- Sputnik International, 1920
Enjoy in-depth, acute analysis of the most pressing local, regional and global trends at Sputnik!

Will SCO Become New United Nations for Non-Western World?

© Sputnik / POOL / Go to the mediabankSCO Summit
SCO Summit - Sputnik International, 1920, 04.05.2023
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a Eurasian political, economic, and security bloc founded in 2001, has great potential to become a United Nations for the non-Western world, according to Robinder Sachdev, geopolitical and economic diplomacy analyst and founder president of the Imagindia Institute.
The two-day summit of the SCO foreign ministers kicked off on May 4 in the Indian state of Goa. The SCO foreign ministers are due to focus on the expansion of the organization. In particular, the ministers are expected to approve a draft decision of the SCO's Heads of State Council on granting Iran the status of a member state. They will discuss Belarus' appeal to accelerate its admission to the organization. It is also expected that a series of memoranda will be signed on granting the status of "dialogue partners" to Bahrain, Kuwait, Myanmar, the Maldives, and the United Arab Emirates, which will open up new opportunities for the countries.

"If the SCO wants to make a meaningful impact worldwide, then the boldest path is for it to transform itself into a new-age global organization," Robinder Sachdev told Sputnik India. "The SCO has the historic opportunity to become the modern, ideal, mini-United Nations of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Such a globalized SCO can have membership of non-USA, non-European nations, with doors later also open for Western nations to join. Patterned by the UN, the norms and practices of the SCO should be equitable, democratic, and will be based on the reality of the 21st century."

Globe rendering. - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.04.2023
SCO vs Washington’s Asia-Pacific Pacts: How Eurasian Bloc Can Oppose US Diktat
According to Sachdev, the SCO can "definitely take a broader perspective and become a part of some global format of non-Western nations". The geopolitical analyst suggested that the organization could create its own Security Council and General Assembly, and even maintain a peace keeping force, thus becoming a model mini-UN, which could collaborate and assist the UN to address global challenges.
In 2021, the decision was made to start the accession process of Iran to the SCO as a full member. The Islamic Republic of Iran signed a Memorandum of Obligations to become a permanent member of the bloc during its 22nd summit held in the Uzbek city of Samarkand in September 2022.

Currently, the organization consists of eight permanent members, namely, China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan; and nine dialogue partners – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Turkiye, Egypt, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia.

Staff worker stands behind national flags of Brazil, Russia, China, South Africa and India to tidy the flags ahead of a group photo during the BRICS Summit at the Xiamen International Conference and Exhibition Center in Xiamen, southeastern China's Fujian Province, Monday, Sept. 4, 2017. - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.11.2022
Chinese Foreign Minister Calls For Boosting SCO, BRICS Cooperation
Tehran foreign officials noted at the time that Iran saw full SCO membership as a unique opportunity to enter a new stage of various economic, commercial, transit, and energy cooperation as the US maintained its sanctions pressure on the country. Iranian political commentators highlighted that the Islamic Republic's entry as the SCO’s ninth official member could also bolster the organization’s security foundations, referring to the entity's three main security goals enshrined in Clause 3 of Article 1 of the SCO Charter, namely to “jointly counteract terrorism, separatism, and extremism.”
"Iran’s accession to the SCO is certainly a welcome step," said Sachdev. "It will help the SCO block countries to better address issues of connectivity and trade, and regional development in general. It is a good opportunity for Iran to counter Western pressure, avoid isolation, and engage with its regional partners."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov speaks at an online BRICS foreign ministers-level event - Sputnik International, 1920, 27.02.2023
Number of States Seeking to Join BRICS and SCO Surges to 20, Lavrov Says
SCO membership may help Iran to reinvigorate its economy and thwart American sanctions, echoed Dr. Raj Kumar Sharma, Maharishi Kanad Fellow at the Delhi School of Transnational Affairs, University of Delhi. He drew attention to the latest Iran-Saudi peace deal, brokered by China, seeing it as a development facilitating the nations' cooperation within the SCO.
"[Iran] needs to use its transit potential to generate revenues and also decrease its dependence on hydrocarbon exports," Sharma told Sputnik. "Iran can earn up to 20 billion dollars if it can use its potential as a transit for trade corridors. The Iran and Saudi deal has paved the way for fewer tensions between these arch rivals. Iran enjoys good relations with SCO countries which is one of the reasons why it wanted to join the SCO."
The organization faces a number of challenges, argue international observers. In particular, they suggest that the SCO needs to find a balance between globalization and regionalization trends in its strategy. Some commentators express skepticism over the organization's capability of balancing interests of long-term political competitors participating in the bloc. The entity has so far proven its effectiveness in solving burning regional and geopolitical matters. Still, according to Sachdev, the SCO's rapid enlargement raises new questions concerning its inclusiveness and vector.

"There are three key decisions and clarifications that the SCO will have to share with its members and the world before it can expand as the mini-UN of the non-Western world," he pointed out. "The three questions are: Does the SCO nurture a military agenda against the West? Is the SCO an organization that will take an anti-West position on any and all matters? Are non-Western nations, in Asia (and Africa, Latin America), who are pro-West, welcome to join the SCO?"

To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала