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Risk reduction no longer local activity: Rajnath Singh in SCO meeting

News Agencies | Updated on: 25 August 2017, 16:33 IST

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh left Kyrgyzstan on 25 August after attending the ninth meeting of the heads of governments of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

The two-day meeting of heads of Governments of SCO Member States ended today and focused on prevention and elimination of emergency situations.

In the meeting, Singh focused on the importance of an interconnected world and how risk-reduction is not a local activity anymore, as actions in one part of the world may affect the other parts.

He also said that between 1996 and 2015, the SCO countries lost 300,000 lives to natural disasters and the economic losses from disasters are extremely high.

"Nearly 40 percent of the humanity lives in our countries. We represent some of the fastest growing economies. If we are able to prevent and reduce the impact of disasters and emergencies, it will have huge global benefits as well," he said.

He also suggested that a meeting of technical experts can be organized to make exchange of knowledge and experiences on earthquake-resistant building construction, model building codes and standard processes for ensuring compliance, easier.

"We can work on regional cooperation for making our infrastructure disaster-resilient. Over the coming decades, investment in infrastructure in the SCO countries will be the driver of sustainable development," Singh said.

"We need cooperation in the area of early warning systems for extreme weather events. A technical meeting of representatives of our meteorological services will be a very beneficial first step to foster collaboration in this area," he said.

The minister offered to host a meeting of the meteorological services of SCO countries in early 2019, adding that India also offers to host a joint exercise on 'urban earthquake search and rescue' in the same year.

Rajnath Singh led the Indian delegation which includes senior officers from Home and External Affairs Ministries and National Disaster Management Authority.

India got the full membership of SCO this year and Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended SCO's annual Summit meeting held in Astana, Kazakhstan in June this year.

The participation of India as SCO Member will open additional opportunities for giving new impetus to the development of international cooperation in the field of protecting the population and territories from emergency situations within the framework of the SCO. 


First published: 25 August 2017, 16:33 IST