India has chaired the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) virtual Summit.
About SCO Summit 2023
- Held on: 4 July 2023
- Chaired by: India (PM Narendra Modi)
- Theme: Towards a “SECURE” SCO
- New Delhi Declaration: Member nations sign a declaration to counter terrorist, separatist, and extremist activities and prevent the spread of religious intolerance, nationalism, discrimination, xenophobia, fascism, and chauvinism.
- Joint Statements: Leaders adopt two thematic joint statements on countering radicalization leading to separatism, extremism, and terrorism, and on cooperation in the field of digital transformation.
New Pillars of Cooperation:
- Startups and Innovation
- Traditional Medicine
- Youth Empowerment
- Digital Inclusion
- Shared Buddhist Heritage
- India introduces these five new pillars and focus areas for cooperation within the SCO.
- During this 23 Summit, Iran officially joined the SCO as the Ninth Member Country.
- India assumed chairmanship of SCO in September 2022 for one year. India became part of the grouping in 2017 during Astana Summit.
- The theme of India’s chairpersonship of SCO is ‘SECURE SCO’, which is derived from the acronym coined by the Indian PM at the 2018 SCO Qingadao Summit.
- It stands for: S: Security for Citizens, E: Economic development, C: Connectivity in the region, U: Unity, R: Respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, E: Environmental protection.
- The presidency of the SCO for the forthcoming period is handed over to the Republic of Kazakhstan. The next meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of State will be held in 2024 in the Republic of Kazakhstan.