Terrorism in any form or manifestation cannot be justified or condoned: PM Modi at SCO Summit

July 06, 2024 | 14:26:46

PM Modi’s remarks were delivered by EAM Dr. S. Jaishankar who was present at the meeting.

NEW DELHI: The world is currently experiencing profound shifts driven by geopolitical tensions, geo-economic forces and geo-technological advancements. They all have sweeping implications. As we look ahead, there are both immediate and systemic challenges and opportunities arising from them. Even as we address those, let us be clear that the world is inexorably moving towards real multipolarity. In such a scenario, the SCO will only become more important. But its true value would depend on how well all of us cooperate amongst ourselves. We have already had that discussion within the SCO. The same extendsto the extended family as well; PM Modi’s remarks at the Meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of States.

PM’s remarks were delivered by EAM  Dr. S. Jaishankar who was present at the meeting.

Speaking of challenges, terrorism would surely rank foremost for many of us. The truth is that it continues to be used by nations as a tool of destabilization. We have had our own experiences with cross-border terrorism. Let us be clear that terrorism in any form or manifestation cannot be justified or condoned. Harbouring terrorists must be strongly condemned. Cross-border terrorism requires a decisive response and terrorism financing and recruitment must be effectvielycountered. The SCO must never waver in its commitment. We cannot have double standards in this regard.

When it comes to geo-economics, the need of the day is to create multiple, reliable and resilient supply chains. This is an important take away from the Covid experience. ‘Make in India’ can add to engines of global growth and help democratize the global economy. India is open to partnering with others in capacity building, especially nations of the Global South.

Technology not only holds great promise in our times but is increasingly a game changer on both development and security. The digital era needs more trust and transparency. AI and Cyber security raise crucial issues of their own. At the same time, India has shown that digital public infrastructure and digital financial inclusion can make such a huge difference. Both were discussed during our SCO Presidency. They also expand the scope for international cooperation, involving SCO members and partners.

While standing resolute on challenges, it is equally important to actively and collaboratively explore avenues of progress. The current global debate is focused oncreating the new connectivity linkages that would better serve a rebalanced world. If this is to gather serious momentum, it requires the joint efforts of many. It must also be respectful of sovereignty and territorial integrity of states and be built on the foundation of non-discriminatory trade and transit rights to neighbours. For the SCO extended family, we flag the progress made on Chabahar port recently through a long-term agreement between India and Iran. This not only holds great value to landlocked Central Asian states but also de-risks commerce between India and Eurasia.

While on the region, let me also speak about Afghanistan. We have a historical relationship between our peoples that is the bedrock of our ties. Our cooperation covers development projects, humanitarian assistance, capacity building and sports. India remains sensitive to the needs and aspirations of the Afghan people.

The SCO extended family shares a commitment to reform the current international order. This is only possible when those efforts extend to the United Nations and its Security Council. We hope that in the near future, we can develop a strong consensus on the way ahead.

India has contributed significantly to enhancing the economic agenda of the SCO. We have institutionalized mechanisms like SCO Startup Forum and Special Working Group on Startup and Innovation. With a 130,000 Startups in India, including 100 unicorns, our experience can be useful to others.

When it comes to medical and wellness tourism, you may be aware that WHO has set up a Global Center for Traditional Medicine in Gujarat. In SCO, India has taken the initiative for a new SCO Working Group on Traditional Medicine.

Enhancing education, training, and capacity-building are key pillars of India’s international cooperation. We are committed to further building on them, be it with the C5 partners, or those of ‘Neighbourhood First’ or the extended neighbourhood.

As more countries seek association with SCO as Observers or Dialogue Partners, we must strive to communicate better and deepen our consensus. Granting English the status of a third official language will be crucial.

We congratulate the Kazakh side for hosting a successful Summit. As Vishwa Bandhu, or the friend of the world, India will always strive to deepen cooperation with all its partners. We also extend our best wishes to the success of the upcoming Chinese presidency of SCO.