Source: News Bharati English15 Jul 2016 11:05:49

Ulaanbaatar, July 15: While addressing the Plenary of the 11th ASEM Summit held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, Vice President of India, M. Hamid Ansari has said that India was confident that ASEM's role can be elevated to harness the collective capabilities of two dynamic continents for the shared peace, progress and prosperity of our countries and regions.  Ansari, who is leading the Indian delegation there said that ASEM today is a dynamic bridge between Asia and Europe and our shared endeavour has been to promote multi-dimensional connectivity between our continents.
The Vice President said that physical connectivity is merely the means to meeting the aspirations of our citizens; to building mutually beneficial partnerships, and to collectively addressing our regional and global challenges. The networks of connectivity must also include institutional, digital, economic and socio-cultural aspects, he added.

Addressing the issue of terrorism, Ansari said that our societies today face unprecedented levels of threat from terrorism in all its manifestations with the most recent example being what has happened, most unfortunately in France. He said that we need to cooperate meaningfully to deal with this threat. He urged the ASEM to pledge to work together to erase the scourge of terrorism by taking speedy action against the perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of terror, pointing out that the early adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism under the aegis of the UN is an imperative.

The Vice president said that ASEM should also collaborate to protect our global commons such as the seas and oceans in accordance with international conventions, urging ASEM members to resolve disputes peacefully, without threats or use of force, and exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that could escalate disputes effecting peace and stability. As a State Party to the UNCLOS, India urges all parties to show utmost respect for the UNCLOS, which establishes the international legal order of the seas and oceans, the Vice President added.

The Vice President said that as we step into the third decade of ASEM, it is incumbent upon us to ensure that ASEM remains a responsible and positive forum. ASEM must not only shape the global agenda but also move towards concrete action. A start, in this direction, was made at the New Delhi Foreign Ministers Meeting in November 2013. India will continue to be a constructive partner in this endeavour.

"The 11th ASEM Summit today marks two decades of multilateralism between Asia and Europe. I thank the Chair, Mongolia, for the gracious hospitality accorded to us and the excellent arrangement made for this conference. I join others in offering my condolences to the Government and people of France on Yesterday’s happening in Nice”, he added.

The Vice President expressed confidence that together all nations will  elevate ASEM's role to harness the collective capabilities of our two dynamic continents, for the shared peace, progress and prosperity of our countries and regions. “For us in ASEM, democracy and liberal human values is an important ingredient. Our host, Mongolia, is a recent and successful example of the democratic experience and we congratulate them on their success”, Ansari said.

“Let us also collaborate to protect our global commons such as the seas and oceans in accordance with international conventions. Let us resolve disputes peacefully, without threats or use of force, and exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities that could escalate disputes effecting peace and stability. As a State Party to the UNCLOS, India urges all parties to show utmost respect for the UNCLOS, which establishes the international legal order of the seas and oceans”, Ansari said.