This article will walk you through the details that you need to know about the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation or preferably referred as SCO. In 2021 which are the SCO members, SCO observer nations, SCO dialogue Partners, Which is SCO Official Language and detail about SCO Summit 2021 and all other. ( All that you need to know about SCO for UPSC Exam ).
Table of Contents
The official working languages of the Shanghai Cooperation organization are Chinese and Russian.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) consists of eight-member.
SCO was established on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai, China by the Heads of following nations, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan. Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
These nations, except for Uzbekistan, had been members of the Shanghai Five group which was formed on 26 April 1996 by the Treaty of Deepening Military Trust in Border Regions.
During the annual summit in Shanghai In 2001, the five-member nations admitted Uzbekistan in the Shanghai Five mechanism and transformed it into the Shanghai Six.
Moving forward on 15 June 2001, the Declaration of Shanghai Cooperation Organization was signed and in June 2002 SCO Member States signed the SCO Charter which declared the organization’s purposes, principles, structures and forms of operation and established it in international law.
In July 2005 at Astana Summit, India, Iran and Pakistan were given Observer status.
At Ufa, Russia in July 2015 the SCO decided to admit India and Pakistan as full members.
India and Pakistan signed the memorandum of obligations (MOB) in June 2016 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, hence intiating the formal process of joining the SCO as full members.
9 June 2017, at the memorable summit in Astana. India and Pakistan officially joined SCO as full-fledged members.
Structure of SCO
SCO has two Permanent Bodies which are:
SCO Secretariat in Beijing
Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) in Tashkent.
The Secretariat of the SCO
The Secretariat of the SCO is the primary executive body of the organization.
It serves to implement organizational decisions and decrees, documents such as declarations and agendas, it also functions as a document depository for the organization, the Secretariat also arranges specific activities within the SCO framework, and promotes and disseminates information about the SCO.
Secretariat of the SCO is located in Beijing.
Each Member State has a Permanent Representative to the SCO.
Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (SCO RATS)
The Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), headquartered in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, is a permanent organ of the SCO which functions to promote cooperation of member states against the spread of terrorism, separatism and extremism.
Each member state also sends a permanent representative to RATS.
SCO Modus Operandi
The Chairmanship of SCO is aquired by rotation for a period of one year by the Member States.
The SCO Secretary-General and the Executive Director SCO RATS are appointed for a term of 3 years.
Presently the Republic of Tajikistan is the Chair of SCO for the year 2020-21.
The Council of Heads of States is the apex decision-making body within the SCO. This council meets at the annual SCO summits, which are held every year in one of the member states’ capital cities.
The Council of Heads of Governments is the second-highest council in the organization. It also holds annual summits, wherein members discuss issues of multilateral cooperation. The council also approves the organization’s budget.
The Council of Foreign Ministers of SCO holds regular meetups, where the current international scenario and the SCO’s relationship with other International organizations are discussed upon.
The Council of National Coordinators works to coordinate cooperation of member states within the framework of the SCO’s charter.
Present Head of SCO
The Qingdao Summit of SCO Heads of State held on 9-10 June 2018 confirmed the appointment of
Mr Zumakhon Faiyozovich Giyosov from Tajikistan as the Director of the Executive Committee of the SCO-RATS from 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2021.
SCO Observer States
Afghanistan – awarded the observer status of SCO at the 2012 SCO summit held in Beijing, China on 6 June 2012.
Belarus – awarded the status of Dialogue Partner of SCO at the 2009 SCO Summit held in Yekaterinburg, and was granted the observer status of SCO in 2015.
Iran– has observer status, and it applied for full membership of SCO on 24 March 2008. After the UN sanctions on Iran were lifted, In January 2016 Chinese premier Xi Jinping declared support for Iran’s full membership in SCO.
Mongolia – It became the first country to receive observer status of SCO, at the 2004 Tashkent Summit.
SCO Dialogue Partners
The position of Dialogue Partner was established in 2008 under Article 14 of the SCO Charter of 7 June 2002. As of 2021 the dialogue partners of SCO are:
Nepal was granted dialogue partner status in the SCO at the 2015 summit, Ufa. Russia.
Sri Lanka was granted dialogue partner status at the SCO at the 2009 summit, Yekaterinburg.
Turkey a member of NATO, was granted dialogue partner status at the SCO at the 2012 summit, Beijing.
SCO relations with other international organisations
Year of Commencement of Relationship
the United Nations
in 2004 (where it is an observer in the General Assembly),
Commonwealth of Independent States
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
the Collective Security Treaty Organization
the Economic Cooperation Organization
the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA)
and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)
United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)
India and SCO
India was granted Observer Status at the July 2005 Astana Summit and subsequently participated in all SCO forums open to Observers.
India formally applied for full membership to the then SCO Chair, Tajikistan, before the SCO Summit in Dushanbe in September 2014. Thereafter, the next SCO Summit in July 2015 in Ufa Russia, declared the initiation of the process of accession of India’s (and Pakistan’s) full membership in SCO.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the SCO Summit in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on 23-24 June 2016, wherein India signed the Memorandum of Obligations (MOO) to obtain the status of Member of SCO.
The MOO outlined various obligations to be fulfilled by India in a sequential step-by-step and time-bound manner to obtain full membership.
India completed all its obligations under the MOO and was granted the status of full member (along with Pakistan) on June 9, 2017, at the SCO Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan.
India’s entry into SCO as a full member since 9 June 2017. has been further activated with the establishment of the SCO Division in MEA and the appointment of National Coordinator and Permanent Representative to SCO.
There has been regular participation in various SCO meetings.