PM to chair SCO meet on Tuesday

New Delhi: After his recent successful visit to the United States, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair the 22nd Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit of the council of heads of state to be hosted by India in virtual mode on Tuesday. New Delhi is expected to raise the concerns of the Global South (developing nations) at the summit in the context of emerging food, energy and fertiliser security challenges following the outbreak of the Ukraine conflict. The summit is expected to last for a couple of hours and will begin shortly after noon on Tuesday.

Connectivity initiatives in the region are also expected to be discussed at the summit, along with other issues such as the menace of terrorism, the need for reform of global multilateral institutions and financial inclusivity. The situation in Afghanistan, especially the need for humanitarian assistance for its people, is also expected to be discussed. The SCO has traditionally been viewed as a Russia and China-led grouping.

The theme of the summit is "Towards a SECURE SCO". The SECURE acronym was coined by Mr Modi at the 2018 SCO summit and stands for security, economy and trade, connectivity, unity, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity and environment. India had also set up new pillars of cooperation under its chairmanship -- startups and innovation, traditional medicine, digital inclusion, youth empowerment and shared Buddhist heritage.

India assumed the rotating chairmanship of the SCO after the Samarkand summit in September last year, which was hosted by Uzbekistan. The top leaders of all the other SCO member states -- China, Russia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan -- are expected to participate in Tuesday’s summit.

In addition, Iran, Belarus and Mongolia will also be present as observer states. Besides, Turkmenistan has also been invited as a guest of the chair. Heads of the two SCO bodies -– the secretariat and the SCO RATS -- will also be present, along with heads of six international and regional organisations -- the UN, Asean, CIS, CSTO, EAEU and CICA.

India has hosted a total of 134 meetings and events, including 14 ministerial-level meetings, during its presidency. In May this year, India had hosted the SCO foreign ministers’ meeting in Goa in physical mode, which was attended by representatives of all member nations, including Pakistan.

It may be recalled that in a surprise announcement a month ago, India had said that the SCO summit will take place in virtual format. New Delhi later added that this was due to a "multitude of factors" and the "totality of various factors," but did not elaborate on what these factors were.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
Next Story