In news- Delhi hosted SCO’s Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) meet recently. The major focus of the discussions was to be on the situation in Afghanistan, especially in dealing with the threat from terror groups active in the Taliban-ruled country.
- The Agreement on the Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure as a permanent SCO body was signed during a meeting of the Council of Heads of SCO Member States on June 7, 2002, in St. Petersburg.
- Since its establishment, the RATS has become a coordinating center for combating terrorism, separatism and extremism at the regional and global levels.
- Within the RATS framework, the annual joint anti-terrorist exercises are held since 2006, providing practical training on response and interaction of competent authorities to neutralize terrorist threats and prevent terrorist attacks.
- RATS platform provides a mechanism for interaction between the border services of the competent authorities of the SCO member states to address a separate area of ensuring the security of the SCO member states from transnational crimes associated with terrorism, such as illegal migration and trafficking of drugs, weapons, explosives, etc.
- Besides, the International Scientific and Practical Conference of the RATS has been held annually since 2013, with a focus on the expansion of international cooperation in the field of combating terrorism and extremism.
- The key outcomes of the RATS activities are reviewed at the annual RATS Council meetings and reported to the Council of Heads of SCO Member States.
- India assumed chairmanship of the Council of Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure of SCO (RATS SCO) on October 28, 2021 for a period of one year.
Source: The Hindu