May 31, 2023
NEW DELHI – Under India’s leadership, the SCO Council of Heads of State will be held in a virtual format on July 4, 2023. All the SCO Member States, that are China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, have been invited to attend the Summit.
In addition, Iran, Belarus and Mongolia have been invited as Observer States. As per SCO tradition, Turkmenistan has also been invited as the guest of the Chair. Heads of the two SCO Bodies – the Secretariat and the SCO RATS – will also be present. Further, Heads of six international and regional organizations have also been invited, viz. UN, ASEAN, CIS, CSTO, EAEU and CICA.
“The theme of the Summit is ‘Towards a SECURE SCO’. The SECURE acronym was coined by the Prime Minister at the 2018 SCO Summit and stands for Security; Economy and Trade; Connectivity; Unity; Respect for Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity; and Environment. These themes have been highlighted during our Chairmanship of SCO,” the statement read.
“India has set up new pillars of cooperation under its Chairmanship – Startups and Innovation; Traditional Medicine; Digital Inclusion; Youth Empowerment; and Shared Buddhist Heritage. In addition, India has worked towards fostering greater people-to-people ties that celebrate the historical and civilizational bonds between our nations. These include the various socio-cultural events hosted by Varanasi under the framework of the first-ever SCO Cultural and Tourist Capital for 2022-23,” the statement added.
India’s Chairmanship of SCO has been a period of intense activity and mutually beneficial cooperation between Member States. India has hosted a total of 134 meetings and events, including 14 Ministerial-level meetings. India remains committed to playing a positive and constructive role in the organization and looks forward to a successful SCO Summit as the culmination of its Chairmanship.
The rotational presidency remains with India until September 2023.
In 2022, India assumed the presidency of the SCO, marking a significant milestone in the country’s role in regional cooperation and its endeavour of advocating for an integrated neighbourhood.