ECO (Economic Cooperation Organization),(1985) |History|

HISTORY: ECO’s full form is Economic Cooperation Organization. It was formed in 1985. The organization’s old name is RCD (Regional Cooperation for Development), which was created in 1964 by Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey. It was an inter-governmental organization for economic development.

In order to modernize the organization, a ministerial meeting was held in Istanbul (Turkey) in June 1990 in which the treaty of Azmir was signed, which provided the constitutional basis for ECO’s transition from RCD.

ECO Summit

It was fully launched in 1991 when the Central Asian Republics got independence, they were also allowed into the organization and so its number rose to 10 with the admittance of Afghanistan.


In the beginning, the number of its members was three namely, Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey but later its strength rose and now its total membership is 10. The members of the organization are:

Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.


The structure of the organization is as follows:


Within the council, there is one committee of ministers and another a council of Deputies.


Technical committees assist the council in technical matters.


Secretariat is the main office where the Secretary-General sits.


These agencies are shaped to assist the working of the organization.


Some of the salient features of the organization are.

  • All the members are Muslim countries.
  • All are in geographical closeness and share approximately common borders.
  • All of them enjoy friendly relations with each other.
  • There is no political disagreement between the member states.
  • There is no border dispute between the members of the organization.
  • All the members are full of natural reserves.
  • All of them have almost the same culture and civilization.
  • They all have almost the same historical tradition. 


The organization took certain steps in the field of economics which are described below.

  • it has taken actions to advocate transport and communication in the member countries.
  • To advance travel facilities for the member states.
  • To create cooperation between the business association of the member countries through the chamber of commerce.
  • The ECO chamber of commerce has been settled to provide benefits to businessmen of the member countries.
  • A business and development Bank has been created purely for financial purposes.
  • The shipping company has been under discussion.
  • Links by roads and rails are under consideration
  • Chaman-Herat road, Pak-Iran-Uzbak road

These were the economical steps taken by the organization for the development of the member states.


There are some problems and challenges that the organization faced. They are mentioned below.

  • Economical instability and domestic crises in most of the member states.
  • The clash between Iran and Turkey both are not serious to the organization.
  • Bitterness between Iran and Pakistan on the question of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
  • Resentment between Pakistan and Afghanistan about the trade route of CARs.
  • The hostile approach of the west towards Islam.
  • The inequality between the progress level of the member countries.
  • Ethnic, and racial clashes in the domestic sphere of the member states.


Some suggestions for the improvement of the organization can be put forward which are as under.


There should be a sense of responsibility among the member countries. They should recognize the intricacy of the situation and adapt themselves to the changed world scenario.


Some of the member states are very much developed like some of the CARs and Turkey etc. They should go for the transfer of technology and skills and technical know-how to less developed states.


Trade routes should be established so that all the member states carry out trade with each other on easy terms and conduct trade with fewer expenses.


An ECo airline should be established so as to facilitate the people of all the members to travel not only with fewer expenses but also with ease and comfort. The visa system is to be revived and easy terms and conditions are to be applied so that people can get the maximum benefit out of that.


Satellite links are to be established between all the member states so that people can come to know about each other’s culture, heritage, norms, traditions, and all such information.


The modern age is the age of communication and it is desirable to set up an ECO channel so that it propagates what is going on in the member countries.


Afghanistan’s issue is to be addressed by all members so as to provide a conducive environment for cooperation.


In short, ECO is a productive organization. It should be taken up with passion and idealism. It should be extended to other countries of the world. Inter-governmental links should be built up and all hostilities are to be set aside for the sake of the development of the member countries.

Certain steps have to be taken to make the organization one of the dominant organizations of the world, economically, politically, militarily, and culturally. For this, every state has to work very hard with devotion and sincerity only then they can reach their goal.

What is ECO in Pakistan?

Economic cooperation organization was formed in 1985 by the three-member states namely Iran, Turkey and Pakistan. Its old name was RCD (Regional Cooperation for Development). The sole purpose of the organization was economical development. No doubt it performed well. it achieved the goal for which the organization was created.

What is the old name of ECO?

The old name of this great organization was RCD (Regional Cooperation for Development).

What are ECO countries?

The total number of member countries is 10. At the start, the number of member countries was three but with the passage of time, the number increased from 3 to 10. The members of this organization are Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

Who is the current secretary general of ECO?

H.E. Amb. Khusrav Noziri is the current secretary-general of the organization who started his tenure in August 2021.