Shanghai Cooperation Organisaiton (SCO) Current Affairs - 2020

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Defence Minister: attends SCO meeting; signs Bilateral Engagement with Uzbekistan

Defence Minister Raj Nath Singh is to attend key meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He will also participate in bilateral engagements with the Uzbekistan Government.

The Minister is to represent India in the meeting of Council of Heads of Government (CHG) of SCO at Tashkent. The Council meets to discuss on multilateral economic cooperation in the SCO region.

Highlights of the visit

  • The Minister will sign bilateral agreements and hold a meeting with his Uzbekistan Counterpart. It is to be noted that the first ever India-Uzbekistan bilateral military exercise “Dostlik 2019” is to begin between November 4 and November 13, 2019.
  • The meeting is the third CHG meeting that is being attended by India after it became a member of SCO. The last two meeting were held in 2017 at Sochi, Russia and in 2018 at Dushanbe in Tajikistan.

Council of Heads of Government

The CHG is the second highest decision-making body in the SCO. The Indian representative of the CHG is PM Modi.

The Council of Heads of the State is the top decision-making body in the SCO. It meets during the SCO summits that are held once in a year. President Ram Nath Kovind represents India at the Council.

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Astana Summit: India and Pakistan to become Full members of SCO

India and Pakistan’s admission to the China-backed Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) will be formalised at the SCO’s summit to be held in Astana, Kazakhstan. The Astana Summit will be held on 8-9 June. The summit will complete the admission procedures of these two countries.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisaiton (SCO) granted full membership status to Pakistan and India during its Ufa summit held in Russia in 2015. India signed the Memorandum on accession in June 2016.

The presence of world’s two most populous countries, China and India in the grouping would make SCO as the organisation with the largest population coverage. 

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)

SCO is the political and security grouping headquartered in Beijing. It was founded in 2001. The full members of the organization are China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.  

The groupings main objective is military cooperation between the members. The grouping also works towards intelligence-sharing, counter-terrorism operations in Central Asia.

Afghanistan, Belarus, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan have observer status at present.

China founded this grouping, called the Shanghai Five, in 1996. It comprised Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. In 2001 Uzbekistan was invited to join it and the SCO was officially born.  After the Astana Summit Declaration in 2005, SCO has emerged as a regional security organization.

Mongolia is the first country to receive observer status at the 2004 Tashkent Summit. Pakistan, India and Iran received observer status at the 2005 SCO summit in Astana, Kazakhstan on July 5, 2005.
SCO is primarily centred on its member nations’ Central Asian security-related concerns, often describing the main threats it confronts as being terrorism, separatism and extremism.

The role of China as well as strategic importance of SCO has increased over the period of a decade and now address problems like terrorism, separatism and militancy in the region.

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