Kyrgyzstan Current Affairs - 2020

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India to host 19th Council of Heads of Governments of SCO in 2020

India will be hosting  the 19th Council of Heads of Government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in 2020. This was informed by SCO Secretary General Vladimir Norov. This will be for the first time that India will host the high level meeting of the China-led eight-member economic and security bloc.

About SCO

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) aka Shanghai Pact was created in 2001 in Shanghai by China. Apart from China, its founding members were Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan were admitted as full members in 2017. At present, SCO has four observer States viz.  Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia; and has six dialogue partners viz. Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka. It is also known as Alliance of the East. In terms of geographical coverage and population, it is world’s largest regional organization.

SCO summits

SCO holds two types of summits every year viz. Summit of Heads of States and Summits Heads of Governments. These summits are organized in member states. The latest Summit of heads of government was held in Tashkent in November 2019. It was proposed in Tashkent Summit that India would take the initiative to hold the 2020 meetings of the Heads of Government.

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SCO Foreign Ministers’ meeting held in Kyrgyzstan

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Foreign Ministers was held in Kyrgyzstan capital Bishkek. It was attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Key Highlights

  • 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.

About SCO

  • 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.

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