Eurasian consolidation ends the US unipolar moment

The 20th-anniversary summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, enshrined nothing less than a new geopolitical paradigm.

Iran, now a full SCO member, was restored to its traditionally prominent Eurasian role, following the recent US$400 billion trade and development deal struck with China. Afghanistan was the main topic – with all players agreeing on the path ahead, as detailed in the Dushanbe Declaration. And all Eurasian integration paths are now converging, in unison, towards the new geopolitical – and geoeconomic – paradigm.

Call it a multipolar development dynamic in synergy with China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

The Dushanbe Declaration  was quite explicit on what Eurasian players are aiming at: “a more representative, democratic, just and multipolar world order based on universally recognized principles of international law, cultural and civilizational diversity, mutually beneficial and equal cooperation of states under the central coordinating role of the UN.”

For all the immense challenges inherent to the Afghan jigsaw puzzle, hopeful signs emerged on Tuesday (September 21), when former Afghan president Hamid Karzai and peace envoy Abdullah Abdullah met in Kabul with Russian presidential envoy Zamir Kabulov, China’s special envoy Yue Xiaoyong and Pakistan’s special envoy Mohammad Sadiq Khan.

This troika – Russia, China, Pakistan – is at the diplomatic forefront. The SCO reached a consensus that Islamabad will coordinate with the Taliban on the formation of an inclusive government that including Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras.  

The most glaring, immediate consequence of the SCO’s not only incorporating Iran but also taking the Afghan bull by the horns, fully supported by the Central Asian “stans,” is that the Empire of Chaos has been completely marginalized.

From Southwest Asia to Central Asia, a real reset has as its protagonists the SCO, the Eurasia Economic Union, the BRI and the Russia-China strategic partnership. Iran and Afghanistan – the missing links heretofore, for different reasons – are now fully incorporated into the chessboard.