Public Diplomacy

EAM's Statements at ASEM FMM11, Plenary Session II - Regd.

November 11, 2013


  1. I welcome you all to the Second Plenary Session of the 11th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, with focus on non-traditional security threats.
  2. The security connundrum confronting us today includes a wide array of non-traditional security threats. National security policies have, therefore, been compelled to take on a more comprehensive, human-centric view of security.
  3. ASEM, as a forum for dialogue and cooperation between Asia and Europe, has the critical mass to initiate constructive dialogue to develop a ‘spirit of consensus’ on such important security challenges.
  4. Terrorism continues to be one of the most serious challenges to international peace and security. There is need to adopt a comprehensive approach to counter, prevent and suppress terrorism; and increase practical measures in line with the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions. I would urge increasing cooperation amongst ASEM countries to counter financing of terrorism, in particular.
  5. Given the nexus between international terrorism and transnational organised crime syndicates, we need platforms to combat drug trafficking, arms smuggling and trafficking in persons. The borderless nature of these crimes requires seamless exchange of information in real time at the operational level. India would like to strengthen these mechanisms with ASEM partners.
  6. The launching of terror attacks from the sea necessitates that our counter- terrorism cooperation efforts also take into account this maritime dimension.
  7. Navigational safety concerns and persisting incidents of piracy call for a greater maritime cooperation to counter such non-traditional threats and a coordinated approach to improve our collective political and economic security.
  8. Excellencies, the next frontier upon us is Cyber space. We believe that for the cyber domain to stay open and secure, it is important to develop acceptable norms of state behaviour in cyber space. We support the good work done by the UN Group of Government Experts. We also need to address questions related to Internet Governance. We believe that the management of the core Internet resources has to be democratic, transparent and representative. International institutions that manage and regulate the Internet need to be broad based and internationalized to be able to take on board the concerns and views of all stakeholders.
  9. Excellencies, I also hope that, in the run up to ASEM 10, our Senior Officials can quantify the complementarity amongst ASEM partners on energy, food and water security into initiatives for tangible cooperation. These are important areas in India’s national calculus just as they are important for many countries around this table. India stands among the top six countries of the world in terms of renewable energy capacity. India has ambitious programmes for deployment of off-grid renewable power and decentralized renewable energy systems for rural applications. Over 1.1 million households are already meeting their subsistence lighting energy needs through such off-grid systems. India has been supportive of a South Asian grid and that has potential to eventually link into an ASEAN grid to form a pan Asian grid. Europe has efficiencies and technologies to share for this. ASEM could be a crucial forum for transfer, deployment and dissemination of advanced and environmentally sound energy technologies and exchange of best practices, including on policy and regulation.
  10. Food and nutritional security issues need a global trading regime in agricultural commodities that discourages market distorting subsidies and restrictive trade policies and curbs volatility in food prices, while preserving national measures meant to secure livelihood concerns.
  11. Water security is another area with complementarity of capacity within ASEM members. I know that Senior Officials from India and Denmark are already in consultations for an initiative to be proposed to interested ASEM partners. Such an initiative needs to be based at the grass-roots level, with impact on actual consumers and should involve private industry.
  12. Excellencies, Asia-Pacific, as also Europe, repeatedly see their established disaster response and mitigation mechanisms being challenged. Even as we meet, people in Philippines and Viet Nam are dealing with the effects of this massive typhoon, Haiyan. Disaster response and mitigation is an area that would benefit most from a multilateral approach within ASEM. I urge that our Senior Officials look to bring about synergies between innovations in technology and rescue capacities amongst ASEM partners and I might add that the suggestion coming from our partner Indonesia is taken logically to its conclusion. India is willing and will respond to the request by Philippines and Viet Nam and we would be happy to hear in which way we can help.
  13. On this note, I would like to invite other colleagues for their remarks, starting with the Lead Speaker from Europe, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, H.E. Baroness Catherine Ashton.
Thank you.

Delhi NCR
November 11, 2013



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