The Covid-19 pandemic is an “important turning point” in the history of humankind and the “biggest challenge” since World War II, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told G20 leaders, as he called for a new global index based on transparency in governance and the creation of a vast talent pool. He also called for decisive action to preserve the planet.
Modi, who attended the G20 virtual summit hosted by Saudi Arabia, posted on Twitter afterward: “Had a very fruitful discussion with G20 leaders. Coordinated efforts by the largest economies of the world will surely lead to faster recovery from this pandemic.”
The Prime Minister said “Transparency in our processes helps in inspiring our societies to fight crisis collectively and with confidence. Spirit of trusteeship towards planet Earth will inspire us for a healthy and holistic lifestyle.”
An official statement by the Ministry of External Affairs said Modi called for a “new global index for the post-Corona world that comprises four key elements – creation of a vast talent pool; ensuring that technology reaches all segments of the society; transparency in systems of governance; and dealing with Mother Earth with a spirit of trusteeship”. Based on this, the G20 can lay the foundation of a new world, the statement said.
According to the MEA, the Prime Minister said that while the emphasis over the past few decades has been on capital and finance, the time has come to focus on multi-skilling and re-skilling to create a vast human talent pool.
“This would not only enhance the dignity of citizens but would make our citizens more resilient to face crises. He also said that any assessment of new technology should be based on its impact on ease of living and quality of life,” the statement said.
According to the statement, Modi said that dealing with the environment and nature as trustees rather than owners would inspire us towards a holistic and healthy lifestyle, a principle whose benchmark could be a per capita carbon footprint.
‘Work from Anywhere’ is a new normal in the post-Covid world, the PM said – and suggested that as follow-up action, a G20 virtual secretariat be created as a repository of documentation.
“At the G20 Summit, I put forward a need to develop a new global index based on talent, technology, transparency and trusteeship towards the planet,” Modi tweeted.
“Multi-skilling and re-skilling to build a talent pool will enhance dignity and resilience of our workers. Value of new technologies should be measured by their benefit to humanity.”
He also said: “We offered India’s IT prowess to further develop digital facilities for efficient functioning of the G20.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping said, “China will always be a builder of global peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of international order. On the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, China stands ready to pursue peaceful coexistence and common development with all countries. We may bridge differences through dialogue, resolve disputes through negotiation, and make a joint effort for world peace and development.”
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who was in the chair, said, “Although we are optimistic about the progress made in developing vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics tools for Covid-19, we must work to create the conditions for affordable and equitable access to these tools for all peoples.
“At the same time, we must prepare better for any future pandemic. We must also continue to support the global economy and reopen our economies and borders to facilitate the mobility of trade and people.”
The two-day G20 leaders’ summit brought together the world’s largest economies that make up 85 per cent of the global GDP, and is expected to lay the foundations of an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable recovery from the Covid-19 crisis. Heads of State/Government of 19 member countries, the EU, and other invited countries and international organisations, attended the summit. United States President Donald Trump was one of the attendees.
The 15th summit of G20 leaders will continue on Sunday. It will culminate in the adoption of the Leaders’ Declaration, and with Saudi Arabia passing on the presidency to Italy. India will host the G20 summit in 2022.
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