India will use its capabilities in vaccine output, distribution to help humanity: PM

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 10, 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the 20th Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, via video conferencing, in New Delhi on Tuesday   -  PTI

Economic cooperation will be focus area for SCO heads meeting to be hosted by India

India will use its capabilities in vaccine manufacturing and distribution to help all humanity in its hour of crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the virtual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on Tuesday.

Economic cooperation will be the focus area for the SCO Council of Heads of Government meeting, an annual event, to be hosted by India later this year, the PM added.

The meeting was chaired by Russian President Vladimir Putin (Russia was the host country) and attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping and Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan. Leaders from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan also participated.

“This is an important year for India at the SCO as it was organising a summit-level meeting for the first time — the SCO Council of Heads of Government. An extensive agenda has been prepared for the meeting with focus on economic cooperation,” the Prime Minister said. Based on its experience in the area of building start-up ecosystems, India has proposed setting up a special working group on innovation and start-ups, the Prime Minister added.

On the Covid-19 crisis and the need for cooperation to overcome it, the PM said that India had provided medicines to more than 150 countries at a time when the world was in the grip of an unprecedented pandemic. “In the capacity of being the largest vaccine manufacturer in the world, India will use its vaccine manufacturing and distributing capacities to help the entire humanity,” Modi said.

Territorial integrity

In an indirect reference to Pakistan and China, Modi said all member nations should respect each others’ territorial integrity and expressed regret over some countries going against the spirit of the SCO and trying to bring bilateral matters to the forum.

Modi and Jinping came face-to-face (although virtually) for the first time since the border skirmish between India and China in Eastern Ladakh started earlier this year.

“India has strong cultural and historical ties with Shanghai Cooperation Organisation countries...India believes that to enhance connectivity it is important that we move forward while respecting one another's sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Modi said.

Modi pointed out to all participants that India would participate as a non-permanent member in the United Nations Security Council from 2021 and said that the country would also work for reforms. The PM said he expected support from all the SCO member countries.

Published on November 10, 2020

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