PM Modi on a visit to SCO Summit – What is SCO?

date 16  September,  2022
time 2 mins read

In the current time of global turbulence amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s aggressive stance against Taiwan, Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached Samarkand in Uzbekistan the last night to attend the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation 2022.

PM Modi’s flight landed around the time when other SCO leaders were at a dinner hosted by Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev who is acting as the current chair of the organization. PM Modi was received at the airport in Samarkand by Uzbekistan Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov.

For India, energy security tops the SCO Summit agenda, with the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict having disturbed the global supply chain, India is looking for an alternate source of import to fulfill the rising demand for energy back home. The agenda of the meeting is also to discuss the further road map to enhance security and business relations as well.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation which is popularly known as SCO is the world’s largest regional organization, covering approximately 60% of the area of Eurasia, 40% of the world population, and more than 30% of global GDP. It is a kind of political, economic, and security organization. It is governed by the Heads of State Council (HSC) which is its highest decision-making body and meets only once a year.

The Council of the Heads of State is the supreme head of the organization. The Secretariat of the SCO, headquartered in Beijing, China, is the prime decision-making body of the organization. The SCO is the successor to the Shanghai Five, which was the mutual security agreement formed in 1996 between the People’s Republic of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan.

On 15 June 2001, the leaders of these nations and Uzbekistan met in Shanghai to announce a new organization called SCO with more profound political and economic cooperation. The charter of the organization was signed on 07th July 2002 and was effective from 19th September 2003. Later, the organization got expanded to nine states, with India and Pakistan joining on 9 June 2017, and Iran joining on 15 September 2022.

From the domestic front, India has maintained a neutral stance on the Russia-Ukraine issue to date and has not joined any of the two sides. The world is in the mid of the global crisis with inflation on the rise and global growth laggard. In these times, India has to work with the global economies to work better supply chain options and bring the global essential commodity prices southward to put a cap on inflation. All eyes will also be on Indian Prime Minister Modi’s meeting with Putin and what the outcome will be in the coming days.