Home / News / World /  SCO summit to commence in Samarkand today

The 22nd edition of the Council of Heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Member States (SCO-CoHS) commences today in the historical city of Samarkand in Uzbekistan. This would be the first in-person Summit of the Council of Heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Member States after the last was held in June 2019 in Bishkek. The last two meetings in 2021 and 2022 were held virtually and hosted by Tajikistan and Russia respectively.

PM Modi arrived in Samarkand on Thursday evening to participate in the SCO summit with buzz already brewing due to the first in-person talks between Chinese President Xi Jing Ping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin since the start of the Ukraine invasion.

There are also talks of the first meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jing Ping ever since the tensions at the India-China border began. The meeting also gains significance in light of the recent disengagement by troops of both countries at Patrolling Point 15 in eastern Ladakh.

Indian opportunities at the SCO Summit:

SCO offers promise in a number of sectors where all the member nations might discover shared interests.India has already made significant efforts to enhance cooperation in traditional medicine, science and technology, and startups and innovation. This edition of SCO also becomes important in the light of India assuming rotational annual presidency of the SCO at the end of the summit.

India has also called for the deepening of cooperation on regional security-related concerns, defence, countering terrorism, illicit drug trade, etc and has made sincere efforts to encourage peace, prosperity, and stability of the whole Eurasian region in general and SCO member countries in particular. 

SCO can also be a vocal platform for New Delhi to push the agenda of regional and cross-regional connectivity that could force Pakistan to moderate its views and approach to linking Central Asia and South Asia. It can also be a platform where India can push for Chabahar port project and International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC). In 2020, India, Iran, and Uzbekistan established a trilateral working group to seek greater convergence on Chabahar port and other connectivity projects

Starting in the year 1996 as Shanghai five the grouping later transformed to Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in 2001 with the inclusion of Uzbekistan.India and Pakistan entered SCO in 2017 and the decision to admit Tehran as a full member in 2021. 

SCO currently has eight Member States- China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, four Observer States interested in acceding to full membership - Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia and six "Dialogue Partners" - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey. Its member countries comprise 30 per cent of the global GDP and 40 per cent of the world's population. 


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