On November 10, 2020, the virtual 20th Summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Heads of State (CHS) 2020 was chaired by President of Russia Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin where Indian Delegation was led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- This was the first SCO Summit held in Virtual Format and the third meeting that India participated after becoming a full member in 2017.
- It should be noted that President Emomali Rahmon of Tajikistan will assume the chairmanship of SCO in 2021.
Key Points from PM Modi Address:
–India, as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), beginning from 1 January 2021, will focus on the theme of ‘reformed multilateralism’.
–Indian soldiers participated in about 50 UN peacekeeping missions and India’s Pharma industry supplying essential medicines to more than 150 countries during the pandemic.
–India is committed towards strengthening connectivity in the SCO region with initiatives like International North-South Transport Corridor, Chabahar Port and Ashgabat Agreement.
–Indian side extended its full support to observe the 20th anniversary of SCO in 2021 as the “SCO Year of Culture”.
–India will also hold the first SCO exhibition on Shared Buddhist Heritage to be organized by the National Museum of India (New Delhi). There will also be SCO Food Festival in India in 2021.
–India has also proposed to set up a Special Working Group on Innovation and Startups and a Sub Group on Traditional Medicine within SCO.
SCO Summit adopted 16 Documents:
The summit adopted 16 documents including key ones on countering spread of extremist ideologies and promoting digital economy. Following is the list of documents adopted at SCO Summit:
- Moscow Declaration of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO Member States.
- Decision of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO Member States Approving the Action Plan for 2021-2025 to Implement the SCO Development Strategy until 2025.
- Concept of Cooperation of the SCO Member States on the Development of Remote and Rural Areas in the Digital Age.
- Comprehensive Joint Action Plan of the SCO Member States to Counter Threats of Epidemics in the Region.
- Signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the SCO Secretariat and the Secretariat of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
- Signing of MoU between the SCO Secretariat and the Eurasian Economic Commission.
- Signing of MoU between the SCO Secretariat and the World Health Organisation.
- SCO Secretary-General’s Report on the Organisation’s Activities over the Past Year.
- SCO Regional Antiterrorist Structure Council’s Report on the SCO RATS Activities in 2019.
- Connection with the 75th Anniversary of Victory in World War II.
- Countering the Spread of Terrorist, Separatist and Extremist Ideology, Including Online.
- Cooperation in International Information Security.
- Countering the Drug Threat.
- Joint Response Efforts Against the Novel Coronavirus Infection.
- Cooperation in the Digital Economy.
- To establish and ensure the functioning of an SCO Cultural and Integration Centre in Bishkek.
Other Participants: The meeting was attended by President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, Acting President and Prime Minister of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Japarov, Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Imran Khan, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, as well as SCO Secretary-General Vladimir Norov and Director of the Executive Committee of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure Jumakhon Giyosov.
Recent Related News:
i.On October 16, 2020, the seventh meeting of Ministers of (Law and) Justice of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Member States was virtually hosted by Indian Minister of Law & Justice, Communication and Electronics & Information Technology, Ravi Shankar Prasad, which saw the adoption of Joint statement by SCO member states.
ii.On October 20, 2020, the 18th meeting of Prosecutors General of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Member States was virtually organized by the General Prosecutor’s Office of Uzbekistan from Tashkent where India was represented by Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta.
About Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO):
The SCO comprises eight member states — India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan andUzbekistan; four Observer States (Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia); and six “Dialogue Partners” (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey).
Secretariat– Beijing, China
Secretary-General– Vladimir Imamovich Norov