimously reconfirmed the view that international terrorism and extremism in all forms and manifestations still pose a serious threat to peace and security;

reviewed the trends and features of the transformation of terrorist threats in the SCO space, practice and operational mechanisms of countering terrorism and extremism at the national level, and analysed the current level of cooperation and coordination between the SCO member states and observer states in the field of countering terrorism and extremism;

highlighted the threats to peace and security posed by terrorists and extremists misusing modern information and communication technologies, including the most efficient ways to address these issues; 

drew attention to the importance of issues related to the spread of terrorist and extremist ideology, including involvement of young people and various religious movements in extremist activities;

discussed the mechanisms for detecting, preventing and suppressing destructive narratives and emphasized the significant role of theologians in spreading the correct understanding and spirit of religion, preventing extremist propaganda and recruitment to FTOs and radical extremist organisations;

the participants noted the importance of timely improvement of the international legal framework for anti-terrorist cooperation that creates the basis for long-term comprehensive cooperation in the area of ​​combating the “three evils” in order to adequately respond to emerging challenges and threats;

once again, they reiterated the importance of stepping up interaction at all levels of competent bodies to ensure timely exchange of information, tracking, identification of terrorists in migration flows, improvement of algorithms for conducting coordinated operational measures, strengthening border control, selection and training of personnel for anti-terrorist units, and strengthening their interaction through anti-terrorist exercises; 

welcomed the active and constructive participation of civil society and academia in the counter-terrorist activity which will serve to ensure more efficient work of the competent authorities of the SCO member states.

The 8th International Scientific and Practical Conference of the SCO RATS was held in a business-like and friendly atmosphere.

Source: Executive Committee of the SCO RATS