Shanghai Cooperation Organization
Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), association of Eurasian nations founded 2001 in Shanghai by China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Under the charter signed in 2002, the member nations cooperate on security and military issues, especially with respect to terrorism, as well as on economic, environmental, cultural, scientific, and other issues. All of the founding members except Uzbekistan had been in an earlier group, the Shanghai Five, created in 1996. The SCO encourages economic, political, and cultural exchanges among its members and conducts joint military exercises; it also acts as a counterbalance to U.S. and NATO influence in Central Asia and more generally Asia. The organizational bodies of SCO include councils of heads of state, heads of government, and foreign ministers and an executive committee on regional counterterrorism. Forums are held each year in one of the member states.