With PM Modi in the lead, India is now a partner for the countries seeking solutions to challenges faced by them
India is the land of Lord Buddha. It was here that Lord Buddha shared his teachings with the commoners. In the course of a few centuries, the teachings of Lord Buddha reached Japan. The cultural connection between India and Japan runs deep, and this became more apparent when Prime Minister Narendra Modi argued the path of diplomacy to resolve conflicts during his interactions with the leaders of G7, the group of seven most industrialized nations.
“Enmity does not calm enmity. Enmity is pacified by affinity. It is in this spirit, we should move forward together with everyone,” PM Modi, referring to the teaching of Lord Buddha while speaking at the ninth working session of the G7 Summit. The backdrop was set by the meeting of PM Modi with Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. In the meeting, PM Modi had very rightly stated that the current situation concerned humanity and not just the economy or politics. This was truly spoken as a statesman, who felt the pulse of the issue.
PM Modi last year in his bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin had very unequivocally said that “today is not the era of war and conflicts must be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy”. Such clarity of expression has rarely been seen among world leaders. But it’s not the case with PM Modi, who speaks for humanity. Truly, India has become the first responder to any kind of humanitarian crisis in any part of the world. This shows PM Modi speaking always in the interest of humanity.
The Indian voice is heard with gravity in the big league of the nations, as PM Modi brings much weight in his interactions with the global leaders in which he speaks for humanity as a whole and his concerns express the yearnings of all the countries, particularly the developing and the poor countries.
It was in this backdrop that G7 this year listed in its agenda the need to build partnerships with the Global South, a term made popular by India to describe the developing nations, which are facing distinct challenges.
“Global peace, stability, and prosperity is our common objective. In today's inter-connected world, crises in any one region affect all the countries. And, the developing countries, which have limited resources, are the worst affected. In the current global situation, these countries are facing the maximum and most profound impact of the food, fuel, and fertilizer crisis,” said PM Modi in another working group meeting of G7.
This again demonstrated PM Modi’s firm articulation of the challenges faced by the Global South on issues such as sovereign debt, climate change, food shortage, fertilizer crisis, etc. Yet, PM Modi told the leaders of G7 that the world continues to remain stuck in challenges because multilateral agencies such as the United Nations (UN) are not able to prevent conflicts. PM Modi reminded that the UN was established with the very purpose of establishing peace.
Dissecting the weaknesses of the UN, which badly needs reforms to represent the 21st century, PM Modi very forcefully stressed that even the definition of terrorism has not been accepted in the UN. His call for introspection and forceful argument for reforms in big institutions like the UN was received well by the G7 leaders.
India for years has been calling for reforms in the UN, and PM Modi reiterated that the multilateral body must also give space to the voice of the Global South. India being a true functional democracy with deep roots has always raised the democratic aspirations of the people. That the UN permanent members owe their positions to the wars of the last century and countries such as India despite being projected to have the largest population in the world not in the coveted club is truly undemocratic.
India has always raised its voice for an international order based on respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity, underlining the significance of the UN Charter and international law, which was asserted by PM Modi in his speech at the working group meeting of G7.
PM Modi has been regularly attending G7 summits. This acknowledges India’s growing image on the world stage. India is now the world’s fifth-largest economy. Indian economy is bigger than even four members of G7. Also, India has emerged as the voice of the Global South with the G20 presidency. India will also host the Quad Summit next year. With PM Modi in the lead, India is now a partner for the countries seeking solutions to challenges faced by them.
It’s to the credit of India that the growing debt challenges of the developing and poor countries have been brought to the centre stage of the global discourse. Also, climate change requires the advanced countries to share resources for the mitigation efforts, including the transfer of technology for clean energy, which was again reiterated forcefully by PM Modi before the G7 leaders.
(Author is the national general secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party)