Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit 2022 kicks off in Uzbekistan today

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is considered one of the most important conclaves in the Central Asian region

The 22nd Summit of the Council of Heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Member States (SCO-CoHS) will kick off on Thursday, in Uzbekistan’s Samarkand. This will be the first in-person summit since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

The SCO Summit will be attended by the leaders of SCO member states, observer states, secretary general of the SCO, executive director of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), president of Turkmenistan and other invited guests.

What is SCO?

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is a political, economic, and security alliance of 8 nations, historically led by Russia and China.

Formed in 1996 as the Shaghai Five, the group became the SCO in 2001 with the inclusion of Uzbekistan. India and Pakistan entered the group in 2017 and with Iran’s entry in 2021, SCO became one of the largest multilateral organisations, accounting for nearly 30 per cent of global GDP and 40 per cent of the world’s population.

The SCO is considered one of the most important conclaves in the Central Asian region, where other nations have significant interests in trade, connectivity, and resource extraction.

The SCO currently comprises 8 members, including China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Meanwhile, the four observer states interested in acceding to full membership of the SCO include Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia. The SCO’s six “dialogue partners” comprise Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey.

Uzbekistan is the current chair of SCO 2022. India will be the next chair of the organisation.

What significance the 2022 SCO summit hold for India?

While it is the first time since the pandemic, when SCO leaders will be meeting in person, the meet is also going to be a first of many others.

PM Modi will hold bilateral talks with Putin, the Kremlin announced. This will be the first time that Modi will meet Putin since the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. The meet will be a crucial balancing step for India in view of Russia’s war with the eyes of the US on the summit. The summit and the Modi-Putin meeting will also coincide with the kicking in of the G7’s price cap on Russian oil.

As India will assume the presidency of the SCO until September 2023, the organisation could also be a vocal platform for New Delhi to push the agenda of regional and cross-regional connectivity. India can also use the summit to push for the Chabahar port project and International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC).’

While there has been no official announcement of Modi holding bilateral with China’s Xi, reports said that the two leaders could hold a brief conversation. This comes a couple of days after Indian and Chinese troops completed disengagement at Ladakh’s Gogra-Hotsprings PP15.


Arab Observer

Related Articles

Back to top button