New Delhi: The Indo-Pacific region remains important for the economic development of not only the region but also of the wider global community, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Friday.
Centuries old sea lanes criss-crossing the region have helped enhance trade, he added.
Singh was delivering a keynote address at the Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue-2022 in New Delhi.
He said that the global community has been working towards economic development through multiple platforms and agencies, UN Security Council being the foremost among them. What is now required is to elevate the paradigm of collective security to a level of shared interests and shared security for all.
“It is my firm belief that if security becomes a truly collective enterprise, then we can think of creating a global order, which is beneficial to all of us. We have also been espousing the idea of multi-alignment. We believe in a multi-aligned policy, which is realised through diverse engagements with multiple stakeholders, so that views and concerns of all can be discussed and addressed for a prosperous future for all,” the minister said.
Singh said that the strong and prosperous India would not be built at the cost of others, rather, India is here to help other nations realise their full potential.
He said, “We should strive to create a win-win situation for all. We should not be guided by narrow self-interest, which is not beneficial in the long-run, but by enlightened self-interest, which is sustainable and resilient to shocks.”
They have also functioned as arterial connections to bring about a fusion of cultures and ideas. It is these very waters that carried the message of peace, enlightenment, hope and well-being centuries ago, Singh added.
He said, “There is a deeper connect that allows us to share a common message of humanity across the Indo Pacific region. Along this path of shared prosperity and security, India underlines the centrality of ASEAN in our endeavours in respect of the Indo-pacific region.”
The resolute message of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message that the era of war is over during his recent G20 visit, has been echoed by the world leaders, gathered in Bali recently for the G-20 summit, with the G20 communique mentioning that “now is not the time for war” , he said.
When humanity is facing problems like Climate Change, Covid pandemic, widespread deprivation etc., it is essential that all should be working together to surmount these mammoth challenges, without being distracted by the destructive seduction of wars and conflicts, Rajnath Singh said.
He said, “I would like to share with you that it has always been our endeavour to work with our partners in constructive engagements in the region. We have launched the ‘Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative’ at the East Asia Summit held in Bangkok. We have also proposed ASEAN-India Initiative on Marine Plastic Pollution Response towards improving the marine ecosystem. We have proposed the ASEAN-India Initiative for women in UN Peacekeeping Operations which would contribute towards effective conflict resolution and lasting peace through a more humane approach.”