Sushma Swaraj calls for bolstering regional security within SCO framework

Minister for External Affairs also spoke of Pulwama and Sri Lanka attacks and India’s resolution to fight terrorism

Published: 23rd May 2019 04:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd May 2019 08:25 AM   |  A+A-

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj meets Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi on the sidelines of the SCO meeting in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on Wednesday | PTI

By Express News Service

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said Wednesday that India was determined to strengthen cooperation within the SCO framework for comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security.

Addressing the meeting of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Council of Foreign Ministers in Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek, she said the attacks in Pulwama and Sri Lanka, which together claimed close to 300 lives, had made India doubly resolute to fight terrorism.

Swaraj said India was open to ideas on how member countries could make the Regional Anti-Terrorism Structure (RATS), which specifically deals with security and defence, work more effectively.

In spite of a turbulent global scenario, SCO member states had been steadily expanding mutually beneficial cooperation in various spheres, including political, security and development, Swaraj said.
She also said that India was committed to continue working for a favourable environment for SCO member countries’ economic activities.

“India subscribes to a rule-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, open and inclusive multilateral trading system, centered around the World Trade Organisation, and firmly opposes unilateralism and protectionism,” the minister said.

India has adopted a multi-pronged welfare approach, which includes the development of human resources, promoting R&D and innovation, enhancing efficiency through digital services and ensuring secure cyberspace, she said. 

Swaraj said India is committed to regional connectivity, evident from its involvement in International North-South Transport Corridor, Chabahar Port, Ashgabat Agreement and India-Myanmar-Thailand Trilateral Highway.

UNSC reforms

Swaraj urged SCO members to support efforts for comprehensive reforms of the UN Security Council to make it more representative and effective. India has been calling for UNSC reforms for long. “The SCO must support the member countries’ candidatures for the non-permanent membership of the UNSC, she said.

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