SCO Summit July 2023
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit will be held in New Delhi, India on July 3-4.
About the SCO Meet:
- This will be the first visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to India since the conflict in Ukraine.
- The agenda for the summit is expected to focus on counter-terrorism, Afghan stability, connectivity initiatives such as the Chabahar Port and International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), and India’s outreach to Eurasia.
- The SCO foreign ministers will meet in Goa on May 4-5 to finalise the summit’s agenda.
- Many foreign ministers from the SCO member states have confirmed their attendance for the upcoming meetings, except for China and Pakistan whose confirmations are still awaited.
- Several meetings are scheduled ahead of the Summit, including the National Security Advisors meeting, the Defence Ministers meeting, and the foreign ministers’ meeting.
- Most countries have attended in-person meetings of SCO held in India, but Pakistan has only attended virtually.
- Pakistan attended meetings related to Power Ministers and shared Buddhist heritage.
- However, Pakistan recently backed out of an SCO Armed Forces Contribution meeting after India objected to the use of maps that show Kashmir as Pakistani territory.
- On the other hand, Pakistan’s Charge d’Affaires Salman Sharif attended meetings related to physical culture and sports development and SCO Tourism.
About Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)
- The SCO is an organisation made up of several governments that works together to maintain peace, security, and stability in the Eurasian region.
- It was established in 2001 and its official Charter was signed in 2002 and became active in 2003.
- The organisation is often considered a counterbalance to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and it is a nine-member group focused on economics and security, making it one of the biggest international organisations that spans across different regions.
- Before the establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in 2001, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan formed the Shanghai Five in 1996.
- The Shanghai Five was created after a series of negotiations between the four former Soviet republics and China to ensure stability along their borders.
- When Uzbekistan joined in 2001, the Shanghai Five was renamed the SCO.
- India and Pakistan became members of the organisation in 2017.
- On September 17th, 2021, Iran was announced as a new full member of the SCO.
- There were originally six countries designated as “Dialogue Partners” with the SCO: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Turkey. Later in the year 2021, Egypt, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia also became Dialogue Partners with the organisation.
- The official languages of SCO are Russian and Chinese.
- The organisation has two permanent bodies – SCO Secretariat in Beijing and Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) in Tashkent.
- The chairmanship of the organisation rotates among its member states every year.
- The most recent meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit was held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan in 2022.
- SCO Structure- The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has four main bodies –
- The Heads of State Council, which is the highest authority in SCO, decides on internal matters and interactions with other countries and international organisations.
- The Heads of Government Council approves the budget and deals with economic issues.
- The Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs takes care of daily activities.
- The Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) was created to fight against terrorism, extremism and separatism.
- The objectives of the SCO are –
- To build stronger relationships of trust and friendship among its member states.
- It aims to promote cooperation in various fields such as politics, trade and economy, research and technology, and culture.
- Additionally, the organisation strives to strengthen ties in education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection, and more
- One of its key goals is to maintain peace, security, and stability in the region.
- Finally, the SCO seeks to establish a democratic, fair, and rational new international political and economic order.