India’s G20 presidency strives to bridge divides, sow seeds of collaboration: PM Modi

New Delhi:¬†Asserting that India’s G20 presidency became a people-driven movement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said its leadership of the bloc has striven to bridge divides, dismantle barriers and sow seeds of collaboration that nourish a world where unity prevails over discord and shared destiny eclipses isolation.

“As the G20 president, we had pledged to make the global table larger, ensuring that every voice is heard and every country contributes. I am positive that we have matched our pledge with actions and outcomes,” Modi said in an article which appeared in several newspapers on Thursday.

He noted that the Voice of Global South Summit, which witnessed participation from 125 countries, was one of the foremost initiatives under India’s presidency.¬† He said, “Our presidency has not only seen the largest-ever participation from African countries but has also pushed for the inclusion of the African Union as a permanent member of the G20.” In the write-up, the prime minister said an interconnected world means interlinked challenges and noted great concern among many countries that the progress on SDGs (sustainable development goals) is off-track.

The G20 2023 action plan on accelerating progress on SDGs will spearhead the future direction of the G20 towards implementing them, he said.

In India, living in harmony with nature has been a norm since ancient times and it has been contributing its share towards climate action even in modern times, he said.

Modi, however, noted that many countries of the Global South are at various stages of development and asserted that climate action must be a complementary pursuit. “Ambitions for climate action must be matched with actions on climate finance and transfer of technology,” he said.

He added, “We believe there is a need to move away from a purely restrictive attitude of what should not be done, to a more constructive attitude focusing on what can be done to fight climate change.” In 2015, he said, the International Solar Alliance was launched and now, through the Global Biofuels Alliance, an India-led initiative, the world will be helped in energy transitions in tune with the benefits of a circular economy.

He said democratising climate action is the best way to impart momentum to the movement. Just as individuals make daily decisions based on their long-term health, they can make lifestyle decisions based on the impact on the planet’s long-term health, he said.

“Just like Yoga became a global mass movement for wellness, we have also nudged the world with Lifestyles for Sustainable Environment (LiFE),” he added.

“Due to the impact of climate change, ensuring food and nutritional security will be crucial. Millets, or Shree Anna, can help with this while also boosting climate-smart agriculture. In the International Year of Millets, we have taken millets to global palates,” Modi said.

Noting that technology is transformative, he said it also needs to be made inclusive. “In the past, the benefits of technological advancements have not benefited all sections of society equally. India, over the last few years, has shown how technology can be leveraged to narrow inequalities, rather than widen them,” he added.

That India is the fastest-growing large economy is no accident as its simple, scalable and sustainable solutions have empowered the vulnerable and the marginalised to lead its development story, he said.

From space to sports, economy to entrepreneurship, Indian women have taken the lead in various sector, he said.

He said, “They have shifted the narrative from the development of women to women-led development. Our G20 Presidency is working on bridging the gender digital divide, reducing labour force participation gaps and enabling a larger role for women in leadership and decision-making.” Modi said the G20 presidency is not merely a high-level diplomatic endeavour for India. “As the Mother of Democracy and a model of diversity, we opened the doors of this experience to the world,” he said.

Today, accomplishing things at scale is a quality that is associated with India, and the G20 presidency is no exception, he said.

“It has become a people-driven movement. Over 200 meetings will have been organised in 60 Indian cities across the length and breadth of our nation, hosting nearly 100,000 delegates from 125 countries by the end of our term. No presidency has ever encompassed such a vast and diverse geographical expanse,” he said.

He added, “It is one thing to hear about India’s demography, democracy, diversity and development from someone else. It is totally different to experience them first-hand. I am sure our G20 delegates would vouch for this.”