Lessons learnt during the pandemic should be used to drive home the message that countries need each other
Aworld devastated by the pandemic and global rivalries needs the healing touch of harmony as emphasised in India’s philosophy of Vasudeva Kutumbakam. India, the largest democracy in the world, finds itself once again at the centre stage of world diplomacy with the passing of the gavel of G20 Presidency. In the words of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself the G20 Agenda will be inclusive, ambitious, action-oriented and decisive, based on the ancient Indian Philosophy of “Vasudeva Kutumbakam”.
In the background of a post-Covid world, mitigating the aftermath of the pandemic by building sustainable and resilient ecosystems along with a peaceful favourable political environment is a priority for all. However, the last year saw a host of geo-political tensions amongst the member states that not only put the agenda of economic development at
a halt but also resulted in slowing
the financial progress of many nations and amplifying the food and energy
In the words of India’s External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar, Covid, climate change and conflict are the 3C’s confronting India’s tenure as the host nation for G20. As India starts working on the G20 Presidency agenda next year, the focus would be on prosperity and peace in the Global South for economic progress. This need has been evident from PM Modi’s acceptance speech at the time of being handed the Presidency and the theme of 2023 “One Earth, One Family, One Future”, emphasising on the need of mutual understanding and oneness amongst nations.
To effectively handle the crisis that is being faced by the world, it is imperative that a conducive environment is created to address all humanitarian issues in a holistic manner by bringing member nations on a common platform. Piloting consensus on key global issues could help de-escalate tensions and also help in economic cooperation and rebuilding of a newer world and better future, besides a thought process that needs to be further accelerated by India while chairing the prestigious G20 in 2023.
Prime Minister Modi’s remark in Bali on the rising tension between Russia and Ukraine that “Today’s era must not be of war” found resonance with member states. The G20 nations reiterated PM Modi’s message at the concluding summit of 2022. Hopes are high that India can play a significant role in initiating peace building and harmony in the region, with its rich cultural legacy of brotherhood and universal solidarity. Given the close camaraderie that the Indian Prime Minister shares with most heads of member states of G20, hopes are high that India will play a vital role in peacekeeping in the region.
It is no secret that for mitigating the chaos and damage caused by the pandemic the world would need sustainable efforts to build back better and a prerequisite for that is a peaceful environment where nations develop consensus on critical global issues through dialogue and diplomacy instead of aggression and hostility.
The strategic position that the country finds itself in presents unique and unprecedented diplomatic opportunities for the Indian government. The government is also striving to leverage its position as a world leader when it comes to conflict resolution and tackling other threats to mankind, including economic slowdown as well as food and energy crisis. Though India is pitching for accelerated progress towards achieving SDG’s and their contribution towards greater human health, wellbeing and progress at the same time the Prime Minister’s penchant for traditional and cultural Indian ethos is known by all.
Modi has time and again used his global clout and charisma to show the world an alternative route to a better and harmonious world. The opportunity that chairing the G20 offers should be rightly utilised to promote the wellbeing of all through harmony and understanding. The concept of the world being one big family should be followed in action and spirits. The G20 should witness the Indian push for the need for a new world order with the core vision enshrined in the cultural ethos of serving humanity and mankind for the benefit
No doubt, India’s tenure as the host of the G20 should essentially leverage on prospects focusing on economic development and energy and food crisis. But to effectively address the issues that the global community is facing, the world needs to bring all nations on a single platform and strategize on a collective agenda for a more prosperous future
It must be noted that any consistent effort for the benefit of human beings cannot produce sustainable results as long as they are not in conjunction with a peaceful environment and global co-operation. It is quite evident that the Indian government has already realized the significant role of global harmony and it needs to ensure that India’s hosting of the G20 should essentially echo the same sentiment.
The G20 member nations account for nearly 60 per cent of the world’s population, including 85 per cent of global GDP and 75 per cent of international trade. Economic regulations and policies will form a substantial part of deliberations. Hence, it is not a secret that the tentative agenda of the G20 has important indicators that are invariably drawn towards the co-operation and shared harmony between all, in the absence of which there cannot be true economic or social progress.
Integrated effort is thus required by India during its presidency tenure to encase upon the opportunity and show the world its diplomatic skills to ensure that geo-political tensions do not lead to humanitarian crises and issues are resolved through mutual understanding. The lessons that were learnt during the pandemic should be used as opportunities, to drive home the message that nations need the support of each other to safeguard the needs of their less privileged population and to avert humanitarian crisis in future.
The move towards SGD’s cannot be successful if it fails to safeguard the interest of all thus the call for the support and solidarity can act as a catharsis for ensuring global harmony and rapport among all.
India can give a collective call towards a new paradigm of a human-centric system for accelerating and amplifying the discourse around global understanding and empathy amongst all. As the world looks on, let’s strive to make the G20 of Indian presidency as a harbinger of Harmony20. The essence of G20 in 2023 lies in promoting the universal virtue of oneness and mutual co-operation amongst the member countries and India should make sure that it leaves behind a legacy of that caters to the wellbeing of all based on the principles of healing, harmony and hope for a better future for all.
(The author is CEO, IHW Council)