Image Source : PTI EAM S Jaishankar holds a bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi\ on the sidelines of the SCO Summit.

SCO Summit 2024: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar delivered Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks on terrorism, climate change and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation  (SCO) Summit in Astana, Kazakhstan. The high-level event was attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Pakistan PM Shehbaz Sharif.

“We gather today in the backdrop of pandemic impact, ongoing conflicts, rising tensions, trust deficits and increasing number of hotspots around the world. These events have put significant strain on international relations and global economic growth. They have aggravated some of the problems that have emanated from globalization. Our gathering is aimed at finding common ground to mitigate the consequences of these developments,” PM Modi said in his remarks delivered by Jaishankar.

The Indian Prime Minister welcomed Iran and Belarus as new members of the SCO and said the economic bloc occupies a significant part of India’s foreign policy. He also mourned the death of former Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who was killed in a helicopter crash in late May.

He further placed a firm emphasis on mutual respect for sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, equality, mutual benefit, non-interference in internal affairs, non-use of force or threat of use of force as a basis for the foreign policies of all SCO member-states. “We have also agreed not to take any measures contrary to the principles of state sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he added.

PM Modi calls for greater priority to terrorism

The Prime Minister further called proactive steps to combat terrorism and prevent the spread of radicalisation among youth. “Many of us have had our experiences, often originating beyond our borders. Let us be clear that if left unchecked, it can become a major threat to regional and global peace. Terrorism in any form or manifestation cannot be justified or condoned,” he said.

“International community must isolate and expose those countries that harbour terrorists, provide safe havens and condone terrorism. Cross-border terrorism requires a decisive response and terrorism financing and recruitment must be resolutely countered,” the PM further said in his remarks.

Climate change and technology

He also addressed the issue of climate change, asserting that India has worked towards achieving committed reduction in emissions, including transition to alternate fuels, adoption of electric vehicles, and building climate-resilient infrastructure. He also spoke in favour of robust connectivity for economic development, cooperation and trust between societies

“The 21st century is the century of technology. We have to make technology creative and apply it to the welfare and progress of our societies. India is among the countries to formulate a National Strategy on Artificial Intelligence and the launch of an AI Mission. Our commitment to ‘AI for All’ is also reflected in working within the SCO framework on a Roadmap on AI cooperation,” he further said.

With nine member states — India, Iran, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyz, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – the SCO has emerged as an influential economic and security bloc and one of the largest trans-regional international organisations. Belarus will be the 10th nation to join as a member. Kazakhstan is hosting the summit in its capacity as the current chair of the grouping. 

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