New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing the 28th East Asia summit in Jakarta on Thursday, said that multilateralism and rules-based international order are essential for countering geopolitical conflicts.
"The present global landscape is surrounded by challenging circumstances and uncertainties. Terrorism, extremism, and geopolitical conflicts are big challenges for all of us. Multilateralism and rules-based international order are essential in countering them. It is imperative to adhere fully to international laws, everyone's commitment and joint efforts are also necessary to strengthen the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, as today's era is not of war," Modi said.
"Dialogue and diplomacy is the only path to resolution," he added. "Enhancing India-ASEAN connectivity is also our focus. Peace, security, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region, is in the interest of all of us," Modi elaborated.
"The need of the hour is such that an Indo-Pacific - where international law, including UNCLOS, is equally applicable to all countries; where there is freedom of navigation and overflight; and where there is unimpeded lawful commerce for the benefit of everyone. India believes that the Code of Conduct for South China Sea should be effective and in accordance with UNCLOS," the Prime Minister said, adding that it should take into consideration the interests of countries that are not directly involved in the discussions.
Modi further said that "Challenges pertaining to climate change, cyber security, food security, health, and energy are particularly impacting the Global South. During our G20 presidency, we are focussing on these important issues related to the Global South".
On the situation prevailing in Myanmar, Modi said that India's policy takes into account ASEAN's views.
"At the same time, as a neighbouring country, we are for ensuring peace and security on the borders, " he added.
Modi extended his best wishes to the incoming Chair Lao PDR and assured of India's full support to its presidency.