Astana: Noting that terrorism in any form cannot be justified and continues to be used by nations as a tool of destabilisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that cross-border terrorism requires a decisive response and terrorism financing must be effectively countered.

In his remarks at the meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of States, PM Modi emphasised on reliable and resilient supply chains and said that 'Make in India' can add to engines of global growth and help democratize the global economy.

PM Modi's remarks were delivered by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who was present at the meeting. The theme of the meeting was 'Strengthening Multilateral Dialogue - Striving for Sustainable Peace and Development'.

PM Modi noted that the world is inexorably moving towards real multipolarity and while Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) will only become more important, its true value will depend on how well members cooperate among themselves.

"The world is currently experiencing profound shifts driven by geopolitical tensions, geo-economic forces and geo-technological advancements. They all have sweeping implications. As we look ahead, there are both immediate and systemic challenges and opportunities arising from them," PM Modi said.

"Even as we address those, let us be clear that the world is inexorably moving towards real multipolarity. In such a scenario, the SCO will only become more important. But its true value would depend on how well all of us cooperate amongst ourselves. We have already had that discussion within the SCO. The same extends to the extended family as well," he added.

PM Modi said that SCO cannot have double standards on the issue of fighting terrorism. He took a veiled dig at Pakistan over cross-border terrorism and said terrorism would surely rank foremost among challenges for many of member countries.

"The truth is that it continues to be used by nations as a tool of destabilisation. We have had our own experiences with cross-border terrorism. Let us be clear that terrorism in any form or manifestation cannot be justified or condoned. Harbouring terrorists must be strongly condemned. Cross-border terrorism requires a decisive response and terrorism financing and recruitment must be effectively countered. The SCO must never waver in its commitment. We cannot have double standards in this regard," PM Modi said.

"When it comes to geo-economics, the need of the day is to create multiple, reliable and resilient supply chains. This is an important take away from the Covid experience. 'Make in India' can add to engines of global growth and help democratize the global economy. India is open to partnering with others in capacity building, especially nations of the Global South," he added.

The Prime Minister said technology not only holds great promise but is increasingly a game changer on both development and security.

"The digital era needs more trust and transparency. AI and Cyber security raise crucial issues of their own. At the same time, India has shown that digital public infrastructure and digital financial inclusion can make such a huge difference. Both were discussed during our SCO Presidency. They also expand the scope for international cooperation, involving SCO members and partners," he said.

The Prime Minister said that while standing resolute on challenges, it is equally important to actively and collaboratively explore avenues of progress.

He said new connectivity linkages must be respectful of sovereignty and territorial integrity of states.

"The current global debate is focused on creating the new connectivity linkages that would better serve a rebalanced world. If this is to gather serious momentum, it requires the joint efforts of many. It must also be respectful of sovereignty and territorial integrity of states and be built on the foundation of non-discriminatory trade and transit rights to neighbours. For the SCO extended family, we flag the progress made on Chabahar port recently through a long-term agreement between India and Iran. This not only holds great value to landlocked Central Asian states but also de-risks commerce between India and Eurasia," PM Modi said.

Referring to Afghanistan, PM Modi said India has a historical relationship between peoples that is the bedrock of bilateral ties. "Our cooperation covers development projects, humanitarian assistance, capacity building and sports."

He said India remains sensitive to the needs and aspirations of the Afghan people.

PM Modi said SCO extended family shares a commitment to reform the current international order.

"This is only possible when those efforts extend to the United Nations and its Security Council. We hope that in the near future, we can develop a strong consensus on the way ahead."

The Prime Minister said India has contributed significantly to enhancing the economic agenda of the SCO.

"We have institutionalized mechanisms like SCO Start-up Forum and Special Working Group on Start-up and Innovation. With a 130,000 Start-ups in India, including 100 unicorns, our experience can be useful to others."

Noting that WHO has set up a Global Centre for Traditional Medicine in Gujarat, he said India has taken the initiative for a new SCO Working Group on Traditional Medicine.

The Prime Minister said enhancing education, training, and capacity-building are key pillars of India's international cooperation.

"We are committed to further building on them, be it with the C5 partners, or those of 'Neighbourhood First' or the extended neighbourhood. As more countries seek association with SCO as Observers or Dialogue Partners, we must strive to communicate better and deepen our consensus. Granting English the status of a third official language will be crucial."

PM Modi congratulated the Kazakhstan for hosting a successful Summit.

"As Vishwa Bandhu, or the friend of the world, India will always strive to deepen cooperation with all its partners. We also extend our best wishes to the success of the upcoming Chinese presidency of SCO," he said.

(With Inputs From Agencies)