Leaders of 15 nations are attending this month’s SCO summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan — including from China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, its 8 member-states.
At this year’s summit, Iran signed a memorandum to become its 9th member before next year’s SCO gathering in India.
Observer nation Belarus also began the process for full membership.
Egypt, Qatar and Saudi Arabia are expected to be formally introduced as dialogue partners ahead of full membership at a later time.
And Turkey’s position as a dialogue partner may be elevated to observer status — while Armenia, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Cambodia, Nepal, Bahrain, Kuwait, the UAE, Myanmar, and the Maldives are expected to begin process for becoming SCO member-states.
The SCO is the world’s largest regional organization in terms of geographic and population size.
Its member-states comprise around 60% of Eurasia — with 40% of world population and over 30% of global GDP.
As new member states are added to the organization, so will its size in land mass, population, GDP and global prominence.
Established in 2001 as an intra-governmental forum to foster mutual trust and economic development, the SCO also focuses on security-related issues — notably because of hegemon USA-led NATO’s rage to dominate the world community of nations by brute force if lesser tactics fall short.