14.01.2022 465

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a single platform uniting eight member states in the direction of cooperation in the fields of politics and security, economy and trade, as well as culture and humanitarian exchange. Initially, 6 countries simultaneously joined the organization (China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan), which signed a declaration on the establishment of the SCO in 2001 in Shanghai in order to strengthen mutual trust, jointly ensure and maintain peace, security and stability in the region, and also promoting a democratic and just international political and economic order, reaffirming the SCO's commitment to the principles and purposes of the UN Charter.

The supreme body of the SCO is the Council of Heads of State, which, according to the Charter of the organization, meets once a year on the territory of the chairmanship and determines priorities, develops the main directions of activity, resolves issues of the internal structure and interaction with other states, as well as international organizations, during which the heads the participating countries have the opportunity to come up with initiatives regarding national and regional interests, and Uzbekistan has been actively doing that in recent years.

In particular, the President of Uzbekistan regularly puts forward proposals in all areas of the organization's activities, which are gradually being implemented. This is evidenced by a number of implemented ideas of Shavkat Mirziyoyev: adoption of the document “Joint appeal of the SCO heads of state to youth” in order to form their immunity to the ideas of terrorism and extremism; organization of a meeting of heads of railway administrations; creation of the international university of tourism "Silk Road" in Samarkand. In addition, activities are being carried out to implement the initiative put forward by the head of our state at the Bishkek SCO Summit in 2019, to introduce the practice of declaring one of the cities of the presiding member state as the “SCO Tourist Capital”.

As its influence grew, the SCO became an object of attraction for other countries in the region. So, in 2017, the ranks of the SCO were replenished with two new members - India and Pakistan, providing these countries with points of contact in some areas of the organization's activities. Thus, currently eight countries are permanent members of the SCO, four countries have observer status (Belarus, Afghanistan, Iran, Mongolia) and six countries are dialogue partners (Turkey, Azerbaijan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Armenia).

The next anniversary Summit of SCO, which was attended by the heads of Pakistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, began its work on September 16 this year in the city of Dushanbe. Within the framework of the Summit, the head of our state held bilateral meetings with the Prime Minister of Pakistan, the President of Iran and Tajikistan. There have been discussed the issues of optimizing the transit potential, implementing investment projects, regional interaction, as well as the emerging situation in Afghanistan. In accordance with previously published information on the official website of the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, along with the leaders of India and China, is taking part in the Summit via video conferencing.

It is planned that today, during the general meeting, the heads of state will consider joint measures to eliminate the consequences of the pandemic, exchange views on pressing issues of regional and international cooperation. One of the important points of the Meeting of the Council of Heads of State will be the beginning of the process of Iran's accession to the SCO as a full member of the organization, which became possible after the lifting of UN sanctions in 2015. At the same time, there will be considered issue of granting the status of a dialogue partner to Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Undoubtedly, these changes as a result will increase the weight of the organization and expand the geography of its activities.

As a result of the summit, the Dushanbe Declaration of the Twentieth Anniversary of the SCO will be adopted, which will assess the activities of the Organization for twenty years, and Uzbekistan, according to the regulations, will be announced as the presiding party.

According to the press-secretary of the President of Uzbekistan Sherzod Asadov, the chairmanship of Uzbekistan in the SCO will be a particularly important event for ensuring security and preventing threats, which is conditioned by the large-scale work carried out by Shavkat Mirziyoyev.

Meanwhile, it should be mentioned that along with the Summit, on September 17, there will take place a meeting of the heads of the SCO member states and Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). During the meeting there will be discussed the current situation in Afghanistan.

This new format of the SCO-CSTO meeting is conditioned by the fact that some members of these organizations have common borders with Afghanistan, which, in view of recent events, causes concern of the member states of the two regional organizations. Considering that the SCO is more of a political and economic nature, and the CSTO is a military bloc, the interaction of these organizations can become an effective tool in resolving the Afghan issue, as well as ensuring security in the states adjacent to Afghanistan.

It can be constated that over twenty years the SCO has transformed into one of the most influential international organizations and the largest regional structure with 3.4 billion people, occupying two-thirds of the territory of Eurasia. Currently, the process of globalization proves that no country is capable of effectively confronting modern challenges alone, be it a political or military threat. Coordination of actions of countries united by a common goal and interests within a single organization is also necessary from an economic point of view. Indeed, in this way, building a mutually beneficial approach to trade, logistics, migration and other topical issues will become much easier, which in turn will have a positive effect on the development of the economies of the countries involved.

Bunyod Tillahodzhaev,
Master's student at the University of World Economy and Diplomacy,
Chief Specialist Development Strategy Center

Source: Development Strategy Center