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EDITORIAL ANALYSIS : The SCO is a success story that can get better

 

Source: The Hindu

  • Prelims: Current events of international importance, Regional forums(SCO, NATO, etc)
  • Mains GS Paper II: Bilateral, regional and global groupings involving India or affecting India’s interests.

 

ARTICLE HIGHLIGHTS

  • India successfully hosted the 23rd Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

 

INSIGHTS ON THE ISSUE

Context

Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO):

  • SCO is a permanent intergovernmental international organization.
  • It’s a Eurasian political, economic and military organization aiming to maintain peace, security and stability in the region.
  • It was created in 2001. The SCO Charter was signed in 2002, and entered into force in 2003.
  • India and Pakistan became members in 2017.
  • On 17th September, 2021, it was announced that Iran would become a full member of the SCO.

Objectives:

Current Affairs

Developments in 23rd Meeting of SCO:

  • SCO member-states signed the New Delhi Declaration
  • Issued the statements on countering radicalisation and exploring cooperation in digital transformation.
  • The summit granted Iran full SCO membership
  • Signed the memorandum of obligations of Belarus to join the SCO as a member-state
  • Adopted the SCO’s economic development strategy for the period until 2030.

  

Issues around the world:

  • Geopolitical tensions
  • Economic slowdown
  • Energy crises
  • Food shortage
  • Climate change.

 

The major risks to world peace and development are:

  • Power politics
  • Economic coercion
  • Technology decoupling
  • Ideological contest.

 

Achievements by SCO:

  • SCO has shared future for mankind:
    • firmly supporting each other in upholding their core interests
    • synergising their national development strategies and regional cooperation initiatives.
  • Member-states have carried forward the spirit of good neighborliness and friendship
    • built partnerships featuring dialogue instead of confrontation, and cooperation instead of alliance.
  • The SCO has been a guardian of and contributor to regional peace, stability and prosperity.

 

What can SCO do?

  • The SCO’s leading and exemplary role can help strengthen unity and cooperation, seize development opportunities, and address risks and challenges.
  • The SCO member-states should strengthen strategic communication, deepen practical cooperation, and support each other’s development and rejuvenation.
  • SCO can enhance solidarity and mutual trust for common security.
  • External elements that are orchestrating a new Cold War and bloc confrontation in the region.
    • These developments must be addressed with high vigilance and firm rejection.
  • SCO member-states need to upgrade security cooperation, and crack down in a decisive manner on terrorism, separatism and extremism, and transnational organized crimes.
  • SCO needs to pursue cooperation in digital, biological and outer space security
    • facilitate political settlement in international and regional hot-spot issues.
  • Embrace win-win cooperation to chart a path to shared prosperity.
  • It is imperative for the SCO to generate stronger momentum for collaboration in trade, investment, technology, climate actions, infrastructure and people-to-people engagement.
  • To contribute to high-quality and resilient economic growth of the region:
    • collective efforts to scale up local currency settlement between SCO members
    • expand cooperation on sovereign digital currency
    • promote the establishment of an SCO development bank.

 

SCO and Multilateralism:

  • The SCO needs more engagements with its observer states, dialogue partners and other regional and international organizations such as the United Nations
    • To uphold the UN-centered international system and the international order based on international law.
  • Together, promoting world peace, driving global development and safeguarding the international order.
  • South Africa and India will preside over the BRICS and G-20 summits, respectively: These will be significant moments
    • To shape a multi-polar world order
    • promote inclusive global development
    • improve international governance

 

Way Forward

  • We need to pursue common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security
    • respect each country’s independent choice of the path to development and social system
    • abide by the purpose and principles of the UN Charter.
  • The reasonable security interests of all countries deserve consideration.
  • Dialogue and diplomacy offer the best hope to address international disputes by peaceful means.
    • Security challenges in conventional and non-conventional domains should be dealt with in a holistic manner.
  • We need to forge a united, equal, balanced and inclusive global development partnership
    • promote humanity’s common values of peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom
    • get global governance to evolve in a fairer and more reasonable direction.
  • Illegal unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction measures must be rejected.
    • Safeguarding the development rights and legitimate interests of the developing world.

 

QUESTION FOR PRACTICE

Critically examine the aims and objectives of SCO. What importance does it hold for India?(UPSC 2021) (200 WORDS, 10 MARKS)