21st SCO Summit to be held on September 17, PM Narendra Modi to address meet virtually

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, PM Modi will be leading the Indian delegation at the SCO Summit, with External Affairs Minister DR S Jaishankar representing India in Dushanbe.

The SCO Summit, chaired by the Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon, will be India’s fourth as a full member. The event, which will be conducted under a hybrid style for the first time, will be attended by the leaders of SCO Member States, Observer States, the SCO Secretary General, Executive Director of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), the President of Turkmenistan, and other invited guests.

This Summit assumes significance as the organization is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and the the leaders are expected to review the organization’s activities over the past two decades and discuss the state and prospects of future cooperation, the MEA said, adding that topical issues of regional and international importance are also expected to be discussed.

India and Pakistan will be represented by their Prime Ministers, unlike other other SCO members who will be represented by their presidents. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), also known as the Shanghai Pact, is a Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance founded on June 15, 2001 in Shanghai by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The SCO Charter, which formally established the organisation in June 2002, was signed by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

On November 10, 2020, Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted the 20th Summit of the SCO Council of Heads of State via video conference, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi heading the Indian delegation. With the exception of Uzbekistan, the original five members had previously been members of the Shanghai Five, which was created on April 26, 1996.

The SCO’s top decision-making body, the Heads of State Council (HSC), meets once a year and adopts decisions and guidelines on all of the organization’s major issues.

Members also conduct military exercises on a regular basis to improve cooperation and coordination in the fight against terrorism and other external challenges, as well as to maintain regional peace and stability.

The leaders are yet to evaluate the organization’s actions over the past two decades and assess the state and possibilities of future collaboration, according to the MEA. Topical problems of regional and international relevance are also likely to be discussed.