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English translation of Prime Minister’s Intervention in Extended Plenary of 18th SCO Summit (June 10, 2018)

June 11, 2018

President of the People's Republic of China and the President of this session, His Excellency Mr. Xi Jinping

Excellencies, Friends, Ladies & Gentlemen,

I am very pleased to represent India in the SCO Summit for the first time as a full member. The opportunity to understand the role of this organization and to contribute to it in substantial way in last one year is considered very important by us.


For thousands of years the geographic area of SCO has been an inspiration for physical, scientific, philosophical, spiritual and cultural progress for the whole world. From Buddha and Confucius, Emperor Ashoka and Tang Dynasty, Samarkand and Bukhara, Nalanda and Takshshila, Hiuen Tsang and Kasyapa Matanga, Al Buruni and Aryabhatta, Mahatma Gandhi and Tolstoy, Rumi and Kalidas, there have been such innumerable figures of this region who have nurtured this region like Ganga and Volga rivers. The fragrance of these flowers of our shared legacy could spread everywhere, because thousands of years ago our ancestors inundated the geographical barriers with the bridge of contact and cooperation. Today, once again we are at a place where physical and digital connectivity are changing the definition of geography. Therefore, connectivity with our neighbors and with the SCO area is particularly a priority for India. We welcome new connectivity projects that are inclusive, sustainable and transparent, and respect countries' sovereignty and territorial integrity. Our commitment to connectivity in this area is visible in the International North-South Transport Corridor, the development of Chabahar Port and our active participation in specific projects like Ashgabat Agreement.


The history of our region is a witness that connectivity does not mean merely physical contact. Its human side is equally important. Therefore, sharing of people-to-people relations and exchange of ideas should also be have the same priority. So we welcome the initiatives like 'SCO Our Common Home' and 'Days of Open Doors'. The SCO Film Festival and SCO World Heritage Exhibition, which were chaired by China for better and enhanced interaction, are also commendable efforts. Only 6% of foreign travelers to India come from SCO countries. It can be easily doubled. Awareness about our shared and rich cultural heritage can promote tourism between SCO countries and India. So we will organize an SCO Food Festival and an exhibition of shared Buddhist Heritage in India.


India has also been giving priority to cooperation for developing its foreign relations. Our special focus is on cooperation in skill development, capacity-building and human resource development. Therefore, we would be happy to cooperate in these areas in the bilateral and the SCO Framework with the SCO countries, especially with the countries from the Central Asia. Organic farming, dairy & animal husbandry, soil testing, water conservation, agricultural education and agro processing; Benefits from India's capacity in good, effective and affordable medicines, medical facilities, medical and wellness tourism; Information technology, finance and management, space applications Such as resource mapping, making nano-satellites and launching them through the Indian space vehicle, and for this, cooperation with the University students of SCO countries; Training of SCO countries in Petrochemical Engineering and enhanced environmental protection technologies, renewable and clean energy, energy efficiency and collaboration in the framework of International Solar Alliance.


I would like to briefly touch upon another important topic. The situation of Afghanistan is an unfortunate example of extremism and the consequences of terrorism in our common region. I hope that the spirit with which President Ghani has once again taken bold steps for peace, all sides will respect that spirit. We all have the responsibility that the reasons because of which the unity, integrity, sovereignty of Afghanistan came on stake, they should not be repeated. India will play an active role in the Contact Group for Afghanistan under the auspices of SCO.


Security is our key priority. In order to secure our area as a whole, there are 6 important dimensions in my view. The abbreviation of these dimensions is the English word SECURE:

S for Security of our citizens,
E for Economic development for all,
C for Connecting the region,
U for Unite our people,
R for Respect for Sovereignty and Integrity, and
E for Environment protection.

I believe that with our meaningful cooperation in these directions our SCO will be able to become a safe and connected organization in true sense.


I congratulate Kyrgyzstan for Chairmanship of SCO in the coming year and I also assure our full cooperation. I once again thank our host President Xi for convening this successful and congenial meeting. Excellencies,

My best wishes for the holy month of Ramadan and the upcoming festival of Eid. In this context, I also wish for peace, prosperity and goodwill in our area.

Thank you.

Disclaimer: PM’s Speech was delivered in Hindi. This is an approximate translation of Speech.

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