Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to travel to Samarkand in Uzbekistan for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit on September 15 and 16. This will be the first in-person summit after June 2019 when the SCO summit was held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. The Prime Minister, sources said, is likely to reach Samarkand on September 14 and return on September 16, according to the current travel schedule.
India’s presence at the summit is important because it will assume the rotational presidency of the SCO at the end of the Samarkand summit. Delhi will hold the presidency of the grouping for a year until September 2023. So, next year, India will host the SCO summit which will be attended, among others, by leaders of China, Russia, Pakistan.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi are among the leaders expected at the summit. The Prime Minister’s visit to Samarkand will be closely watched for the possibility of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit. While there has been no official word on the scheduled bilateral meetings, the leaders are expected to be in the same room for the summit as well as the leaders’ lounge.
About The SCO:
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation, created on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai (China). The founding members are:
1.The Republic of Kazakhstan
2.The People’s Republic of China
3.The Kyrgyz Republic
4.The Russian Federation
5.The Republic of Tajikistan
6.The Republic of Uzbekistan.
It was preceded by the Shanghai Five mechanism (1996) formed by the leaders of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. The SCO Charter was signed during the St.Petersburg SCO Heads of State meeting in June 2002 and entered into force on 19 September 2003. This is the statutory document that outlines the organisation’s goals and principles, as well as its structure and core activities.
The organisation has two permanent bodies:
- The SCO Secretariat based in Beijing
- The Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) is based in Tashkent.
Present members of SCO:
1.The Republic of India
2.The Republic of Kazakhstan
3.The People’s Republic of China
4.The Kyrgyz Republic
5.The Islamic Republic of Pakistan
6.The Russian Federation
7.The Republic of Tajikistan
8.The Republic of Uzbekistan
The Heads of State Council (HSC) is the supreme decision-making body in the SCO. It meets once a year and adopts decisions and guidelines on all important matters of the organisation. The SCO Heads of Government Council (HGC) meets once a year to discuss the organisation’s multilateral cooperation strategy and priority areas, to resolve current important economic and other cooperation issues, and also to approve the organisation’s annual budget.
The SCO’s main goals are as follows:
- Strengthening mutual trust and neighborliness among the member states
- Promoting their effective cooperation in politics, trade, the economy, research, technology, and culture, as well as in education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection, and other areas.
- Making joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security, and stability in the region
- Moving towards the establishment of a democratic, fair and rational new international political and economic order.