The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Leaders’ Summit, held in Samarkand, one of the ancient cities of Uzbekistan, which stands out with its historical and spiritual importance on September 15-16, 2022, attracts the attention of the international public because it hosts the presidents of 15 countries. In this context, it is possible to interpret the summit in question in terms of two dimensions. The first of these is the current situation and future projection of the SCO. The second is the Presidency of Uzbekistan.
First of all, it should be emphasized that the SCO stands out as a constructive organization that focuses on cooperation from regional to global. In the words of the President of Uzbekistan, Mr. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the SCO, which is a successful regional cooperation model, is turning into a strong cooperation platform that represents the efforts towards multipolarity in the international system. As a matter of fact, it is seen that India and Pakistan became members of the SCO in 2017, Iran’s membership was accepted in 2021, and there were concrete developments towards Belarus’ membership at this summit. For this reason, it can be said that the SCO has a tendency to expand. Moreover, it is seen that the number of observer members and dialogue partners of the SCO is increasing day by day. As a matter of fact, with the Samarkand Summit, the process for Bahrain and Maldives to become “Dialogue Partners” has been started.
The SCO countries, which currently host almost half of the world’s population, have 25% of global oil reserves, 35% of coal reserves, more than 50% of natural gas reserves and almost half of uranium reserves. This causes the point for the SCO to become a stronger economic integration organization with each passing day. Undoubtedly, parallel to the prominence of the economic role of the SCO, the weight and prestige of the organization in the international system and, accordingly, the interest of various states in the SCO are increasing.
However, this cooperative and constructive approach is not limited with the economy and focuses on various issues, especially regional security. For this reason, it can be said that the Samarkand Summit focused on constructive efforts regarding the Afghan Problem, which is one of the most important security issues of the member states.
In addition, nearly 30 documents were signed at the summit. The most striking issue among the documents in question is the development of transportation infrastructures; so it’s about the corridors. Because this is a concrete indication that the SCO is building bridges of cooperation, not new blocks, in the world that is evolving into multipolarity.
On the other hand, the documents in question mainly reveal the second dimension of the issue; that is, it reflects the achievements of Uzbekistan’s term presidency. Because the resulting texts are the success of the constructive diplomacy understanding of the Tashkent administration. Since Uzbekistan became a member of the SCO in 2001, it has assumed critical responsibilities in regional and interregional cooperation processes, especially in Central Asia. The Tashkent administration is becoming the central actor in the search for international cooperation, especially thanks to Mr. Mirziyoyev’s prudent and visionary leadership approach. This situation confirmed once again the reality of the “New Uzbekistan” on the occasion of the SCO Term Presidency.
The “New Uzbekistan” has taken important steps to strengthen the authority and position of the SCO in today’s conjuncture, where global confidence crises are deepening and geopolitical contradictions are increasing. In this context, Mr. Mirziyoyev’s article titled “SCO Samarkand Summit: Dialogue and Cooperation in a Globalizing World” states that “promoting multifaceted cooperation through ensuring regional security constitutes the success story of the SCO.” The message of the Tashkent administration has clearly revealed the point of view of Uzbekistan and the constructive stance it has put forward.
At this point, it can be said that the organization of the summit in Samarkand has a symbolic importance reflecting thousands of years of cooperation. Because Samarkand, as a 2500-year-old city of culture, civilization and commerce, has a strong message about the breakthroughs of the SCO under the term presidency of Uzbekistan.
Of course, this is not only the message of Uzbekistan; it is also the message of the SCO. Therefore, it can be stated that the SCO’s role as a strong economic cooperation organization in regional and global integration processes will be based on a culture of assistance and solidarity that can be characterized as the “Spirit of Samarkand”. Mr. Mirziyoyev expressed the situation in question in his article with the following words:
“The ancient city of Samarkand, considered the pearl of the Great Silk Road, is ready to welcome the leaders of fourteen countries of the world with new breakthrough proposals and initiatives designed to serve the benefit and prosperity of the SCO and its member countries.”
As a result, on the one hand, Uzbekistan established strong relations with the West; On the other hand, it is one of the most important architects of cooperation in the East in accordance with the multi-vector and multi-dimensional diplomacy approach that it applies in its foreign policy. Therefore, in today’s conjuncture, in which the global economy and power are shifting to Asia, Uzbekistan is positioned as a pole star with its guiding attitude towards cooperation in the heart of Eurasia and becomes the most critical actor in the East-West connection. This success of the Tashkent administration greatly contributes to the SCO’s becoming a center of attraction in terms of international cooperation.
 Mehmet Seyfettin Erol, “Term Presidency of Uzbekistan and Transformation of SCO from Regionality to Global”, ANKASAM, https://www.ankasam.org/term-presidency-of-uzbekistan-and-transformation-of-sco-from-regionality-to-global/?lang=en/, (Date of Accession: 16.09.2022).
 Shavkat Mirziyoyev, “Şanghay İşbirliği Örgütü’nün Semerkant Zirvesi: Küreselleşen Bir Dünyada Diyalog ve İşbirliği”, ANKASAM, https://www.ankasam.org/sanghay-isbirligi-orgutunun-semerkant-zirvesi-kuresellesen-bir-dunyada-diyalog-ve-isbirligi-1/, (Date of Accession: 16.09.2022).
 “SCO Energy Club: structure ready for international interaction, not Shanghai Six’s elite club”, Infoshos, http://infoshos.ru/en/?idn=13913, (Date of Accession: 22.08.2022).
 “ŞİÖ Zirvesi Özbekistan’ın Semerkant Şehrinde Başladı”, Anadolu Ajansı, https://www.aa.com.tr/tr/dunya/sio-zirvesi-ozbekistan-in-semerkant-sehrinde-basladi/2686492, (Date of Accession: 16.09.2022)
 Mirziyoyev, a.g.m.