PM Modi to host SCO Summit in virtual format tomorrow

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in virtual format on Tuesday, with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif among the SCO leaders set to attend.

The theme of India’s chairship of the SCO is – SECURE, derived from the acronym given by PM Modi at the 2018 Qingadao SCO Summit.

It stands for: S : Security, E: Economic development, C: Connectivity, U: Unity, R: Respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, E: Environmental protection.

India has created five new pillars and focus areas of cooperation in SCO, these are Startups and Innovation, Traditional Medicine, Digital Inclusion, Youth Empowerment and Shared Buddhist Heritage.

Two new mechanisms in SCO, Special Working Group on Startups and Innovation and Experts Working Group on Traditional Medicine were created on India’s initiative, and India intends to contribute substantially in both these areas.

To further the PM’s vision of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (World is one Family), India emphasised on building greater people to people connect. A number of signature events were held under India’s Chair of SCO with the intention to further deepen people to people connect.

There was an unprecedented level of engagement with the SCO Observers and Dialogue Partners under the Indian Chair with their participation in 14 socio-cultural events.

Events like SCO Film Festival, SCO Millet Food Festival, SCO Cultural showcase at SurajKund Mela, SCO Tourism Mart, Conference on Shared Buddhist Heritage, B2B Conference on Traditional Medicine, SCO International Conference of Think Tanks, were held.

Drawing focus on India’s millenia old cultural and civilisational heritage, Kashi/Varanasi was celebrated as the 1st SCO Tourist and Cultural Capital of SCO 2022-23.

The Youth Empowerment was another focus area of Indian chair, where events were held like Young Authors Conference, Young Scientist Conclave, Startup Forum, SCO Youth Council and Conference, SCO Resident Researchers Programme where the SCO young scholar from Member State stayed in India for a month to conduct research activities.

On May 4-5, India hosted the Foreign Ministers of SCO in Goa, this was marked by a colourful cultural program and substantive discussions the following day. Goa showcased its warm hospitality, unique culture and distinct heritage.

EAM inaugurated New Delhi Hall virtually at the SCO Secretariat in Beijing during India’s presidency of SCO.

A commemorative stamp was released to mark the first ever SCO presidency of India.

India’s association with SCO began in 2005 as an Observer country. India became a full Member State of SCO at the Astana Summit in 2017.

In the past six years, India has played a very active and constructive role in all spheres of activities of SCO.

On September 2022, India for the first time, took over the presidency of SCO from Uzbekistan at the Samarkand Summit of SCO.

SCO Member States comprise: China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

In addition, Iran, Belarus and Mongolia have been invited as Observer States.

As per SCO tradition, Turkmenistan has also been invited as the guest of the Chair.

Heads of the two SCO Bodies – the Secretariat and the SCO RATS – will also be present. Further, Heads of six international and regional organizations have also been invited, viz. UN, ASEAN, CIS, CSTO, EAEU and CICA.

The theme of the Summit is ‘Towards a SECURE SCO’.

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