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Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)-(Indian presidency, Iran new member )

highlights of SCO Summit- 2022-Nomination of Varanasi as the first SCO Tourism and Cultural Capital (2022–23).Maldives, Myanmar, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain as dialogue partners...
What is  SCO ?
  • Permanent intergovernmental international organisation
  • Created in 2001
  • The SCO Charter was signed in 2002, and entered into force in 2003.
What are the  Significance of new membership in SCO?

A Revamped SCO- Iran being made the permanent member of the organization from the Observer nation.

  • Rising influence of SCO & countering west
  • Iran’s proposal of single currency : To create a new single currency for trade, to counter the increasing weaponization of the US dollar-dominated global financial system.
 What is the Significance of SCO for India ?

-Regional Integration: It helps India to have a multilateral talk with friends like Russia and adversaries like China and Pakistan.

-Regional Connectivity: With Afghanistan and Pakistan are adverse as of now, SCO can help in connectivity with Central Asia.

-Security:  India can counterterrorism abilities by working toward intelligence sharing, law enforcement and developing best practices and technologies. India can also work on anti-drug trafficking and small arms proliferation.

Challenges of terrorism and radicalization : The whole of Central Asia is aware of the Taliban and ISKP in Afghanistan which mandates regional cooperation.

Geopolitical Advantage: It provides an opportunity to pursue the “Connect Central Asian Policy”, help India to check on the ever-growing influence of China in Eurasia.

Where the recent SCO Summit- 2022 took place ?

Samarkand, Uzbekistan’s cultural capital, hosted the annual Summit this year

What are the key takeaways of the Summit?
Samarkand Declaration– Adopted by the council of heads of government of the SCO.

It pointed out the series of challenges :

  • Climate change
  • Terrorism
  • Technological disruptions
  • Global reduction in investment flows
  • Instability in supply chain
  • Increased protectionist measures
  • Other barriers to international trade
What are the highlights of SCO Summit- 2022?

Highlight of the Summit are :

  1. Nomination of Varanasi as the first SCO Tourism and Cultural Capital (2022–23).
  2. Maldives, Myanmar, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain as dialogue partners.
  3. It is a new initiative by the eight-member organisation to promote people-to-people contacts and tourism among the member states.
  4. Presidency handover to India for SCO-Summit 2023.
What is the Importance of SCO for India?

Economic Cooperation:  India can enhance economic cooperation with Central Asian countries, which have vast reserves of natural resources.

Energy Security:  The SCO provides opportunity to India to engage with the energy-rich countries of Central Asia and explore opportunities for cooperation in the energy sector.

Cultural Cooperation:

The Cultural Heritage of the SCO member states, observers and partners include 207 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

— “Kashi” (Varanasi) has been designated as the first cultural capital of the SCO under this initiative.

Counterterrorism: The SCO has a strong focus on counterterrorism cooperation.

What are the challenges for SCO ?
  • China’s Rise: Increasing the prospects for China’s emergence as the dominant force in inner Asia.
  • Limited institutional mechanisms: SCO lacks a formal mechanism for resolving disputes between member states.
  • Divergent Interests and Disagreements: Including of member states with different political systems, economic models, and strategic priorities such as CPEC, border infrastructure projects etc., which can lead to internal conflicts and disagreements on issues such as economic cooperation and security.
  • Limited geographical scope: The SCO’s geographical focus is limited to Eurasia and neighboring regions, which restricts its ability to engage with global issues and challenges.
  • Western skepticism and criticism:     The SCO faces criticism from Western countries for its lack of democratic credentials, its support for authoritarian regimes, and its internal conflicts and border disputes among members.

Way Forward:                                                            

  • India is carefully moving its way up the global leadership ladder strategically and diplomatically.
  • India has a good record of economic growth and handling problem which is a problem of other countries which lays foundation to huge foreign investment.
  • Regardless of the differences, the Indian government has consistently maintained the importance of the SCO grouping, referred to as the “Asian NATO” although it does not mandate security alliances.
   Facts related to SCO summit in 2023 =
  1. It will be 23rd summit of SCO.
  2. India would be the President of the SCO.
  3. Theme of the event is “For a SECURE SCO”.

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