The SCO Secretariat, based in Beijing, is the main permanent executive body of the SCO. Bringing together the colourful and distinctive cultures of Central Asia, Russia and China, it promotes mutual assistance and team spirit among staff and provides reliable support on the basis of a stable administrative system that has taken shape over 15 years.
The Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General. Nominated by the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and approved by the Heads of State Council, the Secretary-General is appointed from among citizens of the SCO member states on a rotating basis in Russian alphabetical order for a single three-year term with no possibility of extension. Deputy Secretaries-General are nominated by the Council of National Coordinators and approved by the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs. Officials of the Secretariat are hired from among citizens of the SCO member states on the basis of quotas.
The SCO Secretariat coordinates the activity of the SCO and provides informational, analytical, legal, organisational and technical support.
The Secretariat coordinates the organisation's cooperation with observer states and dialogue partners in line with SCO regulatory and legal documents, works with states and international organisations on issues related to the organisation's activity, and concludes agreements to that end with the consent of the member states. The Secretariat also works with non-governmental organisations within the SCO framework in accordance with the legal documents regulating their activity. In addition, it organises and coordinates the activity of the SCO Observer Mission in presidential and/or parliamentary elections, as well as referendums.
The Secretariat holds regular briefings for representatives of print and internet media, prepares and publishes a news bulletin, and manages its website. With the consent of the member states and within budgetary limits, it recruits experts on the basis of limited-term contract to conduct research on issues of concern to the SCO, and organises workshops and conferences.
The Secretariat carries out preliminary legal and financial assessments of draft treaties and regulations drawn up within the SCO framework, acts as the depositary of documents adopted within the SCO framework, and certifies copies of such documents and forwards them to the member states as well as to the SCO RATS as applicable.
The Secretariat provides organisational and technical support for meetings and/or sessions of SCO institutions in accordance with relevant regulations and in cooperation with the state hosting the meeting.