The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is an organization of countries which was introduced on 15th June 2001 in Shanghai, China. The organization was inaugurated by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. It came into force on 19th September 2003. Currently, an SCO summit is organized in Qingdao, China which is ought to be attended by representatives of all the member countries along with our country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Modi on Saturday morning departed for China to attend the two-day long 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
WHAT IS SCO?
The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is an international alliance that consists of 8 member states and 3 observers from Eurasia. SCO was born for collaboration between central Asian countries in terms of trade and investment, connectivity, energy, security, culture etc. It is mainly aimed at military cooperation between the members and involves intelligence-sharing, counter-terrorism operations in Central Asia. The presence of China and India, the world’s most populous countries, makes SCO the organization with largest population coverage of 44% of world’s population.
SCO is the world’s largest regional organisation in the view of geographical coverage and population and is one of the most powerful organisations in the whole world. At a summit in Astana, Kazakhstan on 9th June 2017, India and Pakistan who were in the list of observer countries, became the full members of SCO. The official operating languages of the organisation are Chinese and Russian. The Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) that has its headquarters in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, is a permanent part of the SCO which helps the organization in promoting cooperation of member states against the treats of terrorism, separatism and extremism.
MEMBERS OF SCO
The members of SCO comprises of 8 full-member states and 4 observer states:
FULL MEMBER STATES
The Current Council of Heads of States
- Almazbek Atambayev (Kyrgyzstan)
- Emomalii Rahmon (Tajikistan)
- Shavkat Mirziyoyev (Uzbekistan)
- Xi Jinping (China)
- Nursultan Nazarbayev (Kazakhstan)
- Vladimir Putin (Russia)
- Ram Nath Kovind (India)
- Mamnoon Hussain (Pakistan)
BENEFITS TO INDIA FROM SCO
1)Eliminate Terrorism – With Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS) as an organ of the SCO, the country is expecting cooperation from the organization relating to security and defence.
2) Greater Trade Opportunities – Along with cooperation in various fields such as protection, economy, research and tourism, the country will also benefit in trade. Through its inclusion in SCO, India will probably open new international trade opportunities.
3) Energy Soundness – With the help of SCO membership, India is likely to get more access to vital gas and oil contracts in Central Asia as most of the SCO countries has huge reservoirs of oil and natural gas.
4) Economic Stability – The SCO membership will help the country to achieve economic stability as well as regional and global stability and prosperity.
WHY IS SCO UNIQUE
SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov in an interview talked about the organization and said that it includes countries of all sort. It does not differentiate between countries on the basis of size, economic position or strength. He said they do not believe in growth rates but in developing and growing together and arrive to the results. In simple words, the organization believes in common development.
SCO member states drew 11.5 percent of total global investment in 2016. The magnificent amount proves that the region has a huge capability to bring in and attract much bigger investments.
The recent words of the Secretary-General stated that the organization is also making up relations with the UN. He believes that the possibility of the organization to grow and expand is really bright. SCO can be seen as a challenger to the Group of Seven (G7), an organization that consists of countries like Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. With the growth of SCO each day, the latter appears to defeat the other organisations in the race of international cooperation.
BALANCE OF POWER (G7 Vs SCO)
The mutual cooperation between the Asian countries will bring a balance of every problem being faced by the nations. We have been witnessing clashes among India and many other Asian countries for a long time but the SCO will surely help these countries to resolve all the clashes and become stronger together.
The economically bigger countries like the USA have been taking advantage of the fact that the Asian countries have clashes among them. The US along with Europian countries has set up a monopoly among all the nations that affect their growth and development to a great extent. Iran which is presently an observer country of SCO is attending the summit this year and is expected to become a full member.
With so many Asian countries coming and joining the organization, the mutual cooperation regarding security, economy and culture seems to increase and combat the so-called economically stable countries of the world.