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Iran, Belarus to be newest SCO members

  • Category
    International Relations
  • Published
    22nd Jul, 2022

Context

The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation is all set for expansion with Iran joining the grouping as its ninth member.

Details

  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation admits Iran into the grouping as its ninth member while Belarus has applied for membership.
  • This is the first expansion of the SCO after India and Pakistan were admitted to the grouping in 2017.
  • Last year’s summit in Dushanbe agreed for Iran to join, while Belarus has also begun the membership process.
  • Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) follows the system of consensus in deciding admission of new members.

About Shanghai Cooperation Organization:

  • SCO is a permanent intergovernmental international organization.
  • It’s a Eurasian political, economic and military organization aiming to maintain peace, security, and stability in the region.
  • It was created in 2001. Prior to the creation of SCO in 2001, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan were members of the Shanghai Five.
  • The SCO Charter was signed in 2002 and entered into force in 2003.
  • India and Pakistan became members in 2017.
  • SCO Secretariat – Based in Beijing to provide informational, analytical & organizational support.
  • The 2022 annual summit of the SCO will be held in September in Samarkand (Samarkand also known as Samarqand, is a city in south-eastern Uzbekistan).

Membership:

  • The SCO currently comprises nine Member States (China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Iran, and Uzbekistan), and six “Dialogue Partners” (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Turkey).

Significance:

  • SCO’s rising international influence: It shows SCO’s rising international influence and that the principles of the SCO charter are widely accepted.
  • SCO looks to counter the West:After Iran, Belarus is likely to be the two newest additions to the China and Russia-backed Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) grouping. With the expansion, China and Russia are looking to frame the grouping as a counter to the West.
  • SCO is based on non-alignment:SCO is a cooperative organization based on non-alignment and not targeting a third party, while NATO is based on Cold War thinking. The SCO believes one should not build its security at the expense of other countries while NATO is creating new enemies to sustain its existence.
  • Champion of co-existence:The SCO members are working on profound changes that the international situation is undergoing to make the international order fairer and more reasonable.
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