PM pitches ‘One Earth, One Health’ before G20
A collaborative approach is needed for the world community to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and to develop mechanisms to deal with future pandemics and global health issues, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the G20 Summit on Saturday.
Modi stressed the need for resilient global supply chains and invited the G20 states to make India their partner in economic recovery and supply chain diversification. He also welcomed the G20’s move for a 15% minimum corporate tax, saying it would make the global financial architecture more just and ensure that mult-national corporations (MNCs) pay their share of taxes to countries they are located in.
The Prime Minister made the remarks during his intervention at the first session of the G20 Summit focused on the global economy and health, foreign secretary Harsh Shringla told a news briefing in Rome.
Before the start of the summit, Modi held a one-on-one meeting with Pope Francis at the Vatican City. He also met French President Emmanuel Macron and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on the margins of the summit and reviewed bilateral relations.
In his intervention at the summit of the leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies, Modi highlighted India’s contribution to the fight against Covid-19, including provision of medical supplies to more than 150 countries, and outlined the country’s vision of “one earth, one health”, which is aimed at a collaborative approach in the international domain in the fight against Covid-19.
This includes collaboration on research and development and developing mechanisms to cope with future pandemics and global health issues, Shringla said. It is also part of the efforts to forge comprehensive global solutions that can deal with problems of inequity faced by developing countries, he said.
“This is another approach towards the overall concept of the global common good that the Prime Minister has spoken of on a number of occasions,” Shringla said.
While pointing to the need for resilient global supply chains, Modi mentioned India’s economic reforms and steps to lower the cost of doing business and invited G20 states to make India their partner in economic recovery and supply chain diversification.
Modi expressed satisfaction at the G20’s decision to come up with the 15% minimum corporate tax to make the global financial setup more just and fair, and to ensure companies don’t go to tax havens to minimise their burden. Shringla noted that Modi had first proposed such a minimum tax at the 2014 G20 Summit.
“This has become a global norm and I think this is a very important step in ensuring a more rationalised global tax structures and better cooperation in the international domain when it comes to issues like tax evasion, money laundering [and] corruption,” Shringla said.
Modi also told the G20 summit that India plans to make more than 5 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses by the end of 2022, a step that will reduce vaccine inequities in the developing world. He also spoke about facilitating international travel through the mechanism of mutual recognition of vaccine certificates.
Shringla said the World Health Organization’s approval for the emergency use authorisation for India’s Covaxin vaccine will facilitate the process of helping other countries.
During his meeting with French President Macron, Modi discussed bilateral cooperation on various subjects and global and regional developments. Shringla said Modi had welcomed the European Union’s Indo-Pacific strategy and the important role played by France in facilitating the policy.
The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate in the Indo-Pacific, and to work for an open, free and rules-based order in the region. Modi also invited Macron to visit India.
Modi and his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong reviewed the full range of bilateral ties during their meeting, and discussed climate change and facilitating international travel. They also discussed steps aimed at expedited vaccination and enhancing people-to-people ties, including the early resumption of travel between the two countries.
On Sunday, Modi will participate in two sessions of the G20 Summit focused on climate change and the environment. Modi will also attend a meeting on supply change resilience to be hosted by US President Joe Biden on the margins of the summit.
Shringla brushed aside speculation that the G20 states are divided on issued related to climate action, and said there was agreement within the grouping that climate change is a global problem. The G20 states could have different views on dealing with this problem, but the grouping is expected to come up with solutions and outcomes that reflect consensual views, he added.