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.
- 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.