Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan – 26 October 2023 (TDI) – The eagerly awaited 22nd Meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Member States is poised to take place on Thursday in Bishkek, the picturesque capital of Kyrgyzstan.
This historic gathering signifies a significant milestone, marking the first in-person meeting of the prime ministers representing SCO member states since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, it stands as a pivotal moment as Iran assumes its full membership within the SCO, aligning with other esteemed member states.
In a world increasingly marked by intricate global dynamics, the prime ministers are anticipated to engage in profound deliberations, focusing on the execution of agreements reached at the SCO summit in July.
Central to these discussions will be advancing the organization’s strategic growth and formulating pragmatic steps in various domains, including security, economic cooperation, trade, connectivity, and cultural exchanges.
Since its inception in Shanghai in 2001, the SCO has evolved from a regional cooperative entity with six founding members into the world’s most extensive and populous regional institution.
It now boasts a prestigious roster of nine full member states, namely Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India, Pakistan, and Iran, and three observer countries and 14 dialogue partners.
Of paramount significance, Iran officially assumed its role as the ninth full member of the SCO in July, while Belarus progressed through the accession procedures.
Beyond the confines of membership, the United Arab Emirates has expressed its intentions to join as a full member, with Syria, Iraq, Israel, Bangladesh, and Vietnam aspiring to participate as dialogue partners or observers.
Deng Hao, the Secretary General of the China Center for SCO Studies, has emphasized that the SCO’s expansion is a testament to the enduring appeal of the “Shanghai Spirit.”
Countries worldwide increasingly acknowledge that the Shanghai Spirit presents fresh avenues, choices, and hopes for resolving contemporary global challenges and surmounting prevailing development quandaries.
Furthermore, Su Xiaohui, a China Institute of International Studies researcher, has highlighted the SCO’s central role over the past decade. The organization continues to champion the idea of forging an SCO community with a shared destiny while steadfastly upholding the principles of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diverse civilizations, and the pursuit of joint development encapsulated within the Shanghai Spirit.
Furthermore, the SCO’s fundamental principle of non-alignment and its aversion to targeting other regions or organizations set it apart from Cold War-era institutions driven by competition and enmity. Instead, the SCO seeks to foster development and security through cooperation, rendering it an increasingly attractive alliance for nations worldwide.
In a world marked by evolving global dynamics, the 22nd Meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of Government stands as a testament to the organization’s enduring influence and its dedication to enhancing cooperation and promoting mutual prosperity among its diverse member states.
About the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO): The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a dynamic regional organization founded in 2001 with a mission to foster cooperation among its member states, observers, and dialogue partners. It is committed to building a community with a shared future based on principles of mutual trust, equality, and common development. The SCO’s expanding membership and commitment to non-alignment make it vital in the evolving global landscape.