Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today called for closer global cooperation to strengthen international architecture for building structures to prevent and manage future disasters.
He also suggested a comprehensive assessment of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the implementation of 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, emphasising the need to incorporate new ideas in global and national strategies. He was virtually inaugurating the 5th World Congress on Disaster Management here.
Talking about the role of the armed forces in times of disasters, Rajnath said, “Our armed forces have time and again demonstrated that they care for and stand by the country’s partners in times of need without distinguishing between natural or man-made disasters.”
He reiterated India’s vision for the Indian Ocean encapsulated by the concept of SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) as articulated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Rajnath underlined that SAGAR has both distinct and inter-related elements such as deepening economic and security cooperation among the littoral states; enhancing capacities to safeguard land and maritime territories; working towards sustainable regional development; Blue Economy and promoting collective action to deal with non-traditional threats like natural disasters, piracy and terrorism.
He maintained that while each of these elements requires equal attention, developing an effective response mechanism to address humanitarian crises and natural disasters is one of the most important pillars of SAGAR.
India’s engagement with the world and especially the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) has been robustly strong, he said, lauding the armed forces for being the first responders in the region for Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations.
He said India’s unique position in the IOR, complemented by a capability of the armed forces, enabled it to contribute significantly in HADR situations.