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External Affairs Minister's address at 5th CICA Summit 2019 in Dushanbe

June 15, 2019

Your Excellency President Emomali Rahmon,
Excellencies and distinguished guests

I congratulate Tajikistan on its CICA Chairmanship and its success in hosting the 5th CICA Summit. I bring to you warm greetings of my Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and his best wishes for the success of this Summit.

I thank the Government of Tajikistan for the warm hospitality extended to me and my delegation and the excellent arrangements made for this Summit. I also welcome Sri Lanka, our neighbour, as a member of CICA. I take this opportunity to convey our appreciation for the contribution made by previous Chairs, Kazakhstan, Turkey and China in making CICA a success story, recognizing in particular the leadership of the First President of Kazakhstan.

Mr. Chairman,

Let me share India’s vision for a more secure and prosperous Asia as well as its concerns. The 21st century is being hailed as the Asian century and CICA can surely play a useful role in promoting peace, security and development in Asia.

This is important today because the world has been witnessing far-reaching geo-strategic changes, which have also impacted on the peace and security in Asia. Globalisation is under stress due to new and emerging geo-political and geo-economic faultlines. India supports a rule-based order in Asia, as in the rest of the world. But we confront unavoidable challenges such as terrorism, conflicts, trans-national crimes and maritime threats. There are also issues of sustainable development including the lack of energy security, low intra-regional trade and deficit of connectivity. These must be urgently remedied for our common good.

Mr. Chairman

Terrorism is the gravest threat that we face in Asia today. Many CICA members are victims of terrorism and should be clear that terrorists and their victims must never be equated. CICA has always shown a strong commitment to combat terrorism and extremism and adopt a comprehensive strategy to combat terrorism. Early finalisation of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism, proposed by India, is today even more essential and we seek your support in this regard.

In Afghanistan, we have supported a national peace and reconciliation process, which is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned. We believe all initiatives and processes must include all sections of Afghan society, including the legitimately elected Government.

Mr. Chairman, the recent India-Central Asia 5 Ministerial dialogue is a very positive development that can only enhance further cooperations and stability across our regions. Regional connectivity initiatives that are inclusive, sustainable, transparent and respect the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity can boost trade and play a pivotal role in bringing prosperity and development to the region. India for its part will always support these such regional connectivity initiatives.

The lack of energy security has emerged as another key developmental challenge. India has supported a better dialogue between consumers and producers for a stable energy market and for promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy. India’s initiative of International Solar Alliance has received overwhelming support; 74 countries have signed the Framework Agreement. Developing renewable energy will be a great contribution to the security and stability of Asia and I invite CICA members who have not joined the Alliance to do so.

Further, India has supported initiatives aimed at enhancing cooperation in the region, as reflected in our participation in or association with regional organisations such as BIMSTEC, SAARC, ASEAN, EAS, ARF, GCC and IORA.

India’s vision of Indo-Pacific, as outlined by Prime Minister Modi in Singapore in June 2018, is rooted in advocacy of SAGAR- Security and Growth for All in the Region. It is in sync with the theme of this Summit "Shared Vision for a Secure and More Prosperous CICA Region”.

India will continue to actively participate in the CICA Processes. We are confident that the CICA would continue to evolve into a balanced, open and inclusive framework for Asian countries to interact and cooperate in addressing multi-faceted challenges, acting in accordance with our common vision for a more secure and prosperous Asia.

Thank You

June 15, 2019
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