AKIPRESS.COM - India assumed the rotating Chairmanship of Shanghai Cooperation Organization at the Samarkand Summit on 16 September 2022. Under India’s first-ever Chairmanship, the 23rd Summit of the SCO Council of Heads of State will be held in the virtual format on 4 July 2023, chaired by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
All the SCO Member States, viz. China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, have been invited to attend the Summit. In addition, Iran, Belarus and Mongolia have been invited as Observer States. As per SCO tradition, Turkmenistan has also been invited as the guest of the Chair. Heads of the two SCO Bodies – the Secretariat and the SCO RATS - will also be present. Further, Heads of six international and regional organizations have also been invited, viz. UN, ASEAN, CIS, CSTO, EAEU and CICA.
The theme of the Summit is ‘Towards a SECURE SCO’. The SECURE acronym was coined by the Prime Minister at the 2018 SCO Summit and stands for Security; Economy and Trade; Connectivity; Unity; Respect for Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity; and Environment. These themes have been highlighted during our Chairmanship of SCO.
India has set up new pillars of cooperation under its Chairmanship - Startups and Innovation; Traditional Medicine; Digital Inclusion; Youth Empowerment; and Shared Buddhist Heritage. In addition, India has worked towards fostering greater people to people ties that celebrate the historical and civilizational bonds between our nations. These include the various socio-cultural events hosted by Varanasi under the framework of the first-ever SCO Cultural and Tourist Capital for 2022-23.
India’s Chairmanship of SCO has been a period of intense activity and mutually beneficial cooperation between Member States. India has hosted a total of 134 meetings and events, including 14 Ministerial-level meetings. India remains committed to play a positive and constructive role in the organization, and looks forward to a successful SCO Summit as the culmination of its Chairmanship.