Varanasi: First ‘Cultural and Tourism capital of SCO’

Varanasi City is all set to be declared as the “first Cultural and Tourism Capital of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)”.

Key Facts

  • Varanasi has been showcasing the culture and tradition of India for ages.
  • It will become the cultural and tourism capital of the SCO for year 2022-23, as a part of SCO’s new rotating initiative that seeks to promote people-to-people ties and tourism among member countries.
  • Under the initiative, a city of cultural heritage from member states will be designated as cultural and tourism capital of SCO each year. Varanasi has become the first city to get the title.
  • City will be selected from member country, which will take over the Presidency of SCO on rotational basis.
  • Title will be given to cities in a bid to highlight its prominence.

When will this initiative be implemented?

The new initiative of the organisation will be implemented after the Samarkand Summit 2022. The Samarkand Summit of SCO is scheduled to be held at Samarkand, Uzbekistan from September 15-16 2022. After this initiative, India is set to take over SCO’s Presidency and will host next Heads of the State summit. This is why, Varanasi has won the title of first Cultural and Tourism Capital of the SCO.

Other Initiative by SCO member

Member countries of the SCO were considering various initiatives for promoting tourism in a bid to boost people-to-people ties, when the norms related to Covid-19 pandemic is relaxed. Kazakhstan has announced to launch a “visa-free policy for tourists from India and other countries”.

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)

SCO is a Eurasian political, economic and security alliance. It is the successor of Shanghai Five, which was established in 1996. Formation of SCO was announced on June 15, 2001. Following this, the SCO Charter was inked on July 7, 2002 which came into effect on September 19, 2003. Membership of SCO has expanded to 8 countries now, viz., China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Russia, India and Pakistan. India and Pakistan got membership on June 9, 2017.




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