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The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is what kind of organization? Composition of the SCO

Today our planet has more than 250 states, on the territory of which more than 7 billion people live. For the successful conduct of business in all spheres of society, various organizations are established, membership in which gives member countries the advantages and support of other states.

One of them is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). This Eurasian political, economic and military formation, which was established in 2001 by the leaders of the states founded in 1996, the Shanghai Five, which at that time included China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan. After Uzbekistan's accession, the organization was renamed.

From the Shanghai Five to the SCO - how was it?

As mentioned above, the SCO is a commonwealth of states, the basis for the creation of which was the signing in Shanghai in April 1996 of the Treaty, which officially establishes the deepening of military confidence on the borders of states between Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan, By the same States after the year of the Treaty, which reduces the number of armed forces in the border areas.

After that, the organization's summits were held every year. The meeting place of the participating countries was in 1998 the capital of Kazakhstan Alma-Ata, in 1999 - the capital of Kyrgyzstan Bishkek. In 2000, the leaders of the five countries met in the capital of Tajikistan, Dushanbe.

The following year, the annual summit was held again in Shanghai, China, where the five turned into the six due to Uzbekistan joining it. Therefore, if you want to know exactly which countries are members of the SCO, we summarize: now the organization has six full countries as full members: Kazakhstan, the People's Republic of China, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

In the summer of 2001, in June, all the six heads of the above states signed the Declaration on the Establishment of the Organization, in which the positive role of the Shanghai Five was noted, as well as the desire of the leaders of countries to transfer cooperation in its framework to a higher level. In 2001, on July 16, the two leading countries of the SCO - Russia and China - signed the Treaty on Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation.

Almost a year later, the meeting of the heads of the participating countries took place in St. Petersburg. During it, the Charter of the SCO was signed, containing the goals and principles, which the organization still adheres to. It also specifies the structure and form of work, and the document itself is officially approved in accordance with international law.

Today, the SCO member states occupy more than half of the Eurasian landmass. And the population of these countries is one quarter of the world's population. If we take into account the observer states, then the inhabitants of the SCO countries are half the population of our planet, which was noted at the July 2005 summit in Astana. It was first visited by representatives of India, Mongolia, Pakistan and Iran. Nursultan Nazarbayev, the President of Kazakhstan, who hosted the country's summit that year, noted this fact in his welcoming speech. If you want to have an accurate idea of how geographically the SCO countries are located, the map that clearly shows this is presented below.

Initiatives of the SCO and cooperation with other organizations

In 2007, more than twenty large-scale projects were initiated concerning the transport system, energy, and telecommunications. Regular meetings were held to discuss issues related to security, military affairs, defense, foreign policy, economy, culture, banking and all others raised during the discussion by officials representing the SCO countries. The list was not limited to anything: the subject of discussion were any topics that, in the opinion of the meeting participants, required public attention.

In addition, relations with other international communities are established. This is the United Nations (UN), where the SCO is an observer of the General Assembly, the European Union (EU), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN from the English Association of South-East Asian Nations), the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Cooperation (OIC). For 2015, the capital of the Russian Republic of Bashkortostan Ufa is scheduled to hold a summit of the SCO and BRICS, one of the goals of which is to establish business and partnership relations between the two organizations.


The supreme organ of the organization is the Council of Heads of State. They make decisions within the framework of community work. Meetings take place at summits held annually in one of the capitals of member countries. At the moment, the Presidents are in the Council of Heads of State: Kyrgyzstan - Almazbek Atambayev, China - Xi Jinping, Uzbekistan - Islam Karimov, Kazakhstan - Nursultan Nazarbayev, Russia - Vladimir Putin and Tajikistan - Emomali Rahmon.

The Council of Heads of Government is the second most important body in the SCO, holding summits each year, discussing issues related to multilateral cooperation, and approving the budget of the organization.

The Council of Foreign Ministers also holds meetings on a regular basis, where they speak about the current international situation. In addition, interaction with other organizations becomes a topic for conversation. Of particular interest in the run-up to the Ufa summit is the relationship between the SCO and the BRICS.

The Council of National Coordinators, as its name implies, coordinates the multilateral cooperation of states, regulated by the SCO Charter.

