The leaders of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), under India's presidency, adopted a Delhi declaration and two thematic joint statements - one on cooperation in countering the radicalisation leading to separatism, extremism and terrorism and the second one cooperation in the field of digital transformation, Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said on Tuesday.
He further said that furing SCO meeting under India's presidency, the focus was on involving stakeholders beyond the government, leading to the organization of various meetings, activities, and events over the past nine months.
Addressing the briefing upon the conclusion of the SCO summit, Vinay Kwatra said, "As the outcome of the summit, the leaders admitted one Delhi declaration and two thematic joint statements -- one on cooperation in countering radicalisation leading to separatism, extremism and terrorism, and the second one cooperation in the field of digital transformation. Besides the leaders signed a total of 10 decisions. Essentially the outcomes that are aimed at furthering the cooperation among SCO nations".
While reiterating PM Modi's vision for SCO, he said, "When India assumed the presidency of SCO last year, after the Samarkand summit, PM Modi had articulated India's priority towards the theme of SECURE SCO, standing for; Security, Economic Development, Connectivity, Unity, Respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, and Environmental Protection."
As part of India's initiatives, two new mechanisms were created within the SCO: the Special Working Group on startups and innovation, and an expert-level working group on medicine. The first meetings for these mechanisms will be held later in the year.
"During India's presidency, it hosted more than 134 events in the last 9 months and an unprecedented level of engagement with the dialogue partners and observer nations. There were in total 15 ministerial-level meetings, and four heads of agencies meetings across different areas," he added.
The Foreign Secretary also highlighted five initiatives proposed by India adopted at these ministerial-level meetings
"First was on the development of Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) for the promotion of digital technologies among the population in particular on digital innovation and inclusion. This was echoed by almost all leaders at the summit proceedings. Two, on the cooperation between SCO members on emerging fuels. Three, working together to combat the challenges of climate change, plastic pollution, air pollution, marine plastic litter with focus on resource efficiency and circular economy," he said.
Kwatra added, "Related to that, actions oriented sequence like decarbonising, digital transformation and innovative technologies, for efficiency and higher sustainability through cooperation among the SCO member states. Lastly, the first-ever report on digital financial inclusion policies in the SCO member states".
The Foreign Secretary said that in addition to governmental engagements, socio-cultural activities and youth-oriented events were organized to involve stakeholders from SCO member nations beyond the government.
"There was also a substantial section of socio-cultural activities. This included the SCO millet festival, SCO film festival, SCO cultural showcasing at Surajkund Mela, SCO Tourism Mart, and SCO conference on traditional medicine in a Business-to-business format. All this received quite a remarkable and robust response from the SCO member nations," he said.
Kwatra added, "We also organised many activities focussed on the youth population., like Young Scientists Conclave, Young Authors Conclave, SCO Young Resident Scholar Programme, SCO start-up Forum, SCO Youth Council, SCO role of youth in community development'.
The SCO summit, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, concluded with the virtual participation of the heads of state from all SCO nations.
India assumed the rotating chairmanship of the SCO at the Samarkand Summit of SCO on September 16 last year. The theme of India's Chairmanship of SCO in 2023 is 'SECURE-SCO'.
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