What the article is about
- The article talks about recent summit of the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan last week.
- GS2: India and it’s neighbourhood, grouping and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
- During last summit of SCO, India took over the chair of the regional forum, amidst ongoing turbulence in the region due to Russia-Ukraine conflict.
- It is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation. It was created in 2001
- It’s a Eurasian political, economic and military organisation aiming to maintain peace, security and stability in the region.
- Following the accession of Uzbekistan to the organisation in 2001, the Shanghai Five was renamed the SCO.
- India and Pakistan became members in 2017.
- Current Members: Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan.
- Iran is set to become a permanent member of the SCO in 2023.
- The Samarkand declaration advocated “commitment to peaceful settlement of differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation”.
New lines of fracture emerging within SCO:
- There is growing unease among the member states at the continuing conflict in Ukraine.
- Former republics of the Soviet Union, are deeply anxious about Russia doing an “Ukraine” on them.
- Therefore, these republics are looking to establish other partnerships, especially with China and Turkey, and to a lesser extent with India.
- India’s ability to contribute to peace and prosperity in Eurasia are entirely dependent on overcoming the lack of direct Connectivity to the region, therefore PM Modi rightly focused on the question of connectivity with Central Asia.
- Food Security: As the whole world is facing an unprecedented energy and food crisis, India emphasised the initiative to promote millet and address issues related to food security.
- India must devote full attention in the coming year of its SCO presidency to push through new connectivity initiatives with Eurasia.
- The entry of Iran into the forum opens the door for greater connectivity, so does the mobilisation of regional support for transit to central Asia through Pakistan and Afghanistan.