The same day Beijing hosted Photo Exhibition “SCO Achievements” devoted to the 7th anniversary of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The event was sponsored by the Chinese Foreign Ministry and SCO Secretariat. The day before a solemn meeting devoted to the 7th anniversary of the SCO in the current configuration was held in the House of Peace and Friendship of Yekaterinburg, which will host a SCO Summit in 2009.
The solemn meeting was addressed by representatives of China, Kirgizia, Uzbekistan and Administration of the Sverdlovsk Region. The speakers expressed their confidence that the SCO summit of 2009 will be held in Yekaterinburg on the top level.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization was established on the basis of the Shanghai Five, which was formed after signing the Treaty on Deepening Military Trust in Border Regions and Treaty on Reduction of Military Forces in Border Regions by Kazakhstan, Kirgizia, China, Russia and Tajikistan in 1996-1997.
On June 21, 2001, the heads of six states, Russia, China, Kirgizia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, at their Summit in Shanghai signed the Declaration of Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The proclaimed aims of the new organization included: “strengthening mutual trust and good-neighborly and friendly relations among member states, encouraging their further effective cooperation in politics, economy, science and technology, culture, education, energy, transportation, environmental protection and other fields, jointly ensuring regional peace, security and stability, and creating a new international political and economic order featuring democracy, justness and rationality”.
From 2001 up to the present day 7 summits of the Council of the Heads of State, the top decision-making body, were held. The summits took place in Shanghai in 2001, in St.-Petersburg in 202, in Moscow in 2003, in Tashkent in 2004, in Astana in 2005, in Shanghai in 2006 and in Bishkek in 2007. This year the summit of the SCO Heads of State will be held in Dushanbe, and next year (2009) - in Yekaterinburg.
To provide for cooperation between ministries and agencies of the SCO member-states, the first Summit in Shanghai established the Council of National Coordinators (CNC).
On September 14, 2001, the heads of government of the SCO member-states had their first meeting in Alma-Ata and signed the Memorandum between Governments of SCO Member-States on the main goals and directions of the regional economic development. The meeting also made a decision on regular meetings of the heads of government within the SCO.
At the St.-Petersburg Summit the heads of state adopted the SCO Charter to specify the aims, principles and key directions of cooperation within the framework of the SCO. Besides, the heads of state signed the Agreement on Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure.
On September 23, 2003, the SCO heads of government at their meeting in Beijing signed the Programme of Multilateral Trade and Economic Cooperation between SCO Member-States and adopted the first SCO Budget of 2004. The Programme clearly specifies key goals and tasks of the economic cooperation within the framework of the SCO, priorities and particular practical steps of the cooperation, and determines the policy of SCO economic development for a two-year period aimed at provision of free movement of commodities, capitals, services and technologies.
Besides the Council of the Heads of State and Council of Heads of Government there are other mechanisms providing regular meetings of heads of parliament, national security council heads, ministers of foreign affairs (CMFA), defense, interior, economy, transport, emergency management, culture, education and health care, border guard agency heads, general prosecutors, charges of supreme and arbitration courts, and national coordinators (CNC). Besides, from January 2004 the SCO has the following permanent standing bodies: the SCO Secretariat in Beijing and SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure HQ in Tashkent.
The Summit of the SCO Heads of State in Tashkent in 2004 approved the Regulation for Observer Status at the SCO. At that Summit this status was granted to Mongolia, and in 2005 at the Summit of Heads of State in Asana - to India, Pakistan and Iran.