The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a Central-Asian political, economic, and security organisation, the creation of which was announced on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai, China by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan; the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Charter was signed in June 2002 and entered into force on 19 September 2003.These countries, except for Uzbekistan, had been members of the Shanghai Five group, founded on 26 April 1996 in Shanghai. Indiaand Pakistan joined SCO as full members on 9 June 2017 at a summit in Astana, Kazakhstan
The Shanghai Five grouping was created 26 April 1996 with the signing of the Treaty on Deepening Military Trust in Border Regions in Shanghai, China by the heads of states of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan.
On 24 April 1997, the same countries signed the Treaty on Reduction of Military Forces in Border Regions in a meeting in Moscow, Russia. On 20 May 1997, presidents of Russia Boris Yeltsin and prime minister of China Jiang Zemin signed a declaration on a “multipolar world”
Structure of SCO
- SCO is an economic political and military organisation.
- Established in 2001 in Shanghai with 6 countries China, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Earlier it was Shanghai Five Grouping formed in 1996 without Uzbekistan.
- Head Quarters at Beijing, China.
- India and Pakistan became full members at the 2017 summit held at Astana, Kazakhstan.
- Now SCO represents 40 percent world population and 20 percent world GDP.
- It has 4 members with observer status viz. Afghanistan Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia.
- The SCO membership offers a platform for India to engage Pakistan in a wider regional setting.
- RATS: India can deepen its defense cooperation with the SCO and its Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS) that specifically deals with issues relating to security and defense.
- India’s inclusion may even lower Beijing’s overarching influence over the SCO.
- Next Summit is scheduled to be held in June 2018 at Qingdao, China.
SCO official Website: eng.sectsco.org