[Answered] Evaluate the role of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in promoting regional peace, stability, and prosperity.

Introduction: Give a brief description of SCO.

Body: Role of SCO in promoting peace, stability, and prosperity.

Conclusion: Way forward

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) was formed in June 2001. It had its origins in Shanghai Five that was established in 1996. Shanghai Five, having China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan as members, had emerged from a series of border demarcation and demilitarization talks which the four former Soviet republics held with China to ensure stability along the borders. In 2001, Uzbekistan also joined and the group was rechristened as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). Currently, SCO has 9 members with India, Pakistan & Iran as new members. SCO covers approximately 60% of the area of Eurasia, 40% of the world population. As of 2021, its combined GDP was around 20% of global GDP.

Role of SCO in promoting peace, stability, and prosperity:

  • Non-interference: SCO member states abide by policy of non interfering in internal affairs of other nations. Member states believe that dialogue and diplomacy offer the best hope to address international disputes by peaceful means.
  • Cooperation with Global South: In order to promote global peace, security, and prosperity China, India, South Africa, and other partners from the South are collaborating to implement the Global Security Initiative, Global Development Initiative, and Global Civilization Initiative.
  • Multilateralism: SCO nation-states believe in the principle of multilateralism. Nations engage with observer states, dialogue partners and other regional and international organisations such as the United Nations, to uphold the UN-centered international system based on international law in promoting world peace, driving global development and safeguarding the international order.
  • Economic Development: All SCO states are committed to prosperity and collaborate in trade, investment, technology, climate actions, infrastructure and people-to-people engagement. There is talk of pursuing efforts scale up local currency settlement between SCO members, expand cooperation on sovereign digital currency, and promote the establishment of an SCO development bank.
  • Security: SCO member states are against the bloc politics of the Cold War era. One of the primary focuses of the SCO is to combat terrorism, separatism, and extremism, transnational orgnanised crime. Efforts are being undertaken to improve cooperation in digital, biological and outer space security.
  • Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief: SCO collaborates on disaster management and humanitarian assistance during natural calamities and emergencies. Such joint efforts promote solidarity and cooperation among member states and contribute to regional stability.


Recently, India hosted 23rd Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of SCO where Iran was given full membership, and New Delhi declaration was signed which is considered a “SCO moment” with focus on countering radicalisation and exploring cooperation in digital transformation.

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