The first documents signed by SCO members were “Declaration on the Establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization”, “Shanghai Convention on Combating Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism” and “Joint Declaration admitting Uzbekistan as a member of the Shanghai Five mechanism”.
Meeting of the state heads in June of 2002 in Saint Petersburg continued institutional documentation of the SCO. Declaration on Organization Establishment was practically realized in two documents – Declaration of the Heads of the SCO member states and the SCO Charter – as the basic organization documents.
The following bodies were formed within the SCO:
Council of Heads of State (CHS) is the highest SCO organ. It identifies priority areas and basic directions of SCO activities, determines matters of principle concerning SCO internal set-up and operation, decides on matters of principle of SCO cooperation with other countries and international organizations and studies pressing international issues. Regular sessions of the Council of Heads of State are held once a year. The host country of the session of the Council of Heads of State assumes the rotating presidency of the organization. A meeting place is determined, as a rule, according to the (Russian) alphabetical order of the SCO member states. The Council can also make a decision to establish other SCO bodies which shall be realized in additional protocols to the SCO Charter.
Council of Heads of Government (CHG) adopts SCO budget which is formed on the basis of share interest principal, studies and determines the principal matters of cooperation in specific areas within the SCO framework, especially in the economic field. Regular sessions of the Council of Heads of Government are held once a year. The host country Head becomes a chairman of the Council meeting.
Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs (CMFA) studies and resolves issues of current SCO activities, including preparation work for the meeting of the Council of Heads of State, implementation of SCO decisions, and consultations on international issues. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the host country of the meeting of the Council of Heads of State serves as chairman of the meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and may conduct external relations on behalf of the SCO in accordance with the Regulation in the Council operation procedure.
Conference of Heads of Agencies (CHA) is held to study specific questions of cooperation in specialized areas. At present, the meeting mechanism has been established for attorneys general, and ministers of defense, the economy, commerce, transportation and culture as well as heads of law-enforcement, security, emergency and disaster-relief agencies. The Head of the corresponding ministry and/or agency of the host country is appointed as chairman.
Secretariat is SCO’s standing executive organ. Its main functions are: to provide organizational and technical support for SCO activities, to participate in the study and implementation of SCO documents, and to put forward suggestions for SCO annual budget-making. The Secretariat is headed by an Executive Secretary authorized by the CHS. The Executive Secretary is appointed by the Council of Heads of State. Member states take turns according to the Russian alphabetical order of their country names to serve a non-consecutive three-year term.
Council of National Coordinators (CNC) is a coordinator and management organ of SCO routine activities and preparation for CHS, CHG and CMFA meetings. It meets at least three times a year. Its chairman is the National Coordinator of the host country of the meeting of the Council of Heads of State and may represent the SCO externally subject to authorization by the chairman of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs.
Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS) is a SCO permanent organ based in Tashkent, which main function is to coordinate SCO member activities against terrorism, separatism and extremism. It has a status of a legal entity and has a right to conclude contracts, purchase movable and immovable assets and administer them, open and maintain bank accounts, bring claims and participate in court trials. These rights are exercised by Director of the RATS Executive Committee on behalf of RATS.
Principal functions of this body are coordination of efforts of all SCO member states in combatting terrorisms, separatism and extremism, development of suggestions regarding the fight against terrorism, collection and analysis of information, generation of database of persons and organizations supporting criminals, assistance in preparation and implementing operational investigations and other activities related to the said above phenomena, maintaining contacts with international organizations. The RATS is composed of the Council and the Executive Committee (permanently acting body). The Council, a decision-making and leading body of RATS, is composed of leading officials of the competent authorities of the member states. Chairman of the Executive Committee is appointed by the Council of Heads of States.
Interbank Association (IA) was founded in the course of Council of Heads of States (CHS) meeting in 2005 as an assistance tool for realization of economic cooperation projects authorized by the SCO states. IA members are Development Bank of Kazakhstan, China Development Bank, Vnesheconombank, the National Bank of Tajikistan, the National Bank of Foreign Economic Activity of Uzbekistan.
Decisions in the SCO bodies are made on the basis of consensus. Procedures for all Shanghai Cooperation Organization bodies were finalized and accepted in 2003 at the Moscow summit. Principal structures of the organization commenced their work in January of 2004, after that this organization functions as a fully valid international organization.
SCO members are India, Kazakhstan, Kirgizia, China, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Pakistan.
Observer states are Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey, Sri-Lanka.
SCO has Partnership Agreements with OON, CIS, CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization), EEU and ASEAN.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization Forum is a multi-purpose social expert advisory mechanism established for assistance and scientific support of the SCO activities, development of cooperation of scientific research and politological centers of the SCO member states, conducting joint studies on topical issues, explaining tasks and policy of the SCO activities, expanding its relations with scientific and social circles, as well as encouragement of opinion exchange between scientists and experts in the fields of politics, security, economics, ecology, new technologies, in humanitarian and other areas.
