Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh has emphasised that, “Peaceful, stable and secure region of SCO member states – which is home to over 40 per cent of global population, demands a climate of trust and cooperation, non-aggression, respect for international rules and norms, sensitivity to each other’s interest and peaceful resolution of differences.”
He was addressing the Combined Meeting of Defence Ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Member States in Moscow.
What is SCO?
- SCO is a permanent intergovernmental international organisation.
- It is a Eurasian political, economic and military organisation aiming to maintain peace, security and stability in the region.
- It was created in 2001. The HQ is located in Beijing, China.
- Prior to the creation of SCO in 2001, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan were members of the Shanghai Five (1996).
- Following the accession of Uzbekistan to the organisation in 2001, the Shanghai Five was renamed the SCO.
- The SCO Charter was signed in 2002, and entered into force in 2003.
- The SCO’s official languages are Russian and Chinese.
- India and Pakistan became members in 2017.
What is CSTO?
- The Collective Security Treaty Organization is an intergovernmental military alliance that was signed in 1992. The treaty came into force in 1994.
- It was signed by six countries: Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Subsequently, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Belarus joined it.
- The CST was set to last for a 5-year period unless extended. In 1999, only six members of the CST signed a protocol renewing the treaty for another five-year period: Azerbaijan, Georgia and Uzbekistan refused to sign and withdrew from the treaty.
- It was decided to transform the CST into a full international organisation, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) at the Moscow session of the Collective Security Treaty in 2002.
- The Serbia and Afghanistan have been accorded observer status in the CSTO.
- Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Belarus are the current full member countries of CSTO.
What is CIS?
- Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was created in December 1991. In the adopted Declaration the participants of the Commonwealth declared their interaction on the basis of sovereign equality.
- At present the CIS unites: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.
- In September 1993 the Heads of the CIS States signed an Agreement on the creation of Economic Union to form common economic space grounded on free movement of goods, services, labour force, capital; to elaborate coordinated monetary, tax, price, customs, external economic policy; to bring together methods of regulating economic activity and create favourable conditions for the development of direct production relations.
- In order to facilitate further integration the Agreement on deepening of integration in economic and humanitarian field of four countries (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia) and Agreement on creation of Commonwealth of Sovereign Republics (Belarus and Russia) with creation of corresponding coordinating bodies were signed in 1995.
- In February 1999 by the decision of the Interstate Council of four countries (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia) the Republic of Tajikistan was recognised as participant of the customs union enjoying full rights.
- In October 2000 the Heads of five countries (Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan) signed an Agreement on creation of Eurasian Economic Community. At present Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine have the status of the observer under EAEC. In October 2005 Uzbekistan made the statement to join this organisation.
- In September 2003 four countries – Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine signed an Agreement on Formation of CES (Common Economic Space).
- Integration of the countries in the framework of the Commonwealth of Independent States is executed through its coordinating institutions (charter bodies, executive bodies and the bodies of branch cooperation of the CIS).
- The Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have never been a part of CIS, even if they were a part of Former Soviet Union.