Narendra Modi : During the last 17 G-20 presidencies, many important results came out, including ensuring macroeconomic stability, rationalizing international taxation and reducing the debt burden of various countries. We will benefit from these achievements and move forward from here. Now, that India has assumed the important responsibility of G-20 Chairmanship, I ask myself, can G-20 still go further? Can we initiate a fundamental change in mindset for the welfare of the entire humanity? I believe yes, we can do this.
Circumstances shape our mindset. The form of humanity which should have been there since the past, there was some deficiency in it. We fought for limited resources because our survival depended on depriving others of those resources. Confrontation and competition between ideas, ideologies and identities were considered ideal. Unfortunately, we are still stuck in that same zero-sum mindset. We see this when different countries fight among themselves for some territory or resources. We see this when the supply of essential commodities is weaponized. We see this when vaccines are hoarded by a few, even though billions of people are vulnerable to diseases. Some may argue that confrontation and greed are human nature. I do not agree with this.
If humans are inherently selfish, how to explain the enduring appeal of all the spiritual traditions that advocate a fundamental oneness in all of us? One such tradition prevalent in India is that all living beings and even non-living things are made up of the same five basic elements – earth, water, fire, air and sky. Harmony between these elements in our inner and outer environment is essential for our physical, social and environmental well-being. India’s G-20 chairmanship will work towards promoting this universal spirit of unity. That’s why our theme is One Earth, One Family, One Future. It is not just a slogan. It takes into account recent changes in the human condition that we have collectively failed to appreciate.
Today we have the means to produce enough to meet the basic needs of all the people in the world. Today, we do not have to fight for our existence. Our age need not be an age of war. This should not happen at all! The biggest challenges we are facing today like climate change, terrorism and pandemics cannot be solved by fighting each other, but by working together.
Fortunately, the technology we have today also gives us the means to solve humanity’s problems on a wide scale. The vast virtual world we live in today also shows us the pervasiveness of digital technologies. India is a microcosm of this vast world, home to one-sixth of the world’s population and home to a vast diversity of languages, religions, customs and beliefs. As a civilization with the oldest known traditions of collective decision making, India contributes to the fundamental DNA of democracy in the world. As the mother of democracy, India’s national consensus has not been made by any order, but by merging crores of independent voices in a harmonious voice.
Today, India is the fastest growing large economy. While nurturing the creative talents of our bright youth, our citizen-centric governance model takes care of the most marginalized. We have tried to make national development not a top-down governance exercise, but a citizen-led ‘people’s movement’. We have leveraged technology to build digital public utilities that are open, inclusive and inter-operable. These have led to revolutionary advances in diverse areas such as social security, financial inclusion and electronic payments. For all these reasons, India’s experience can provide insight into possible global solutions.
During the G-20 Presidency, we will present India’s experience, knowledge and model as a possible template for others, especially developing countries. Our G-20 priorities will be determined in consultation not only with our G-20 partners, but also with our often-unheard allies in the Global South. Our priorities will be focused on preserving our ‘One Earth’, building harmony in our ‘One Family’ and anticipating our ‘One Future’.
To nurture our planet, we will encourage a sustainable and eco-friendly lifestyle based on the Indian tradition of caring for nature. To promote harmony within the human family, we will seek to depoliticize the global supply of food, fertilizer and medical products, so that geopolitical tensions do not become the cause of humanitarian crisis. As in our families, those who are most in need should be the first ones to be concerned about. To instill hope in our future generations, we will encourage an honest dialogue among the most powerful nations on reducing the risks posed by weapons of mass destruction and enhancing global security.
India’s G-20 agenda will be inclusive, ambitious, action-oriented and decisive. Let us unite to make India’s G20 Presidency a Presidency of Protection, Harmony and Hope. Let us work together to shape the new paradigm of human-centred globalization.
Edited By: Praveen Prasad Singh