- Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the 2019 Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit at Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
- Addressing the SCO Summit, Modi raised various issues, including terrorism and trade protectionism.
- He came up with a new template he described as “HEALTH” for cooperation among SCO members.
- H for Healthcare cooperation
- E for Economic cooperation
- A for Alternative energy
- L for Literature
- T for Terrorism-free society
- H for Humanitarian cooperation
- Modi raised the issue of terrorism, saying nations which provided encouragement, support and financial help to the menace needed to be called out, and be held responsible.
- He said that the the ugly face of terrorism which surfaces anytime and anywhere to claim innocent lives. It is now time for all humanitarian forces to rise above their narrow confines and come together to deal with this danger.
- He reiterated his call for a global conference to deal with the challenges posed by terrorism.
- Modi also called on the SCO member-states to cooperate under the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure (RATS) to end terrorism.
Bishkek Declaration on Terrorism:
- Significantly for India, the Bishkek Declaration said terrorism and spread of terrorist ideology were among the issues which required special attention because they were “cross-border in nature”.
- It also condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, stressing that acts of terrorism and extremism cannot be justified.
- The member-states noted that using terrorist, extremist and radical groups to achieve one’s own mercenary ends is unacceptable.
- The member-states condemned the propaganda of the ideology of terrorism, extremism and religious intolerance, as well as manifestations of intolerance and discrimination based on religion or convictions in any form.
- The member-states believed it was important to take comprehensive measures to intensify efforts against terrorism and its ideology, as well as to determine and eliminate the factors and conditions that promote terrorism and extremism.
- It is a priority to step up the international community’s joint efforts to counter the attempts to involve young people in the activities of terrorist, separatist and extremist groups.
- It is important to continue to focus on preventing the spread of religious intolerance, xenophobia and racial discrimination.
On Trade Protectionism:
- Modi said that economic cooperation is the basis of our people’s future.
- He noted that unilateralism and protectionism have not benefited anyone.
- He said there is a need for a rules-based, anti-discriminatory and all inclusive WTO-centred multilateral trading system so that the interests of all countries, specially the developing ones, can be taken care of.
- The Bishkek declaration stressed the importance of further improving the architecture of global economic governance, and deepening cooperation to build a transparent, predictable and stable environment for the development of trade and investment cooperation.
- The SCO member states noted that the process of economic globalisation is being hindered by the growing unilateral protectionist policies and other challenges in international trade.
- “Our shared area is in great need of better connectivity in the modern era,” Mr. Modi said.
- Initiatives like the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), Chabahar Port and Ashgabat Agreement clarify the focus of India on connectivity.
- In a reference to China building CPEC corridor in PoK as part of BRI, Modi said that respect for sovereignty, regional integrity, good governance, transparency, practicality and reliability should be the basis of connectivity initiatives.
- He highlighted the importance of people-to-people contact with physical connectivity.
- Modi said in his address that a peaceful, united, safe and prosperous Afghanistan was vital for the stability and security in the SCO.
- He said the goal is to support the people and the government of Afghanistan for an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled comprehensive peace process.
- He expressed happiness that a further roadmap has been prepared at the SCO Afghanistan contact group.