What to expect at SCO in Goa? 10 Key Points

As Foreign ministers of SCO member states discuss global challenges and threats, The New Indian highlights ten key points to expect from the meet

| Updated: 04 May, 2023 7:14 pm IST
The SCO conference of foreign ministers will conclude on May 5. (TNI photo by Sumit Kumar)

BENAULIM, GOA: As Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) comprising eight countries – China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, India and Pakistan – begin their meeting at the boutique hotel Taj Exotica overlooking the pristine beaches of Benaulim in Goa, The New Indian looks at the ten key highlights of the star-studded affair.

* Highlight of the SCO meet this year is Bilawal Bhutto Zardari who is the first foreign minister to visit India since 2011 and is leading the Pakistan delegation to the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the SCO.

* During this summit, the member states will discuss global challenges and threats, including the Russia-Ukraine conflict, challenges of economic recovery, obstacles in global supply chains, and energy and food crises.

* A proposal on settlement of trade in national currencies is at SCO group’s overall agenda.

ALSO READ: India to again pitch for English as SCO working language

* SCO millet festival tourism mart will share Buddhism heritage on traditional medicine. This comes as India has put a spotlight on millet use in the country. The United Nations has declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets after a recommendation from India in the year 2019. To celebrate this achievement and promote awareness of millets, Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with a few dignitaries and fellow parliamentarians indulged in a lavish feast prepared using millets.

* The two-day meeting will be chaired by India’s external affairs minister S Jaishankar. India took over the presidency from Uzbekistan. Foreign ministers of Pakistan, China, Russia and Central Asian countries are participating in this.

* A strong emphasis is being made by India on English language usage at SCO. At present, the official languages are Russian and Chinese.

* In 2017, the SCO had grown to become one of the biggest international organisations, representing almost 30 per cent of the global GDP and 40 per cent of the world’s population. Evolved over the past 20 years, the SCO, which now encompasses the geographies of Eurasia, South Asia, and Central Asia, will discuss regional and cross-regional connectivity for socio-economic development, trade, and people-to-people contact.

* At present, there are eight members, four observers and 14 dialogue partners. The summit will discuss the proposal for four more dialogue partner countries, Kuwait, UAE, Myanmar and the Maldives.

* 15 decisions expected from the SCO FMs meet on Friday, in turn, will become part of the next SCO summit in July, which will have the leaders of state (prime minister and premiers of member countries.

* Reform and modernization of the organization is one of the top topic of discussion.

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