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21st SCO Summit held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan

  • Category
    International Relations
  • Published
    22nd Sep, 2021

Context

The 21st Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit at Dushanbe, Tajikistan held recently via video Conferencing. Discussions took place on two critical issues: 

  • Membership of Iran to this organisation
  • the unfolding security situation in Afghanistan

What is Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)?

  • The SCO is a permanent international intergovernmental organization. 
  • It was founded at a summit in Shanghai in 2001 by the Presidents of Russia, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Charter was signed during the St. Petersburg SCO Heads of State meeting in June 2002, and entered into force on 19 September 2003.

Members countries of SCO

8 Member States

4 Observer States 

6 Dialogue Partners

China

India

Kazakhstan

Kyrgyzstan

Russia

Pakistan

Tajikistan

Uzbekistan

Afghanistan

Belarus

Iran

Mongolia

Armenia

Azerbaijan

Cambodia

Nepal

Sri Lanka

Turkey

India & SCO

  • India was made an Observer at the SCO in 2005.
  • The historical meeting of the Heads of State Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation was held in 2017 in Astana.
  • At the meeting the status of a full member of the Organization was granted to the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Key- highlights of the summit 

  • The summit is important as it is taking place at a time when Taliban has taken over Afghanistan and has declared formation of an Interim government, after the US led forces left that country after two decades. 
    • This has led to the fear that there will be an increase in drug trafficking, terror groups operating from Afghanistan.
  • The main focus of this summit was primarily on the ground situation in Afghanistan and its global repercussions.
  • The SCO Summit was followed by an Outreach session on Afghanistan between SCO and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO).
    • Afghanistan has had an observer status in the SCO. 
  • Members of the China and Russia-led Shanghai Cooperation Organisation endorsed Iran's future membership of the bloc that already includes South Asian rivals India and Pakistan.

India’s stand in the 21st SCO’s summit

The Indian delegation, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urged the eight-member panel to come up with a joint approach and frame a code of conduct to stop terror financing and cross-border terrorism.

  • PM Modi flagged concerns over the serious humanitarian crisis unfolding in Afghanistan, noting that the economic woes of the Afghan people are increasing due to the blockage in financial and trade flows.
  • PM Modi said the recent developments in Afghanistan will have the greatest impact on neighbouring countries like India and added that there was a need for regional focus and cooperation on the situation in the country.
  • He pointed out that the developments in the country could lead to an uncontrolled flow of drugs, illegal weapons and human trafficking.
  • Modi warned that continued instability and fundamentalism in Afghanistan would encourage terrorist and extremist ideologies all over the world.
  • India is committed to increasing its connectivity with Central Asia. Asserting that there should be respect for the territorial integrity of all countries.
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