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Countries must unite to end the scourge of terrorism: Vice President Venkaiah Naidu | India News

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NEW DELHI: SAARC can become an effective and vibrant network to promote the prosperity and well-being of a vast population in the region if all countries sincerely unite to end the scourge of terrorismVice President M Venkaiah Naidu said on Friday.
Unless completely removed, the threat of terrorism will nullify all efforts to create a prosperous and flourishing future for all people in South Asia, Naidu said at a virtual event to launch a commemorative postage stamp honoring the former first. Minister IK Gujral.
Reiterating that India has always believed in peaceful coexistence with all its neighbors and in maintaining friendly relations, the vice president said: “Unfortunately, the country has been facing relentless state-sponsored cross-border terrorism for the past few years.”
The vice president also wanted the United Nations to play a more proactive role and redouble its efforts to isolate nations sponsoring terrorist activities and to impose sanctions on them.
“The conclusion of the deliberations at the UN and the adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism cannot tolerate further delays,” he said according to an official statement.
The potential and scope for cooperation and development in the South Asian region is huge, Naidu said.
All countries should seize this opportunity to build a better and brighter future for people by removing barriers such as poverty, illiteracy, corruption; provide quality health care and education; end gender discrimination and prioritize improving overall quality of life, he said.
Stressing that peace and development must take precedence over everything else, Naidu said that “peace is the prerequisite for progress and there can be no development without peace.”
The vice president said that Gujral was a cultured, soft-spoken man and a “political gentleman” who never compromised on his values, regardless of the challenges or difficulties he faced.
“With a friendly demeanor, he was polite to the extreme and made friends across the political spectrum,” he said.
Appealing to all politicians to view their opponents as rivals rather than enemies, the vice president wanted them to maintain good social relations.
By urging political parties to follow the “nation first” policy, he wanted them to put aside their differences and support foreign policy in the national interest.
The vice president also stressed the need for greater participation of women in leadership roles and expressed her happiness that the number of women judges has reached 13 in the Madras High Court, the highest in the country with the elevation of four women to judge positions on Wednesday.
Naidu said that the number of women in leadership positions in politics, public administration, corporate governance and civil society organizations has steadily increased over the years in both India and the world, but their representation must increase even more.
Expressing concern about the low representation of women in state legislatures and in Parliament, she called for it to be significantly improved through the necessary political and legislative initiatives.
In their opinion, women are underrepresented in the higher judiciary.
The 17th Lok Sabha has the highest number of 78 female members, representing only 14 percent of the total force, Naidu said.
Maintaining that reserve for women in the country’s local bodies has brought thousands of women to leadership positions, called for an end to prejudice against them, and added that “it can no longer be the world of men.”
Women deserve their share of opportunities to express themselves in all forms in the emerging knowledge society, Naidu said.
Underlining that discrimination based on gender is unjustified, Naidu said that, on the contrary, giving women their due “will make our homes and the world better places to live.”
She stressed the need to focus on removing barriers to entry for women, saying that women deserve high positions in all spheres of decision-making, including the judiciary, legislatures and governance.

Times of India

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