India to advocate for English as Shanghai Cooperation Organization working language

4 May, 2023 | Anupam Shrivastav

working language National

With Russian and Mandarin as present official languages, India will again be pushing for English as an additional working lanuguage.

India will once again beĀ pressingĀ for the adoption of English as one of the principal working languages of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, which utilizes Mandarin and Russian as its official languages, as per the reports.

According to sources, the Indian suggestion to introduce English as a working language has received informal backing. “This is something that has been emphasized a lot by other members too and there is a common understanding emerging,” insiders have told.

At present, Russian and Mandarin are the two languages used as both official and working language of the SCO. Aside from Russia and China, four Central Asian states are founding members of the SCO, and Russian is widely spoken and written in the region.

India is now hosting a two-day SCO CFM in Goa, with the SCO Foreign Ministers’ main task being to examine the status of decisions that will be ratified at the SCO Summit in New Delhi in July.

Having a focus on regional, defence, and political issues, India assumed the grouping’s chairmanship at the Samarkand summit last year and is holding critical ministerial meetings in the run-up to the SCO summit in July.

The SCO has eight member states, including India and Pakistan, China and Russia, and the Central Asian states Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, with its Secretariat in Beijing. After joining the Organisation as a full Member State in 2017, India is assuming the Presidency of the SCO for the first time.

After the SCO Samarkand Summit on September 17, 2022, India assumed the SCO Presidency from Uzbekistan. The time of India’s presidency will conclude in the SCO Heads of State Summit, which will be held in New Delhi in July.

India has emphasized pushing for a working language with other members in SCO

“Focus on pushing English as a language other than Russian and Chinese remains during the SCO meet. This is something that has been emphasized a lot with the other members. India will lead two Working groups Innovation and Startups and traditional medicine,” as per the reports.

‘Secure-SCO’ is the topic of India’s SCO Chairmanship in 2023. India places a high value on the SCO’s role in developing regional multilateral, political, security, economic, and people-to-people ties. The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is a 2001 intergovernmental organization.

According to MEA Secretary Dammu Ravi, who is also in Goa, the Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Goa will also provide an opportunity to discuss the state of multilateral cooperation in the SCO, regional and global issues of interest, reform and modernization of the Organisation, and the progress of admitting Iran and Belarus as new Member States.

At the present time, eight countries have full SCO membership: India, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan; four countries have the status of observers with the SCO: Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia; and six countries have dialogue partner status: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Cambodia, Nepal, Turkey, and Sri Lanka.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s most recent summit was held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.