Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit 2020 | UPSC

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit 2020


PM seeks respect for ‘territorial integrity’

      WHY IN NEWS:

PM reminded that India has traditionally supported infrastructure and connectivity projects in the SCO region

SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : International Grouping : SCO


For PRELIMS it is important to understand the organisation , setup and previous declarations of SCO . Note down this years key takeaway points too.

For MAINS how does SCO impact Indian geopolitics and territorial integrity ? We will take up this issue in our Editorial Hunts . Let us dive in !


In an indirect reference to the Chinese infrastructure projects in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Prime Minister urged members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to respect “territorial integrity” and “sovereignty”.


  • “PM focussed to further deepen connectivity network (among the SCO members), it is necessary to respect each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,”.
  • He also cited examples of the Chabahar port and the North South Corridor.
  • The 20th summit of SCO heads of state is important as it brought President Xi Jinping of China and Mr. Modi together in the virtual format.
  • As both the sides are caught in a stand-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.
  • Foreign ministers from across the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) are in Moscow this week for meetings.

Russia, which holds the SCO’s rotating presidency for 2019-2020.

  • It has managed to gather the foreign ministers in Moscow despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
  • On 10 November 2020, the SCO Council of Heads of State (CHS) held a meeting via videoconference.
  • The SCO CHS was chaired by President of Russia Vladimir Putin.


SCO continued to assert itself as an important pillar of the emerging representative and just international order based on:

  •  Supremacy of international law
  • Equal and indivisible security
  • Respect for civilisational diversity and sovereignty.

SCO member states reaffirmed their invariable support for the strengthening of the coordinating role of the UN. 

  • Its Security Council as the key factor in maintaining mankind’s peaceful, stable and progressive development.


  • The SCO member states intend to continue promoting practical collaboration in politics, security, trade and the economy, and cultural and humanitarian ties.
  • SCO members showed the interests of overcoming the global and regional consequences of the novel coronavirus infection, COVID-19.

They also showed mutual interests in ensuring reliable security, prosperity and sustained economic growth for the SCO member states.

  • The coordinated positions of the SCO member states have been reflected in the documents approved, namely the Moscow Declaration.
  • The meeting approved the Plan of Action for 2021-2025 to implement the SCO Development Strategy until 2025.


  • The SCO Concept of Cooperation in Developing Remote and Rural Territories in the Digital Era was discussed.

The Comprehensive Plan for the SCO Member States’ Joint Measures to Counteract Epidemic Threats in the Region.

  • The participants also approved the reports by the SCO Secretary-General and the Director of the RATS Executive Committee on their performance in 2019.
  • They also supported the Kyrgyz Republic’s intention to establish and ensure the functioning of an SCO Cultural and Integration Centre in Bishkek.
  • The Republic of Tajikistan has taken over the SCO Chairmanship.


Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit 2020 | UPSC


  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation.
  • The creation of which was announced on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai (China)


  • 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.

  • The SCO Charter entered into force on 19 September 2003.
  • This is the fundamental statutory document which outlines the organisation’s goals and principles, structure and core activities.
  • 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.


  • Strengthening mutual trust and neighbourliness among the member state
  • Promoting their effective cooperation in politics, trade, the economy, research, technology and culture

Also , effective co-ordination  in education, energy, transport, tourism, environmental protection. 

  • Making joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security and stability in the region
  • Moving towards the establishment of a democratic, fair and rational new international political and economic order.


Proceeding from the Shanghai Spirit, the SCO pursues its internal policy based on:

  • Principles of mutual trust
  • Mutual benefit, equality, mutual consultations
  • Respect for cultural diversity
  • A desire for common development

Its external policy is conducted in accordance with the principles of non-alignment

  • Non-targeting any third country, and openness.


  • 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 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.

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit 2020 | UPSC

STRUCTURE OF SCO | Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit 2020 | UPSC | SOURCES : WIKI COMMONS


The SCO’s official languages are Russian and Chinese.


The organisation has two permanent bodies —

  • The SCO Secretariat based in Beijing
  • The Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) based in Tashkent.


SCO comprises eight member states, namely the

  • Republic of India
  • Republic of Kazakhstan
  • People’s Republic of China
  • Kyrgyz Republic
  • Islamic Republic of Pakistan
  • Russian Federation
  • Republic of Tajikistan
  • Republic of Uzbekistan


SCO counts four observer states, namely the

  • Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
  • Republic of Belarus
  • Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Republic of Mongolia


SCO has six dialogue partners:

  • Republic of Azerbaijan
  • Republic of Armenia
  • Kingdom of Cambodia
  • Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal
  • Republic of Turkey
  • Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.


  • The SCO Secretariat, based in Beijing, is the main permanent executive body of the SCO.

The Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General

  • Nominated by the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and approved by the Heads of State Council.
  • The Secretary-General is appointed from among citizens of the SCO member states on a rotating basis in Russian alphabetical order .


The Secretary general has a single three-year term with no possibility of extension.


  • Officials of the Secretariat are hired from among citizens of the SCO member states on the basis of quotas.

The SCO Secretariat coordinates the activity of the SCO and provides informational, analytical, legal, organisational and technical support.

  • Secretariat also works with states and international organisations on issues related to the organisation’s activity, and concludes agreements.
  • The Secretariat also works with non-governmental organisations within the SCO framework .
  • In addition, it organises and coordinates the activity of the SCO Observer Mission .

      IASbhai WINDUP: 

  • The Secretariat holds regular briefings for representatives of print and internet media, prepares and publishes a news bulletin, and manages its website.

The Secretariat carries out preliminary legal and financial assessments of draft treaties and regulations drawn up within the SCO framework.

  • The Secretariat provides organisational and technical support for meetings and/or sessions of SCO institutions in accordance with relevant regulations and in cooperation with the state hosting the meeting.

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation China


     SOURCES:  THE HINDU | Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit 2020 | UPSC



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