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SCO Vows to Make a Global Difference As Trust Wanes in World Institutions: Jaishankar

© Photo : Russian MFAForeign Minister Sergey Lavrov takes part in the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers Meeting in India
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov takes part in the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers Meeting in India - Sputnik India, 1920, 05.05.2023
The eight-nation SCO is home to 40 per cent of the world’s population. The organisation will admit two new members-Iran and Belarus- with more nations having expressed interest in joining the Eurasian grouping.
Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar has said that the “collective decisions” of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) will “surely have a global impact”, as he pitched for a greater global role for the Eurasian grouping in addressing the global challenges.
During his opening remarks at the SCO Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) meeting in Goa on Friday, the Indian foreign minister said that global institutions have effectively failed to address the challenges of rising food, fuel and fertilizer prices, which have had “cascading effects” on the developing nations.

“As a result of [the] Covid pandemic and geopolitical upheavals, the world is today facing a multitude of challenges. These events have disrupted global supply chains, leading to serious impact on the supply of energy, food and fertilizers and cascading effects on developing nations,” he underscored.

He said that these crises have “exposed a credibility and trust deficit in the ability of global institutions to manage challenges in a timely and efficient manner”.
“These challenges are however also an opportunity for member states of the SCO to collaborate and address these challenges,” Jaishankar stated.
He said that New Delhi has always stood for “multilateral approaches” in addressing global challenges”.
Jaishankar remarked that New Delhi has always attached “great importance to the development of multifaceted cooperation in the SCO and to the promotion of peace, stability and economic development, prosperity and closer interaction between our people”.
ndia and Russian foreign ministers hold talks in Goa on the sidelines of the SCO meet - Sputnik India, 1920, 04.05.2023
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He noted that the Indian presidency of the grouping strived to advance a ‘SECURE’ SCO,
“As the chair of the SCO, Prime Minister Modi has articulated India’s priorities as moving towards a SECURE SCO. SECURE stands for Security, Economic Development, Connectivity, Unity, Respect for Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity and Environmental Protection,” he remarked.
He said that New Delhi has proposed a ‘Delhi Declaration’ in the form of a joint statement as well as four “thematic statements” on cooperation in de-radicalization and strategies, promotion of millets, sustainable lifestyle to address climate change and digital transformation.

Admission of Iran and Belarus as New SCO Members

The Indian foreign minister said that New Delhi has initiated “unprecedented engagements” with the SCO observers and dialogue partners during its ongoing presidency by inviting them to participate in more than 14 socio-cultural events.
In his speech, he also “noted the progress” on admitting Iran and Belarus as full-time SCO members.
India's National Security Advisor Ajit Doval holds talks with secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran Ali Shamkhani - Sputnik India, 1920, 02.05.2023
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Jaishankar also said that four countries-Kuwait, Myanmar, the UAE and the Maldives- will sign an MoU on being admitted as ‘dialogue partners’ of the organisation.
Further, he said that New Delhi would “extend its active and constructive support” for the ongoing “reform and modernisation” of the SCO.

“I also seek the support of member states for the longstanding demand of making India as the third official language of the organisation. This will enable a deeper engagement with the English-speaking members of the SCO and will take the work of the organisation to a wider global audience,” stated the FM.

Cross-Border Terrorism & Situation in Afghanistan

Jaishankar also highlighted in his address that the “menace of terrorism continues unabated” and the SCO states should continue to block finances for terror activities.
“Taking our eyes off this menace would be detrimental to our security interests,” he stated, adding that the SCO members must not be reminded that combating terrorism is one of the original mandates of the grouping.
India's FM also expressed concern about the unfolding situation in Afghanistan, stating that the SCO’s efforts must be directed towards the welfare of the Afghan people.
“Our immediate priorities include providing humanitarian assistance, ensuring a truly inclusive and a representative government, combatting terrorism and drug trafficking and preserving the rights of women, children and minorities,” he said.