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Shanghai Cooperation Organization

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Updated:2017-04-20 |

Shanghai Cooperation Organization


The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is an inter-governmental organization comprising China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan founded in Shanghai on June 15, 2001.


The SCO’s mission is to build friendship and trust among member states, encourage effective cooperation in political, economic, trade, cultural and other areas, safeguard regional peace and stability, and promote a new international political and economic order that is fair and rational. Between themselves the SCO members have developed the “Shanghai Spirit,” which is based on mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for cultural diversity, and pursuit of common prosperity. Externally they follow the principle of openness and non-alignment, and their strategies and policies are not directed against any third party or any other region.


The top decision-making body of the SCO is the Council of Heads of State, which meets once a year to decide on major issues. Its Council of Heads of Government also meets once a year to discuss priorities and issues of multilateral cooperation. Its two permanent bodies are: the Secretariat in Beijing (China) and the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure in Tashkent (Uzbekistan).


Six states have observer status with the SCO: Afghanistan, Belarus, India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan, and there are six dialogue partners: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey.