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International Relations

SCO Summit

  • 11 Nov 2020
  • 5 min read

Why in news

The 20th Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Heads of State was held recently via Video Conferencing.

  • The Meeting was chaired by Russian President Mr. Vladimir Putin.

Key points

  • Significance of SCO Meet: 20th Summit of SCO Heads of State is important as it brought President Xi Jinping of China and Mr. Modi together in the virtual format even as both sides are caught in the high tension confrontation in Eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
    • This was the first SCO Summit held in Virtual Format and the third meeting that India participated after becoming a full member in 2017.
  • The Republic of Tajikistan assumed chairmanship of SCO for 2021-22.
  • India has proposed to set up a Special Working Group on Innovation and Startups and a Sub Group on Traditional Medicine within SCO.
  • The Prime Minister of India indirectly referred chinese infrastructure projects in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and India China standoff at line of actual control and urged members of the SCO to respect “territorial integrity” and “sovereignty” of each other.
  • Connectivity: PM highlighted India's role in supporting infrastructure and connectivity development projects in the SCO region. Examples:
    • Chabahar port,
    • The International North–South Transport Corridor (INSTC) is a multi-modal connectivity project to establish transport networks (ship, rail, and road route) for moving freight between India, Russia, Iran, Europe and Central Asia.
  • Responsible Global Governance: Bringing changes in global governance will be the focus of India as a non-permanent member of the United Nation (UN) Security Council. From 2021 India will take part in the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member.
  • Reformed Multilateralism: In the context of the fallout of the pandemic and the economic downturn, India sought support of the SCO members in attaining a reformed multilateralism.
  • Organised Crime: India highlighted the challenges posed by the smuggling of illegal weapons, drugs and money laundering.
  • Strengthening Cultural Heritage: The National Museum of India will hold an exhibition on the Buddhist heritage of the SCO countries and India will host a food festival reflecting the culinary traditions of the SCO region.

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

  • SCO is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation.
  • It’s a Eurasian political, economic and military organisation aiming to maintain peace, security and stability in the region.
  • It was created in 2001.
  • The SCO Charter was signed in 2002, and entered into force in 2003.
  • The SCO's official languages are Russian and Chinese.
  • SCO has two Permanent Bodies
    • SCO Secretariat in Beijing, and
    • Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) in Tashkent.
  • The Chairmanship of SCO is by rotation for a year by Member States.

Genesis

  • Prior to the creation of SCO in 2001, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan were members of the Shanghai Five.
  • Shanghai Five (1996) emerged from a series of border demarcation and demilitarization talks which the four former Soviet republics held with China to ensure stability along the borders.
  • Following the accession of Uzbekistan to the organisation in 2001, the Shanghai Five was renamed the SCO.
  • India and Pakistan became members in 2017.

Way Forward

  • The SCO must be used as a platform to deepen solidarity and mutual trust and resolve disputes and differences through dialogue and consultations. It will help in de-escalating tensions between India and its neighbouring countries China and Pakistan.

Source:TH

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