India nudges for adopting English as working language of SCO

Benaulim [Goa]: India will once again push for the use of English as one of the main working languages of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, which uses Mandarin and Russian as its official language, according to sources.

The Indian initiative to introduce English as a working language has received tacit support according to sources.

"This is something that has been emphasized a lot by other members too and there is a common understanding emerging," the sources said.

Russian and Mandarin are presently used as official and working languages in SCO. The group's documents are also prepared in these two languages. Besides Russia and China, four Central Asian states are among the founder members of SCO and Russian is widely spoken and written.

India is currently hosting a two-day-long SCO CFM in Goa with the most important work before the SCO Foreign Ministers will be to assess the status of decisions that will be approved at the SCO Summit in New Delhi in July.

With a focus on the regional, defence and political issue, India got the chairmanship of the grouping last year at the Samarkand summit and is hosting key ministerial meetings in the run-up to the SCO summit in July.

With its Secretariat in Beijing, the SCO comprises of eight member states, including India and Pakistan, China and Russia and the Central Asian states Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

This is the first time that India has assumed the Presidency of SCO, after joining the Organisation in 2017, as a full Member State.

India took over the Presidency of SCO from Uzbekistan after the SCO Samarkand Summit on 17 September 2022.

The period of India's presidency will culminate in the SCO Heads of State Summit which is scheduled in July in New Delhi.

"Focus on pushing English as a language other than Russian and Chinese remains during the SCO meet. This is something that has been emphasized a lot with the other members. India will lead two Working groups Innovation and startups and traditional medicine," sources told ANI.

The theme of India's Chairmanship of SCO in 2023 is 'Secure-SCO'. India attaches special importance to SCO in promoting multilateral, political, security, economic and people-to-people interactions in the region. Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is an intergovernmental organization established in 2001.
MEA Secretary Dammu Ravi, who is also in Goa, said the Foriegn Ministers' meeting in Goa will also give an opportunity to discuss the state of multilateral cooperation in SCO, regional and global issues of interest, reform and modernization of the Organisation and the progress of admitting Iran and Belarus to the SCO as new Member States.

Currently, eight countries enjoy the status of the SCO full members: India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan; four countries -- Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia -- have an observer status with the SCO, and six countries -- Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey and Sri Lanka -- have a dialogue partner status.

The last meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation was held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

( Source : ANI )
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