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G-20 Summit: PM Modi terms crisis of essential goods and lack of financial capacity of the poor a ‘double whammy’

PM Narendra Modi, while addressing the session on food and energy security, said that the G-20 leaders have to find a way to return to the path of ceasefire and diplomacy in Ukraine

Prime Minister Narendra Modi talks with US President Joe Biden as they arrive for the first working session of the G20 leaders summit in Nusa Dua, Bali, Indonesia, Nov. 15, 2022. (AP)

Stressing that the challenges for the poor citizens of every country are more severe due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the developments in Ukraine, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday called the crisis of essential goods and lack of financial capacity of the poor a “double whammy”.

Addressing the session on “food and energy security” at the G-20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, Tuesday, Modi said that the G-20 leaders have to find a way to return to the path of ceasefire and diplomacy in Ukraine.

“The current shortage of fertilizers in terms of food security is also a huge crisis. Today’s fertilizer shortage is tomorrow’s food crisis, for which the world will not have a solution,” said the PM while asking the world leaders to build a mutual agreement to maintain the supply chain of both manure and food grains stable.

PM Modi termed the current phase of climate change, the Covid pandemic, the developments in Ukraine, and the global problems associated with it as a “challenging global environment”. He said that all these together have caused havoc in the world and global supply chains are in ruins.

“There is a crisis of essential goods all over the world. The challenge for the poor citizens of every country is more severe. Everyday life was already a struggle for them. They do not have the financial capacity to deal with the double whammy. Due to the double whammy, they lack the financial capacity to handle it,” he told the world leaders.

Regarding the reforms in the United Nations, PM Modi said that multilateral institutions such as the UN have been unsuccessful in tackling these issues. “We have all failed to make suitable reforms in them. Therefore, today the world has greater expectations from the G-20. The relevance of our group has become more significant,” he said.

Regarding the Ukraine conflict, Modi called for a way to return to the path of ceasefire and diplomacy in Ukraine.

He, then, framed it to build a new world order, “Over the past century, the Second World War wreaked havoc in the world. After that, the leaders of that time made a serious effort to take the path of peace. Now it’s our turn. The onus of creating a new world order for the post-Covid period lies on our shoulders. The need of the hour is to show concrete and collective resolve to ensure peace, harmony, and security in the world.”

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The Prime Minister expressed hope that next year’s G-20 summit in New Delhi will have a strong message of peace. “I am confident that next year when the G20 meets in the holy land of Buddha and Gandhi, we will all agree to convey a strong message of peace to the world,” he said.

Regarding the food and fertilizer crisis, PM Modi said that India ensured the food security of its 1.3 billion citizens during the time of the pandemic. At the same time, foodgrains were also supplied to many countries in need, he added.

“The current shortage of fertilizers in terms of food security is also a huge crisis. Today’s fertilizer shortage is tomorrow’s food crisis, for which the world will not have a solution. We should build a mutual agreement to maintain the supply chain of both manure and foodgrains stable and assured.”

Highlighting the food security measures adopted by India, he said that for sustainable food security, “we are promoting natural farming and re-popularising nutritious and traditional foodgrains like millets. Millets can also solve global malnutrition and hunger. We all must celebrate the International Year of Millets with great enthusiasm next year.”

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On the energy security front, PM Modi said that India’s energy security is also important for global growth, as it is the world’s fastest-growing economy. “We must not promote any restrictions on the supply of energy and stability in the energy market should be ensured.”

“India is committed to clean energy and environment. By 2030, half of our electricity will be generated from renewable sources. Time-bound and affordable finance and sustainable supply of technology to developing countries is essential for inclusive energy transition,” he said, underlining India’s position on the climate change debate.

He signed off with a positive note, “During India’s G-20 presidency, we will work for global consensus on all these issues.”

The Prime Minister reached Bali Monday evening to participate in the three-day G20 summit, which is expected to discuss pressing global challenges, including implications of the Ukraine conflict, especially on food and energy security.

Ahead of his visit to Indonesia, PM Modi, Monday said he would hold extensive discussions with leaders of the G20 grouping in Bali on key challenges such as reviving global growth, ensuring food and energy security, and addressing issues related to health and digital transformation.

In a pre-departure statement, Modi had said he would also highlight India’s achievements and its “unwavering commitment” to collectively address global issues while noting that the country’s upcoming presidency of the G20 will be grounded in the theme ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, or ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’.

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India is currently part of the G20 Troika (current, previous, and upcoming presidencies) comprising Indonesia, Italy and India.

The G-20, or Group of 20, is an intergovernmental forum of major developed and developing economies. It comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US and nations under the European Union (EU).

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The G20 is the premier forum for international economic cooperation representing around 85 per cent of the global GDP, over 75 per cent of the global trade, and about two-thirds of the world’s population.

First published on: 15-11-2022 at 09:19 IST
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