The secretariat functions as the main executive body in the community. They implement organizational decisions and decrees, prepare draft documents (declarations, programs). It also acts as a documentary depositary, organizes specific events where the SCO member countries operate, and promotes the dissemination of information about the organization and its activities. The Secretariat is located in the capital of China, Beijing. His current Director General is Dmitry Fedorovich Mezentsev, ex-governor of the Irkutsk region, member of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation.

The headquarters of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) is located in the capital of Uzbekistan, Tashkent. It is a standing body, whose main function is to develop cooperation with regard to terrorism, separatism and extremism, which is actively led by the SCO. The head of this structure is elected for a three-year term, each member state has the right to send a permanent representative from his country to the antiterrorist structure.

Cooperation in the field of security

The SCO countries are actively carrying out activities in the field of security, focusing primarily on the problems of its provision to the participating States. It is especially important today for the danger that the SCO members in Central Asia may face. As stated earlier, the organization's tasks include confronting terrorism, separatism and extremism.

At the June 2004 SCO summit held in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, the Regional Antiterrorist Structure (RATS) was established and subsequently created. In April 2006, the organization made a statement informing about the planned fight aimed at trans-border drug crime through counter-terrorism operations. At the same time, it was announced that the SCO is not a military bloc, and the organization is not going to be it, but an increased threat of such phenomena as terrorism, extremism and separatism makes it impossible for security activities without full-scale involvement of the armed forces.

In autumn 2007, in October, in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, an agreement was signed with the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). The purpose of this was to expand cooperation on security issues, combating crime and illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs. A joint action plan between the organizations was approved in Beijing in early 2008.

In addition, the SCO actively opposes cyberwar, stating that disseminated information that harms the spiritual, moral and cultural spheres of other countries should also be considered a security threat. In accordance with the definition of the term "information war" adopted in 2009, such actions are interpreted as an act of undermining by one state the political, economic and social system of another state.

Cooperation of the members of the organization in the military sphere

In recent years, the organization has been active in its activities, whose goals are close military cooperation, the fight against terrorism and the exchange of intelligence information.

During this time, the SCO members conducted a number of joint military exercises: the first was held in 2003 in two stages first in Kazakhstan and then in China. Since that time, Russia and the PRC under the auspices of the SCO have conducted large-scale military exercises in 2005, 2007 (Peace Mission 2007) and 2009.

More than 4,000 Chinese soldiers became participants in the 2007 joint military exercises in the Chelyabinsk region, agreed a year earlier during a meeting of SCO defense ministers. During them, both the air force and high-precision weapons were actively used. The then Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, Sergey Ivanov, announced that the exercises are transparent and open to the public and the media. Their successful completion prompted the Russian authorities to expand cooperation, so in the future to become a participant in such exercises under the auspices of the SCO, Russia invited India.

The military exercise "Peace Mission 2010", held at the Kazakh polygon Matybulak in September 2010, brought together more than 5,000 Chinese, Russian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Tajik military personnel who conducted joint exercises on operational maneuvers and planning military operations.

The SCO is the platform for important military statements that the participating countries are making. Thus, during the Russian exercise of 2007, during the meeting of the leaders of the countries, President Vladimir Putin announced that Russian strategic bombers are recommencing their flights in order to patrol the territory for the first time since the Cold War.

SCO activity in the economy

In addition to membership in the SCO, the composition of the countries of the organization, with the exception of the PRC, is part of the Eurasian Economic Community. The signing of the framework agreement by the SCO states, which transferred economic cooperation to a new level, occurred in September 2003. At the same time, Premier Wen Jiabao was invited to work on the creation of a free trade zone in the SCO countries in the future, as well as to take other measures to improve the flow of goods inside it. The result of this proposal was the signing in 2004 of a plan of 100 concrete actions.

In October 2005, the Moscow summit was marked by a statement by the Secretary General that the SCO organization would give priority to joint energy projects involving both the oil and gas sector and the joint use of water resources and the development of new hydrocarbon reserves. Also at this summit was approved the establishment of the SCO Interbank Council, whose tasks were to finance future joint projects. His first meeting was held in Beijing, China in February 2006, and in November of the same year it became known about the development of Russian plans for the so-called "SCO Energy Club". The need for its creation was confirmed at the November 2007 summit, however, with the exception of Russia, no one undertook to implement this idea, but at the August 2008 summit it was approved.

The 2007 summit went down in history thanks to the initiative of Iran's vice-president Parviz Dawoodi, who said that the SCO is a great place to design a new banking system that does not depend on international ones.

