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Manmohan at the SCO summit

June 16, 2009 17:20 IST

Image: Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (R) and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meet in Yekaterinburg
Photographs: Reuters/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Vladimir Rodionov

Noting that terrorism is haunting the Asian and Central Asian regions, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday underlined the need for "genuine" cooperation among countries on a global scale to resolutely defeat the menace.

Addressing the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit in Yekaterinburg, Singh said India is seeking a conducive external environment for its sustained high economic growth which is necessary to meet its developmental objectives.

Text: PTI

'We wish to see peace, prosperity and stability'

Image: Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh proceed to line up for a photo at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Yekaterinburg
Photographs: Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin

"We wish to see peace, prosperity and stability in the region that the SCO represents. We have a lot to gain and learn from each other. It is in this spirit that we approach our engagement with the Organisation and its different organs and bodies," Singh said.

"We seek an external environment that is conducive to meeting the aspirations of our people," he said, marking the first address by an Indian Prime Minister at the six-nation grouping in which India is an observer. Talking about the security challenges in the region in presence of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari besides other leaders, Singh said the "spectre of terrorism, extremist ideologies and illicit drug trafficking haunt our region".

'We must resolutely cooperate to defeat terror'

Image: Leaders at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation pose for a photo.
Photographs: Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin

Singh emphasised that terrorist crimes committed today are transnational in nature and no country is immune to these."It is imperative that we resolutely cooperate with one another and on a global scale to resolutely defeat international terrorism," Singh said.

He pointed out that the growth of the Indian economy at an average rate of 8 per cent over the last five years has enabled the country to generate higher investible resources to cater to the needs of our rural economy, the social sector and infrastructure. "It has also opened up opportunities to intensify our interaction with the outside world in the areas of trade and investment, science and technology, and in the revival of the global economy," Singh said.

Image:(L-R) General Secretary of the SCO, Bolat Nurgaliyev, Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Kyrgyzstan's President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Tajikistan's President Imomali Rakhmon, Uzbek President Islam Karimov, Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and Mongolia's First Deputy Prime Minister Altanhuyag Norov.

'We should convert this crisis into an opportunity'

Image: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (L-R), Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Tajikistan's President Imomali Rakhmon, and Uzbek President Islam Karimov line up for a photo at the SCO summit
Photographs: Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin

Talking about the global financial crisis, he said the economic gains that have been made in the past are today threatened by it. "We should convert this crisis into an opportunity for much greater economic cooperation between the members of the SCO and India. Between us, we have a vast market, a large industrial base, a talented human resource base and above all, the political will," he said.

The Prime Minister said the SCO member countries and observers should work together to reform the institutions of global governance, including financial institutions, to bring them in tune with the present and emerging economic realities.

Sustainable development is the key

Image: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese President Hu Jintao at a photo shoot in the SCO summit.
Photographs: Reuters/Sergei Karpukhin

"We can no longer delay giving concrete shape to the concept of sustainable development. The development world needs access to financial resources and environment friendly technologies, especially in energy, transportation, manufacturing and agriculture," the Prime Minister said.

"We need technology innovations for reduction of energy use by industry and other sectors. We need massive action for afforestation, drought proofing and flood protection. We need action to protect the glaciers that feed our river systems," he said. Speaking about India's desire to forge closer ties with the SCO countries, he said there is a lot to be gained through strengthening connectivity between the member nations and India. "We would like to cooperate in finding innovative means to strengthen people-to-people contacts, exchanges of business persons and scholars and trade, investment and technology flows. We would welcome closer cooperation in the fields of energy and food security, and infrastructure development," he said.