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SCO HEADS OF GOVERNMENT SUMMIT

The Editorial covers GS paper 2 [Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.]

India to host 19th SCO Heads of Government Council next year: Vladimir  Norov - The Hindu

Context

  • Addressing a virtual meeting, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu while underlining India’s brave fight against the Covid 19 pandemic and economic recovery, condemned terrorism describing it as the most important challenge faced by the countries in the region.

  • Chairing the Summit, the Vice President also stressed on the collective need to combat scourge of terrorism.


What is the Background?

  • It was also the first time that India chaired a summit-level meeting of the SCO since it gained full-membership of organisation in 2017.

  • Highlighting India’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Naidu especially talked about the resilience shown by India in ensuring economic stability.

  • The council of heads of government is the second highest body of SCO and is responsible for handling the grouping’s trade and economic agenda and approving its annual budget.

What are the key points?

  • 20th Summit of SCO Heads of State is important as it brought President Xi Jinping of China and Mr. Modi together in the virtual format even as both sides are caught in the high tension confrontation in Eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

  • This was the first SCO Summit held in Virtual Format and the third meeting that India participated after becoming a full member in 2017.

  • The Republic of Tajikistan assumed chairmanship of SCO for 2021-22.

  • India has proposed to set up a Special Working Group on Innovation and Startups and a Sub Group on Traditional Medicine within SCO.

  • The Prime Minister of India indirectly referred chinese infrastructure projects in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and India China standoff at line of actual control and urged members of the SCO to respect “territorial integrity” and “sovereignty” of each other.

  • PM highlighted India's role in supporting infrastructure and connectivity development projects in the SCO region.

  • The International North–South Transport Corridor (INSTC) is a multi-modal connectivity project to establish transport networks (ship, rail, and road route) for moving freight between India, Russia, Iran, Europe and Central Asia.

  • Bringing changes in global governance will be the focus of India as a non-permanent member of the United Nation (UN) Security Council. 

  • From 2021 India will take part in the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member.

  • In the context of the fallout of the pandemic and the economic downturn, India sought support of the SCO members in attaining a reformed multilateralism.

  • India highlighted the challenges posed by the smuggling of illegal weapons, drugs and money laundering.

  • The National Museum of India will hold an exhibition on the Buddhist heritage of the SCO countries and India will host a food festival reflecting the culinary traditions of the SCO region.

 

Conclusion

  • The SCO must be used as a platform to deepen solidarity and mutual trust and resolve disputes and differences through dialogue and consultations. 

  • It will help in de-escalating tensions between India and its neighbouring countries China and Pakistan.