India Is Given The Rotating Presidency Of The Eight-Member SCO
The summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Samarkand last week concluded with India taking over chair of the regional forum. The SCO held its first in-person summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, after two years. Presidents of other Central Asian nations that attended the conference were Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, China's Xi Jinping, and Russia's Vladimir Putin. In this ancient city of Samarkand, Uzbekistan gave India the rotating presidency of the eight-member SCO.
With a present name established in 2001 and an emphasis on Central Asia and Eurasia, the SCO has come a long way from the 1996 Shanghai Five effort to become a pre-eminent global multilateral organisation. China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are among the SCO's eight current members. Afghanistan, Belarus, and Mongolia are three observer nations who are interested in becoming full members of the SCO. In 2017, India and Pakistan became full members. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which includes 40% of the globe's population, 60% of Eurasia's landmass, and more than 30% of its GDP, is the largest regional grouping in the world. With numerous agreements and bilateral talks, the group's annual summit, which was this year hosted in Uzbekistan, came to an end.
To extend Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s (SCO) role as a multilateral platform for resolving pertinent contemporary challenges, sustainable development in the region, and ensuring stability and security, more countries have been enlisted as observers. Additionally, other nations have been added as discussion partners. The SCO's growth highlights both its growing international significance and the willingness to take a more active part in fostering cooperation among Asian nations. The Middle East is becoming an increasingly important region for the SCO, as seen by the addition of Arab and Gulf nations as discussion partners. Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, the Maldives, Myanmar, and Bahrain have been designated as SCO conversation partners, according to the Declaration agreed by the member states. A MoU was also signed to provide Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar the status of SCO dialogue partners. The Samarkand Summit also announced the signing of memorandums of understanding (MoU) with the Arab League, UNESCO, and Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, therefore extending collaboration with global institutions.
The admittance of Iran as a full member of the organisation was the only significant development from the SCO summit, which was otherwise somewhat dull. Modi took the high road in his speech during the summit, promoting India's economic prospects and accomplishments to other participants. There is no question that India balances its links to the West, which are expanding and are shown in its relationship with the Quad, its recent membership in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), and its participation in the SCO. They in part reflect India's geographic realities, which shape a foreign policy that must serve both its continental and oceanic interests.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which is going poorly, has drawn much of the attention of the international community to the conference. Just weeks before the invasion, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin declared an "alliance without limitations." Since then, China has continued to support the Kremlin diplomatically and politically but has refrained from providing significant military aid. Putin acknowledged and offered to address China's interests and worries during his conversation with Xi. In his meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Putin adopted a similar strategy. Like Beijing, Delhi is worried about a close ally like Russia that is embroiled in a war it cannot win and a pricey conflict with the West that it has instigated. India, which has been reluctant to openly criticise Russia’s brazen violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty, has begun to recalibrate its position. Modi has stressed to Putin the value of communication and diplomacy in resolving the Ukrainian problem.
In the end, it seems sense to place more emphasis on the SCO's advantages because they benefit the vast majority of people living in these nations. The organisation that approximately half of humanity is represented by must be friendly to the US. The SCO is more significant because it is making an effort to solve pressing concerns including climate change, connectivity, energy, regional security, and the three Rs, which stand for democracy, dialogue, and diplomacy. The summit has demonstrated that the world is concerned about both the conflict in Ukraine and hegemonic actions like starting proxy wars or imposing sanctions. President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of Uzbekistan, who was hosting the summit, made hints about what divides the countries in light of the current problem and what should be the solution.