|SCO Established:||June 15, 2001.|
|SCO Members:||8 Members.|
|SCO Headquarters:||Beijing, China.|
|SCO Secretary-General||Vladimir Norov (Uzbekistan)|
The SCO is an international economic, political, and security intergovernmental organization. The word SCO is the acronym of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation. The SCO countries consist approximately 43% of the world population, 22% of the world land area, and 21% of the global GDP.
The SCO was established on June 15, 2001, in Shanghai, China with the six-member countries including Shanghai Five members and Uzbekistan. Initially, SCO was known as Shanghai Five Group, founded in April 1996 with the five-member states China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan. In June 2017, India and Pakistan joined SCO as the full members at the SCO summit in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Currently, SCO comprises eight Permanent member countries. The SCO has four observer states Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia. SCO also has six dialogue partners Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey, and Sri-Lanka.
The main aim of the SCO is to cooperate in the field of Education, Science, Technology, Culture, Tourism, Sports, Media, Healthcare, Climate Change, Security, and the Economy. Apart from this SCO also focuses on strengthening mutual trust and neighborliness among the member states, making joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security, and stability in the region.
The headquarters of SCO is established in Beijing, China, and the Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) headquarters is based in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The SCO secretary-general and the director of the executive committee of the RATS are appointed by the council of Heads of states for a term of three years. The official languages of the SCO are English, Chinese, and Russian.
The SCO summit holds annually in any one of the member countries. The place for the summit is selected in the alphabetic order of the member state's name. The heads of the member countries of the SCO participate in the summit. Various topics are discussed at the summit and make a roadmap for future development.
India became a full member of the SCO in June 2017. In the same year, Pakistan also became a full member of SCO.