SCO Summit: PM Modi’s message on terrorism, climate change

SCO Summit

SCO Summit: These remarks were delivered by EAM Dr S Jaishankar who was physically present at the summit.


India recalls with appreciation that its admission as a Member of SCO took place during the 2017 Kazakh Presidency. Since then, we have completed one full cycle of presidencies in SCO. India hosted both the Council of Heads of Government Meeting in 2020, as well as the Council of Heads of State Meeting in 2023. The SCO occupies a prominent place in our foreign policy.

While we congratulate Iran, attending as a Member of the Organization, I express my deepest condolences for the tragic demise of President Raisi and others in the helicopter crash.

I also congratulate President Lukashenko and welcome Belarus as the new Member of the Organization.


We gather today in the backdrop of pandemic impact, ongoing conflicts, rising tensions, trust deficits and increasing number of hotspots around the world. These events have put significant strain on international relations and global economic growth. They have aggravated some of the problems that have emanated from globalization. Our gathering is aimed at finding common ground to mitigate the consequences of these developments.

The SCO is a principle-based organization, whose consensus drives the approach of its member states. At this time, it is particularly noteworthy that we are reiterating mutual respect for sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, equality, mutual benefit, non-interference in internal affairs, non-use of force or threat of use of force as a basis for our foreign policies. We have also agreed not to take any measures contrary to the principles of state sovereignty and territorial integrity.

While doing so, priority must naturally be given to combating terrorism, one of the original goals of the SCO. Many of us have had our experiences, often originating beyond our borders. Let us be clear that if left unchecked, it can become a major threat to regional and global peace. Terrorism in any form or manifestation cannot be justified or condoned. International community must isolate and expose those countries that harbour terrorists, provide safe havens and condone terrorism. Cross-border terrorism requires a decisive response and terrorism financing and recruitment must be resolutely countered. We should also take proactive steps to prevent the spread of radicalization among our youth. The Joint Statement issued during India’s Presidency last year on this subject underlines our shared commitment.

Another prominent concern before us today is of climate change. We are working towards achieving committed reduction in emissions, including transition to alternate fuels, adoption of electric vehicles, and building climate-resilient infrastructure. In this context, during India’s SCO presidency, a Joint Statement on emerging fuels, and a Concept Paper on de-carbonization in the transportation sector were approved.


Economic development requires robust connectivity. That can also pave the way for cooperation and trust between our societies. Respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity is essential for connectivity and infrastructure projects. So too are non-discriminatory trade rights and transit regimes. The SCO needs to deliberate seriously on these aspects.

The 21st century is the century of technology. We have to make technology creative and apply it to the welfare and progress of our societies. India is among the countries to formulate a National Strategy on Artificial Intelligence and the launch of an AI Mission. Our commitment to ‘AI for All’ is also reflected in working within the SCO framework on a Roadmap on AI cooperation.

India shares deep civilizational ties with the people of this region. Recognizing the centrality of Central Asia to SCO, we have prioritized their interests and aspirations. It is reflected in greater exchanges, projects and activities with them.

Cooperation in the SCO, for us, has been people-centric. India organized SCO Millet Food Festival, SCO Film Festival, SCO Surajkund Craft Mela, SCO Think-Tanks Conference, and International Conference on Shared Buddhist Heritage during its presidency. We will naturally support similar endeavors by others.

I’m glad that a number of events have been hosted in the New Delhi Hall at the SCO Secretariat, since its inauguration last year. This includes the 10th International Day of Yoga in 2024.


I wish to underline that SCO provides us a unique platform to unite people, collaborate, grow and prosper together, practicing the millenia old principle of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam which means ‘The World is One Family’. We must continuously translate these sentiments into practical cooperation. I welcome the important decisions we will be taking today.

I conclude by congratulating the Kazakh side for successfully hosting the SCO Summit and also convey our best wishes to China for the next presidency of the SCO.