11.8.2020 : 12:07 : +0200

General Information | Point of Contact | PoA initiatives & activites | Instruments & documents | Members


Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)


Beijing, China

Web site

Short description

The SCO aims to strengthen mutual trust and good-neighbourly relations among its members by promoting effective cooperation on a very broad range of shared economic, political, scientific, and security interests.


The SCO’s relatively small annual budget (USD 4 million in 2007) is spent on the administrative functions of its two permanent bodies: the Secretariat in Beijing and the Regional Anti- Terrorist Structure (RATS) in Tashkent (as of 2004 each had a permanent staff of 30). The number of SCO posts allocated to each member state corresponds to its financial contributions to the budget (China and the Russian Federation contribute 24 per cent each, Kazakhstan 21 per cent, Uzbekistan 15 per cent, Kyrgyzstan 10 per cent, and Tajikistan 6 per cent). Specific projects and programmes are implemented on a bilateral or multilateral basis through additional contributions from participating member states.

The SCO was founded in June 2001 on the basis of the Shanghai Five—an informal negotiation mechanism created in April 1996 by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, and Tajikistan to promote confidence building and demilitarization in their respective border regions. The SCO’s six members include the Shanghai Five countries and Uzbekistan. SCO observers include Afghanistan, India, Iran, Mongolia, and Pakistan. SCO dialogue partners include Belarus, Sri Lanka, and Turkey.


6 members (all UN member states)

  • Current members*: China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan (Bold: founding member, Grey: suspended member)
  • Former members: None
  • Membership pending: None

Overlapping memberships with other ROs

SCO members represent:

  • 5 of 6 EurAsEC members (China is not a EurAsEC member)
  • 5 of 9 CIS members
  • 5 of 7 CSTO members
  • 5 of 56 OSCE members (China is not an OSCE member)

* Information accurate as of 7 June 2012

PoA Point of Contact

  • N/A
  • N/A


PoA-related activities

Members agreed to exchange information on the illicit manufacture, procurement, storage, transfer, movement, sale, or use of explosives, firearms, and ammunition in the Shanghai Convention (2001). The 2002 SCO Charter lists fighting against arms trafficking among its main goals. Parties submit information on the use of explosive devices, weapons, and ammunition in terrorist acts to the RATS database (2004).

In 2008 the SCO members agreed a cooperation agreement on crimes related to arms trafficking, covering the harmonization of national legislation, the development of joint counter-measures, and the exchange of relevant information and expertise, joint research and assistance in training. It was strengthened in 2010 to include the illicit manufacture of and trade in arms, ammunition, and explosive devices and substances. In 2009, SCO members with Afghanistan adopted an action plan pledging to jointly fight against illicit trafficking, including in investigating criminal cases and collecting evidence. Members pledged to cooperate in combating the illicit arms trade in the Joint SCO–UN Secretariat Declaration (2010).

PoA-related programmes and initiatives

PoA-relevant cooperation with other ROs

In 2007 the SCO and CSTO signed an MoU on cooperation to prevent illicit arms trafficking through consultations, information sharing, and joint programmes and actions. In 2010 the SCO, CIS, CSTO, and EurAsEC issued a joint statement pledging to strengthen cooperation and agreed to create a joint working group to coordinate common responses to challenges and threats. In June 2011 the RATS Executive Committee and CSTO signed a protocol pledging to intensify cooperation in the fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism.

Legally binding regional instruments

  • Shanghai Convention on Combating Terrorism, Separatism and Extremism (2001)
  • Charter of the SCO (2002)
  • Agreement on the Database of the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of the SCO (2004)
  • Agreement on Cooperation between the Governments of the SCO Member States in Combating Illicit Trafficking in Weapons, Ammunition and Explosives (2008)
  • Agreement on Cooperation between the Governments of the SCO Member States in the Fight against Crime (2010)

Other official documents of interest

  • MoU between the SCO Secretariat and CSTO Secretariat (2007)
  • SCO–Afghanistan Action Plan on Combating Terrorism, Illicit Drug Trafficking and Organized Crime (2009)
  • Joint Statement of Senior Administrative Officials of EurAsEC, CSTO, CIS, and SCO (2010)
  • Joint Declaration on SCO–UN Secretariat Cooperation (2010)


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