Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday appealed to Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member countries to take collective responsibility, share information, identify priority areas and use technology in disaster resilience capacity building .

Shah, who is also Minister of Cooperation, advocated this while chairing the meeting of heads of departments of SCO member states responsible for prevention and elimination of emergency situations, the Ministry of Home Affairs said in an official release.

According to the Union Minister, “To further strengthen the approach of SCO, five major areas can be identified to work on–confidence building efforts in Asia, collective responsibility approach, expanding cooperation in communication and information sharing, identification of priority areas, and, use of newly developed technology in disaster resilience capacity building”.

He said that it would help the SCO member states to work more effectively. Along with this, Shah was of the view that by pooling our resources and expertise, countries can avoid duplication of efforts and resources, and this will strengthen the region’s overall disaster resilience approach. Shah said that effective communication and information exchange can help ensure timely, specialized coordinated response to emergent situation.

SCO members can share their experience and knowledge in the successful use of technologies, such as, artificial intelligence, remote sensing, drone technology and data analytics to improve early warning systems, disaster risk assessment and response, he told the gathering. The Home Minister said that similar technologies can also help in increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of our response efforts as it can prove to be a game-changer in search and rescue operations.

He cited several initiatives India has taken for better disaster management. In that, he stated that there was a time when cyclonic storms in India used to cause huge loss of life and property, but, the country has made ‘Community Empowerment’ the basis of its efforts, due to which the damage caused by cyclones has been reduced, which is being appreciated by the whole world today.

Similarly, the Home Minister also emphasised that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has taken several important initiatives of international cooperation in the field of disaster risk reduction. He said that the India-led Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) today has 39 members from across the world.

India, said Shah, is committed to explore and avail the new opportunities to the fullest possible extent and willing to cooperate in sharing our experience in enhancing the role of SCO in the world forum.