Pakistan Accepts India Invite to SCO Meet

Prelims level : Mains level : G.S-III Disaster and disaster management
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Why in News?

  • India will host Pakistan and representatives of seven-member countries that are part of the China-led Shanghai Cooperation Organisation on handling urban disaster this week.

About the earthquake rescue exercise:

  • In the 9th meeting of the Heads of Departments of disaster prevention of SCO countries of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states, held at Kyrgyzstan w.e.f 23-25 Aug 2017, Home Minister, Mr. Rajnath Singh, announced India’s offer to host the 10th meeting of Heads of Departments of disaster prevention of SCO member states.
  • Minister also offered to host a Joint Mock Exercise on Urban Earthquake Search and Rescue which was accepted unanimously.
  • On the directives of Govt. of India, National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) under the aegis of Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is hosting the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Joint Exercise on Urban Earthquake Search & Rescue (SCOJTEX)-2019 in two phases in Delhi and NCR.
  • The first phase comprises a preparatory meeting scheduled for 01st & 02nd November, 2018 followed by a Joint Exercise on Urban Earthquake Search & Rescue (SCOJtEx)-2019 scheduled for 21-24 February, 2019.
  • The exercise will provide an opportunity to member countries to validate their preparedness and resilience to address the various challenges like strengthening the effective utilization of the search and rescue teams for emergency response, coordination and information sharing with foreign embassies in disaster affected countries, making Humanitarian Assistance in Disaster Response more affective etc.
  • The preparatory meeting of SCOJtEx-2019 is being organized by NDRF on 01st & 02nd November, 2018 in New Delhi. All eight-member countries namely the Republic of India, Republic of Kazakhstan, the People’s Republic of China, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the Russian Federation, the Republic of Tajikistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan will be participating in the event.
  • The meeting will provide a platform to delegates to discuss types of events, modalities, venues, protocol and requirement etc for smooth conduct of main exercise.
  • The meeting shall be inaugurated on 01st November, 2018 at 1000 Hrs at Hotel Le Meridien, New Delhi. This meeting is expected to bring all the member countries closer to each other towards Humanitarian Assistance and in future to evolve mechanism for better & effective sharing of expertise towards making society Disaster Risk Resilience (DRR).
  • Representatives from Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) and other stake-holders are also attending the meeting.

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO):

  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), or Shanghai Pact,[1] is a Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance, the creation of which was announced on 2001 in Shanghai, China by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
  • The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Charter, formally establishing the organisation, was signed in June 2002 and entered into force on 19 September 2003.
  • The original five nations, with the exclusion of Uzbekistan, were previously members of the Shanghai Five group, founded on 26 April 1996. Since then, the organisation has expanded its membership to eight countries when India and Pakistan joined SCO as full members on 9 June 2017 at a summit in Astana, Kazakhstan.
  • The Heads of State Council (HSC) is the supreme decision-making body in the SCO, it meets once a year and adopts decisions and guidelines on all important matters of the organisation.
  • Military exercises are also regularly conducted among members to promote cooperation and coordination against terrorism and other external threats, and to maintain regional peace and stability.
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