Latest News, MEIG Highlights 29 décembre 2022

Highlight 54/2022 – Shanghai Cooperation Organization: a platform for sustainable development

Jamshidjon Khayrullaev, 29 December 2022

Today the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is 2/3 of the territory of Eurasia, almost half of the population of the planet (nearly 3 billion people), with huge human, intellectual and technological potential. Moreover, the total GDP of the SCO member states has reached about a quarter of the global figure which is already a very solid contribution to the global sustainable development from a regional organization that has just crossed its 20-year threshold. Given the trend of the increasing number of full-fledged SCO members, the above figures will continue to grow.

The desire of states to combine efforts within the framework of SCO is conditioned by the emergence of a common understanding that the prevention of risks for sustainable development and the solution of global challenges such as climate change, lack of water and natural resources, the socio-economic consequences of the pandemic, the crisis of energy and food security require mutual holistic approaches. Moreover, geopolitical confrontations, stereotypes of block thinking, failure to observe the principles and norms of international law, which we are witnessing, in turn, leads to the destruction of the international architecture of security and sustainable development, limiting opportunities to resolve various acute regional and local conflicts through comprehensive and coordinated approaches.

The basis for the SCO’s international attractiveness is its non-bloc status, openness, non-targeting against third countries or the international organizations, equality and respect for the sovereignty of all participants, refusal to interfere in internal affairs, as well as the prevention of political confrontation and unhealthy rivalry. In recent years, these principles have allowed the SCO to establish trusted partnerships with international organizations to effectively address a multitude of issues of common interest. In particular, the SCO cooperates with the UNODC and CSTO in combating terrorism and drug trafficking, with UNIDO, UNCTAD, CIS, EAEU, ASEAN on trade, transport, logistics, industrial cooperation, the UNFAO on food and agriculture, and UNOCHA on coordination of humanitarian issues.

Moreover, the SCO’s high-level events increasingly reinforce its role as a key organization.
For example, the Summit of Heads of State, held in Samarkand on September 15-16, 2022, has recently become a significant event in the SCO activities. The importance of the event is stipulated by the Samarkand Declaration adopted at the summit, which makes an important contribution to restoring confidence in the system of international relations, becomes a kind of starting point for a new stage of interstate and multilateral cooperation, based on dialogue and mutual understanding.

In fact, the SCO is called upon to become a pole of attraction without dividing lines, in the name of peace, cooperation and progress. Therefore, the number of states that are ready to cooperate with the SCO is growing every year.

In general, today the SCO is entering a new, even more responsible stage of its development and is being transformed into a dynamically developing international organization and an important component of the system of maintaining global strategic stability.

Jamshidjon Khayrullaev, Highlight 54/2022 – Shanghai Cooperation Organization: a platform for sustainable development, 29 December 2022, available at

The views expressed in the MEIG Highlights are personal to the author and neither reflect the positions of the MEIG Programme nor those of the University of Geneva.


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