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India will use vaccine producing capacity to help entire humanity in fighting Covid: PM Modi at SCO summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the 20th Summit of SCO Council of Heads of State, via video-conferencing (ANI)Premium
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the 20th Summit of SCO Council of Heads of State, via video-conferencing (ANI)

  • 'In this difficult time of an unprecedented epidemic, India's pharma industry sent essential medicines to over 150 nations,' says PM Modi at SCO summit
  • 'It is unfortunate that repeated attempts are being made to unnecessarily bring bilateral issues into the SCO agenda,' says Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said at the SCO summit that in this difficult time of an unprecedented epidemic, India's pharma industry sent essential medicines to over 150 nations.

Member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) convened at the highest level on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Russia.

"As world's largest vaccine producing country, India will use its capacity to help entire humanity in fighting the crisis," Modi said.

This virtual meeting was the 20th meeting of the Council of Heads of State held in the backdrop of major regional and global developments.

"India has strong cultural and historical ties with Shanghai Cooperation Organisation countries. India believes that to enhance connectivity it is important that we move forward while respecting one another's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Modi said.

"It is unfortunate that there are unnecessary attempts to bring bilateral issues in the SCO agenda, which is in violation of SCO charter and Shanghai spirit," he further said.

"We have always raised our voice against terrorism, smuggling of illegal arms, drugs and money laundering. India has always been resolute in working in sync with principles laid out in SCO charter," he added.

The summit is crucial as it provides an opportunity for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping to share the stage amid the ongoing military stand-off, which first started in the month of June.

This is the 3rd meeting in which New Delhi will be participating as a full member. It was granted the observer status of SCO in 2005 and in June 2017 it became a full member.

The summit is expected to conclude with the release of a Moscow declaration which will reflect the broad agenda of the bloc for 2021.

Modi, in his address, highlighted the imperative of a reformed multilateralism to meet the expectation of a world suffering from the social and financial after-effects of the pandemic. India, as a non-permanent member of the UNSC, beginning from 1 January 2021, will focus on the theme of ‘reformed multilateralism’ to bring about desirable changes in global governance, he said.

Prime Minister reiterated India’s firm belief in regional peace, security and prosperity and raising voice against terrorism, smuggling of illegal weapons, drugs and money-laundering. He mentioned that India’s brave soldiers participated in about 50 UN peacekeeping missions and India's Pharma industry supplying essential medicines to more than 150 countries during the pandemic.

Modi underlined India’s strong cultural and historical connect with the SCO region and reiterated India’s firm commitment towards strengthening connectivity in the region with initiatives like International North-South Transport Corridor, Chabahar Port and Ashgabat Agreement. He also extended full support to observing the 20th anniversary of SCO in 2021 as the "SCO Year of Culture" and spoke of India’s own initiatives to hold the first SCO exhibition on Shared Buddhist Heritage to be organized by National Museum of India, SCO Food Festival in India next year and the translation of ten regional language literary works into Russian and Chinese.

Prime Minister expressed India’s readiness to host the next regular Meeting of SCO Council of Heads of Government on 30 November, 2020 in virtual format. India has also proposed to set up a Special Working Group on Innovation and Startups and a Sub Group on Traditional Medicine within SCO. He elaborated on India's vision of a "Atmanirbhar Bharat" in the post-pandemic world that could prove to be a force multiplier for the global economy and the economic progress of the SCO region.

Modi congratulated President Emomali Rahmon of the Republic of Tajikistan for assuming the chairmanship of SCO next year and assured full cooperation from India.

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