Virtual SCO meet: Connectivity, UN Reforms and message for China and Pakistan

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November 11, 2020 12:52 PM

The meeting which was headed by the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, focused on the digital economy, dealing with COVID-19, fighting the spread of terrorism including on the Internet and countering the drug threat.

In a stern message for Pakistan and China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi who in his address virtually, said that all the member countries should respect each others’ territorial integrity. (Photo source: ANI)

Amidst the ongoing standoff between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, for the first time leaders of both countries shared a virtual platform during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) heads of state summit SCO meet. The meeting which was headed by the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, focused on the digital economy, dealing with COVID-19, fighting the spread of terrorism including on the Internet and countering the drug threat.

In a stern message for Pakistan and China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi who in his address virtually, said that all the member countries should respect each others’ territorial integrity. He also called for urgent UN reforms, and connectivity and fighting terrorism as well as dealing with the drug menace.

UN has not yet achieved its goal

Modi spoke at the beginning of his address on the goals of the United Nations. “While the United Nations has completed 75 years, but even after many successes, its original goal is still incomplete. ” An ‘improved pluralism’ that reflects today’s global realities, discussing topics such as expectations of all stakeholders, contemporary challenges, and human welfare.

India will be non-permanent of UNSC from first January 2021.

He talked about India’s focus on the connectivity and talked about the International North-South Transport Corridor, Chabahar Port, and Ashgabat agreement. Alluding to China, Prime Minister Modi said that “While enhancing connectivity, respecting one another’s sovereignty and territorial integrity should be a basic principle.”

Both India and China are dealing with the longest standoff between the two sides and after the loss of 20 Indian soldiers at Galwan in June this year, due to the Chinese action, the opinion has become very negative about that country.

On Pakistan, the prime minister observed that unfortunately attempts were being made to unnecessarily bring bilateral issues into the SCO agenda, which was a violation of SCO charter and the Shanghai spirit.

Today’s meeting came at a time when the world is fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic, and in today’s virtual meeting India highlighted its efforts to help in this fight in dealing with COVID 19 and the help it has extended to 150 countries with anti-COVID-19 medicines such as HCQ and Paracetamol.

The tensions between India and China on the border were clearly reflected in the meeting in which Chinese President Xi Jinping also attended and as well as the Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was also present in the conference.

India has extended full support to observing the 20th anniversary of SCO in 2021 as the “SCO Year of Culture” and will hold the first SCO exhibition on Shared Buddhist Heritage which will be organized by National Museum of India, also there will be SCO Food Festival and the translation of Ten regional language literary works into Russian and Chinese. India has proposed to set up a Special Working Group on Innovation and Startups and a Sub Group on Traditional Medicine within SCO.

Next year, the Republic of Tajikistan will assume the chairmanship of SCO next year and India has assured its full cooperation.

Later this month on Nov 30, India is going to host SCO heads of government virtual meeting where the focus will be on economic cooperation. The SCO Summit of Heads of State focuses on the security, trade, political, economic and cultural directions to the 8-member body. Besides Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, China, India, and Pakistan, there are four Observer States — Iran, Afghanistan, Belarus and Mongolia — and they all participated in today’s meet.

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