India-SCO Current Affairs - 2019
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The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Foreign Ministers was held in Kyrgyzstan capital Bishkek. It was attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
- Background: This was the second SCO Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) meeting attended by India as a full member of SCO and was represented by Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. The last CFM meeting was held in Beijing, China on April 2018.
- About: The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Foreign Ministers (CMF) is a two-day meeting which was recently held in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic.
- Objective: The SCO CFM meeting in Bishkek reviewed the preparations for forthcoming SCO Summit which is scheduled to be held in Bishkek on 13-14 June 2019. It also exchanged views on topical issues of international and regional importance.
- Background: The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) was founded in 2001 at Shanghai summit by presidents of Russia, China, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. SCO succeeded the Shanghai Five mechanism which was established in 1996.
- About: It is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation and also a Eurasian, political, economic and security alliance. It seeks towards military cooperation between its member states.
- Function: The alliance is primarily centred on security-related concerns of its Central Asian members with main threats being separatism, terrorism and extremism. It also works towards counter-terrorism operations, intelligence-sharing in Central Asia.
- Members (8): China, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan. India and Pakistan were granted membership in 2017. Prior to that till 2005 both India and Pakistan were observer at SCO.
- Observer States (4): Iran, Afghanistan, Belarus and Mongolia.
- SCO Dialogue Partners: Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Armenia, Turkey, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Tags: Bishek • India-SCO • Kyrgyzstan • Ministry of External Affairs • SC0 • SCO CFM • SCO Summit • Shanghai Cooperation Organisation • Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Council of Foreign Ministers Meeting
India has been accorded full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) along with Pakistan at its Ufa summit held in Russia.
Technically, India and Pakistan will become the members of SCO by 2016 after completion of certain procedures.
This membership will help India to work with the 6 members grouping to enhance connectivity, combat terror and create an environment for boosting trade by easing barriers.
About Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)
- SCO is a Eurasian economic, political and military organisation.
- Headquarters: Beijing, China
- Established: 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders 6 countries viz. China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
- It is an outcome of The Shanghai Five grouping established in 1996 by Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.
- SCO’s first enlargement was in 2001 with addition of Uzbekistan and second enlargement was in July 2015 with addition of 2 new members India and Pakistan.
- Presently it as four observers Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and
- Since 2005, India was having an Observer status of SCO and had applied for full membership in 2014.
SCO membership to India will have significant benefits in
- Economic view: Open up trade, energy sector and strategic transit routes for India between Russia, Central Asia and China.
- As Iran has observer status in the SCO, it will serve as a platform for India to boost trade through the Iranian ports of Bandar Abbas and Chabahar.
- These ports are considered as India’s gateway to Central Asia through International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).
- Security grouping: SCO will provide platform for the security grouping for India and Pakistan especially on issue to counter terrorism.
- Provide a valuable interface to engage with security concern of Afghanistan especially its members including India due to pullout international troops.
- SCO may also serve as guarantor for projects such as the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) and Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipelines, which are held by India due to security concerns.
- Balance in International Politics: In this politically polarised world, SCO will play an important role in counter-balancing India’s perceived tilt on security issues towards US and its allies. Thus, it can help to maintain full balance of India’s relations with the great powers globally.