New Delhi, Feb 13 (ANI): Asserting that terrorism continues to remain a grave concern to world peace and stability, Defence Minister A.K. Antony on Monday said the various nations must draw up collective and innovative measures to counter and defeat such asymmetric threats.
Antony, who inaugurated the 14th Asian Security Conference here today, in his presidential address delivered on the occasion said: "Terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and transnational crimes are common concerns the world over. Terrorism continues to remain a grave concern to world peace and stability. Nations must draw up collective and innovative measures to counter and defeat such asymmetric threats. Weapons of mass destruction go beyond nuclear weapons."
"These weapons may be biological, chemical and radiological, in nature. Often, these weapons do not require sophisticated delivery systems. There is always a danger that these weapons may fall into wrong hands. Thus, nations need to cooperate with each other and draw up a comprehensive approach to evolve institutional frameworks to defeat such challenges," he added.
The Defence Minister, who extended a warm welcome to all the participants from the world over for the 14th Asian Security Conference organised by the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA), said the concept of security has expanded and undergone a massive transformation.
"The concept of security has expanded and undergone a massive transformation to include economic progress, particularly given the direction the global economy has been taking, climate change and good governance. Such issues have assumed heightened significance for the comity of nations," he said.
Stating that the global community today faces common challenges in the realms of economics, geopolitics, demography, sharing natural resources, climate change and information, Antony said: "The impact of basic issues such as food, water, economic instability and security-related issues such as terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and drug trafficking is having an impact on the dynamics of various societies and nations."
Antony further emphasized that India has been and will continue to be committed towards building a peaceful, secure and economically stable Asia.
"As one of the fastest growing economies of the region and a stable democratic nation, India has been and will continue to be committed towards building a peaceful, secure and economically stable Asia. However, to address such non- traditional challenges, we also need to move beyond conventional ways of dealing with them," he said.
Stating that natural disasters seem to be occurring with regularity, Antony said: " The destruction caused by Tsunamis has killed thousands of people. Earthquakes and floods too have caused havoc in various nations."
"We need to develop common institutional mechanisms to deal with such disasters. Disaster management occupies an important place in our policy and must be taken down to regional and local levels in our region," he added.
Emphasizing that climate change too has an impact on security, Antony said: " It is causing floods and resulting in changes in crop yields and crop patterns. The per capita availability of water is decreasing sharply worldwide. Water is actually fast emerging as a major source of insecurity and a potential issue for conflict among nations."
"Thus, nations need to cooperate on sharing water and efficient water usage and harvesting and initiate collective action for preserving our common environment," he added.
Asserting that cyber security is a critical area of concern, Antony said : "With digitisation of world and various services, the world is becoming increasingly dependent on internet and information technology. However, security of networks has become an urgent concern, as enormous vital and critical data passes through them every day."
"Any breach of cyber networks can cause untold damage to the security of any society," or country. Nations must take serious and prompt note and cooperate with each other to strengthen seamless cyber security," he added.
The Defence Minister further said the United Nations and other multilateral institutions will continue to play a proactive role.
The theme of this year's conference is 'Non-Traditional Security Threats: Today And Tomorrow'. Experts from India and abroad, including three from China, are participating in the three-day conference.
The Asian Security Conference is an annual conference organized by the IDSA since 1999. (ANI)
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