Shanghai Cooperation Organisation - International Relations - Sleepy Classes IAS Skip to main content

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation – International Relations

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

International Relations

Download PDFRead More

About SCO

  • After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the then security and economic architecture in the Eurasian region dissolved and new structures had to come up.
  • Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan (Kyrgyz Republic) and Tajikistan is popularly known as Shanghai Five.
  • They had come together in the post-Soviet era in 1996.
  • In order to work on regional security reduction of border troops, and terrorism.
  • Subsequently, a permanent intergovernmental international organisation called SCO was founded in June 2001.
  • It is the Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
  • Its membership was expanded to include India and Pakistan in 2017. 

SCO Secretariat

  • The SCO Secretariat, based in Beijing, is the main permanent executive body of the SCO. 
  • Bringing together the colorful and distinctive cultures of Central and South Asia, China and Russia it promotes mutual assistance and team spirit.
  • 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 for a single three-year term with no possibility of extension.

Secretary General SCO – Zhang Ming


  • The SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure established by the member states of the Shanghai Convention to combat terrorism, separatism and extremism of 15 June 2001 located in Bishkek, the Kyrgyz Republic.
  • The Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) of SCO is the permanent body of the SCO RATS based in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan.

Significance of RATS

  • Fight against ‘Three evils’: Terrorism, Separatism, and Extremism with help of SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS).
  • Improvement of Practical Skills, Joint Anti-Terrorism exercises are conducted Through Law Enforcement agencies and the Armed Forces.


  • P- Pakistan
  • I- India
  • C- China
  • K- Kyrgyzstan
  • T- Tajikistan
  • U- Uzbekistan
  • R- Russia
  • K- Kazakhstan

SCO- Heads of State Council

  • The SCO Heads of State Council shall be the supreme SCO body. 
  • It shall determine priorities and define major areas of activities of the Organisation.
  • It will decide upon the fundamental issues of its internal arrangement and functioning and its interaction with other States and international organisations.
  • The Council shall hold its regular meetings once a year. 
  • A meeting of the Heads of State Council shall be chaired by the head of State organizing this regular meeting.
  • The venue of a regular meeting of the Council shall generally be determined in the Russian alphabetic order of names of the SCO member states.

India & SCO

  • India and the region were inextricably bound with each other from 3rd century BC to 15th century AD through the Silk Road.
  • It served as the conduit of communication.
  • It also aided trading in several commodities, including textiles, spices, tea, fur, bronze and others.
  • India joined SCO as a full member in 2017.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi used the acronym SECURE in order to facilitate comprehensive security in the SCO region.


  • S stands for the security of citizens
  • E for economic development for all
  • C is for connecting the region
  • U is for uniting our people
  • R is for respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity
  • E is for environmental protection

Additional Information

  • There are four Observer States interested in acceding to full membership (Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia).
  • There are  six “Dialogue Partners” (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey).
  • In 2021, the decision was made to start the accession process of Iran to the SCO as a full member. 

Cooperation with UN

  • On 2 December 2004, the 59th plenary session of the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution А/RES/59/48 entitled “Observer status for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in the General Assembly.” 
  • The resolution provided the SCO with the right to participate in the sessions and work of the General Assembly as an observer.

Presidency to India- 2023

  • In a rotational presidency, New Delhi will preside over the SCO from 2022 to 2023. 
  • SCO Presidency 2022- Samarkand, Uzbekistan
  • Since India has flagged many important ideas pertaining to food security, connectivity and economic development in the SCO.
  • India must seize this opportunity to demonstrate its cultural and historical linkages to the SCO members, particularly the Central Asian republics.

Cultural Capital – Varanasi

  • Varanasi, one of the world’s most ancient and continuously inhabited cities, is known as Banaras or Kashi. 
  • With India’s presidency of SCO, Varanasi has also obtained the rotating title of ‘Cultural and Tourism Capital’ for the SCO region. 
  • Varanasi is known as the cultural capital of India and is associated with spiritualism, mysticism, Sanskrit, and yoga. 


➡️UPSC 2023 General Studies Course:

➡️Sociology Optional for UPSC :

➡️Political Science and IR for UPSC:

➡️Signup here –

Have any query related to UPSC preparation:  📞Contact Us ► Toll-Free: 1800 890 3043 ► Mobile: 6280133177 ► Email: ► WhatsApp: 6280133177