The 22nd Summit of the Shanghai Organisation Corporation (SCO) Council of Heads of State will take place virtually on July 4, 2023. This will be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi under India’s first ever Chairmanship which it assumed last September at the Samarkand Summit.
The theme of the summit under India’s chairmanship this year is ‘Towards a SECURE SCO’ and this acronym was coined by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the 2018 SCO Summit. According to an official statement issued by the MEA the full form is: Security; Economy and Trade; Connectivity; Unity; Respect for Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity; and Environment and these themes have been highlighted during India’s Chairmanship.
All the leaders of the SCO member states including the Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Central Asian countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan were expected to arrive in New Delhi for the meeting in July.
Also, countries including Mongolia, Iran and Belarus are going to attend the virtual summit as Observer States. Turkmenistan as per the SCO tradition has been invited as the guest of the Chair. Also present during the meeting will be two SCO Bodies – SCO RATS and the Secretariat and also Heads of six international and regional organizations including ASEAN, the UN, CIS, CSTO, EAEU and CICA
New Pillars of cooperation
Under its Chairmanship India has set up new pillars of cooperation. These include Digital Inclusion; Youth Empowerment; Traditional Medicine; Startups and Innovation; and Shared Buddhist Heritage.
India has also worked towards strengthening people to people ties that include several socio-economic events that were hosted by Varanasi under the framework of the first-ever SCO Cultural and Tourist Capital for 2022-23.
India has hosted almost 134 meetings and events, including 14 Ministerial-level meetings.