New Delhi | With the Ukraine conflict casting a shadow over the G20 summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday called upon the leaders of the bloc to overcome the current "trust deficit" and collectively find "concrete" solutions to turbulent global economy, terrorism and management of food, fuel, and fertilisers.
In his opening remarks at the summit, Modi said as the president of the G20, India invites the "entire world to come together and, first and foremost, transform this global trust deficit into global trust and confidence".
He said India's presidency of the bloc has become a symbol of "inclusion", both within the country and beyond, representing the spirit of 'Sabka Saath' (with everyone).
"After COVID-19, a huge crisis of lack of trust has come in the world. Conflict has deepened this trust deficit. Just as we can overcome COVID, we can also overcome this crisis of mutual trust," he said.
He added: "This is a time for all of us to walk together, and the mantra of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, and Sabka Prayas' can become a guiding light for all of us." The prime minister made the comments in presence of US President Joe Biden, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, his Italian counterpart Giorgia Meloni, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and other leaders of the bloc.
The leaders of the invited countries were also present at the session.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin are not attending the summit.
Stressing on the need for all to walk together, Modi said, "Whether it's a turbulent global economy, or the North-South divide, or the distance between East and West, management of food, fuel, and fertilizer, or dealing with terrorism and cybersecurity, or ensuring health, energy, and water security," adding, "We must move towards concrete solutions for these challenges, not just for the present but also for future generations." Modi said India's G20 presidency has become a 'People's G20' as millions of Indians have engaged with it. Over 200 meetings have been held in more than 60 cities across the country.
"It was in the spirit of 'Sabka Saath' that India proposed permanent membership for the African Union in the G20. I believe that we all agree on this proposal," he said.
Modi began his address by referring to a message that was inscribed on a pillar in Prakrit language.
The meaning of the message, he said, is the "welfare and happiness of humanity should always be ensured. Two and a half thousand years ago, the land of India gave this message to the entire world." "The 21st century is a time that has the potential to give a new direction to the entire world. It's a time when years old challenges demand new solutions from us. Therefore, we must move forward by fulfilling all our responsibilities with a Human Centric approach," Modi said.
The G20 member countries represent around 85 per cent of the global GDP, over 75 per cent of the global trade, and about two-thirds of the world population.
The grouping comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US and the European Union (EU).