Iran, Belarus to be newest SCO members

Tags: International News

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is all set to expand with Iran joining the group as its ninth member, while Belarus has applied for membership.

Important facts

  • The decision to include Iran was made at last year's Dushanbe summit and Belarus has applied for its membership.

  • This is the first expansion of the SCO after India and Pakistan joined the grouping in 2017.

  • The significance of this expansion is that it reflects the growing international influence of the SCO and also shows that the principles of the SCO Charter are being widely accepted.

  • India will host the SCO summit next year, and Varanasi has been selected as the SCO region’s first “Tourism and Cultural Capital”. 

What is Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)?

  • It is a permanent intergovernmental international organization.

  • It was founded in 2001.

  • The SCO Charter was signed in 2002, and came into force in 2003.

  • It is a Eurasian political, economic and military organization.

  • Its aim is to maintain peace, security and stability in the region.

  • China, Russia and four Central Asian states – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan – were founding members of the SCO.

  • Official Languages - Russian and Chinese

  • Chairmanship - On the basis of rotation for a year by Member States

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