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SCO Foreign Ministers’ Meeting Sets Agenda for Leaders’ Summit

India hosted the Foreign Ministers’ meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Goa, a crucial step towards the SCO Leaders’ Summit to be held in July in New Delhi. Professor Harsh V Pant, a Strategic Analyst, shares his insights on the agendas and concerns with Akashvani.

India is the current Chair of the SCO and the theme under of India’s Chairmanship of SCO this year is “Secure SCO”. it emphasizes India’s desire to ensure security in Central Asia. The SCO Foreign Ministers’ meeting is an important event as it sets the agenda for the Leaders’ Summit to be held in July. This meeting includes the eight member states of the SCO and focused on managing regional issues and problems. The Strategic Analyst underlined that India has historically strong links with Central Asia and the region is considered to be India’s extended neighborhood. India has underscored the principles on which it would like to pursue its relationship with the SCO, such as respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, non-interference in internal affairs, mutual understanding, and respect.

In the meeting, key focus areas for India included discussion on issues such as extremism, terrorism, and radicalization emanating from Central Asia and becoming part of South Asia. India reiterated to take a cooperative spirit forward to manage these challenges by working with other member states. The meeting also focused on establishing economic relationships in the region and ensuring sufficient connectivity to encourage trade and relationships. India also focused on technology and how it can play a role in enhancing governance. Best practices and experiences in digital infrastructure, digital governance which can be taken forward to Central Asian countries were also illustrated.

While talking about the significance of Russia in India, Professor Pant said, “India also works very closely with Russia when it comes to Central Asia and therefore, we are talking of the SCO in Central Asia. India and Russia have worked together, especially after American troops left Afghanistan in 2021.” A greater degree of information and intelligence sharing has been seen between India and Russia in terms of managing terrorism, extremism and radicalism.

Further, India, with the presidency of both G20 and SCO plays a leading role on the international platform. The world is also looking at India with a great degree of expectations because India has shown the world that, despite being a multicultural, multi-ethnic democracy, it has a stable polity. Even economically, it continues to be the fastest growing major economy in the world.

Source: News On Air