Excellency, President of Russia and President of our today's House,
Excellencies, my fellow friends,
First of all, I would like to congratulate President Putin for the efficient leadership of the SCO, and for hosting this summit despite the challenges and obstacles posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. I am happy that despite these painful circumstances, we can still pursue a broad and forward looking agenda of cooperation and integration under SCO.
This is an important year for India in SCO. We are going to convene a summit level meeting "SCO Council of Heads of Government" for the first time. A broad agenda has been drafted for this meeting, with special attention to economic cooperation. We have proposed the making of a Special Working Group on Innovation and Startups to share our rich experience in the startup ecosystem. We have also proposed a Working Group on Traditional Medicine, so that the knowledge of traditional and ancient medicine is spread across SCO countries and the headway in contemporary medicine can complement each other.
India firmly believes that with the combination of economic multilateralism and national capacity building, SCO countries can escape from the crisis of pandemic led economic losses. We are moving ahead with a vision of a "Self-reliant India" in the post-pandemic world. I believe that "Self-reliant India" will prove to be a Force Multiplier for the global economy and will accelerate the economic progress of the SCO region.
India maintains close cultural and historical ties with the SCO nations. Our ancestors kept alive this shared historical and cultural heritage with their untiring and persistent contacts. Steps such as the International North South Transport Corridor, Chabahar Port, Ashgabat Agreements, reflect India's strong resolve towards connectivity. India believes that to further deepen Connectivity, it is necessary to carry forward with the core principles respecting each other's sovereignty, and Territorial Integrity.
The United Nations has completed its 75 years. But despite many achievements, the basic goal of the United Nations is still unaccomplished. The world struggling with the pandemic led economic and social suffering is expected to bring about radical changes in the UN systems.
It is said in our scriptures "Parivartanme Sthirmasti" - Change is the only permanency. Beginning 2021 India will participate in the UN Security Council as a non-permanent member. Our focus will be on bringing possible changes in global governance process.
A reformed multilateralism that will reflect today's global realities and discuss topics such as expectations of all stakeholders, contemporary challenges and human welfare. We expect full support from SCO member nations in this endeavor.
(Survey Bhavantu Sukhinah, Survey Santu Niramaya)
Let’s all stay happy and disease free. This peace hymn is a symbol of believe for the entire human welfare of India. In this painful time of unprecedented pandemic, India's pharma industry helped more than 150 countries with essential medicines. As the world's largest vaccine producing country, India will use its vaccine production and distribution capacity to help the entire humanity in fighting this crisis.
India firmly believes in peace, security and prosperity. And we have always voiced opposition to terrorism, illegal arms smuggling, drugs and money laundering. India has remained firm in its commitment to work in compliance with SCO principles laid down in the SCO Charter.
However, it is unfortunate that repeated attempts are being made to unnecessarily bring bilateral issues in the SCO agenda, which is in violation of the SCO Charter and Shanghai Spirit. Such efforts are discordant to the spirit of consensus and cooperation that defines SCO.
I give my outright support to celebrate the 20th anniversary of SCO in the year 2021 as "SCO Culture Year". The National Museum of India is in the process of organizing the first SCO exhibition on our shared Buddhist heritage this year. The Literature Academy of India has completed the translation of ten Indian literary works in Russian and Chinese languages.
And I am confident that next year India will be hosting the SCO Food Festival in an pandemic-free environment. I am happy that the officials and diplomats from all SCO nations participated in a recent Yoga program organized jointly with the SCO Secretariat in Beijing.
Excellencies,I once again congratulate President Putin for his proficient and successful leadership. And thank him for organizing this summit. I would like to congratulate and wish Tajik President Emomali Rahmon for assuming the chairmanship of SCO next year.
And I also assure India's full cooperation for the successful chairmanship of Tajikistan.
Thanks a lot.