SCO

JUN 18

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Why in news?

  • Delegations from China, Pakistan attending Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meet in Delhi

About SCO

  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), or Shanghai Pact, is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation.
  • Currently the SCO comprises of:
    • Eight member states, namely India, Pakistan, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
    • Four observer states, namely Afghanistan, Iran, Belarus, and Mongolia.
    • Six dialogue partners, namely Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey, and Sri Lanka.

 

History:

  • Its creation was announced in 2001 in Shanghai by China, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. It was preceded by the Shanghai Five mechanism.
  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Charter was signed in 2002.
  • In 2017, India and Pakistan were added as full-time members of the group.

Goals of SCO:

  • Strengthening mutual trust and neighborliness among the member states.
  • Promoting effective cooperation in areas such as politics, trade, economy, research, technology, culture, education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection etc. 
  • Making joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security and stability in the region.
  • Moving towards the establishment of a democratic, fair and rational new international political and economic order.

Structure:

  • Heads of State Council (HSC):
    • The Heads of State Council (HSC) is the supreme decision-making body in the SCO.
    • It meets once a year and adopts decisions and guidelines on all important matters of the organisation.
  • Heads of Government Council (HGC):
    • The HGC meets once a year to discuss the organisation's multilateral cooperation strategy and priority areas, resolve current important cooperation issues, and approve the organization’s annual budget.
    • The SCO's official languages are Russian and Chinese.
  • The organisation has two permanent bodies:
    • The SCO Secretariat based in Beijing
    • The Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) based in Tashkent
  • There are also mechanisms of meetings at the level of heads of parliament, secretaries, ministers of foreign affairs, defence, heads of law enforcement agencies and supreme courts etc.

PRELIMS QUESTION

Which of the following countries are members of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation?

1. India

2. Pakistan

3. Russia

4. Kazakhstan

5. Bangladesh

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1,2,3 and 4 only

(b) 2 and 5 only

(c) 1,3 and 4 only

(d) 1,2,3,4 and 5

Answer – A