At the June 2009 summit in Yekaterinburg, which the SCO and BRICS countries (at that time the BRICs) held at the same time, the Chinese authorities announced the allocation of a $ 10 billion loan to members of the organization to strengthen their economies in the face of the global financial crisis .

Activities of countries in the SCO in the field of culture

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, in addition to political, military and economic, also actively conducts cultural activities. The first meeting of the Ministers of Culture of the SCO countries took place in the capital of China, Beijing in April 2002. During the meeting, a joint statement was signed, confirming the continuation of cooperation in this field.

Under the auspices of the SCO in Kazakhstan Astana in 2005, along with the next summit, the arts festival and exhibition were held for the first time. Kazakhstan also proposed to hold a folk dance festival under the auspices of the organization. The proposal was accepted, and the festival was held in Astana in 2008.

About holding summits

In accordance with the signed Charter, the SCO meeting of the Council of Heads of State is held every year in different cities of participating countries. The document also says that the Council of Heads of Government (Prime Ministers) holds a summit once a year on the territory of the member states of the organization in a place designated in advance by its members. The Council of Foreign Ministers meets a month before the annual summit held by the heads of state. If it is necessary to convene an extraordinary meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers, it may be organized at the initiative of any two participating States.

Who can join the SCO in the future?

In the summer of 2010, the order was approved for the admission of new participants, but so far none of those who want to join the organization to the countries have become a full member of it. However, some of these states were participants in the SCO summits in the status of observers. And they expressed their interest in joining the main team. Thus, in the future, Iran and Armenia can become members of the SCO. The latter, in the person of Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, during a meeting with his Chinese counterpart, expressed interest in obtaining observer status in the Shanghai International Organization.

Observers of the SCO

Today in this status in the organization there are potential countries of the SCO and BRICS. Afghanistan, for example, received it at the Beijing summit in 2012. India also acts as an observer, and Russia, seeing it as one of the most important future strategic partners, called upon it to become a full-fledged member of the SCO. This Russian initiative was supported also by China.

Iran also acts as an observer, which was to become a full participant in March 2008. However, the sanctions imposed by the UN caused the temporary blocking of the procedure for the country's admission to the SCO. The composition of the observer countries includes Mongolia and Pakistan. The latter also seeks to join the organization. This desire is openly supported by the Russian side.

Partnership for dialogue

The provision on dialogue partners appeared in 2008. It is set out in Article 14 of the Charter. In it, the dialogue partner is viewed as a state or an international organization that shares the principles and objectives pursued by the SCO, and is also interested in establishing relations of mutually beneficial and equal partnership.

Such countries are Belarus and Sri Lanka, which received this status in 2009, during the summit in Yekaterinburg. In 2012, during the Beijing summit, Turkey became a partner in the dialogue.

Cooperation with Western countries

Most Western observers hold the view that the SCO should create a counterweight to the US and the NATO bloc to prevent possible conflicts that allow the US to interfere in the domestic policies of its neighbors - Russia and China. America tried to get observer status in the organization, but her application was rejected in 2006.

At the 2005 summit in Astana, in connection with the military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the uncertain situation regarding the deployment of US military forces in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, the organization demanded that the US authorities establish a deadline for the withdrawal of troops from the states that are members of the SCO . After that, Uzbekistan was asked to close the K-2 airbase on its territory.

Although the organization did not make any direct critical statements about US foreign policy actions and their presence in the region, some indirect statements at recent meetings were interpreted by Western media as a criticism of Washington's actions.

Geopolitics of the SCO

Recently, the geopolitical nature of the organization becomes an object for comments and discussions.

The theory of Zbigniew Brzezinski says that the management of Eurasia is the key to world domination, and the possibility of control over the countries of Central Asia gives the power to govern the Eurasian continent. Knowing which countries are members of the SCO, we can say that despite the stated goals related to combating extremism and improving the security of the border areas, the organization, in the opinion of experts, seeks to balance the activities of America and NATO in the territory of Central Asia .

In the fall of 2005, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the organization of work aimed at creating a fair and rational world order and the formation of a fundamentally new model of geopolitical integration. This activity is conducted as actively as the work relating to other spheres of society.

The Chinese media report that, in accordance with the SCO Declaration, its members are obligated to ensure security in the region, and therefore they call on the Western countries not to interfere in its affairs. In other words, the countries of Asia are united in order to create a worthy alternative to the European international communities and to build their own international community, independent of the West.

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