New Delhi, Sep 15 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be addressing the plenary session of 21st meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)Council of Heads of State on September 17, 2021 at Dushanbe in Tajikisatan via video link.
He will also lead the Indian delegation while the External Affairs Minister DR S. Jaishankar will be representing India at Dushanbe, the Ministry for External Affairs stated here on Wednesday.
The SCO Summit’s meeting will be chaired by the Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon and will be attended by the leaders of the SCO Member States, Observer States, Secretary General of the SCO, Executive Director of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS), President of Turkmenistan and other invited guests.
For the first time, the SCO Summit is being held in a hybrid format and the fourth Summit that India will participate as a full-fledged member of SCO.
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.
The 20th Summit of SCO Council of Heads of State was held on November 10, 2020 via video conference and was chaired by the Russian President wherein PM Modi led the Indian delegation.
Other SCO Member States were represented by their Presidents, while India and Pakistan were represented at the level of Prime Minister. Other participants were Secretary General of the SCO Secretariat, Executive Director of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure, the Presidents of the four Observers (Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, Mongolia) of the SCO.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), or Shanghai Pact, is a Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance, the creation of which was announced on June 15, 2001 in Shanghai, China by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, formally establishing the organization, was signed in June 2002 and entered into force on September 19, 2003.
The original five members, with the exclusion of Uzbekistan, were previously members of the Shanghai Five group, founded on April 26, 1996. Since then, the organization has expanded its membership to eight states when India and Pakistan joined SCO as full members on June 9, 2017 at a summit in Astana, Kazakhstan.
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. Military exercises are also regularly conducted among members to promote cooperation and coordination against terrorism and other external threats, and to maintain regional peace and stability.