India calls for greater cooperation to eliminate terrorism in all its forms

India placed this demand at the 17th Ministerial Meeting of Asia Cooperation Dialogue held virtually

Underlining that terrorism continues to pose a critical threat to global peace and security, India on Thursday called for greater cooperation to eliminate the menace in all its forms.

The assertion was made by Riva Ganguly Das, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, while representing India at the 17th Ministerial Meeting of Asia Cooperation Dialogue held virtually on the theme, ‘The New Normal and Safe and Healthy Tourism’.

The secretary (East) emphasised that handling common challenges in the Indo-Pacific region, with ASEAN at its centre, require renewed coordination and cooperation, a statement issued by the MEA said.

The Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI), announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019, calls for a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific region, which promotes Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR), Das said.

In her remarks, she called for a coordinated response against the challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, underlining that strong multilateral cooperation is critical for global economic recovery.

In this context, Das stated that while the revival of old businesses to bring back livelihoods is important, "we must also focus on innovation and complementarities, and explore new business models".

"Even amid the ongoing pandemic, terrorism continues to pose a critical threat. We must cooperate to eliminate terrorism in all its forms, for terrorists do not believe in a nation, state or nationalism," she said.

She also underscored the need to strengthen efforts aimed at development of equitable and universal access to diagnostic tools, treatments and vaccines in order to promote safe and healthy tourism.

In this context, Das mentioned that vaccines from India have started reaching India’s neighbourhood — Bhutan, the Maldives, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Seychelles — under grant assistance.

Recognising the strong need to revive and rebuild the tourism sector in order to ensure jobs as well as for the protection of cultural and natural heritage, Das highlighted that India is focusing on tourism promotion as a part of its 3Ts strategy — trade, tourism and technology.

At the end of the meeting, the ‘Ankara Declaration’ was adopted by all the Asia Cooperation Dialogue countries.

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