Manmohan calls for defeating terrorism, pushes reform of global bodies

By Manish Chand, IANS,

Yekaterinburg (Russia) : In his first address to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Tuesday called for greater global cooperation to defeat the “spectre of terrorism” and reform of international financial bodies.

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“The spectre of terrorism, extremist ideologies and illicit drug trafficking haunts our region. Terrorist crimes committed today are transnational in nature,” Manmohan Singh told leaders of SCO at Hotel Hyatt Regency in Russia’s third largest city.

“No country is immune from them. It is imperative that we genuinely cooperate with one another and on a global scale to resolutely defeat international terrorism,” said the economist-politician, who is on his first overseas visit since his re-election last month.

India, along with Iran, Pakistan and Mongolia, are participating as observer at the summit of the SCO, a six-nation regional grouping dominated by Russia and China that also includes Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev are among the leaders participating at the 9th SCO summit.

Alluding to festering instability and a surge in Taliban-led violence, Manmohan Singh reiterated India’s commitment to contributing to international efforts for the economic reconstruction of Afghanistan.

This is the first SCO summit at which an Indian prime minister is participating since the SCO leaders decided to include observer countries in full-format discussions at their last summit in Dushanbe.

Unveiling his vision of regional integration and prosperity, the prime minister stressed on greater economic connectivity and more cooperation among SCO members and observers to address issues relating to sustainable development and the global financial meltdown.

“We believe that with the resources available with us, the SCO and India can mutually reinforce each other’s efforts towards the economic emancipation of our region,” Manmohan Singh said while offering to share

India’s development experience.

He also underlined the need for closer cooperation in the fields of energy and food security, and infrastructure development.

The prime minister exhorted the SCO to seize the global financial crisis and concert it into an opportunity for “greater economic cooperation between the members of the SCO and India” and pressed for reform of the institutions of global governance, including financial institutions, to bring them in tune with “present and emerging economic realities.”