The forum builds its activities according to the SCO Charter policy, based on SCO member states’ law and the Regulation. The forum operates close with the SCO Secretariat, Council of National Coordinators and Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the member states.
The SCO forum was established at the meeting held in Moscow in MGIMO (Moscow State Institute of International Relations) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia on May 22-23, 2006. The place of its establishment was not accidental: one of the initiators to create SCO Forum was Alexander Lukin, Director of East Asia and SCO Investigation Center of the MGIMO (U) of the MFA of Russia.
The forum is an analytical structure of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. It is a multipurpose expert advisory mechanism established for assistance and scientific support of the SCO activities, development of cooperation in scientific and research and politological centers of the SCO member stated, joint research work on topic SCO issues, explanation of tasks and working principles of SCO activities, expansion of its relationships between scientists and experts in the fields of politics, security, economics, ecology, new technologies, in humanitarian and other areas.
The forum consists of one recognized scientific institution from each SCO member states which are determined according to its internal procedures. These institutions have a status of National Research Center of the SCO. At the present moment the following institutions have the status of National Research Center of the SCO – SCO Forum member: International Institute of Modern Politics (the Republic of Kazakhstan); China Institute of International Studies; Institute of Strategic Analysis and Assessment under the President of the Kyrgyz Republic; East Asia and SCO Investigation Center of the MGIMO (U) of the MFA of Russia; Center of Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan; Institute of Strategic and Interregional Studies under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
SCO Forum principal tasks are:
– Establishment of relations, experience and research materials exchange between scientific and research, politological centers and higher educational institutions of the SCO members and its observers, other states and organizations showing interest in cooperation with SCO in various fields;
– Research activities and preparation of analytic and forecast materials, recommendations relating to certain areas of SCO activities aimed to improve efficiency of the Organization;
– Participation in project expertise within the multipurpose SCO cooperation programs;
– Preparation and holding of international symposiums, seminars, scientific-practical conferences, “round tables” and other activities on issues which are of interest to the SCO;
– Publishing research and activities materials conducted under the Forum authority.
The Forum holds annual meetings. National delegations are formed by National Centers consisting of most recognized SCO experts from various institutions of corresponding state. Representatives of SCO Secretariat, MFA and diplomatic representative offices of the SCO member states, expert circles of the observer states, SCO dialogue partners and also representatives of other concerned states are also invited, as a rule, to the Forum meetings. The place to hold the Forum meeting is determined according to the Russian alphabetic order of the names of the SCO member states. Forum chairman during the period from the day the previous forum was over till the day of the next Form meeting is a head of the National Center of the host SCO member state. The Forum chairman represents the Forum at all its levels.
Scientific centers studying the SCO are the following:
Center for East-Asian and Shanghai Cooperation Organization Studies of MGIMO (U) of MFA of Russia
Center for East-Asian and Shanghai Cooperation Organization Studies has been established as a member of the Institute of International Relations in January of 2004. Primary activity of the Center is the study of political, economic integrational and other processes in Eastern Asia, including the territory of the Russian Far East, within the Shanghai Cooperation Organization activities.
The following scientific activities were conducted over the last years: round table “Demographic situation and migration policy in the Russian Far East: security, integrational processes, compatriots residing abroad” (December of 2004), “Topical issues of the Russia-China relations and ways of their solving” (December of 2005), all-Russian scientific-practical conference “Russia-China cooperation: Issues and Solutions” (December of 2006), all-Russian scientific-practical conference “Russia and many-sided structures of the Asia-Pacific Region” (December of 2008). Since 2005, annually in autumn, the Center, jointly with Japanese Association of cultural relations with foreign countries, holds in MGIMO the Russian-Japanese conference named “In Search of New Ways of Development in Eurasia” (till 2007 – “Development and Stability in the Northeastern Asia”), in which leading Russian and Japanese scientists and international journalists take part.
Twice the Center for Eastern Asian and SCO Studies was in charge of organizing the Asia-Pacific Region section at Russian International Studies Association (RAMI) Conventions. Leading specialists from scientific and practical organizations of Russia and many countries worldwide take active part in the activities prepared by the Center.
In 2006, the Center for Eastern Asian and SCO Studies initiated the establishment of the Russian Community Expert Advisory Council for SCO consisting of expert specialists on SCO issues from leading Russian scientific and practical organizations. MGIMO President, member of the RAS Torkunov A.V. was appointed as the Council Chairman. The Council holds annual meetings where SCO development issues and SCO Forum activities issues are discussed, and Russian position at a regular SCO Forum meeting is negotiated.
Location: 103 Kurortniy Prospekt, Sochi, Russia. The Radisson Lazurnaya Hotel
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