The Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Prospects For A Multipolar World

Published on Dandelion Salad, by Rick Rozoff, May 22, 2009.

2 excerpts: On June 15th and 16th the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will hold its ninth annual heads of state summit in the Russian city of Yekaterinburg.

It will be attended by the presidents of its six full members – China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – and by representatives of various ranks from its four observer states – India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan – and from several aspiring partner nations yet to be announced.

The SCO as an institution and as a concept represents the world’s greatest potential and in ways is its major paradox as its capacities and their realization to date are so far apart. 

Its six full members account for 60% of the land mass of Eurasia and its population is a third of the world’s. With observer states included, its affiliates account for half of the human race.

At its fifth and watershed summit in the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana, in June of 2005, when representatives of India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan attended an SCO summit for the first time, the president of the country hosting the summit, Nursultan Nazarbayev, greeted the guests in words that had never before been used in any context: “The leaders of the states sitting at this negotiation table are representatives of half of humanity.” [1: Kazinform, July 5, 2005] …

… Prospects: World Crisis And Emerging International Alternative:

In late October of 2008 the prime ministers of the SCO member states met in Kazakhstan against the backdrop of the worst world financial and economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

At the summit Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said that “Amid the global financial turmoil the SCO function acquires new meaning.” [40]

He specified that each member of the organization “offers its competitive advantages to be added to the common asset of interaction on
international markets.”

“In this sense, the organization’s role doubles today, since we are going through a complicated process in the international financial system and in the world economy. God has blessed the countries of our region to make use of their competitive geographical and historical advantages.” [41]

What Putin was alluding to was a central hallmark, indeed the very foundation, of the SCO and its model of horizontal rather than vertical integration. What provides the organization the vast potential it has both as the major multifaceted alliance and structure in Eurasia and also as microcosm and prototype alike for an international transformation in all realms is not only the individual or even collective resources of its members, but its principle and practice of complementarity, of avoiding inefficient and costly repetition and redundancy and what in the West is uncritically celebrated as “competition” … (full long text).

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