Recently, the 24th summit of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) was held in Astana under the presidency of Kazakhstan.

Key Highlight of the summit

  • The members adopted the Astana Declaration and approved 25 strategic documents emphasising energy, security, trade, finance, and information security.
  • SCO member states endorsed the Initiative ‘On World Unity for a Just Peace, Harmony and Development’ initially proposed by Kazakhstan.
  • Members of the SCO also adopted the SCO Development Strategy until 2035, outlining collective contributions in light of Belarus joining the SCO as the 10th member.
  • Other important Key resolutions included the cooperation programs to combat terrorism, separatism, and extremism for 2025-2027, the Anti-Drug Strategy for 2024-2029, and its corresponding Action Program.
  • The Economic Development Strategy’s Action Plan until 2030 was also approved.
  • China will assume the SCO Chairmanship (Presidency) for the next term, and Qingdao will be appointed the SCO’s tourism and cultural capital for 2024-2025.
  • Kazakhstan took over the SCO Chairmanship from India, which held the Chairmanship last year.

About Astana Declaration

  • According to the Astana Declaration, member states emphasised the SCO’s role in bolstering global peace, security, and stability. 
  • They highlighted the organisation’s contribution to shaping a new democratic, equitable international political and economic order. 
  • The declaration also invited the global community to join this initiative.

About Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)

  • It was established in Shanghai on June 15, 2001, by six founding nations: Kazakhstan, China, the Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. 
  • The SCO now has ten members, including India (2017), Iran (2023), Pakistan (2017), and Belarus (2024), in addition to the founding members. 
  • SCO Encompasses 40% of the World’s population, and member countries contribute approximately over $23 trillion to global GDP.
  • SCO has two Permanent Bodies – 
  1. SCO Secretariat in Beijing 
  2. Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) in Tashkent. 
  • The Chairmanship of SCO is by rotation for a year within the Member States.
  • The official languages of the SCO are Russian and Chinese.

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