The Shanghai Cooperation Organization
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) - a permanent regional international organization founded in June 2001, leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Prior to this, all countries, except Uzbekistan, have been participating in the "Shanghai Five", political union based on "Agreement on Confidence Building in the Military Field in the Border Area" (Shanghai, 1996) and "Agreement on Mutual Reduction of Military Forces in Border Regions" (Moscow, 1997).
These two documents have laid a mechanism of mutual trust in military field in border areas, have contributed to the establishment of true partnership. After inclusion in the Organization of Uzbekistan (2001), "five" was "six" and was renamed the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
Tasks of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization was originally laid in the field of mutual intra-regional action to combat terrorism, separatism and extremism in Central Asia. In June 2002, at the St. Petersburg summit of the SCO Charter was signed the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (entered into force on September 19, 2003). This is the basic charter document recording the purposes and principles of the Organization, its structure and main activities. In addition, in 2006 the Organization has announced plans to combat international drug trafficking as the financial support of terrorism in the world, and in 2008 - an active part in normalizing the situation in Afghanistan.
In parallel, the activity of SCO and has a broad economic trend. In September 2003, heads of governments of SCO member countries signed the Program of multilateral trade and economic cooperation, designed for 20 years. As a long-term goal the creation of a free trade zone in the SCO, and in the short term - to intensify the process of creating an enabling environment for trade and investment.
Today, cooperation within the SCO framework covers the areas of energy, transport, agriculture, telecommunications and many other industries. Widely communicate its member countries and in scientific and technological, cultural, educational, tourism and humanitarian spheres.
In a relationship within the organization the SCO member states are based on the idea of "Shanghai Spirit", adhere to the principles of consensus and mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, respect for cultural diversity, striving for common development. In the external relations of the SCO is based on the principles of openness, not belonging to the blocks, not directed against third countries.
The supreme decision-making body is the Council of SCO Heads of States (CHS), which meets once a year. Countries in the chair of the turn, with the annual cycles, completing the term of the summit.
The Council of Heads of Government of SCO Member States (EGR) meets once a year to discuss strategy for multilateral cooperation and priority directions within the organization, the decisions of fundamental and urgent issues of economic and other cooperation, and also approve the annual budget of the organization. In addition to the CHS and CST acts as the mechanism of meetings at the level of parliaments, the Secretaries of Security Councils, Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defence, Emergency Situations, the economy, transport, culture, education, health, heads of law enforcement agencies, and the supreme courts of arbitration, attorneys general. Coordination mechanism within the SCO is a Council of National Coordinators of SCO Member States (TRC).
SCO has two permanent bodies - the Secretariat in Beijing and the Executive Committee of the Regional Antiterrorist Structure in Tashkent. The most important economic instruments - Business Council and SCO Interbank Association.
The Secretary-General and the Director of the Executive Committee shall be appointed by the Council of Heads of States for three years. On January 1, 2013 as Secretary-General has DF Mezentsev (Russia).
The official working languages - Russian and Chinese.
The total area of the SCO member states is equal to about 30 thousand square mln.189 km, which is three fifths of Eurasia area, and the population - 1.5 billion people, accounting for one fourth of the total population of the globe.
Geographical location of the Member States and observers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization