About Us India

STATEMENT BY
H.E. MR. ANAND SHARMA
MINISTER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY OF INDIA 

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honoured to participate in this distinguished gathering of world leaders attending the 3rd CICA Summit. I come here as a Special Envoy of my Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, who is unable to attend the Summit due to pressing domestic commitments. Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh sends his greetings and best wishes for the success of the Summit. 

At the outset I would like to thank the President of the Republic of Turkey for the excellent arrangements for this meeting and gracious hospitality afforded to me and my delegation. India welcomes the Republic of Iraq and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam as new members of the CICA family. We also welcome the People's Republic of Bangladesh as an Observer in the CICA. India has warm and friendly relations with these countries and we look forward to working with these countries to further the CICA process.

India's relationship with the Republic of Turkey is historic and based on shared values of democracy and secularism. I would like to recall the highly successful visit of the President, His Excellency Abdullah Gul to India earlier this year. Our relations are multi-faceted and forward-looking. Our ties are expanding in the fields of politics, trade, science and technology, culture, education and tourism.

Excellencies,

Terrorism   continues  to   be   the   most   serious   security  threat confronting the international community. At the first CICA Summit in 2002 we adopted a Declaration on Eliminating Terrorism and Promoting Dialogue among Civilizations.  We had pledged to cooperate in combating terrorism and acknowledged the transnational character of terrorism and its linkages with other security threats such as organized crime, narcotics, arms and human trafficking. We acknowledge that in the past decade the international community has initiated several steps to strengthen cooperation to combat terrorism. However, we are far from rooting out this menace. Our task has become more complex as terrorists have adapted to counter the cooperative efforts of States to tackle terrorism. Distinctions between the terrorist organisations have become blurred, given the ease with which they blend together, both operationally and ideologically.

We have consistently underlined the need for all countries to act decisively to dismantle the infrastructure of terrorism and to effectively deal with these groups that have chosen to perpetrate acts of indiscriminate violence. The choice before us is stark: we need to decisively act against this menace. There is no other alternative. I believe therefore that in CICA we need to reaffirm our resolve to root out this menace. I would like to underline the importance we attach to the early adoption  of a  Comprehensive  Convention  on   International Terrorism. This step would be an important contribution towards strengthening the international legal framework against terrorism.

We also share international concerns on possible nuclear terrorism. The Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington in April this year was a timely initiative, drawing attention to the danger of nuclear materials and technology falling into the hands of terrorists. As Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh said in Washington DC, "the world community should join hands to eliminate the risk of sensitive and valuable materials and technologies falling into the hands of terrorists ...(and)... there should be zero tolerance for individuals and groups which engage in illegal trafficking in nuclear items".

Since the 2nd CICA Summit held in Almaty in 2006, the world was confronted with an unprecedented economic and financial crisis. The global economy experienced the worst turmoil of the last seven decades, a turmoil which is continuing to adversely impact on economies across the world. The resulting slowdown and job losses pose a challenge to both the developed and developing economies. Fortunately coordinated actions by Governments and - timely interventions through stimulus packages, saved the world economy slipping from a recession into a depression. While we can take hope from the fact that the worst may be behind us, sustained recovery is likely to take some time. The recovery is reassuring but is not uniform, as many economies continue to register weak growth.

The countries of Asia have registered impressive economic growth and their potential and dynamism is universally acknowledged. Asian economies are making substantial contribution to the growth of the global economy. Asia will play a determining role in defining the global economic architecture in the 21st century.

The recent developments in Europe, coming on the heels of the financial crisis, have demonstrated the fragility of the global economic architecture and the risks associated with unsustainable lending patterns. We approach the future with a sense of cautious optimism -much will depend on the ability of nations to act in concert to reform the global architecture to make it more inclusive and representative in tune with contemporary global realities. CICA members, drawn mostly from developing countries, are important stakeholders in the global economic and financial recovery.

The broader West Asia region remains of vital importance to India. India wishes to see the creation of an environment for the earliest possible resumption of dialogue. The continued blockade of Gaza and denial of essential supplies of food and medicines has created a humanitarian crisis of immense proportion. The civilian population especially women and children are the victims of the deadlock. India deplores the recent tragic loss of life and injuries to people on the boats carrying supplies for Gaza. There can be no justification for such indiscriminate use of force, which we condemn. We extend our sympathies to the families of the dead and wounded. It is our firm conviction that lasting peace and security in the region can be achieved only through peaceful dialogue and not through use of force.

Excellencies,

India is proud to be a part of the CICA process since its inception in 1992. Under the visionary leadership of President Nazarbayev CICA has made substantial progress in the past two decades. I believe that with the conclusion of the Convention on Legal Privileges, all basic documents of the organization are in place. The CICA Secretariat has been working in Almaty with generous support from Kazakhstan and contributions from Member States, including India. In the past few years CICA has made the transition from a declaratory phase to the implementation of concrete Confidence Building Measures. I am happy to note that our officials have finalized Concept Papers and Action Plans on several subjects including energy security, IT cooperation, drug trafficking, new challenges and threats, tourism, small and medium enterprises and human dimension. The task before us is to further consolidate CBMs in the areas identified in the CICA Catalogue of CBMs and the Cooperative Approach for the Implementation of CICA CBMs.

India views CICA as an important player in the development of a cooperative and pluralistic security order in Asia, based on mutual understanding, trust and sovereign equality. In doing so we should be mindful of the diversity and heterogeneity that pervades the social, cultural, economic and political systems of the countries of Asia. We have always recognized this diversity in CICA and decided to move on the basis of consensus, gradualism and voluntary participation. The Asian landscape is distinctive and unique. India has therefore consistently emphasized that CICA should evolve its own approach, rooted in Asian realities. India believes that models, which may have been successful elsewhere, may not necessarily be replicable in Asia.

CICA needs to have the ability to adapt to the rapidly changing nature of security challenges faced by us. The concept of security has undergone a change in the 21bL century. We can no longer view security in narrow military terms. Non-military threats or non-traditional security challenges such as international terrorism, maritime security and piracy, disaster relief, clandestine proliferation of WMDs, pandemics, narcotics have all assumed greater salience. The process of globalization has led to the globalization of vulnerability. The challenges before us are transnational and trans-regional. CICA is well placed to address these challenges through cooperation and collaboration. We remain committed to deepening and broadening our cooperation through CICA.

The 3rd CICA Summit is a milestone in the evolution of the CICA process as the Chairmanship moves for the first time from Kazakhstan to Turkey. I take this opportunity to congratulate Turkey on the assumption of Chairmanship. I am confident that under Turkey's leadership CICA will continue to grow with the same dynamism as under Kazakhstan's leadership. India will continue to provide full support and cooperation to the CICA process with the objective of contributing to peace, stability, security and prosperity in Asia.