Defence Minister Rajnath Singh calls upon SCO to strengthen existing international laws to combat terrorism

New Delhi: Raksha Mantri Shri Rajnath Singh today called upon the member countries of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to strengthen and implementall existing international laws and mechanisms, without exceptions or double standards, to combat terrorismand its enablers. Raksha Mantri was addressing the 18th meeting of Council of Heads of Government (CHG) of SCO at Tashkent in Uzbekistan as the Special Envoy of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

“Terrorism continues to disrupt our societies and undermine our developmental endeavors.It is important for SCO countries to come together to deal with this menace,” said Shri Rajnath Singh. He congratulated Russia for successfully holding the SCO joint military exercise ‘CENTER 2019’ in Orenburg aimed at evolving drills of the participating armies in the fight against international terrorism.

Raksha Mantri stressed that the process of globalisation has opened up immense opportunities for the growth of SCO members, but also brought to the fore multidimensional, complex and transnationalthreats affecting developing countries. He urged the SCO to work together in defeating challenges liketerrorism, climate change, endemic poverty, under development, pandemics and inequality.

Shri Rajnath Singhalso voiced the Government’s resolveof providing an enabling economic ecosystem for partner countries to invest and do business in India. He listed out various initiatives taken by the Government in this regard including relaxing FDI reforms, allowing 100 per cent foreign investment in coal mining and contract manufacturing, easing sourcing norms for single-brand retailers and approving 26 per cent overseas investment in digital media.

Highlighting the Government’s ‘Make in India’ programme,Raksha Mantri invited SCO countries to enter into collaborative joint ventures in India, saying that significant work has already been undertaken towards improving ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in the country. “We strongly support the initiative to facilitate cooperation among small and medium-sized enterprises within the SCO.Food industry is another potential area of collaboration. SCO members can work together for technology and investment support to food processing and put in a supporting logistics chain,” he said.

Shri Rajnath Singh also said, India is ready to share its experience and expertise in skill development and capacity building in areas such as telemedicine, medical tourism, resource mapping, launching of satellites, agricultural education and effective and affordable pharmaceuticals. Finance, hospitality and tourism services also present significant opportunities.

Emphasising that ‘unilateralism and protectionism has done good to none’, Raksha Manrti reiterated the Government’s commitment to a transparent, rules-based, open, inclusive and non-discriminatory multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organisation at its centre. “We need approaches, which are inclusive, transparent and firmly anchored in multilateralism.Successful multilateralism also needs adherence to core principles of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-interference and mutual cooperation,” he added.

Raksha Mantri said, economic cooperation is the foundation cementing the future of the people and ensuring them a better life. “Economic growth must ensure welfare of our people. They have to be the center of our policies,” he added.

Shri Rajnath Singh also invited SCO Member states to join the ‘Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure’. India has taken the initiative of launching thecoalition to assist countries in upgrading their capacities for developing resilient infrastructure. It will address the loss reduction targets under the Sendai Framework, besides contributing to climate change adaptation. “India would be holding Joint Urban Earthquake Search and Rescue exercise of SCO member States along with SCO Expert level meeting on disaster prevention later this week,”, he added.

Raksha Mantri also said, India is honoured to host the next meeting of Council of Heads of Government in 2020. In the run up to the meeting, he said, Indiais planning to organise a series of events aimed at enhancing trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation among SCO Members.

Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Mr Abdulla NigmatovichAripov, Prime Ministers and Heads of Delegation of SCO Member States, Secretary-General of SCOVladimir Norovand Executive Director of Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure(RATS) Mr JumakhonGiyosov also participated in the meeting.

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