The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) held its annual summit in 2023, chaired by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The virtual meeting saw the participation of leaders from SCO member states, including Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif. The summit focused on various regional issues, such as terrorism, connectivity, Afghanistan, and the Ukraine conflict. The SCO, a key platform for Eurasian nations, aims to foster peace, security, and economic development in the region.
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO):
The SCO is a regional intergovernmental organization founded in 2001 by China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Later, India and Pakistan joined as full members in 2017, followed by Iran in 2023. The SCO promotes cooperation in various fields, including politics, security, economy, culture, and education. With its primary focus on combating terrorism, separatism, and extremism, the organization has become a vital platform for regional dialogue and collaboration.
Here are the key highlights and outcomes of the SCO summit 2023:
President Xi Jinping’s Call for Regional Stability:
Chinese President Xi Jinping, in his address at the SCO Summit, warned against external attempts to provoke a new “Cold War” in the region. He stressed the significance of safeguarding regional peace and ensuring common security. President Xi called for joint efforts among SCO member states to combat terrorism through collaborative operations, reiterating the organization’s fundamental goal of countering this menace.
Russia’s Support and Appreciation:
Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed gratitude to PM Modi for hosting the SCO Summit and acknowledged India’s exceptional work during its presidency. He commended the implementation of various documents and decisions that enhance the strategic partnership between Russia and India. President Putin also emphasized Russia’s commitment to standing against Western sanctions and “provocations.” Furthermore, he advocated closer ties and cooperation within the SCO, reinforcing the importance of strengthening regional integration.
India’s Contributions and Priorities:
PM Modi highlighted India’s noteworthy contributions to the SCO over the past six years as a member state. He emphasized the urgent need for collective action to eliminate terrorism, which poses a threat to regional and global peace. PM Modi also emphasized the historical and cultural ties between India and Eurasia, considering them a testimony to the shared heritage among SCO member states. He urged the SCO to condemn countries that support terrorism and emphasized the organization’s role in promoting the welfare of the Afghan people.
Iran’s Membership and Belarus’ Prospective Membership:
A significant development during the summit was Iran’s formal membership in the SCO. PM Modi warmly welcomed Iran as a new member and extended his best wishes to President Ebrahim Raisi and the Iranian people. The signing of the Memorandum of Obligation for Belarus’ SCO membership was also celebrated, further expanding the organization’s reach and influence.
Kazakhstan’s Energy Cooperation Proposal:
Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev proposed closer energy cooperation within the SCO. They highlighted Kazakhstan’s readiness to host the SCO Energy Summit and recommended the organization develop a joint energy strategy. This proposal aims to enhance energy security and promote sustainable development in the region.
The SCO Summit 2023 served as a significant platform for member states to engage in fruitful discussions and strengthen regional cooperation. The SCO Summit 2023 underscored the commitment of member states to strengthen regional cooperation. Discussions focused on countering terrorism, enhancing security, and promoting economic development. The inclusion of Iran as a full member and the potential membership of Belarus expanded the SCO’s influence. The summit highlighted the organization’s dedication to addressing shared challenges and fostering peace and prosperity in the Eurasian region. The outcomes reaffirmed the SCO’s role as a vital platform for regional dialogue and collaboration.
Watch: SCO Summit 2023