The 17th meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member nations is taking place in Dushanbe, the Tajik capital. 

Iran Press/Asia: The 17th meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has started in a restricted format and will continue in an extended format.  

According to Asia-Plus, trade and economic cooperation, regional economic and trade contacts as well as humanitarian and cultural projects within the framework of the SCO have been put on the meeting’s agenda.

The participants are discussing prospects for further development of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as well as issues related to strengthening cooperation in such fields as trade, connectivity and people-to-people exchanges to advance SCO practical cooperation in all areas.

The leaders, in particular, are also discussing issues of providing security and sustainable development within the SCO area of responsibility.   

They will also exchange in-depth views on current international and regional issues of mutual interest.

The meeting is expected to release a joint statement by the heads of government, speaking with one voice on major international and regional issues. Cooperation documents are also expected to be signed.

The meeting is expected to release a joint statement, speaking with one voice on major international and regional issues.  Cooperation documents are also expected to be signed.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization now has eight full members - China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.  Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia are four observer states, and SCO’s dialogue partners include Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey.  ASEAN, CIS and Turkmenistan are guests at the conference.

The Heads of State Council (HSC) is the supreme decision-making body in the SCO. It meets once a year and adopts decisions and guidelines on all important matters of the organization.

The SCO Heads of Government Council (HGC) meets once a year to discuss the organization’s multilateral cooperation strategy and priority areas, to resolve current important economic and other cooperation issues, and also to approve the organization’s annual budget.

In addition to HSC and HGC meetings, there is also a mechanism of meetings at the level of heads of parliament; secretaries of Security Councils; ministers of foreign affairs, defense, emergency relief, economy, transport, culture, education, and healthcare; heads of law enforcement agencies and supreme and arbitration courts; and prosecutors general.  The Council of National Coordinators of SCO Member States (CNC) acts as the SCO coordination mechanism.

China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan established the SCO, a Eurasian political, economic, and security grouping, in the early 2000s.

India and Pakistan joined in 2017, and Iran hopes to become a full member soon.

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Oct 13, 2018 07:19 Asia/Tehran
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