Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated the Indo ASEAN Conference on Traditional Medicine at Vigyan Bhawan here today. More than 75 delegates from 10 ASEAN countries attended the conference which is aimed at enabling traditional medicine to be integrated with the modern medicine system to create a robust healthcare delivery system, ultimately achieving the ‘UN Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health & Well Being’.

Speaking on the occasion, the Union Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal said, “Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi ji enunciated ‘Act East Policy’ at the 12th ASEAN India Summit in Myanmar in 2014, giving a new momentum to the strategic partnership. India’s Act-East Policy emphasises Connectivity, Commerce and Culture. With this, there is a renewed scope for enhanced cooperation to enable our rich traditional medicine of the region between India and ASEAN countries. This conference provides a platform to deliberate on various aspects of traditional medicine in order to attain UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 for Good Health & well being. India under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi believes in the Principle of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. Traditional Medicine Systems have great potential to play a major role in achieving the aim of ‘One Health’ with smart integration with modern medicine system to create a healthcare system with holistic wellness deliverables. I believe this forum will be another step towards India’s principle of developing Vishwa Bandhutwa.”

Highlighting the strategic role of Northeast India, Sarbananda Sonowal said, “Our Northeast India is blessed with rich bio diversity as well as proven heritage of folk-medicine & traditional medicine. With the empowered Act East policy under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, Northeast India possesses immense potential to bridge the traditional medicinal practices of India as well as that ASEAN countries, with an ultimate aim to create a robust healthcare delivery system. Given the rich resources, Modiji’s Act East policy provides an incubating environment for healthcare solution providers. With this effort along with greater cooperation between ASEAN and India on traditional medicine via forums like this, the Northeast India can play a pivotal role and has the potential to become regional hub of healthcare delivery in this region.”

In an effort to enhance the scientific application of Traditional Medicines and promote knowledge sharing, the Ministry of Ayush, in collaboration with the Ministry of External Affairs, Indian Mission to ASEAN, and ASEAN Secretariat, organised this prestigious event. Conference is aimed to strengthen sustainable and resilient healthcare systems, working towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals and Universal Health Coverage.

His Excellency Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, Secretary-General, ASEAN shared his thoughts about the Conference through a video message. He congratulated the Ministry of Ayush for convening this conference on Traditional Medicines between India and ASEAN. He echoed the sentiments of shared cultural as well as traditional medicinal practices between India and ASEAN. The Secretary-General highlighted three key points reflecting synergy between ASEAN and India encompassing various aspects which includes cooperation on public health through Traditional and Complementary Medicines.


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