On the eve of Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in June, which will take place in Beijing, politicians and expert come to many questions regarding current and particularly future agenda of SCO. In particular, one must clearly define what problems are present in the Organization today and what issues should be solved in the near-term prospect. It is critically to understand to what extent the project is optimized, what resources and capabilities it has for further intensification of economic and humanitarian cooperation and interaction in the field of security.
There is no doubt that global asset of the Organization is increasing. Globalization of SCO was motivated by such obvious factors as chaotization of international relations, instability and global financial crises. Continuous dismantling of current international legal framework by “humanitarian adjustment” of some regional conflicts (Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Syria, etc) attempted by the West alarms the global community. Under these circumstances, the Organization is merely bound to position itself as a pole of peace and stability. Model of SCO is a vivid example of construction of equitable and harmonious world from its six members, where interests of large and small, superior and inferior, rich and poor countries are matched.
Regional opportunities are prevailing on the agenda of SCO. This is due to the growing commercial and economic and investment demands, challenges and threats in the field of security. The Organization was always tried to balance directions in economy and security. Today, with all importance of commercial cooperation, the issues of security and political cooperation are seemed to become more and prevailing. It should be highlighted that the specific character of SCO has neither military nor block kind. Despite the growing threats to the security there wild be no evolution in the status of the organization.
Taking into account Washington’s declaration on withdrawal of the coalition in 2014, the Afghan challenge may acquire systematic and unpredictable characteristic. Under these conditions the dialogue with Afghanistan and employment of contact team, cooperation with CSTO and NATO becoming one of the directions of SCO activities including anti terror and anti drug cooperation.
Experts of SCO are considering all possible Afghan scenarios like withdrawal or non-withdrawal of the coalition as well as intermediate variants including adopting Afghanistan into SCO family as an observer or partner in dialogue. I would like to notice that India could make its significant contribution into regional security and intensification of economical cooperation especially in a plenipotentiary status of a permanent member of the organization. In the future, the same scenario of transition into permanent member could be projected on a Pakistan.
If one tries to structure SCO’s zones of responsibility there could be three provisional “areas of the organization”. These are security, economic and humanitarian areas. It is obvious that they differ on coverage and degree of development. Each one has its own unique features and its quality. For example, security area is the most specific and active, humanitarian area is considerably natural covering Russian speaking areal of post-Soviet Central Asia remained from the Soviet period. Economic area is still inferior to the other two especially on the criteria of collective (multilateral) cooperation.
Such “asymmetry” is intrinsic and more over when it comes to complicated structure of the Organization combining as we know states with different “weight”. It is important that in each area SCO uses its “toolkit” expanding in such a way political and functional possibilities of its influence. The experts in their turn are looking for a new, more efficient “toolkit”. In this way, studies of variants of establishing of a Conference on solving of territorial disputes and conflicts in the region are currently underway as well as preventive measures for any emergency and unified project of transportation and energy and water exploitation infrastructure, etc.
This way, the Organization is developing and its potential is great. It activity confirms stated objective, written in the Article 1 of the SCO Charter, the necessity of establishing of “equitable world… on the principles of rational political and economic order”.