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SCO Foreign Ministers video conference: India supports joint efforts to combat COVID-19

The External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar represented India at the meet which saw the participation of foreign ministers from eight countries, including China and Pakistan.

May 14, 2020 12:40 IST
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India participated in a meeting of foreign ministers of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on May 13, 2020. The eight-member SCO meeting took place via video conference and was convened by the current chair, Russia.

The meeting of the foreign ministers was conducted to discuss the sharing of information that will help to contain COVID-19, particularly in medical equipment, medicine, and the pharmaceutical sector.

The External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar represented India at the meet which saw the participation of foreign ministers from eight countries, including China and Pakistan.

Dr. S. Jaishankar also shared his video during the meet on his official twitter handle and thanked Russia's FM, Lavrov for organising the meet during this hour of crisis.

S. Jaishankar Tweet

Key Highlights:

•  The video conference of the Foreign Ministers was held under the chairmanship of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Sergey Lavrov.

•  The foreign ministers of the eight countries included Russian Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

•  The eight countries discussed the information sharing on the best practices to combat COVID-19. 

•  They also agreed on a joint declaration that will focus on creating a plan of action that can be adopted in the leaders' level summit and will encourage collaboration for methods of disease treatment and for vaccine development.  

• The other arenas of discussion were on the preparation of the SCO summit in St. Petersburg that has been scheduled for June 9-10.

• The upcoming 75th anniversary of World War 2 victory along with the 75th anniversary of the United Nations was also discussed by the SCO member countries. 

•  Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, in November 2019, had represented India at the SCO summit Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

•  India has also been engaged in various SCO cooperation mechanisms in the region for the further development of multilateral cooperation within the SCO framework.

India in Shanghai Cooperation Organisation:

The External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar in his remarks during SCO meet thanked the Russian foreign minister for organizing the meet and reaffirmed India's commitment in the joint fight against COVID-19.  The minister also reflected India's readiness to share the information expertise along with the best practices with the SCO member states. 

In the meet, the External Affairs minister in his note mentioned India's contribution in enhancing the role of SCO in the global arena ever since it became a full member of SCO in 2017. 

The minister also highlighted various initiatives and steps taken by India to combat the pandemic. He mentioned the economic package of US $266 billion that was announced on May 12, 2020.  S Jaishankar further assured India's engagement in strengthening the SCO's potential for the mutual development of the member countries. 

While mentioning India's commitment to work towards the creation of economic cooperation among the SCO members, he also acknowledged terrorism that continues to be a threat to stability and security in SCO region. 

About Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO):

Shanghai Cooperation organisation is an economic, Eurasian political and security alliance that formally entered into force on September 19, 2003. The organisation expanded its membership to 8 countries when Pakistan and India joined SCO on June 9, 2017.

It is the largest regional organisation in the world in terms of population and geographical coverage. It covers three-fifths of the Eurasian Continent and nearly half of the human population.

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