The sun will be shining, but the topics are dark. Heads of State from Russia and China, Turkey and Central Asia, and other member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization are meeting today and tomorrow in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, to discuss multiple important topics, such as geopolitics, economy, energy, climate and more. The agenda will be long, although not exactly known so far.
Topics to be discussed will very likely include
- Russia´s war in Ukraine
- the energy situaion worldwide
- climate issues -such as the floods in Pakistan and the desertification in the Aral Sea
- the climate agreement and CO 2 emmissions
- the situation in Afghanistan
Central Asia is a multi-colorful, multi-national, multi-religious region with great potential for mediation between the “worlds”. It is in the middle of the old and also the new Silk Road. I hope the leaders in the conference will find ways to agree on the action needed to tackle the numerous problems we are facing.
Added Sept. 17
It seems that the conference in Samarkand did not deal with several of topics mentioned above. But the conference focused on the relationship of China and Russia, the clearly dominating powers of the SCO. In their relationship, China clearly has become the leading power, and while China has gained influence quietly through economic expansion, Russia is falling behind, weakened by the war in Ukraine, on which China is taking a neutral stand.
Both China and Russia are aiming at gaining influence and power, but by very different means.
Ulugbek Khasanov, professor at Uzbekistan’s University of World Economy and Diplomacy, acknowledges the SCO is a complex circle of nations disagreeing with each other on many critical issues. “But they gathered in ancient Samarkand with an agenda to strengthen security, trade and innovative cooperation.”
Khasanov calls the SCO mission diverse and ever evolving, viewing its focus on climate change, food and energy security, and regional security as a positive sign of collaboration.
NATO-State Turkey wants t o become a member of the SCO