Connectivity will determine how we meet our promises of growth, prosperity: Sushma

New Delhi, Mar. 1 (ANI): Maintaining that connectivity today is central to the globalisation process, and is particularly important for Asia’s growth and development, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday said whether it is domestic, external or regional, connectivity will determine how we meet our promise of growth, employment and prosperity.

“Both literally and metaphorically, it is an enabler of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’,” she added.

“However, in its most radical form, the threat of disruption in connectivity emanates from the spread of terrorism, which has mutated to keep pace with the march of technology. As a result, we confront the spectre of cyber attacks even as we struggle with violence inspired by medieval beliefs,” said Swaraj, while delivering the inaugural address at ‘Raisina Dialogue’, the theme for which is ‘Asian Connectivity’.

Stating that use or threat of use of force by nations in territorial disputes is another source of concern, she said dissuasion and diplomacy are part of the answers in such situations.

“Sometimes, nature itself can be the source of problems, more than even conflicts. The importance of providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief is increasingly appreciated as a result.

“We saw that last year in both Yemen and Nepal, one man-made and the other natural. The security of connectivity in its various forms thus emerges as central to the maintenance of global order. The role of net security providers in different regions is also a natural corollary,” the minister said.

In the contemporary world, connectivity has very diverse manifestations, she said. “Given the nature of the development process, it should come as no surprise that we are addressing a broad spectrum of challenges at different levels of complexity, all at the same time. Some are within the country, others just beyond our borders and the rest in the global commons.”

“We are simultaneously seeking to overcome basic problems of physical connectivity, even as we endeavour to leapfrog and strengthen the digital one. Economic activities, while an outcome of connectivity, themselves form a bond between and within nations. They require a secure enabling environment which usually results in the multiplication of contacts.

“Migration for employment, a longstanding practice that has acquired special significance in a more globalised economy, cannot be left out of any conversation on connectivity. The global commons, whether on the seas or in space, also offer their own specific challenges as they do their solutions,” she added.

Welcoming all the participants to the inaugural session of the Raisina Dialogue, she said, “The Raisina Dialogue has a context. This is a new initiative taken jointly by the Ministry of External Affairs and the Observer Research Foundation, which is meant to create an international platform in India for policy makers and strategic thinkers to deliberate on the key issues of the day. In time, it is our hope that this dialogue would progress to become an important event in the calendar of diplomatic practitioners and analysts.”

Envisioned as India’s flagship conference of geopolitics and geo-economics, the Raisina Dialogue 2016 is designed to explore prospects and opportunities for Asian integration.

The conclave will focus on Asia’s physical, economic, human and digital connectivity.

More than 450 delegates, former president of Sri Lanka Chandrika Badaranaike Kumaratunga and former president of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai, from around 40 countries are participating in the three-day conference. (ANI)

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