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The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is a eight-member multilateral organization, established on 15 June 2001 in Shanghai, China by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. These countries, except for Uzbekistan, had been members of the Shanghai Five group, formed on 26 April 1996 with the signing of the Treaty on Deepening Military Trust in Border Regions. In 2001, during the annual summit in Shanghai, the five member nations first admitted Uzbekistan in the Shanghai Five mechanism (thus transforming it into the Shanghai Six). Thereafter, on 15 June 2001 the Declaration of Shanghai Cooperation Organization, was signed and in June 2002 the heads of the SCO Member States signed the SCO Charter which expounded on the organization’s purposes, principles, structures and forms of operation, and established it in international law. At the July 2005 Astana Summit, India was granted Observer status. In July 2015 in Ufa, Russia, the SCO decided to admit India as full member. India signed the memorandum of obligation in June 2016 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, thereby starting the formal process of joining the SCO as full member. On 9 June 2017, at the historic summit in Astana, India officially joined SCO as full- member.

The SCO has established relations with the United Nations in 2004 (where it is an observer in the General Assembly), Commonwealth of Independent States in 2005, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2005, the Collective Security Treaty Organization in 2007, the Economic Cooperation Organization in 2007, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in 2011, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in 2014, and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific in 2015 (ESCAP), United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in 2018.