The Union Minister for Home Affairs, Shri Amit Shah addressed the 10th Meeting of the Heads of Departments of SCO Member States, dealing with the prevention and elimination of emergency situations, in New Delhi, today.Addressing on the occasion, the Home Minister extended warm greetings to all delegates from the SCO Nations who have come together to participate in the meeting. He informed that India attaches special importance to SCO as an excellent platform for synergizing the efforts of all member States in the field of multilateral, political, security, economic and people-to-people interaction in the region and developing personal understanding amongst counterpart teams when they work together to tackle any disaster situation.Stressing on the fact that India attaches special importance to SCO as a platform for regional outreach, Shri Shah informed that India has participated in more than 20 ministerial meetings in the last 2 years. He said that India has always been the first respondent in situations of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Management in Indian subcontinent region. He also stressed on the need for all stakeholders to focus on building disaster resilient infrastructure to minimize the loss of precious lives and property.
Taking initiative in this direction, in September 2019, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) at UN Climate Action Summit 2019 in New York, Shri Shah said.Expressing pride in organizing an SCO Ministerial Meeting for the first time in India, the Home Minister expressed hope that this meeting would bring together all SCO Nations to deliberate on an effective strategy to build disaster resilient infrastructure and bolster each others’ capabilities to efficiently tackle future disasters by exchanging best practices. This forum would become an important platform to increase mutual cooperation among SCO Nations in disaster management, he added.Shri Shah said that climate change presents new challenges in Disaster Management today. He laid stress on the fact that all SCO Nations must make a concerted, synchronized effort towards securing our peoples from disasters and this task must be taken up jointly. He expressed confidence that the Joint Exercise on Urban Earthquake Search & Rescue (SCOJtEx)-2019 and this Ministerial meeting organized in New Delhi would help in finalizing the Action Plan for managing disasters for the year 2020-21. The protocol to be signed today will open new vistas of cooperation between SCO nations in this regards, he added.