Noting that India’s G20 Presidency has become a symbol of inclusion both inside and outside the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that it has become “People’s G20” in India and crores of citizens are connected with it.
In his opening statement at G20 Summit being hosted under India’s presidency, PM Modi spoke of global challenges and said ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas’ can be the torch bearer to address these.
The plaque in front of PM Modi at the G20 Summit said “Bharat”.
“India’s G20 presidency has become a symbol of inclusion, of ‘sabka saath’ both inside and outside the country. This has become People’s G20 in India. Crores of Indians are connected to this. In more than 60 cities of the country, more than 200 meetings have taken place. With the sense of ‘Sabka Saath’, India had proposed that the African Union be granted permanent membership of G20. I believe that all of us agree to this proposal,” he said.
PM Modi also invited the head of the African Union to take his seat as a member of the G20.
The first session of the summit under the theme ‘One Earth’ started at Bharat Mandapam, the venue of the conference.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar accompanied the President of the Union of Comoros and Chairperson of the African Union (AU), Azali Assoumani as he took his seat among world leaders.
“With everyone’s approval, I request the African Union Chairperson to take his seat as a permanent G20 member,” PM Modi said.
African Union’s inclusion in G20 was among India’s key priorities in the G20 summit under its presidency. African Union’s inclusion in G20 grouping was proposed by PM Modi in June this year.
At the beginning of his speech, PM Modi expressed his condolences over the loss of lives due to an earthquake in Morocco.
“Before we start the proceedings of G20, I want to express my condolences over the loss of lives due to an earthquake in Morocco. We pray that all injured recover at the earliest. India is ready to offer all possible assistance to Morocco in this difficult time.”
PM Modi noted that the world has faced a new challenge of trust deficit after the COVID-19. He referred to conflict between Ukraine and Russia and said the war had deepened the trust deficit further.
“If we can defeat a pandemic like COVID, we can also win over the challenge of this trust deficit. Today, as the President of the G20, India calls upon the entire world to transform this global trust deficit into trust and confidence. This is the time for all of us to move together,” he said.
“In this time, the mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas’ can be the torch bearer for us. Be it the divide between North and South, the distance between East and West, management of food and fuel, terrorism, cyber security, health, energy or water security, we will have to move towards a solid solution to this for future generations.”
Ahead of G20 Summit, PM Modi welcomed world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, UK PM Rishi Sunak, and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
As the leaders arrived, they were greeted by PM Modi in the backdrop of replica of Konark Wheel from Odisha.
The Konark Wheel was built during the 13th century under the reign of King Narasimhadeva-I. The wheel with 24 spokes has been adapted in India’s national flag embodying India’s ancient wisdom, advanced civilisation, and architectural excellence.
The rotating motion of the Konark Wheel, symbolizes time, Kalachakra as well as progress and continuous change. It serves as a powerful symbol of the wheel of democracy that reflects the resilience of democratic ideals, and commitment to progress in society. The theme of this year’s G20 Summit, which is taking place under India’s presidency is “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” or “One Earth, One Family, One Future.”
PM Modi had on Friday expressed confidence that the New Delhi G20 Summit will chart a new path in the human-centric and inclusive development
“India is delighted to host the 18th G20 Summit on 09-10 September 2023 at New Delhi’s iconic Bharat Mandapam. This is the first ever G20 Summit being hosted by India. I look forward to productive discussions with world leaders over the next two days. It is my firm belief that the the New Delhi G20 Summit will chart a new path in the human-centric and inclusive development,” he said in a post on ‘X’.
India assumed the G20 presidency on December 1 last year. This is the first time that a G20 Summit is taking place under India’s presidency. (ANI)