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India to take initiative for new SCO working group on...

PM modi

Addressing the leaders at the 22nd Summit of the Council of Heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Member States (SCO-CoHS), Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that India is set to take an initiative for a new SCO working group on traditional medicines.

He highlighted that WHO inaugurated its Global Centre for Traditional Medicines in Gujarat in April 2022 and it was the first and only global centre by WHO for traditional treatment.

“In April 2022, WHO inaugurated its Global Centre for Traditional Medicines in Gujarat. This was the first & only global centre by WHO for traditional treatment. India will take an initiative for a new SCO working group on traditional medicines,” PM Modi said while addressing the extended format of the 22nd Summit of the Council of Heads of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Member States (SCO-CoHS) in Uzbekistan’s Samarkand.

PM Modi also emphasised tackling the challenge of food security and talked about India’s efforts to popularise millets.

“Another challenge the world is undergoing is ensuring the food security of our citizens. One of the solutions is farming millet. Millets are such a superfood which is not just grown in SCO member states but also in several other parts of the world for thousands of years,” Modi said adding that SCO can play a big role in marking 2023 as the International year of millets.

Moreover, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on also reiterated making India a manufacturing hub in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war which has caused global supply-chain disruptions.

“The world is overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic. Several disruptions occurred in the global supply chain because of the COVID and Ukraine crisis. We want to transform India into a manufacturing hub,” PM Modi said during his address in Samarkand.

Highlighting the country’s economic stability, he said India has more than 70,000 start-ups and over 100 unicorns.

The SCO Summit usually has 2 sessions – a restricted session, only for the SCO member states, and then an extended session which includes participation by observers and special invitees. The SCO Member States, Observers, Special Guests of the Chair and representatives from regional organisations come together for a meeting in the expanded format.

This is the first in-person SCO Summit after the Covid pandemic hit the world. The last in-person SCO Heads of State Summit was held in Bishkek in June 2019.

Earlier, Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev welcomed PM Modi to the Congress Centre in Samarkand for the 22nd SCO Summit. India has been working closely with Uzbekistan towards the success of their Chairship.

The SCO currently comprises eight Member States (China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan), four Observer States interested in acceding to full membership (Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, and Mongolia) and six “Dialogue Partners” (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Turkey).

The Shanghai Five, formed in 1996, became the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in 2001 with the inclusion of Uzbekistan. With India and Pakistan entering the grouping in 2017 and the decision to admit Tehran as a full member in 2021, SCO became one of the largest multilateral organisations, accounting for nearly 30 per cent of the global GDP and 40 per cent of the world’s population.

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