is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation creation of which was proclaimed on June 15, 2001 in Shanghai (China). The SCO’s member states are Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. The SCO prototype was the Shanghai Five mechanism, which did not include Uzbekistan. India, Iran, Mongolia, and Pakistan have SCO observer status.
The main goals of the SCO are strengthening mutual confidence and good-neighbourly relations among the member countries; promoting effective cooperation in politics, trade, economy, science, technology, and culture; making joint efforts to maintain and ensure peace, security and stability in the region, moving towards the establishment of a new, democratic, just and rational political and economic international order.
The Heads of State Council (HSC) is the highest decision-making body in the SCO, which meets once every year. The Heads of Government Council (HGC) also meets once every year.
The Organisation has two permanent bodies – the Secretariat in Beijing and the Regional Counter-Terrorism Structure (RCTS) in Tashkent. SCO Secretary-General and RCTS Executive Committee Director are appointed by the HSC for a period of three years.
The SCO’s official languages are Russian and Chinese.
The SCO member states occupy a territory of 30.2 million square kilometres, which makes up three fifths of the Eurasian continent, and have a population of 1.5 billion, which makes up a quarter of the planet’s population.