Shanghai Cooperation Organisation: International Relation: Intergovernmental International Organisation

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  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation, the creation of which was announced on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai (China) by the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan. It was preceded by the Shanghai Five mechanism.

  • Shanghai five - The Shanghai Five was formed on 26 April 1996 with China, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. With the inclusion of Uzbekistan SCO was formed on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai, China.

  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Charter was signed during the St. Petersburg SCO Heads of State meeting in June 2002 and entered into force on 19 September 2003. This is the fundamental statutory document which outlines the organization’s goals and principles, as well as its structure and core activities.

  • Proceeding from the Shanghai Spirit, the SCO pursues its internal policy based on the principles of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, mutual consultations, respect for cultural diversity, and a desire for common development, while its external policy is conducted in accordance with the principles of non-alignment, non-targeting any third country, and openness.

The SCO’s main goals are:

  • strengthening mutual trust and neighborliness among the member states.

  • promoting their effective cooperation in politics, trade, the economy, research, technology and culture, as well as in education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection, and other areas.

  • making joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security and stability in the region.

  • and moving towards the establishment of a democratic, fair and rational new international political and economic order.

  • The Heads of State Council (HSC) is the supreme decision-making body in the SCO. It meets once a year and adopts decisions and guidelines on all important matters of the organisation.

  • The SCO Heads of Government Council (HGC) meets once a year to discuss the organization’s multilateral cooperation strategy and priority areas, to resolve current important economic and other cooperation issues, and also to approve the organization’s annual budget.

  • The SCO’s official languages are Russian and Chinese.

  • The organisation has two permanent bodies — the SCO Secretariat based in Beijing and the Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) based in Tashkent. The SCO Secretary-General and the Director of the Executive Committee of the SCO RATS are appointed by the Council of Heads of State for a term of three years.

  • the SCO comprises eight member states, namely the Republic of India, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan.

  • the SCO counts four observer states, namely the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Republic of Belarus, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Mongolia.

  • the SCO has six dialogue partners, namely the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Republic of Armenia, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, the Republic of Turkey, and the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

MCQs

1. RATS was formed in the year____?

  1. 2001

  2. 2002

  3. 2003

  4. 2004

Ans. D

Explanation: In 2004, the ‘Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure’ (RATS) was formed. It is a very efficient organ of SCO and is engaged in furthering cooperation between member states against terrorism, security, drug trafficking and cyber warfare.

2. When did India became member of SCO?

  1. 2015

  2. 2016

  3. 2017

  4. 2018

Ans. C

Explanation: The historical meeting of the Heads of State Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation was held on 8-9 June 2017 in Astana. On the meeting the status of a full member of the Organization was granted to the Republic of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

3.Which among the following is/are official language/languages of SCO?

  1. Russian

  2. Chinese

  3. Both a and b

  4. Only a

Ans. C

Explanation: though there are many permanent and observer members of SCO but the SCO’s official languages are Russian and Chinese.

4. Which among the following are observer states of SCO?

  1. Afghanistan

  2. Mangolia

  3. Iran

  4. All of the above

Ans. D

Explanation: the SCO counts four observer states, namely the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Republic of Belarus, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Mongolia.

5. The SCO’s Secretariat is in ____?

  1. Beijing

  2. Tashkhent

  3. Uzbekistan

  4. Kyrgystan

Ans . A

Explanation: The SCO Secretariat is based in Beijing, is the main permanent executive body of the SCO. The Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General. The SCO Secretariat coordinates the activity of the SCO and provides informational, analytical, legal, organizational and technical support.

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