Time to end trust deficit, herald era of cooperation: PM Modi at G20

Sep 10, 2023 01:53 AM IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for the world to overcome the trust deficit created by the pandemic and conflict and transform it into trust and confidence.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called on the world to overcome a global trust deficit, created by the pandemic and deepened by conflict, and transform it into global trust and confidence as he opened the G20 leaders summit in New Delhi, welcomed African Union into the fold of one of the world’s most influential multilateral bodies, and unveiled a flurry of far-reaching initiatives.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends a session at the G20 summit in New Delhi on September 9.(AFP)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi attends a session at the G20 summit in New Delhi on September 9.(AFP)

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Speaking in Hindi at the Bharat Mandapam as the G20 chair, Modi invited the world to come together and stressed on a human-centric approach, inclusive development, and finding concrete solutions to challenges. At sessions later in the day, he also spoke about green initiatives, energy transition, women-led development, and even referred to India’s successful lunar touchdown last month to underscore the country’s commitment to the Global South.

“After Covid-19, a huge crisis of lack of trust has come in the world. Conflict has deepened this trust deficit. Just as we can overcome Covid, we can also overcome this crisis of mutual trust,” he told the heads of State gathered at what was the country’s biggest international summit in decades.

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“Today, as the president of the G20, India invites the entire world to come together and, first and foremost, transform this global trust deficit into global trust and confidence,” he added.

Referring to his poll campaign of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, and Sabka Prayas, Modi said it was a time for all countries to walk together. “India’s G20 presidency has become a symbol of inclusion, both within the country and beyond, representing the spirit of Sabka Saath. It has become a people’s G20. Millions of Indians have engaged with it,” he said.

Addressing delegates in the majestic hall from behind a nameplate that listed the country’s name as Bharat, Modi said a message inscribed in Prakrit 2,500 years ago encapsulated India’s message to the world — the welfare and happiness of humanity should always be ensured. “We must move towards concrete solutions for these challenges, not just for the present but also for future generations,” he said.

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On the opening day of the G20 summit, Modi packed in a raft of engagements, speaking in two sessions, holding three key bilateral meetings, and inaugurating two global alliances, besides other meetings with leaders. He also announced the consensus on the New Delhi declaration, and welcomed the African Union to the grouping — both marking tremendous diplomatic achievements for India.

“It was in the spirit of sabka saath that India proposed permanent membership for the African Union in the G20. I believe that we all agree on this proposal,” he said, inviting the AU chair to warm applause.

In the first session, Modi described India as the “mother of democracy” and said it was a land of diversity of faith, spirituality and traditions.

“Many major religions of the world were born here, and every religion of the world has found respect here… our belief in dialogue and democratic principles has been unwavering since time immemorial. Our global conduct is rooted in the fundamental principle of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which means the world is one family,” he said in Hindi.

He said it was with the spirit of One Earth — part of India’s G20 motto of One Earth, One Family, One Future — that India initiated the Lifestyle for Environment Mission (LiFE).

“Today, India stands among the countries where a large-scale solar revolution is underway. Millions of Indian farmers have embraced natural farming. This is a big campaign to protect human health as well as the health of the soil and the Earth… During India’s G20 presidency, we have also taken significant steps toward creating a global hydrogen ecosystem,” he said.

Modi underlined the importance of energy transition to combat the climate crisis and expressed happiness that developed countries showed willingness to fulfil their commitment of 100 billion dollars in climate finance. “By adopting the Green Development Pact, G20 has also reaffirmed its commitments to sustainable and green growth,” he said.

He suggested a global initiative to take ethanol blending in petrol up to 20%, or working on developing another alternative blending mix for the greater global good. “In this context, today, we are launching the Global Biofuel Alliance. India invites all of you to join this initiative,” he said. He also pitched for a G20 green credit initiative.

“You are all familiar with the success of India’s Moon mission, Chandrayaan. The data obtained from it will be beneficial for all of humanity. With the same spirit, India is proposing the launch of the G20 Satellite Mission for Environment and Climate Observation,” he said, adding that climate and weather data obtained from this will be shared with all the countries, especially those in the Global South.

At the One Family session, Modi said India had worked to make development sustainable and inclusive by using technology as a bridge.

He emphasised on ways to further development of young people with a focus on skill development, and focussed for women-led progress to become a vehicle of global transformation. “Women leadership is visible in every sector in India now… Nearly 45% of graduates in science, technology, mathematics and engineering in India are girls,” he said.

He said measures to deal with the debt crisis affecting developing countries were important and that world’s leading sports leagues should invest 5% of their earnings in sports infrastructure for women in Global South countries. “It could be a new kind of model for public-private partnership at global level,” he added.

He suggested a special category of G20 talent visa to help people in science and technology to explore global opportunities, and pitched for global bio-banks under the supervision of the World Health Organization to focus on heart diseases, sickle cell anaemia and breast cancer. “India will be happy to create one such bank,” he said.

Modi also floated the idea of a global supply chain that boosts trust and transparency. “While speaking of one family, we will have to take care of challenges confronting our global family. We can’t look at countries and humanity only as markets. We need sensitivity and a long term approach,” he said.

Highlighting India’s use of technology to spur inclusive development, he spoke of the JAM trinity — Jan Dhan bank accounts, use of Aadhaar, and mobile phones. And Modi referred to a World Bank report that recently said this approach achieved in financial inclusion in six years what could have otherwise taken 47 years.

“India has transferred $360 billion to bank accounts directly in the last 10 years… it also prevented the leakage of $33 billion. This model can definitely prove to be very useful for the world, especially the Global South,” he said.

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