After nearly 18 years of waiting in line, Iran could finally change its status in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) from an observer member to a full member this Tuesday.
This Tuesday, Iran could gain full membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and became the ninth member of the regional bloc after being in line for nearly 18 years.
In a short statement Tuesday evening, Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the news and said that “the end of the 21st Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), held in the Tajik capital Dushanbe, the leaders of the eight main members of the organization agreed to change the membership of the Islamic Republic of Iran from an observer member to a full member and signed the relevant documents.
Iran’s full membership was formally announced in a declaration made by all the 8 full members of the SCO. “The member states stressed the historical significance of the admission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the SCO as a full Member State,” said the New Delhi Declaration issued at the end of the summit, released on Tuesday evening. The SCO members also noted the “importance” of signing the memorandum of obligations by Belarus to “achieve the status of an SCO member state. in the near future.”
What the world leaders said in the summit?
During the summit, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the host of the summit, said he was “happy Iran is becoming a member of SCO grouping,” adding that the summit would also pave the way for Belarus to become a permanent member of the bloc.
Modi said New Delhi had made sustained efforts, during its term as the SCO chair, to take “our multi-faceted cooperation to new heights.”
“The food, fuel and fertilizer crises are “big challenges” for all the countries in the world “surrounded by controversies, tensions and epidemics,” Modi said, adding that “terrorism may be in any form, in any manifestation, we have to fight together against it.”
Addressing the summit, China’s President Xi Jinping on Tuesday called on the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to oppose “building barriers and walls” as well as “de-coupling.”
“China is willing to work with other members to stick to the right direction of economic globalization, object protectionism, unilateral sanctions and overstretching the national security concept,” Xi said. He also called on the SCO members “to enhance their solidarity and mutual trust,” and emphasized “safeguarding regional peace and ensuring common security”.
What was this year’s agenda of the SCO?
In the joint statement, the SCO members declared that the bloc pursues a policy that excludes any ideological and confrontational approaches to be practiced among the member states.
“Taking into account the views of the member states,” said the declaration, “the SCO reaffirm the relevance of initiatives to promote cooperation in building of a new type international relations in the spirit of mutual respect, justice, equality and mutually beneficial cooperation, as well as formation of a common vision of the idea of creating a community of the common destiny of humanity.”
While seeking further cooperation in the fields of politics, security, trade, economy, finance and investment, cultural and humanitarian ties, the SCO member states said the bloc “considers it important to build up joint coordinated efforts by the international community to counter the activities of terrorist, separatist and extremist groups, paying special attention to preventing the spread of religious intolerance, aggressive nationalism, ethnic and racial discrimination, xenophobia, ideas of fascism and chauvinism.”
However, the SCO noted “the inadmissibility of interference in the internal affairs of states under the pretext of countering terrorism and extremism, as well as unacceptability of using terrorist, extremist and radical groups for mercenary goals.”