The Shanghai Cooperation Organization was established in 2001 on the basis of the Shanghai Five mechanism after signing the Agreement on strengthening confidence building measures in the military field in the border area (1996, Shanghai) and Agreement on mutual reduction of armed forces in the border area (1997, Moscow) by the heads of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Russia and Tajikistan.
According to the SCO Charter (June 7, 2002), the main goals of the Organization are strengthening mutual trust, friendship and neighborliness, encouragement of effective cooperation in political, trade, economic, scientific, technical, cultural, educational, power, transport, ecological and other areas.
SCO member states are China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
SCO observer states are Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Mongolia.
SCO dialogue partners are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization is not a close alliance or military block against any other state; it is an open organization, focused on broad international cooperation, including possibility of enlargement.
As present, the SCO (including observer states and dialogue partners) is the organization with about 3 billion population (approximately 50% of world population). The Organization includes two permanent members of the UN Security Council (China and Russia), two countries with the largest population in the world (India and China), three out of five BRICS states and three out of twenty states of G-20 (India, China and Russia), and two largest energy consumers in the world (India and China).
The main goals of the SCO at present are maintaining peace, stability and safety in the region, development of economic and humanitarian cooperation.
The SCO supreme body is the Council of Heads of State. It determines priorities, decides upon the fundamental issues of its internal arrangement and functioning and its interaction with other states and international organizations.
The Council of Heads of Government considers and decides upon major issues related to economic and humanitarian cooperation, approves the budget of the Organization.
The Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs considers issues related to day-to-day activities of the Organization, preparation of meetings of the Council of Heads of State and holding of consultations on international problems, makes statements on the SCO behalf, if necessary.
The Council of National Coordinators coordinates and directs day-to-day activities of the Organization. It makes necessary preparations for meetings of the Council of Heads of State, the Council of Heads of Government and the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs.
The SCO permanent bodies are the Secretariat in Beijing and the Executive Committee of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) in Tashkent.
The SCO Secretary General and Director of the RATS Executive Committee are appointed from among the nationals of member states on a rotational basis in the Russian alphabetic order of the member states' names for a period of three years without a right to be reappointed for another period.
Since January 2016 Mr. Rashid Alimov (representative of Tajikistan) is the SCO Secretary General, Mr. Yevgeniy Sysoyev of Russia holds a position of the Director of the RATS Executive Committee.
According to practice, chairmanship in the Organization lasts for one year, starting from the date of the last summit to the date of the next Summit of the Council of Heads of State on the territory of the SCO chairing state. Since June 2018, Kyrgyzstan is the chair of the SCO.
SCO main documents:
-Declaration on the Establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization;
-Shanghai Convention on Combating Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism;
-Treaty of the Long-term Good Neighborly and Friendly Cooperation among Member States of the SCO;
-Rules of Procedure of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization;
-Regulation on the Secretariat of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization;
-Regulations of the Executive Committee of the SCO Regional anti-Terrorist Structure;
-Regulation on the Status of Observer to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization;
-Regulation on the Status of Dialogue Partner of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.