Iran to Join Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

Context: The recent virtual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) witnessed the announcement of a “more representative” and multipolar world order. This article highlights the key agreements signed at the summit, India’s stance on certain issues, and the cooperative efforts of SCO member states.

Key Points:

  • Iran’s Induction: SCO welcomed Iran as its ninth member, signifying its commitment to inclusivity and expanding its regional influence.
  • India’s Dissent: India abstained from endorsing paragraphs related to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in the joint statement, indicating a lack of consensus within the grouping. India also expressed concerns over cross-border terrorism by Pakistan and China’s connectivity projects that infringe on sovereign boundaries.
  • New Delhi Declaration: The summit witnessed the signing of the New Delhi Declaration, which outlines areas of cooperation among SCO member countries.
    • Opposition to Militarization of ICTs: SCO member states collectively oppose the militarization of information and communication technologies, emphasizing the need for universal rules and responsible behaviour in this domain.
    • Criticism of Non-UN Sanctions: The SCO members voiced their disapproval of non-UN sanctions, deeming them incompatible with international law and detrimental to other countries.
    • Exploration of National Currencies: SCO member countries agreed to explore the use of national currencies for intra-group payments, aiming to reduce dependence on international dollar-based transactions.
    • Commitment to Peace and Cooperation: SCO member states reaffirmed their commitment to peace, joint development, and equal relations based on mutual respect, friendship, and good neighbourliness.
    • Combating Illicit Drug Trafficking: The countries agreed to continue implementing the SCO Anti-Drug Strategy and conduct joint anti-drug operations regularly.
    • Environmental Protection and Climate Change: Member states recognized the importance of cooperation in environmental protection, ecological security, and mitigating the consequences of climate change.
    • Strengthening the WTO: SCO member states emphasized the need for a more effective World Trade Organization (WTO) as a platform for discussing the international trade agenda and adopting multilateral trading regulations.
    • Multilateral Arms Control: The member states emphasized the use of political and diplomatic means to address global and regional security challenges, actively promoting multilateral arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation processes.
Source: The Hindu

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