Prime Minister's address at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit (SCO) Summit, Astana, KazakhstanJune 09, 2017
Your Excellency President Nursultan Nazarbayev,
Distinguished Leaders of the Members and the Observes of the SCO,
Secretary General of the SCO,
UN Secretary General,
Heads of International Organizations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
First of all I would like to congratulate President Nazarbayev for the successful leadership of Shanghai Cooperation Organization. I would also like to compliment him for the hospitality extended to us and the excellent organization of the conference.
From the regional and global perspective, Shanghai Cooperation Organization is one of the main pillars of peace and security. Today India will become a full member of SCO after 12 years of observership. I express heartfelt gratitude to all the countries of SCO for their support of our membership. After the expansion of membership, SCO will represent approximately 42% of the world's population, 20% of its GDP and 22% of the landmass. Therefore, the progress of SCO is the advancement of the vast masses and land area of the world.
It is true that we are getting the membership today, but we have a historic relationship with all the countries. Mutual trust and goodwill are the main pillars of our political and economic cooperation. There are many dimensions of our involvement with SCO countries. Energy, education, agriculture, security, minerals, capacity building, development partnership, trade and investment are its major drivers. India's membership of SCO will certainly take our cooperation to newer heights.
Connectivity with SCO countries is India's priority and we strongly support it. We want connectivity to pave the way for cooperation and trust between future generations and societies of our countries. For this, respect for sovereignty and regional integrity is essential for the success and acceptance of connectivity initiatives or projects. Their inclusivity and sustainability are also essential. Our involvement with the International North-South Transport Corridor and the Chabahar Agreement and our decision to join the Ashkhabad agreement will bring India closer to this region.
Terrorism is one of the biggest violators of human rights and human values. Therefore, the struggle against terrorism and extremism is an important part of SCO's cooperation. Whether the issue is of radicalization, recruitment of terrorists, their training, or financing, until all of us countries come together and make coordinated and strong efforts in this direction, it is impossible to solve these problems.
Strong efforts by SCO are highly appreciated in this context,. I am confident that India-SCO cooperation will provide a new direction and strength to the fight against terrorism. In regional perspective, peace and stability in Afghanistan can also benefit from SCO's efforts. SCO can also focus on the problem of environmental change in the global context. In this context, I would like to heartily congratulate Kazakhstan and the President for selecting "Future Energy” as the theme for the Astana Expo 2017.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today is a historic turning point in the journey of SCO. India is ready and committed for an active and positive engagement with SCO. Once again I congratulate President Nazarbayev for the successful organization of the conference. I also convey by best wishes to the President Xi Jinping for the successful chairmanship of the upcoming SCO conference.