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By Interaction Desk

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization has emerged as a strong alternative to the western alliance but its effectiveness is yet to be determined. Having established its roots now the members leading members namely China and Russia intend to enhance the cooperation between the members and limit reliance on the prevailing American-led system.  In April 2022, In light of Russia’s continued exclusion from international sports, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) establish an “Association of sports organizations” and host “Major sporting events” under its auspices. Putin’s invasion of Ukraine prompted the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to recommend that athletes and officials from Russia and Belarus not participate in international sporting events.  Most international federations have actually accepted this recommendation Since February 2022 when “safeguards” were put in place; Russia has only been able to participate in a limited number of sporting events with its allies, especially Belarus, which supports the invasion of Ukraine. However, Russia is a key member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which also includes Iran and the Central Asian former Soviet states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. China, India, and Pakistan are also members.  In Samarkand, Uzbekistan, where the SCO nations met, Putin promoted the idea of ​​an organization hosting sports events, highlighting that such events are good opportunities for enhancing sports cooperation with the vision of hosting major sports events under the SCO umbrella. He emphasized the need for creating an association of sports organizations within SCO. In addition to this, the need for higher military cooperation among SCO member states was discussed in the SCO defense ministers meeting on August 24, 2022. Ministers decided to hold Peaceful Mission 2023 joint military counter-terrorism command exercise in the Russian Federation in response to new tactics used by international terrorists.  Russia proposed that during the exercise, stakeholders should focus on combating unmanned aerial vehicles, ensuring information security, and preventing terrorist attacks using chemical and biological weapons. The ties of the SCO with other international organizations are becoming a tool for strengthening regional security. In this context, Russia proposed to consider the possibility of inviting military units of other international organizations, as well as soldiers and observers from friendly countries, to participate in the Peaceful Mission exercise. The ministers agreed to continue their efforts to strengthen friendship and neighborly relations among SCO member states and expand security cooperation to ensure peace, stability, and sustainable development in the region. In this context, they spoke in favor of strengthening the practical cooperation of the SCO with other regional partner organizations. Defense ministers expressed their commitment to expanding military-to-military cooperation and welcomed Russia’s initiative to invite SCO member states to participate in the Vostok 2022 strategic command exercise hosted by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.  The Defense Ministers emphasized the need for the Trumpet of Peace International Military Band Festival to continue as a major platform for stronger mutual understanding, friendship, and promotion of cultural exchanges among the armed forces of the SCO member states. The participants agreed to further expand cooperation in order to ensure regional stability and create favorable conditions to guarantee the continuous progress and development of the SCO.  These propositions and steps seem to be in the right direction for enhancing the capabilities and the effectiveness of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), however, SCO has still a long way to go if it wants to establish itself as a viable alternative to the western alliance. This can only be done through commitment and not through half-hearted measures of some of the member states like India which have one foot in SCO and the rest of itself in the American Block. India is sailing in two boats at a time.  One should clearly and clean in supporting SCO in sports and Military. Anyhow, to begin with Russian efforts are good to establish a parallel system of the world to end the primacy of USA ultimately in all fields: sports, Banking and Military.

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