In 2015, the Government of Chelyabinsk Oblast proposed to hold a Forum for the regional heads from the SCO member states. The Russian initiative on the creation and approval of a new format for international regional interactions was unanimously supported at the meeting of the SCO Member State Heads Council in June 2017 that took place in Astana. At the Council meeting of June 10th, 2018 in Qingdao, the first event in this format was proposed to be held before the end of 2018. At the meeting of SCO state government heads in Dushanbe, Dmitry Medvedev, the Head of the Russian Government, invited the SCO representatives to an initial meeting in Chelyabinsk.
The first initial meeting of regional heads from the SCO countries in Chelyabinsk was held with the support from the SCO National Coordinator Council on December 4-6, and on May 14-15, 2019, the second initial meeting was held in Chongqing.
During the SCO Summit in Bishkek in 2019, the heads of states approved the Regulations for the Forum.
The Forum of Regional Heads was created to make the inter-regional interaction of the SCO countries more systemic and subject-oriented, to organize conditions for direct communications, experience and best practice exchange, territorial development, and discussing the prospects for the efficient use of cooperation advantages within the SCO. The regional heads participating in the Forum will be able to have a large number of business meetings with regional representatives from the eight SCO countries within just one day.
The Forum of Regional Heads is a voluntary association based on the openness principle.
The Forum participants include the heads of administrative and territorial units, as well as the heads and representatives of governmental authorities of the SCO member states.