India attaches special importance to the SCO as an excellent platform for synergising efforts in the field of multilateral, political, security, economic interactions and mutual cooperation, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said on Friday.
Addressing the 10th meeting of the heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member states, he also said it is an important platform for regional outreach.
Issues related to dealing with prevention and elimination of emergency situations were discussed in the meeting.
“India attaches special importance to the SCO as an excellent platform for synergising the efforts of all member states in the field of multilateral, political, security, economic and people-to-people interaction in the region and developing personal understanding amongst counterpart teams when they work together to tackle any disaster situation,” Amit Shah said here.
The home minister informed that India has participated in over 20 ministerial meetings in the last two years.
India has always been the first respondent in situations of humanitarian assistance and disaster management in the Indian subcontinent region, he said.
Amit Shah also stressed on the need for all stakeholders to focus on building disaster resilient infrastructure to minimize loss of lives and property.
Taking initiatives in this direction in September last, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) at the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 in New York, he said.
Expressing pride in organising an SCO ministerial meeting for the first time in India, Shah hoped that this meeting would bring together all SCO nations to deliberate on an effective strategy to build disaster resilient infrastructure and bolster each others’ capabilities to efficiently tackle future disasters by exchanging best practices.
This forum would become an important platform to increase mutual cooperation among SCO nations in disaster management, he said.
Amit Shah said climate change presents new challenges in disaster management.
He laid stress on the fact that all SCO nations must make a concerted and synchronised effort towards securing people from disasters and this task must be taken up jointly.
Amit Shah exuded confidence that the Joint Exercise on Urban Earthquake Search and Rescue (SCOJtEx)-2019 and this ministerial meeting organised in New Delhi would help in finalising the action plan for managing disasters for the year 2020-21.
The protocol to be signed will open new vistas of cooperation between SCO nations in this regards, he said.