‘Reformed multilateralism a pressing need now more than ever before’: F S Shringla

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India News Network, | June 23
New Delhi:
India on Wednesday once again pitched high for a reformed multilateralism that could reflect contemporary geopolitical realities.
“India’s clarion call for a reformed multilateralism, which reflects appreciation of contemporary geopolitical realities, is a pressing need now more than ever before,” Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said in his remarks at the Thematic Discussion on ‘Growing Role of Asia in International Affairs and Related Adaptation of Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA).
The Foreign Secretary said the United Nations Security Council must be made more representative of developing countries in order to build trust and confidence in its ability to provide leadership to the entire world.
Multilateral institutions must be made more accountable to their membership, they must be open and welcoming to a diversity of viewpoints and cognisant of new voices, especially those from Asia, Shringla observed.
“India values a multipolar international order, underpinned by international law, premised upon respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, resolution of international disputes through peaceful negotiations, and free and open access for all to the global commons,” the Foreign Secretary said.
However, he said that as Asia faced with challenges like terrorism, radicalization, drug trafficking and organized crime, “we need to undertake concerted action to face these diverse challenges.”
With regard to India’s vision of the Indo-Pacific, the Foreign Secretary said it is premised on a free, open and inclusive region underpinned by international law and based on the common pursuit of progress and prosperity of all.
Expressing his hope that CICA could be an important vehicle for advancing peace, progress and prosperity in Asia in consonance with the growing role of the region in international relations, the Foreign Secretary said, “We welcome CICA’s recent decision to establish a new confidence building measure on epidemiology and healthcare and look forward to its implementation.”
Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) is a multilateral forum advanced by Kazakhstan in 1992 for enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia.
The Forum recognizes a close link between peace, security and stability in Asia and in the rest of the world and seeks to promote dialogue and confidence-building in Asia.
Membership of CICA include Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Palestine, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russia, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
A regular meeting of the CICA foreign Ministers will be held later this year while the next CICA Summit will be held in 2023.
India has placed the services of a diplomat (Second Secretary) with CICA on a secondment basis who is based in Nur-Sultan. India is co-chairing two CICA CBMs – one on ‘Development of Secure and Effective Systems of Transportation Corridors,’ with Azerbaijan and the second on ‘Energy Security’ with Republic of Korea.
Under the CBM on ‘Energy Security’, India held a well-attended virtual seminar on “Renewable Energy & Energy Security” on June 18, 2021.
The agenda of CICA Senior Officials Meeting on Wednesday included thematic discussion on the growing role of Asia, revision of draft CICA Catalogue of CBMs, and mechanisms for enhanced dialogue under CICA, including a think tank forum.

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