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‘8 Wonders of SCO’

Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.

‘8 Wonders of SCO’

What to study?

For Prelims: About SCO and the eight wonders.

For Mains: Significance and potential of SCO, challenges ahead.

Context: The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has included the Statue of Unity among the ‘Eight Wonders of the SCO.

Key facts:

  1. At 182 metre, the statue is 23 metre taller than China’s Spring Temple Buddha statue and almost double the height of the Statue of Liberty (93 metre tall) in US.
  2. Located on the Sadhu Bet island, near Rajpipla on the Narmada river, the Statue of Unity is located between the Satpura and the Vindhya mountain ranges.

 The Eight Wonders of the SCO are:

  1. India — the Statue of Unity.
  2. Kazakhstan — the Archaeological Landscape of Tamgaly.
  3. China — The Daming imperial palace complex.
  4. Kyrgyzstan — Lake Issyk-Kul.
  5. Pakistan — The Great Mughals’ heritage at Lahore.
  6. Russia — The Golden Ring cities.
  7. Tajikistan — The Palace of Nowruz.
  8. Uzbekistan — the Poi Kalon complex.

About the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO):

It is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation.

It’s creation 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.

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.

The SCO’s main goals are as follows:

Strengthening mutual trust and neighbourliness 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 SCO’s official languages are Russian and Chinese.

Bodies under SCO:

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.

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

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.

Currently:

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;

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;

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.

Sources: The Hindu.